Before our team kicked off day one at Intersec Dubai at the Dubai World Trade Centre this year, we wondered, “What will the 25th edition of Intersec be like?”
I can now say with certainty that this year’s Silver Jubilee event truly did feel like a celebration—a celebration of both people and technology. And our team from Nedap Security Management (along with our colleagues from Nedap Identification Systems) brought big energy to the 3-day event.
After all, 25 successful years of bringing together security experts, government leaders, and technology leaders is a massive milestone of its own. And I consider myself lucky to have witnessed Intersec’s legacy in the spotlight, in person, while showcasing Nedap’s innovation in offerings…
First, the obvious
There were some obvious observations:
- The majority of access control management manufacturers were in attendance
- Both regional and European system integrators and end users were also present
And then there were some observations on my part, that stood out and stayed with me on the flight back to Groenlo, Netherlands. I’m happy to share five of those highlights here with you.
Top 5 observations from Intersec Dubai 2024
Let’s go through each observation briefly:
1. There’s a sweet spot between reality and imagination
The reality is that the potential and opportunities for growth in the market, which will greatly benefit end-users and society as a whole, are more prevalent than ever—perhaps more than we ever imagined. This was obvious from the fantastic attendance and visitors we had meaningful conversations with over the 3 days.
But, the security industry is still fragmented. That said, we also see more openness in the market…willingness amongst suppliers to share more on their vision and strategy. And willingness to cooperate. Nailing that balance between reality and imagination will happen, and that’s where our industry will finally show its true value.
2. Changes in the security landscape cannot be ignored.
We’ve seen the security needs and wants of organisations changing over the years. There’s not only a lot of change in the market, but there’s also acknowledgement from the industry that change is happening. The majority of us are trying to ride the wave, so a refusal to acknowledge changes will leave some vulnerable to being swallowed up by the sea of change.
3. Thought Leadership Pavilion from Lee Odess was a well-organised treat.
Hats off to Lee Odess from the Access Control Brief for hosting a flood of sessions led by a number of respected thought leaders in their fields. Subject matters like credentials, global trends, and AI took center stage with anecdotes from real use cases.
The sheer number of relevant topics and access control stories from around the globe were eye-opening. The Pavilion was a new edition to Intersec, and we certainly hope to see it return again for Intersec 2025.
4. Mobile access is here, and here to stay.
Where physical credentials are expected to grow by 5% CAGR over the next 5 years, mobile credentials will grow by 46% CAGR. Apple, Google and Samsung are driving the momentum towards a seamless, cardless, experience. They already do for payments. The same is happening right now in access. And as much as the tech giants are pushing, a new generation of users are pulling. Driving demand for a cardless future. In fact, 70% of Fortune 100 companies are already using some form of mobile access. A clear sign that mobile access is here, and here to stay.
Mobile access also offers the possibility to create a truly seamless experience, with new use cases that weren’t possible with traditional cards. As an access management platform, which Nedap provides, we can add even more value for our customers by providing additional services enabled by mobile access. And we’re pumped for the opportunities ahead to build a true ecosystem of freedom for our trusted customers.
And we couldn’t agree more with Robert Lydic, President of WaveLynx Technologies Corporation, who spoke on the stage of the Thought Leadership Pavilion. The title of his presentation was bait enough (“Trapped in Your Credential…”)
To paraphrase his session:
“A card doesn’t identify the user, with mobile access, identification is built into the method.”
5. Trust can only happen organically, especially in security.
Another topic which resonated was the subject of Rick Caruthers, CEO of Galaxy Control Systems. He talked about the evolving dynamics between channels and manufacturers in customer relationships.
In the past, the channel has often controlled the relationship with the end user. And depending on the particular channel partner, they may not be able to (due to focus, priorities, resources, etc.) keep all their customers up to date on what the manufacturer has to offer. Meaning sometimes, the end user simply isn’t aware of the full spectrum of solutions available to them from the manufacturer of their access control system.
And from experience, we know this is true. It’s happened several times. This requires trust amongst partners – manufacturers and channels – to enable a direct relationship from the manufacturer to the end user. This is starting to happen organically with the move towards cloud-based and cloud-native access control systems, as the end user must sign a EULA (end user license agreement) with the manufacturer.
The truth is, the channel can feel vulnerable when direct contact occurs between manufacturer and end user. What are they talking about? Are they complaining? Switching channel? Selling direct? Cutting me out? I don’t think these thoughts are indicative of a bad relationship necessarily. It’s just a hangover from the traditional way of doing business.
The channel has a valuable and necessary place in the value chain. And we need to be loyal to the channels. We should be. So long as that loyalty creates value for the end user. We should never be loyal despite the end user. They are our true customer after all. Ultimately, we’re not in a zero-sum game. The way we work together should create value for all involved in the value chain. But most especially for the end user.
Rick shared a slide which sums it up exceptionally well, and perfectly aligns with Nedap’s own vision:
“Effective collaboration between manufacturers and channels is key to successfully adapting to change.”
And then paraphrased, for seamless integration and collaboration, open communication and shared goals are of the utmost importance. Not too far from that “sweet spot” mentioned earlier in this piece…
Last but certainly not least: Interoperability
We’re not ones to skirt around important issues, so let’s get straight to the topic of interoperability. It was brought up in more than enough conversations over the three days in Dubai. Without naming names, we’d like to continue these conversations with a wider audience (like the one we have right here in the Nedap blog community).
We all know and believe that seamless interoperability can allow people to access the spaces and resources they need across a number of systems with a single set of credentials. It makes for an ideal user experience.
Given the murmurs in the in the industry, do you believe this is truly achievable? We’d be thrilled to hear from you and continue this conversation…