How to choose an access control installer for your business

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If your organization is looking to boost security measures or implement a more efficient security system, you may be considering or have decided on investing in access control. An access control system can greatly benefit any organization or business with a physical property (or properties) and foot traffic from employees, visitors, or customers. Whether you’re managing a corporation, small business, warehouse, school campus, place of worship, or other organization, a strong access control system can help maintain a safe and secure environment. 

When you’re ready to get started, you’ll need to work with an access control installer. From determining and shaping your access control system plan to implementing and maintaining your hardware and software products at work, access control installers play a significant role in the process. At Openpath, we believe choosing the best access control system companies can help make access control an imperative investment for any commercial property. Read on to learn more about access control installers, what they can do for your business, and how to choose the right access control installers near you.

What is an access control installer?

While access control integrators focus on efficiently connecting your current systems together, access control installers assist you in choosing and executing the best access control technology for your organization. An experienced installer can help you determine the right access control products and systems, decide where access control may be necessary, walk you through the time and costs necessary to complete the project, and answer any questions or concerns you may have along the way. But, these are just the basics—see below for what else commercial access control installers can do for your organization.

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What an access control system installer can do for you

Set security goals and priorities 

Before getting started in selecting products or discussing installation details, an access control installer should first help you map out a high-level access control plan. You’ll first work together to discuss and determine the highest points of concern in your building, as well as any unique vulnerabilities such as spaces with minimal physical security or a limited IT or security team. Points of interest on your property may include elevators, garages or parking lots, or rooms that require special authorization to access.

From there, an access control security system installer can plan out specific solutions around your building, including where access control components will need to be installed, in the form of detailed blueprints. If you’re unsure if parts of your access control system will meet certain building codes, your access control contractor can work with you in confirming compliance with any local or federal regulations necessary.

Choose hardware and software options

An access control system installer can determine the right software and hardware you’ll be using to manage and track your security. If you’d prefer to have on-site servers managed and maintained directly by your organization, an on-premise software solution may be best. Properties that require high levels of security like offices for the federal government and large financial institutions may even require an on-premise solution. Just as the name implies, an on-premise server requires your organization to host the physical servers on one property, making your IT team responsible for maintaining and updating this system. If you’re in need of an access control solution across multiple properties, you will need a separate server installed there. 

If you’d like more flexibility and convenience, you may want to opt for a cloud-based solution. Unlike on-premise software, the cloud doesn’t depend on a physical server, allowing you to scale your security system as your organization grows or your security needs change. With a cloud-based solution, the hardware is just as scalable as the software, allowing you to deploy readers and wireless locks on any single door and connect them to your cloud-based server as needed. If you’re unsure which software is right for you, a commercial access control installer can walk you through the pros and cons of each option. 

In regard to access control hardware, there are plenty of options out there to accomplish specific security goals you may have. Hardware doesn’t have to be focused on just securing your property, either—it can create a more optimized and transparent system that allows you to make better-informed decisions about your property’s security. Smart readers, keyless mobile access, keypads, and intercom systems are among the hardware choices an access control installer can assist you in deciding upon and deploying.

Customize the system to fit your needs

Access control shouldn’t be one size fits all—every organization and business is different, with varying physical security needs. Access control installation companies should be suggesting systems and solutions that can be tailored to fit the unique circumstances of each deployment. For properties that may desire more robust lockdown or emergency solutions, such as school campuses or large event venues, access control vendors can assist in implementing custom lockdown features and alerts that are triggered automatically. 

For a scalable access control solution that can be modified and customized to your business, look for software with an open API and modular hardware options that can easily support changing door density. This allows for greater flexibility in establishing custom system configurations and integrations that help your organization run more efficiently. Openpath’s open API framework allows for easy and straightforward integration with the systems and services you already use or are looking to implement—including video management systems, tenant and visitor management platforms, identity services, wireless locks, and more. With the open standards, all of your systems can connect and work together in exchanging data, creating more efficient security and providing your organization with valuable analytics of how your organization is using your security measures. Openpath is also backward compatible, meaning you can use Openpath alongside existing access control and legacy security systems. An electronic access control device installer can help you modernize your building with Openpath’s cloud-based technology while still utilizing the systems and apps you already have in place. 

