News from the World of Digital Lock and Access Systems from SimonsVoss
Spirit of Enterprise
A world without keys – that is the vision of SimonsVoss.
To what extent their vision of the world of digital lock and access systems has already become reality could recently be seen on the exhibition stand of the company at Security in Essen. Matthias Erler from
GIT SECURITY spoke with Bernhard Sommer, Managing Director of SimonsVoss, about new solutions, products and trends – as well as thethe SimonsVoss Partner Program.
GIT SECURITY: Mr Sommer, let’s start with the Security event in Essen. You were there again, as we expect nowadays from SimonsVoss, with an impressive stand. The question of whether or not the show was a success for you is probably academic?
Bernhard Sommer: We were actually very satisfied, not least because we had lots of positive feedback on our solutions and new products. A closeness to our customers and distributors, with lots of concrete project discussions, is very important for us. There were 350 guests at our evening customer and partner event, which continued until way beyond midnight and was great fun.
Some large companies were not at Essen this year?
Bernhard Sommer: That’s true – but that hardly had any effect on the number of visitors, even though the organizers should take such signals seriously. For me personally, the event is also important because a cross-section of the whole industry is there and you can take a look beyond your own back yard.
Which aspects were most talked about by the visitors to the SimonsVoss stand?
Bernhard Sommer: I have to say that the most important thing for our visitors was our own presence at the event. We met existing and potential customers from all European countries, even though most were from Germany. It is very valuable for them that our entire German and international staff is available for everyone at the exhibition. The dialog and exchange of views is equally valuable for both. With regard to the products, three new items were in the spotlight: Door Monitoring Visualization, then the virtual network and thirdly the online version of Mobile Key – and we had good feedback for each of them. That was especially pleasing because we have stepped up our efforts over the last two years to increase the quality and reliability of our products and to reduce their delivery times - we can now offer a warranty period of five years for our well-qualified trade partners. We have invested a lot in the associated processes in our new factory in Osterfeld – and it’s very pleasing that this is being noticed.
Let’s take a closer look at the products. You have made some improvements to Door Monitoring, for example?
Bernhard Sommer: What’s new here is that we have brought the presentation of the doors onto an external panel – and in the form of a very clear overview of the status of all the doors in a building. The scale is unlimited so the system can be used for any building, even if it has thousands of doors. The ability to see this on any panel anywhere makes the patrols of the security staff, for example, much easier – it can save a lot of time. The Smarthandle with a door monitoring function is also important, in particular for sensitive areas such as server rooms, development departments etc. So you can see at a glance if, for example, a fire door is open somewhere on the premises.
It is very easy to install and is the smallest wireless door monitor – and it can be monitored from any computer anywhere.
There was also some news about MobileKey?
Bernhard Sommer: This is a solution for small businesses, for up to 20 doors and 100 users. The big advantage is that it is extremely easy to use, without any training. The solution is web-based, and you can administer the employees, the doors and building areas with just a few clicks of the mouse. We showed an addition to Mobile Key at the Security show, an online version. You can now check the status of doors in real time using the simple GUI on your smartphone. A user can alter authorizations as he needs no matter where he is – and that change is implemented in the door locks in real time. There is also a very useful ‘Key for Friends’ – you can send someone a ‘key’ on their smartphone and grant them immediate access from anywhere.
And there is a new Smart Intego version with a virtual card network. Do you hope to reach new customer segments with that?
Bernhard Sommer: We have been integrating the Smart Intego line very successfully with many partners in Europe and Asia for two years now as an online system, whereby online means in real time. But there are buildings for which an online system is less suitable. We had enquiries from some users for offline systems with virtual card networks. Our particular specialty is that we can also mix both systems: there are especially sensitive doors that need online surveillance, with the ability to change the authorizations in real time. The door is then directly connected to the computer – ideal for server rooms, medication rooms, management rooms or similar. This is less relevant for other doors where an offline version with a virtual card network is sufficient. This requires significantly less work on the infrastructure, you don’t need any cabling, no router, etc. And our new SimonsVoss Virtual Card Network virtual card format is extremely versatile.
What do you think about the attempts to counter the proprietarity of access control systems with ‘standards’ such as OSS?
Bernhard Sommer: Sounds good at first. A standard should be a unification that has found common application, or one that possibly will be generally adopted, and helps the market to develop well and fulfill the needs of customers. In our opinion, you can’t think of OSS as a standard, more an interest group because many relevant manufacturers have decided not to take part. This is mainly because they are not convinced of the functionality and performance. It makes absolute sense in many branches of technology to create a real standard, for the manufacturers as well as for the customers. We saw that at the beginning in the field of lock technology and took a closer look at the capabilities of OSS. When the analysis was complete, we came to the decision not to align our products to it because we could see that we would not meet many of our customer’s demands, for example the security of data transactions with high memory efficiency.