Visions for Mobile Access Control
Tools that Make Buildings Smart to Own, Operate and Manage
Salto Systems is always looking to push boundaries and to expand the scope of what is possible. On the other hand, the Spanish company develops rock-solid products that deliver real benefits to both customers and end users.
GIT SECURITY talked with Marc Handels, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer at Salto Systems about their roadmap and the latest and emerging technologies to create keyless buildings that are smart to own, operate and manage.
GIT SECURITY: Marc, can you give us some background on your recent acquisition of Clay and the investment in Danalock?
Marc Handels: We have acquired the remainder shares in Clay, to become sole owner of the company and have purchased a significant equity share in Poly-Control, the manufacturer of Danalock in June. For us these are important steps to execute our strategy by strengthening our leading position in cloud technology and mobile access, as well as electronic locks for the residential market. As you know, right from the beginning when we started our business in 2001, we were sure that electronic locks over time will fully replace mechanical locks. We have seen this happening in the commercial markets in the last decade, but now it is time to extend our focus to residential markets, the last frontier where we still see a massive presence of mechanical locks. With the acquisition we add Danalock’s specialist know-how in residential electronic locking to our expertise. Clay’s locking platform, on the other hand, has been the core of products such as Salto KS, Prosegur Control de Accesos and very recently Regus, one of the world’s largest providers of flexible workspace solutions. We are extremely happy about the investments in two great teams that lead their fields and like Salto, both are founded by teams of talented entrepreneurs.
How will you approach the residential market in the future?
Marc Handels: Danalock is technology and thought leader in residential smart locks and have just recently launched the third version of their motorized Smartlock. Danalock version 3 is now tapping into the drive of keyless and connected locking solutions for residential properties on a global scale. In the future we will address the commercial markets with Salto products only. For the residential market however, we will have the combined offerings of Salto and Danalock manufactured products. Mobile is key in this market and the IoT connectivity that the Danalock products offer will help us to have a kick-start in this market. We will use the B2B channel for clients who build residential houses as part of projects and the channel Danalock is using to access single houses. Poly-Control will continue to operate independently and run their services as they do now, but we look forward to combining our competencies especially when it comes to cloud solutions and we will leverage the technical knowledge of both companies.
Mobile access and cloud technology have always been hot topics in the access control market. New products appear on the market and the acceptance amongst users is growing. Is it right that after years of solid growth we do see a real boom now within these areas?
Marc Handels: I could not agree more, we see exponential growth in this area and we benefit from the development as from day one, we were embracing this technology. We invested very early in Clay when it was still a start-up and we were pioneers in mobile access control. The step from data on card to data on mobile is just a natural next step for us. The Salto technology with data on card is extremely compatible with mobile access. Data on mobile has the big advantage, that you can change the data on the fly everywhere and bidirectional. With Salto KS and JustIN Mobile we have two platforms that fuel our growth in the area of cloud-based access control technology and mobile access. Mobile access was always something younger people have seen as a no-brainer, but in the meantime most professionals have accepted it as state-of-the art technology.
Can you explain how the JustIN Mobile technology helps users to move to mobile access?
Marc Handels: The newest version of our JustIN Mobile solution is combining Bluetooth Low Energy and NFC capabilities in a single app. This means for the user that with just a single app, depending on the type of mobile phone used, it will activate its BLE or NFC element, enabling users to open doors just by presenting the smart phone to the BLE or Mifare equipped handle set, cylinder or wall reader. The secure encrypted technology is compatible with iOS via BLE and Android via BLE and NFC. Users can receive their access rights instantly and remotely. There is no need for any infrastructure, or any wireless handle sets. All that’s needed is a data connection to the smart phone. It automatically detects if a door is Bluetooth or NFC equipped and then uses its secure encrypted technology to open the door – even if the user has multiple access rights to several doors across different sites in the app. The amount of looks that we sell that already prepared for Bluetooth Low Energy is increasing very fast, people are investing in future-proof systems. Even if you do not have a roadmap of which technology you will use in the future, you can prepare your hardware for the future this way.
You have been an early adopter of cloud technology with Clay that is now Salto KS. What benefits does this service offer compared to traditional server-based systems?
Marc Handels: The success of this service and the growing use in projects all over the world benefits from the mind change in the industry and many users recognize the big advantage that cloud solutions can offer especially when you take the right security measurements. We accepted the cloud from day one and Salto KS is a perfect tool not only for co-working and co-living and for young professionals as it has all elements that are demanded by the market. It is mobile centric, it is future-proof and it is flexible. We see Salto KS ‘Keys as a Service’ as the most advanced and flexible cloud locking solution on the access control market. It combines the reliability and stability you know from Salto in cloud-based access control and is a solution which negates the need for complex IT infrastructures and provides superior functionality and performance over traditional security solutions.
What is needed to work with the system and do you extend the system to other applications beyond access control?
Marc Handels: Salto KS provides a flexible access control management system that requires no software installation or the added expense of a fully-wired electronic product. All that is needed is an online device with an Internet connection. Providing end users with cloud-based Salto KS Keys as a Service reduces cost and almost eliminates the need for maintenance. Salto KS has also already been successfully integrated with a number of market leading products to offer a comprehensive security solution within connected services. An example of this is the partnership between Salto and Camera Manager, formerly owned by Panasonic and now part of the EagleEye network. This is the first example of integration between a state-of the-art cloud CCTV company and the Salto KS cloud-based access control solution. Via KS connect and our API we have the interface to enable more integration with meaningful cloud offerings in the future.
How do you make sure that the systems stays safe against cyberattacks when you open it up for integrations?
Marc Handels: We do very carefully select the integration partners and make sure that we only work with partners and systems that are on the same high security standards as our system. But you are right, there might be a risk if companies just jump on this cloud thing and do not have the resources in engineers to deal with security threats.
The growth of Salto is exceptional in this market. Can you keep up the pace with your production facilities?
Marc Handels: We are in a strong growth mode and 2017 is already looking good again. We are currently working on the third expansion of the factory in Spain and this will enable us to double our production capacity. So the investment in technology and acquisitions is also reflected in our factory and production capability.
Thank you for the Interview.