Controlsoft: Access control ­products and expertise

October 2013 Access Control & Identity Management

Controlsoft was founded in South Africa in 1991 and has been working in the security market for nearly 25 years. The company manufactures its own access control products and sells and supports these through a network of distributors. It has also recently included a number of third-party products in its line-up to be able to offer a wider choice in its access control solution to clients.

The South African Controlsoft office ventured into the access control market in the early 1990s, before opening its UK office in 1999. The company today is run from the UK with Jonathan Summers as the MD. It also opened an office in the USA in 2001 and today manufactures its products in the UK, US and South Africa.

Controlsoft manufactures a range of access control and integrated systems for security installations. Its solutions can be applied for small 1- or 2-door systems, up to networked systems covering multiple sites.

Summers says the company operates as a solution provider, supplying products and support to its resellers across the globe. In some cases, high-end systems integrators are able to buy direct from Controlsoft, however these are the exception as the company is focused on supporting its distribution channel.

Controlsoft has focused its operations exclusively on the access control industry. Many integrators and installers have experts in fire or surveillance systems on board, but often access control is not supported with the same level of expertise. This, says Summers, is where Controlsoft comes in with its focus and expertise on all things access.

Summers explains that this is why Controlsoft supports and sells third-party solutions. By keeping a selection of best-of-breed products on board to supplement its own product range, Controlsoft is able to be a one-stop-shop for companies looking for any type of access solution.

Controlsoft currently partners with companies like Morpho, Assa Abloy and HID Global to ensure clients are able to come to one company for all their access solutions. This strategy differentiates Controlsoft from many of its global competitors, in that it offers clients a single source for all access products, whether manufactured by Controlsoft or not.

The company also offers project support to its channel partners to assist them not only in selecting the best products for the job, but also in planning, logistics and training. The goal is to help its channel do a good job in the shortest time possible, resulting in minimising the support call-outs installers and integrators will have to deal with and ensuring satisfied end-user customers whose expectations are met.

In support of this, Controlsoft has implemented a policy of testing every product it sells before it is sent to the customer. When ordering from Controlsoft, customers will find there are no out-of-the-box failures, because every product has been tested. However, if the product is been damaged in transit, for example, which does happen on occasion, the usual swap-out warranties apply.

Summers says the commitment to quality is one of the reasons Controlsoft has developed long-term relationships with clients. There should be no reason for a customer to move to a new supplier if they are happy with their current service levels and the technology available. In addition, he says backward compatibility is a key design feature of Controlsoft’s range of products. The company ensures that customers can upgrade to the latest products and technologies, but do not have to rip-and-replace older products that are still functioning as required.

This Evergreen Philosophy allows users to make cost-effective decisions about their access control systems. They can keep using products that meet the company’s requirements for many years, only upgrading to new products when the functionality and benefits justify it.

Keeping it simple, Summers says the company wants to ensure that the people who deal with Controlsoft always have a good experience, whether they are dealing with one door or a multi-site project that requires additional products from partners. The same philosophy applies to using standard technologies in Controlsoft’s products, ensuring that they are compatible with competitive products.

Controlsoft today is a global player in the access control market, active in 24 countries, focused on delivering a complete access solution to clients. The company manufactures and delivers its own range of products, but also resells best-of-breed solutions from other manufacturers to ensure it can deliver what its channel partners and their customers want. And this focus, says Summers, has resulted in Controlsoft continuing to show strong growth in all the markets it serves.

For more information contact Controlsoft South Africa, +27 (0)11 792 2778,


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