The old versus the new

April 2017 Access Control & Identity Management

In today’s world, where technology takes centre stage and the evolution of systems and products have reached incredible heights, there is no reason at all to think of access control without IP. Why is this?

Johannes Tlhabi, sales manager, ZKTeco.
Johannes Tlhabi, sales manager, ZKTeco.

Let’s take a look at IP versus traditional access control. The migration of access control systems to a digital environment is bringing many comparable benefits, i.e. lowering installation costs, facilitating configuration and management, while simultaneously enhancing the versatility of the systems and opening up for integration with other security products.

Now with a legacy access control system, this is dependent on having each device – card reader, handle, door lock, door position switch, etc. – hard wired with RS-485 cable into one central unit or central server. With current loop technology, these types of systems, although stable, tend to be very complex and require expert personnel to handle installation and configuration.

The transition to IP-based solutions makes implementation of access control systems far more attractive. It also resolves many of the limitations of existing traditional systems, and brings additional functionalities that go far beyond conventional door control. IP access control systems have brought security a lot closer to IT, which enables such a system to grow immensely.

IP simplifies access control, it makes it more reliable, more flexible and more sustainable. An IP address is assigned to every device on a network, thereby making the management thereof from an IT perspective lot more accessible.

Integration between IP and legacy technology is possible. Porting the information on a device enables this. In fact, a common, standardised digital environment has the potential to create countless opportunities to integrate other systems such as intrusion detection, fire detection etc. into uniform, manageable and user-friendly systems.

Proprietary access control vendors are still in existence, but their existence will be very short-lived, due to open source hardware coming into the market now. People are developing their own software and are looking for products that will be compatible with them, thereby eliminating the need to re-invent the wheel in the creation of new hardware platforms.

Today, astute users want a cohesive and non-proprietary access control system that can integrate, and interface with other software products. The market is looking for access control solutions that embrace open platforms, which in turn becomes the biggest threat to proprietary closed loop systems.

For more information contact ZKTeco (SA), +27 (0) 12 259 1047,,


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