Complete Access Control Has to Go Further
GIT SECURITY Talked to Marc Handels About Salto’s Vision for Access Control
When it comes to access control, Salto Systems is always looking to push boundaries and expand the scope of what is possible. For two decades, the Spanish company has been developing rock-solid security products that deliver real benefits to both customers and end users. GIT SECURITY talked with Marc Handels, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at Salto Systems, about their vision and how their newest product – the Salto Neo Cylinder – fits into this vision.
GIT SECURITY: Marc, Salto is about to launch a brand-new product, the Salto Neo Cylinder. Why is it so special?
Marc Handels: When we launched the Salto XS4 2.0 range, it was not just to update a design. It was so much more than that. We always have an eye on the market, and we also seek input from our customers and partners. This feedback helps guide us in the development of new products and platforms. The XS4 2.0 platform was designed from the ground up with the purpose of increasing our commitment to our customers and partners by offering flagship products that are future proof and can bring the features and functions that make life easier. Our goal is to give end users the capability to efficiently and conveniently control access no matter the scenario. The Neo Cylinder is a natural extension of what we’ve been working on over the last several years with the incredible products we’ve released like the XS4 Mini, the XS4 One and the Ælement Fusion, just to name a few. The world moves fast and it’s essential for products to grow with that change, adapting to new functionalities as they emerge. The Salto Neo Cylinder is a good example of this as it was a redesign – from scratch – due to the physical limitations of the existing electronic cylinder. We had to really think about how to implement and enable all of the functionalities we wanted to add.
What kind of functionalities are you talking about?
Marc Handels: One of the most important functionalities was incorporating the use of the cloud into access control. By developing an access control platform that operates in the cloud, we can offer partners and customers a solution that fits their needs whether they prefer a cloud or on-premise solution. So, with the Salto Neo Cylinder, it’s a win-win situation. The Neo Cylinder is built with the absolute latest in technology and therefore we can offer a product that can work with Salto ProAccess Space management software for those customers that prefer to have IT management under their control and it can also work with the Salto KS Keys as a Service cloud-based management platform. This is simple to accomplish: the Neo Cylinder is either initialized through a Portable Programming Device (PPD) for the on-premise solution or though Salto KS.
That is an impressive improvement in usability, what else does this product bring to the table?
Marc Handels: Well the other feature that is absolutely essential in access control right now is mobile access and this is not new to us, of course, as our previous range was already NFC compatible. But with the Neo Cylinder, we knew that there was an issue with just being NFC compatible since the iPhone comprises a huge part of the mobile phone market and they use BLE, or Bluetooth. That’s why the Neo Cylinder had to be BLE-enabled in order to covert 100 percent of the mobile market. The Salto Neo Cylinder is one of the few, if not the only, electronic cylinder to be BLE enabled which makes it compatible with both iOS and Android. So now it truly does not matter if you use Salto KS in a coworking space or are a student in a university that uses JustIN mobile, you will be able to use your mobile to get access into the door you need.
What about the reliability of an electronic cylinder?
Marc Handels: Reliability and quality are features that have always distinguished Salto and of course the Neo Cylinder lives up to our reputation. The mechanics have been redesigned in order to meet the highest standards like SKG, if in combination with the correct mortise lock, and VDS and incorporate new antidrilling protections. We’ve also improved the performance for outdoor use and this cylinder, in combination with its design and new mechanics, is IP66 rated meaning its built to withstand even the harshest environments. But what’s really impressive is that one set of batteries can last for up to four years!
Is the Neo Cylinder available in all markets?
Marc Handels: Salto is a global company – we’re present in more than 90 countries and we have 26 offices worldwide – and so the solutions we develop are adapted to local needs. The Salto Neo Cylinder will be available in a variety of local standards like European, ANSI, UK, Swiss, Australian, RIM, Deadbolts, etc. It will also be available for different applications like padlocks, swing handles for server racks, cam locks, and the like. We know the importance of developing products that fit any situation and that offer the level of functionality that is required.
What other technologies does the Neo Cylinder feature?
Marc Handels: Last year at Security Essen show we launched a new functionality, SVN-Flex. I think it has revolutionized access control and reconfirmed the potential of our original data-on-card technology. SVN-Flex was made possible through our brand-new wireless technology, Salto BLUEnet, and with this system we removed the small limitation that was restricting the real potential of data-on-card technology. This brought credential updating exactly where it belonged: To the door! So, with SVN Flex, any wireless, battery-operated door, not just entrance doors or specific doors, can update a user card or credential. This small detail that any wireless battery-operated door can be an updating point, is now even more expansive with the Salto Neo Cylinder. Any door where we remove a mechanical cylinder and we install a Salto Neo Cylinder can be upgraded to an SVN-Flex updating point, making it possible and more affordable to increase the number of updating points. This empowers an access control system and boosts performance. If you really think about it, it’s even more powerful than a fully-online system because you can control even the offline stand-alone locks through the genuine Salto virtual technology. This really is a game changer.
Cloud or on-premise, mobile or ID-based, offline or online? It looks like you are offering a complete freedom of choice.
Marc Handels: Yes, that is part of our vision. As mentioned before, we are committed to our partners, customers and end users. We’ve been working hard developing technology so that we can offer products that are fully equipped, no matter the need: cloud or on-premise based access control; mobile or traditional ID-based credentials; offline standalone or wireless online. You can decide what you need without having to replace your hardware. There really are no limitations anymore, it’s nothing but options.
Ifsec 2019, Stand IF2810