Upkeep and maintain your systems and products

Once you get your access control system up and running, there may be ongoing maintenance and upkeep responsibilities. Access control installation services are here to assist you well after the installation is complete—they can provide you with valuable knowledge in regard to maintenance processes, and will assist you in any upkeep or repairs your system needs. Examples of future maintenance may include a routine visual inspection of your system and hardware, an inspection or update for your software, and a battery power supply check. 

Keep in mind that maintenance will look different for every system and organization. The type of software and hardware you end up choosing will require different levels of maintenance and upkeep. With a cloud-based system like Openpath, any maintenance like software updates or patches will not require any additional in-person service since Openpath updates it instantly through the cloud.

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Connect with Openpath’s installer partners
  • Extensive network of installation partners

  • Access to award-winning Openpath products 

  • Flexible, cloud-based access control software

  • On-premise systems with ACM for stricter security

  • Experienced maintenance when you need it

  • 24/7/365 customer service support

Determining your access control system cost

The cost of access control systems depends on several factors, including the scale of your installation project, the number of properties you are updating, the number of entry points on your building, the type of software or hardware you choose, and more. Before receiving an estimated quote from your installer, here are some components that may contribute to the overall installation cost.

Size of organization

The larger the property, the higher your installation costs may be. One way to look at it is by evaluating the commercial access control system cost per door—if you require more door lock systems, your cost may rise. The technology you choose for your door access installation can also influence your costs. For example, a basic RFID reader or keypad may be on the lower end of the price range, while a more advanced reader with technology like video and entry intercom systems may cost more.

Software selection

An additional cost consideration is your software choice. On-premise versus cloud-based solutions will range in cost, especially when it comes to initial installation costs. On-premise solutions will present a higher upfront cost because of the initial server installation you’ll need, as well as any customized software or thick clients installed on dedicated workstations. From there, in-person update, licensing, and maintenance costs may incur as needed over time. 

Complexity of security system 

Another factor that will affect your pricing is the level of security you’re looking to implement. Certain areas may need a more robust access control approach, which can result in a higher installation cost. For example, an office or location where sensitive partner and customer information is stored should have a more comprehensive system in place in comparison to a room like a janitorial closet or lobby entrance. 

The best way to get an estimated cost for your specific property or properties is by getting a quote from an access control company near you. Openpath partners with certified installers in your area to provide top-of-the-line technology, seamless integration with your existing systems, and exceptional customer service and support.

How to find the best access control installer

You may be asking, “How do I find the best access control installer near me?” Access control is a valuable investment, and having the right installer guiding you through it can make a world of difference. The best access control contractor understands your business’s unique needs and security vulnerabilities, and they know what solutions can meet these needs. Whether it be choosing the right kind of key fob door entry system or investing in specific software to better understand and manage your property, a knowledgeable contractor will ask the right questions.

Additionally, quality security system integrators and door installers should have the proper certifications and licenses to assist you, as well as an understanding of your building’s code requirements. Finally, top access control installers should be there for you throughout the whole process. From start to finish, the best installer will guide you through quoting, installation processes, and future maintenance.

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Questions to ask an access control installer

  • How long have the access control companies near me been in business? What is their track record and do they have other satisfied clients working with them?

  • What access control companies near me can work with and meet my building’s code requirements? 

  • How many entries or doors should I secure? What specific entries—such as main entrances, IT rooms, elevators, and other sensitive or high-risk rooms—will require more robust security? How can a door access control system installer assist?

  • Is a cloud-based, remote management software best suited for my organization, or a more traditional, on-premise server solution? 

  • What expenses can I expect from the entire installation process?

  • What is the reliability of the products being recommended? Will they require repairs or replacement in the coming years?

  • What general maintenance and upkeep can I expect from my specific software and hardware? What costs may I incur with regular upkeep?

When you’re ready to get started, Openpath is happy to connect you with a qualified access control installer in your area.

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