Recently, I reached out to physical access control integrators, system installers and end customers...
...through a few roadshows and exhibitions in Xinjiang, Northwest China. I was amazed by the rapid development in Xinjiang; however, I also saw a lot of room for improvement as well as growth opportunities for access control systems in the region.
China has had its "Go West" policy in place for more than 10 years, with the main components of the strategy being the development of infrastructure, enticement of foreign investment, increased efforts towards ecological protection (such as reforestation), promotion of education and retention of talent that is otherwise moving to richer provinces.
How does "Go West" impact the access control industry?
Fortune 500 company Sinopec and other utility companies such as PetroChina and China Huaneng Corporation have responded by heavily investing in Xinjiang in Northwest China, which has boosted the economy in the area. However, the region still lags far behind East China in adopting advanced access control systems. With the region's lack of awareness around security and slow technological development, many enterprises are still using legacy access control systems or basic security measures such as keys and locks, security gates and guards for high security areas.
In addition, offices and factory sites in Xinjiang are typically in remote locations with local infrastructure and limited management staff...such conditions for which a centralized, integrated access control platform for strict and staff management would be ideal.
While HID Global open architecture IP-based access control solution is the perfect solution to fit the needs of organizations in Xinjiang, these companies face challenges in upgrading their access control systems since local technicians have limited knowledge of new technologies and system maintenance. To begin addressing this issue, HID has hosted roadshows in Xinjiang to provide local technicians hands-on training on high frequency and IP-based access control solutions with the goal of equipping them with the skills needed to support future installations and maintenance.
Xinjiang and Northwest China as a whole is becoming one of the key growth engines for access control industry in the region, and these seminars are part of our ongoing initiative to align our business to the opportunities by providing flexible, feature-rich solutions coupled with proactive support. Looking at the enormous opportunities for growth, I am excited by what the future holds for HID Global in Northwest China and the entire region in the months and year to come.
Looking back to last week...
...that Monday was probably the start of just another normal work week that was full of the usual trappings of meetings and deadlines for many people. But as the sun rose in Paris on this particular Monday, November 14th, the day marked the beginning of one the most exciting and jammed packed weeks of the year for HID Global as the team geared up for a busy week at CARTES and IDentification 2011 in Paris, France - one of the largest security industry events in the world.
The day before the CARTES show began, the HID team kicked off the week in Paris with its annual FARGO partner meeting as well as a Smarttalk event, where HID and NXP Semiconductors partnered for the first time to host a roundtable discussion with leaders in the industry on the topic of future-proofing corporate identity. Both events where well attended by key HID Global partners and large end-user organizations.
That same evening at an awards ceremony and gala event not far away, HID Global president and CEO Denis Hébert, was on stage accepting a distinctive distinctive SESAME award for HID's Secure Identity Object (SIO) technology, which won the award for the industry's most innovative solution of the year. As one of the few American companies to ever win a SESAME, this was a watershed event for HID Global, especially since this award represents an unchallenged seal of approval in innovation and is regarded as the global standard for card manufacturers and related industries. And being honored with a SESAME award was only the beginning of HID's introduction of its SIO technology to the European market at CARTES.
The next morning on the CARTES show floor, HID Global booth attendees were met by an iconic, larger-than-life SIO globe that was suspended in air and contained an SIO video inside explaining the technology. Attention-getting as it was, the SIO showcase was just one of the many exciting technologies for building, issuing, delivering and assuring secure identities that kept the HID booth packed throughout the event.
In addition to the strong focus on HID's complete line of Government ID solutions for e-passport, national ID, foreign resident, worker ID and vehicle registration programs, HID Global also had a number of important announcements that contributed to the buzz. Some of the important news included its new NFC-enabled contactless smart card reader platform for the laptop and mobile device market with Sony; the recent Good Technology and ActivIdentity partnership that delivers enterprise and government mobile authentication solutions for iOS and Android platforms; as well as the preview of HID Global's new Industrial Series FARGO printer/encoder.
All in all, with the SESAME award, CARTES, and all of this year's related activities, 2011 proved an important one as HID Global's European market presence rivaled that of major companies in the region. As the year comes to a close, I am looking forward to continuing the momentum in 2012 around innovative technology, products and solutions at major events in EMEA and around the world.
Optimizing output, lowering costs and enabling scalability.
Last month I traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East, ultimately landing in Dubai for the GITEX Security Exhibition. Throughout the trip, I met with a dozen integrators for large citizen ID card projects, and the discussions continually revolved around key factors that make high volume, high security card issuance programs successful.
For large projects that routinely require production of tens of thousands of ID cards, integrators validated that they place high value on stable, ongoing printer performance; low operating costs; and systems free of time-consuming service and costly repairs. They also told us that systems used in higher volume, technology-rich applications must excel in five key areas:
Flexible Print Technology - Retransfer or high definition printing (HDP®) provides the flexibility for ID issuers to personalize a wide variety of card materials and technologies. Through the HDP process, a dye image is reverse-printed onto the underside of an adhesive film. The film and image are then transferred to the card surface, adding a durable layer of protection to the card and its components.
Printer System Reliability - A print systems' ability to adapt to a wide range of work conditions is critical. ID printers must be rugged enough to operate continuously no matter the condition of the facility in which they are installed, the heat or humidity of the environment, or the number of hours in each work shift.
System Performance - The printer should flex to meet the demands of each project launched: security functions must handle government and financial organizations' security requirements; system processing speeds should be variable depending on card design and project volume; and the credentials produced must be able to withstand the wear and tear of the intended application.
Operational Convenience - The printer's tools should allow operators to manage the system easily. Automated diagnostic systems, remote communication devices, graphical displays and help information should make issue identification and resolution as simple as possible. Diagnostic tools should always contribute to lowering total cost of operation while reducing downtime.
System Scalability - The system should be able to expand to meet requirements for new installations across a region or country through secure networking capabilities. Factory and field upgradeable modules should be available to meet evolving needs for heightened ID card security.
These key factors outlined by integrators continue to inspire HID's FARGO printer product marketing and engineering teams to develop ever better, market-focused solutions that directly address large project ID issuers' needs. This week as I meet with large, secure ID issuance system integrators from around the world at CARTES 2011 in Paris, France, I look forward to continuing our discussion about the demands of high volume issuance projects and I am also excited to demonstrate our new FARGO HDP8500 Industrial Card Printer/Encoder - a solution designed to serve market.
Today, organizations are seeking to more clearly define and implement...
...corporate identity systems that easily integrate into their existing infrastructure, and also stand the test of time with the numerous changing demands inherent to large enterprise organizations. Though some best practices for implementing corporate identity systems exist, questions remain on how to upgrade a security solution to address an organization's ever-changing requirements, while also making access management solutions generally more versatile, convenient and user-friendly in order to protect an organizations' premises and IT assets.
This is where HID Global comes in: next week, HID Global and NXP Seminconductors will be addressing the topic corporate identity and future-proofing access management systems during an in depth roundtable discussion at a SmartTalk event in Paris, France.
Register today and join us for the roundtable as the two companies delve into this and related issues with a diverse group of end-user organizations and leaders in the security industry.
Visit us at CARTES in Paris!
Be sure to also stop by HID's booth at CARTES (Hall 3, booth #2), where you can see for yourself the building blocks for creating, delivering and assuring secure identities. With our Secure Identity Object (SIO) technology as a finalist in the SESAME award competition and with the new HID Global products and solutions that we will be showcasing, this year's show is shaping up to be an exciting one! I hope to see you either at the roundtable event, at CARTES, or both.