During IFSEC 2016, Maarten Mijwaart, GM at Nedap Identification Systems, was interviewed by IFSEC Global about products including ANPR cameras, RFID readers and the new MACE mobile-access platform, through which smartphones can receive, contain and present virtual access credentials.
IFSEC Global: Could you tell us a bit about your products and which markets they’re aimed at?
Maarten Mijwaart: Nedap Identification Systems specialises in convenient and secure identification of people and vehicles. Our long-range RFID readers and ANPR cameras are used for all sorts of applications in the security sector, but also in other sectors.
Our longest selling product line is TRANSIT, a microwave-based reader that identifies vehicles and its drivers at over 10 metres (33 ft) using battery-operated transponders. The TRANSIT platform is used from deserts in the Middle East with intense heat, to the snowy and ice cold landscape of Alaska.
In the past few years our uPASS platform has also grown in popularity. It operates in the UHF frequency bandwidth and supports the EPC Gen II standard.
“The great thing about our ANPR cameras is that they are as easy to integrate with access control systems as all our other readers. All the processing and interfacing intelligence is built into the ANPR camera.”
It uses battery-less tags and cards. uPASS Target, our brand new UHF flagship, will read windshield mounted sticker tags at distances of up to 10 metres.
Which makes it a great reader to remotely identify vehicles in perimeter access scenarios. But even our smallest UHF reader, uPASS Access, will read UHF cards at approximately two metres. And these cards can also be combined with conventional card technology, like MIFARE DESfire or HID iClass.
For applications in which there is no possibility to supply tags or cards, we also have an ANPR product line. The great thing about our ANPR cameras is that they are as easy to integrate with access control systems as all our other readers. All the processing and interfacing intelligence is built into the ANPR camera.
In general it is our mission to enable any access control supplier or installer to enrich their applications with more convenient and user friendly identification technology.
IG: What’s Nedap’s strategic position and plans in the market?
MM: Nedap Identification Systems core business is the development, manufacturing and sales of RFID readers that add convenience to access control. Convenience is not only defined as having a longer read range than usual.
We look at the entire life cycle of access control credentials like cards and tags. These credentials require distributing, enrolling, carrying, presenting and replacing when they are used in access control. For each of these steps we try and improve the user experience. This approach is valid for all our product lines. And next to that we try and make it as easy as possible to install our readers and connect them to third party systems.
We operate worldwide though a partner network. Our partners are supported by a highly committed team of business developers and support engineers, a partner programme that helps partners to be successful with our products and a partner portal on which detailed information, files and tools can be obtained 24/7.
Our strongest markets today are Western Europe and the US. But we a see a lot of potential for further growth in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Latin America and specific countries in Asia, Pacific and Africa.
“It is our perception that the users of access control systems have been a little underserved in the past two decades.”
Because of the different nature and characteristics of our product lines, we can are able to meet the requirements of a variety of verticals. Our high-end TRANSIT long range readers are used a lot in oil and gas applications, mining operations, other industrial environments but also in taxi dispatch applications on airports.
Our versatile UHF readers are used in and around office buildings and in a wide variety of parking facilities. And over 40 cities in the Netherlands use our cameras in their city access control systems. It is astonishing to see where our partners install our equipment and we take great pride in the wonderful solutions they are building with it.
IG: What kind of end user should be most interested in your products and why?
MM: It is our perception that the users of access control systems have been a little underserved in the past two decades. There was a lot of focus in our industry on increasing security levels by supporting more advanced integration schemes, pushing technological limits and increasing the scalability of applications, but we sometimes seem to forget that security is about people.
Security’s prime goal is to prevent that opportunities are presented to people to commit undesirable behavior or to detect that behavior when it really is too late. But we also need people to support our security policies and contribute to the smooth operation of our security systems. That is why we feel so strong about adding some convenience to the identification part of security.
Our vehicle identification readers enable users to approach a barrier and keep going, which also prevents unnecessary queuing. Our small UHF reader supports a read range of up to two meters with normal shaped access control cards, which prevents users from having to slow down their pace and actively present the card to the readers.
And our new MACE platform supports storing virtual access control cards on your phone, so you do not have to carry around a wallet that is filled with too many RFID cards.
IG: How does your relationship with installers and integrators work and which kind of partners do you tend to work with?
MM: Our partners are our lifeline. We would not be here today without them.
In many countries we are lucky enough to be supported by major distributors that have a stocking position and that are able to service the installers in the industry that occasionally buy and use our products. With some of the larger and committed system integrators we have a direct relationship. Last year we launched our certified partner programme and we were pleased to see the interest from our existing channel.
The programme helps us improve our game in supporting our most loyal and committed partners, but we do also try our best to make sure that anyone that is in potential need of our products, can obtain them easily and is supported well in the planning and execution phases of projects.
We value the personal relationship we have with our partners and each of our team members is willing to do what it takes to make our partners successful. But we also try and make sure our partners have the tools and knowledge available when they need it. One example of that effort is the growing number of e-learning courses and the wealth of information that is available at our partner portal.
IG: You recently exhibited at IFSEC 2016…
MM: IFSEC is a very important trade show to us. This year was even more important because we launched our new MACE platform.
MACE is a platform that consists of readers, apps and a server. It enables smartphones to receive, contain and present virtual access credentials.
It is easy to set up and easy to use. The readers support Bluetooth, NFC, smart cards and proximity cards. They can be connected to any access control system.
The system topology is very straightforward and the pricing model very simple and fair. We acknowledge that we are not the first in the industry to use smartphones, but we are dedicated to make MACE the platform of choice and we believe it will have a very positive impact on the convenience levels as experienced by access control users.
*Interview source: IFSEC Global (www.ifsecglobal.com)