Would you consider yourself a “fast walker?” Take a minute to think about it. Because studies show that people who walk at faster speeds are more successful. It kind of makes sense if we look around our fast-paced world. This theory that moving faster, and innovating, promotes success. Well, the world we live in isn’t slowing down anytime soon and business leaders know this. It’s why they’re looking to streamline their operations.
But what about their security position while all this streamlining is happening? How can security be improved? Well, one of the most effective ways of achieving this is through a best-of-breed approach that integrates different, high-quality systems and technologies. This is particularly true when it comes to physical access control.
We all know that a physical access control system is critical for securing business assets and personnel. Controlling who can access their facilities, and when, is now a must-have for business leaders everywhere. But not all physical access control systems are created equal. One key factor setting some apart is the ability to integrate with other systems and technologies. At Nedap, we aim to be at the forefront of this through our best-of-breed strategy.
Better together but one size does not fit all
When’s the last time you bought a piece of clothing with a tag that saying, “One Size?”
Well. as much as some people might like to believe (and we won’t name names here), there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to any security challenge.
At Nedap, we believe that no single solution can solve every security requirement for every organisation. What we can do is ensure our solutions are open and enriched with great partnerships. Systems are built by companies and companies are made up of people. Collectively, a company’s people have a certain culture, a way of working, and other unique elements that make them special. So, we’re always looking for potential technology partners who:
- Are compatible with our culture.
- And who, like us, believe that collaboration is the key to success.
- Understand that technological developments should be centred around the people using them.
These partnerships allow us to build the best products, services, and experience for our mutual customers. Because if you want to build long-term success together, it’s crucial to have a similar vision on how to reach it. This vision, plus excellent execution and determination is what you might call the mighty trifecta of partnerships. And we’re constantly striving to improve ourselves in these areas.
Best-of-breed is the future
So, here’s what we agree on so far: Every organisation is unique and has different security and management requirements. But if we also agree that the world’s evolving way too fast, then how can we fulfil all these requirements to a high standard? Our best-of-breed strategy aims to address this issue.
Do you remember being told as a child, “play nice” at the playground? Well, what if fast forward to adulthood and swap out the playground with an access control system? It’s not as simple as that, but it’s the same principle that Nedap works with. We focus on developing and updating AEOS, so it’s a best-of-breed physical access control system that integrates easily (plays nice) with other best-of-breed technologies—now and in the future. This allows our customers to meet their security and management requirements in their own way, by selecting and connecting solutions that best fit their needs.
Customers are also looking to improve their decision-making capabilities by using data. But here’s the thing: Almost every security solution generates data. But this data is only powerful if it can be exchanged with other systems. Only then can users get the complete picture. Integrating open systems is the only practical and comprehensive way to achieve this.
Quality over quantity
When it comes to developing integrations for systems such as AEOS, there are two main approaches.
- The first is to build as many integrations as possible, as quickly as possible.
- Or you can build fewer integrations-take time to ensure they’re exceptionally good before they’re released.
The latter is our approach. A best-of-breed system is only as good as its weakest link, so making sure all links are strong is critical for us.
Let us explain how we do this:
How we make integrations happen
We’ve talked about why we take a best-of-breed strategy, but how do we make integrations happen and ensure they meet our quality standards? It comes down to four key steps:
- Find the right technology partners: We’re always in search of technology partners that bring added value to AEOS and to our customers. For us, it’s important they’re a good match in terms of vision, culture and geographical focus, and there’s an overlap in our vertical markets and end customers. Also desirable, but not mandatory, is if we share channel partners. Because our channel partners are the most important link in bringing added value to end customers.
- Provide lots of support during development: We encourage our technology partners to develop integrations using our APIs and support them through this process. We give each partner a full AEOS demo kit with either virtual or physical hardware, including some dummy data in the database. Because we don’t believe in integration based on documentation. Having an AEOS demo kit allows technology partners to test their integrations in a live environment and fine-tune them where needed. This demo kit, alongside a free, three-hour, e-learning course, ensures our partners are ready to integrate. And, if they have any questions, our team is always happy to help.
- Run a detailed verification process: Once a technology partner has finalised their integration and documentation, we start an online verification of it. This is a mandatory stage for every AEOS integration, where we and the technology partner do quality assurance checks. Quality and operability are verified using the four-eye principle, so at least two support engineers review every integration. They look at how to install and configure it, if the settings work and if it’s documented correctly. If necessary, we add forewords to our documentation. They also check if security settings have been taken into account, and how troubleshooting and logging are handled. Put simply, they’re asking: “Is this integration working and workable for our channel partners?”
- Sharing news of the new integration: One of the best parts of tech partnerships is when you get to share the news with everyone. Internally, we celebrate these “wins” because all the work put into a new best-of-breed integration deserves recognition. Externally, we use all our channels to share the good news: On our website, in the Partner Portal, via our blog, newsletters, and social media, you name it!
Needless to say, there are countless conversations and touchpoints happening throughout the lifetime of our partnerships. We welcome you to learn more about our Technology Partner Programme. We’re looking forward to getting a conversation started with you!