TDSi security readers, controllers and cards/fobs… profile of an integrated access control innovator

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Adam Bannister is a contributor to IFSEC Global, having been in the role of Editor from 2014 through to November 2019. Adam also had stints as a journalist at cybersecurity publication, The Daily Swig, and as Managing Editor at Dynamis Online Media Group.
February 10, 2017


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A prime mover in the industry-wide shift to open platforms and software-driven evolution, TDSi is a widely respected provider of readers, controllers, cards, fobs and surveillance solutions. Here’s a profile of the UK-headquartered specialist in integrated access control, featuring info on flagship products like exGarde and Mifare.

Company history/background

TDSi (Time and Data Systems International) is a subsidiary of the TDSi Group (formerly known as Primecopy Limited) which was originally formed in 1982. It started out as a manufacturer of microprocessor-based time recording equipment and soon expanded, buying Sarasota Revenue Systems in 1991.

The company has since gone on to develop card-based secure access and cashless payment systems for vending and copier control, latterly in partnership with lock maker Chubb. TDSi posted a profit of £62,834 in its last financial year ending 30th April 2016, with aggregate share capital and reserves valued at £1.5m.

TDSi market position

With offices in the UK, France and Australia, TDSi claims around 20,000 current installations across 30 countries handling over one million end users.

The company focuses on education, financial services, leisure, transportation and public sector verticals with customers including Portsmouth University, Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospital, Storage King, Aston Villa Football Club, Bristol International Airport and Liverpool Victoria (insurance).

Latest technologies

TDSI’s technology partners are the other four members of the Harmony Integrated Security Alliance (Texecom, GJD, Elmdene and Advanced LED Technology), providing a solid base for collaboration and cross-integration of respective product portfolios.

Its controllers, readers, software systems, biometrics and other access-control and security accessories are also designed to communicate with a wide range of third-party wireless locking, CCTV, fire and intruder alarms and building management systems.

The flagship product is TDSi’s EXgarde access management software platform which combines multiple access control systems under one user interface alongside integration with Microsoft Active Directory, DVR systems from Dedicated Micros, Panasonic and Vista, and wireless door locks from ASSA ABLOY and SimonsVoss.

Base level EXgarde features include photo ID design, visual site plans, camera views, events and reporting. But there is a degree of flexibility and scaling in a modular approach which allows customers to introduce add-on components (security guard planning, remote notification, visitor tracking and lift control applications for example) as they grow and expand their deployments.

The TDSi VUgarde2 CCTV PC software is scalable from a handful to much larger numbers of IP cameras (up to 3,000 devices from multiple manufacturers including Texecom and Milestone are supported) with optional video content analysis software built in.

Other products include the SOLOgarde access control solution for a single door and up to 1,000 users; Expert2 access control units which support up to 48,000 cards; and MICROgarde networkable controllers supplied with or without IP connectivity and power supply units.

TDSi has updated its MICROgarde controllers and secure DIGIgarde PLUS readers to offer three factor authentication by combining PIN, card and fingerprint identification tools in the same unit.

Work with installers?

TDSi is heavily reliant on channel, rather than direct, sales. It provides support services which include commissioning, remote and onsite technical support and software upgrades, primarily in partnership with a global network of authorised distributors, installers and integrators to which it also offers product training and sales support.

The new web-based GARDiS software released in late 2016 was specifically designed for easier installation and maintenance whilst being accessible from any device and compliant with ONVIF Profile A and C access control standards.

Software integration partners are listed as Aperio, Microsoft and Milestone with UK channel partners including Frontline Security Solutions, Network Security, Check Your Security, Crimehalt, Sovereign, West London Security (WLS) and AlertSystems.

TDSi awarded its Platinum Partner of the Year Award for 2016 to AlertSystems.

Latest TDSi articles

TDSi adds new functionality to EXgarde Web access control software

Integrated security manufacturer TDSi has introduced new features to its EXgarde Web security solution related to photo capture, situational awareness and door entry PIN codes.

