A recent function in Johannesburg saw HID Global, international provider of access and ID management solutions for the delivery of secure identity, together with Evolving Management Solutions (EMS), a local supplier of security hardware and software, launching the Crescendo range of smartcard products. Along with the product launch came the news that HID now has a local presence in Johannesburg and Cape Town, headed by John Lakin.
Crescendo is a series of secure, off-the-shelf smartcards designed to provide standards-compliant support for multiple access applications. The cards have not been standardised on one particular access technology, but are designed as multitechnology smartcards. The result is a credit card-sized smartcard that enables logical and physical access control, while also being able to serve as an employee's ID badge.
An embedded contact smart chip is used for logical access control. In addition, to make the card as versatile to existing access control systems as possible, a range of technologies can be accommodated, including:
1. Proximity (HID, Indala, and others).
5. Multi-technology combinations.
6. Magnetic stripe.
To ensure the cards are available in the shortest time possible, three off-the-shelf cards are available, including:
1. iCLASS and HID proximity (physical access control) with contact smart chip (logical access control).
2. CLASS and HID proximity (physical access control) with magnetic stripe (other applications) and contact smart chip (logical access control).
3. MIFARE (physical access control) with contact smart chip (logical access control).
Lakin adds that HID further differentiates itself in the access control market by providing the facilities for users to purchase small amounts as needed. There is no minimum order customers have to purchase.
As for integration concerns, Crescendo smartcards require no additional per-seat middleware license purchase, which can make a significant impact on security budgets. Crescendo systems also support the Microsoft IdentityLifecycle Manager 2007 (ILM 2007), a move which simplifies the deployment, management, and auditing of smart cards used for logical access control applications in companies standardised on the Microsoft platform. The cards are also compatible with Vista.
According to HID, Crescendo offers the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) for a combined logical and physical access control solution due to the fact that card management costs are reduced while convenience and security are increased. Crescendo also reduces the admin work required from security officers as it is supplied pre-initialised with the required on-card software and includes all required drivers and middleware.
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