Q&A: Interview with Paul Naldrett, managing director of HID Global EMEA

July 2009 Access Control & Identity Management

1. Do you agree with the view that the security industry is not as badly affected by the economic crisis?

Like all companies we have seen a tougher business environment compared to previous years. However, our business in EMEA has continued to perform well, as security is still important for businesses in a tough economy. New solutions that we are now able to offer such as Secure Issuance with our Fargo range of printers helps HID grow even in challenging times.

All markets are affected by the current economic climate, whether this is due to cautiousness in the market or through poor access to credit. One strength of HID is the fact that we have a broad product and solution portfolio that stretches across physical access, logical access, secure issuance, HID Connect and identification solutions (IDS).

2. What are you doing at the moment to keep ahead of your competition?

HID on the Desktop is a major new solution offering that was previewed at CARTES and was recently launched. It is an exciting move for HID towards converged solutions, combining physical and logical access and giving users log-on security by using their existing HID credentials. Our customers will be able to take their existing PROX, iCLASS or Crescendo cards and now use them for secure two-factor authentication on their computers. We have developed a very user-friendly software suite called naviGO to facilitate logical access. The HID on the Desktop solution works seamlessly with OMNIKEY logical access readers.

HID continues to invest heavily in its complete portfolio of products and solutions and plans to launch several new solutions in the coming months.

3. How important is contactless chip technology as compared with other common ID technologies?

Contactless RFID technology has been used for many years in numerous industries. While HID’s main business is traditionally physical access control, RFID is a great example of how important contactless technology can be when the technology is integrated into value-use solutions.

What this means is technology by itself is only 50% of the opportunity. The other 50% is the business model for adoption within specific industries, markets and channels to market. It is difficult to rank contactless chip technologies versus other common ID technologies, however, from an HID perspective the core to the concept of secure identity is the use of the contactless technology to be the carrier of the ID and provide the security umbrella for use of the ID.

Contactless card technology is at the core of all of our platforms within HID whether for low frequency (PROX for example) or High Frequency (iCLASS, MIFARE etc). The application for use of contactless card technology is our business. This was a key driver as to why HID Global created IAM (Identity and Access Management), IDS (Identification Solutions) and HID Connect – it allows us to focus our efforts within market segments that use RFID today or areas where we think RFID technologies will add security, simplification of use, automation, traceability, convenience and bridge convergence of multiple IDs into a single platform.

Looking in detail at HID Connect for example, you can see where we are expanding the use of HID technology into hardware and software solutions offered by a variety of third-party developers and partners. One of our most significant announcements in this area is around the support for HID iCLASS cards in the Dell Latitude E-Family laptops. The embedded contactless reader in select models of the E-Family laptops allows users to do pre-boot authentication and securely log-in to the Windows operating system with the same iCLASS card that is used to access the building.

4. Expand on the partnerships HID embarked on over the previous few years as well as future plans.

In addition to its Identity and Access Management (IAM), HID Global announced in November 2008 the formation of the Identification Solutions (IDS) group to align the technology in areas of e-government, cashless payment, industry and logistics, food and animal ID, as well as HID Connect.

The key driver in creating these business segments has already been highlighted in a question before, so here are some additional points:

HID Connect was formed in 2006 to extend the use of HID Global’s technology across platforms offered by third-parties. There are actually two parts to HID Connect:

(1) the ability to work with third-party developers on technology integration, and

(2) the HID Connect Partner Programme.

Organisationally, HID Connect sits between the IAM and IDS businesses, but now reports directly into the Identity and Access Management (IAM) segment. This is directly related to the fact that much of our work supports the use of the physical access control card for other applications within an organisation, such as logical access, time and attendance, biometric template storage, etc.

5. What are the company’s plans for the next 12 months?

HID continuously invests in customers, people, products and solutions that enables customers globally to adopt converged solutions for increased security. We have put together a comprehensive and interactive training programme with HID Academy, which we believe will assist customers worldwide to adopt and learn how HID solutions make doing business simple and convenient.

For more information contact John Lakin, HID Global SA, +27 (0)72 923 9426, [email protected]

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