ADI Global is named TDSi’s UK Distributor of the Year 2018

The UK’s largest distributor of security products particularly impressed with 30% growth. 

TDSi to emphasise technology partnerships at IFSEC International 2018

Integrated security manufacturer TDSi will be appearing on several of its partners’ stands at IFSEC International in London next month.

TDSi announces partnership with Enterprise Security Distribution

TDSi solutions will now be offered through Enterprise Security Distribution’s network of UK regional branches after the two companies announced a new partnership.

TDSi announces integration with technology from ela-soft

UK manufacturer of integrated access control systems TDSi now offers readers, controllers and software systems integrated with GEMOS, a physical security information (PSIM) platform from Germany’s ela-soft. 

Hanwha Techwin Wisenet SSM is integrated with TDSi EXgarde PRO 

A transaction server module has been added to the Wisenet SSM VMS to connect access control activity with related video captured by Wisenet cameras.

TDSi Q&A: “The security industry confuses customers with jargon and acronyms”

IFSEC Global got in touch with TDSi MD John Davies to discuss TDSi’s new GARDiS software, TDSi’s international growth, trying a new approach at IFSEC and the industry’s use of the terms ‘AI’ and ‘machine learning’.

TDSi agrees distribution deal with Anixter

Anixter has joined Norbain, ADI, Pro-Vision, Advanced Access and Midwich in agreeing to distribute TDSi’s security solutions. “Although some customers […]

Watch: The future of access control – upcoming Tavcom presentations previewed by Jon Davies

Integrated access control manufacturer TDSi will be presenting in the Tavcom Training Theatre – which it also sponsors – during IFSEC 2017.

TDSi and Litestar announce Singapore partnership

UK-based integrated security products manufacturer TDSi has entered a partnership with Singaporean installer Litestar Technologies to increase its foothold in the region.

Tavcom Training Theatre returns to IFSEC 2017 with TDSi

The Tavcom Training Theatre will be returning to IFSEC International 2017, offering free technical advice to over a thousand installers.

“Never more than 2-3 clicks from getting things done”: TDSi MD John Davies on the open-platform GARDiS

TDSi has doubled its R&D spend in the last two years as it prepares for one of its most important product launches of recent years.

TDSi announces Platinum Partner of the Year 2016: AlertSystems 

The Wiltshire-based security installer was presented with the award by TDSi managing director John Davies.

TDSi MD John Davies Wins BSIA Chairman’s Award for Contribution to Exports

Find out who won the other BSIA accolades for contributions to standards, community, industry and training.

TDSi to Unveil GARDiS Software at IFSEC International 2016

Integrated security specialist Tdsi will be giving a sneak preview of its latest platform on stand F1200 at ExCeL London between 21-23 June 2016.

TDSi Launches Plug-in Offering Expanded Integration with Milestone’s XProtect Video Monitoring Solution

TDSi new plug-in gives operators with TDSi hardware can now use Milestone’s powerful video management software as their primary user interface.

TDSi Download: Ensuring Physical Security in Data Centres

The number one risk to data centres is unauthorised access, suggesting that physical security is as vital as virtual security. In this white paper TDSi explores the security options available to data centres and the challenge of upholding financial legislation and trust.

TDSi Download: Investing in the Right Security for the Financial Sector

Covering centrally controlled security, scalable solutions and biometrics, this download from TDSi examines the deployment of cutting-edge security tech in banks, investment companies and the insurance sector.

How to Manage Safety and Risk in Education, Healthcare and Transport: a TDSi Download

This download white paper from access control innovators TDSi examines how security management teams can plan resources to ensure safety and mitigate risk.

TDSi Download: How Transport Security is Evolving

In this white paper access-control specialist TDSi explores this evolving risk landscape and the technologies deployed to combat threats, including people tracking and perimeter security.

TDSi to Give Sneak Preview of New MIFARE and Proximity Readers at IFSEC Southeast Asia 2015

TDSi, an Integrated security manufacturer is going to demonstrate the latest products at IFSEC Southeast Asia 2015 in Kuala Lumpur from 2nd – 4th September.

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