Building an office IP door entry system can be a complex process, but it’s important you get it right. With a well-designed access control system in place, you can make sure you reliably secure your customer’s offices: without too much hassle from your side, too.
However, as businesses and organizations continue to evolve and grow, it's no longer simple to choose access control systems! Companies and users want modern features and strong integration with office systems more and more, which is why it’s important to choose a commercial access control solution that is future-proofed, meaning it can adapt to changing needs and integrate with new technologies.
In this guide, we'll discuss the products you should use, why IP technology is important (and can fit any project), and how a commercial access control solution can be both secure and user-friendly.
When building an office IP door entry system, there are several important things to remember before you start:
1. Determine the project’s needs & use an online tool to visualise your ideas
Before you start building your access control system, it's important to assess your project’s needs. This includes evaluating the type of security risks users will face, the number of entry points, and the number of employees who will need access.
A question you might ask yourself is – which industry is the project in? Are they a simple office that requires basic access, or is it a company such as a medical facility that requires high security? Either way, you need to choose a company that makes security and reliability a priority.
If you are already considering an access provider in these early stages and want to visualise the project, something like 2N AppeAR (a mobile app for virtual product installation using AR) can be useful to plan solutions and placement of products before you install them.
2. Evaluate your budget
Access control systems can vary widely in cost, so it's important to evaluate your budget and work out priorities before making any purchases. Do you need an access control reader that can support a variety of access options, or is one enough? Does your client value a full-HD camera on the intercom at the front entrance, or will audio alone suffice? Modern features can come at a premium price point, so it’s vital you determine the features you need and what you can afford, and then find an access control system that matches that.
Having said that, the adage ‘you get what you pay for’ can be true – so don’t pinch those pennies too much! What’s more, premium features will allow you to keep up with changing customer needs and make your project more scalable – more on that later.
3. Consider compatibility
If your client already has a ...has a 3rd party system in place (VMS, security system, building management system) or wants to implement a certain one, you need to choose a provider that not only prioritises integration with 3rd party providers but also makes things easier for you by providing you with all the info you need to integrate.
2N not only build all our devices on open protocols – we also partner with over 300 brands and have manuals for all of them. The 2N Integration Hub is packed full of info to help you on your way.
Integration with lift systems is also important – many projects require floor-restricted access, and the right provider can give you easily integrated lift access control in your office IP door entry system.
4. Choose the right hardware – and don’t neglect software
When building an access control system, of course, it’s important to choose the right hardware, such as IP access readers (more on those below!)
However, it’s also important to consider configuration and future user needs – such as access credential distribution and attendance monitoring. Not every receptionist is a trained integrator, so using software like the 2N® Access Commander is key to customer happiness! Suited for installations with several devices, it’s used for managing access to the building and monitoring the status of access control units in real-time. The intuitive user interface means anyone can use it, and you can easily delegate everyday site management to users – saving your valuable time.
5. Plan for maintenance and updates
A futureproof IP door entry system is a flexible, scalable one. Make sure you’re choosing a provider that makes devices and software with this in mind: commercial projects often require regular maintenance and updates to ensure they continue to function correctly. 2N® Access Commander allows you to manage & update in bulk – saving you time!
Which products to use
Access readers lie at the heart of an IP door entry system. They’re used to give or deny access to specific areas within a building and choosing the wrong one can be catastrophic!
So - what to look out for if you want a future-proof office IP door entry system? To put it simply, choose access readers that are flexible as well as advanced: the varied demands of commercial projects require them to support multiple credential types, (including convenient mobile access), to ensure that the system can adapt to changing market needs. Multi-access capability can also help security-conscious clients that want multi-factor authentication.
Ideally, you should also choose a provider that combines the reader and controller in one: this removes the costly and time-consuming process of interconnecting readers and controllers. 2N’s intelligent readers come with exactly that: plus, the support of PoE means you need only a single UTP cable for connection and power, so you'll save on cabling and time spent installing.
Also, incorporate an IP intercom: the right intercom can be a valuable addition to your access control system. Intercoms allow employees to communicate with visitors and security personnel and can be used to quickly alert employees in case of an emergency. Something such as the 2N® IP Verso is perfect for commercial projects – its modular nature means you can build it according to your needs, and it supports multiple access technologies to boot.
Combine the right intercom with smart devices such as the 2N® IP Phone D7A to add even more value to the project – it allows for bi-directional video calls with video intercoms and can be integrated with platforms such as Zoom.
Why choosing IP technology is important: no matter the project
IP technology is becoming increasingly important in commercial access control solutions. By leveraging IP technology, businesses can enjoy the benefits of a fully networked system, with the ability to remotely manage and monitor the system from anywhere with an internet connection.
Indeed, all the things mentioned previously that you need to look out for when building an office IP door entry system are powered by IP technology: you can’t have a flexible, future-proof access solution without it. Look for a provider that offers IP-based access control solutions that can integrate with your existing network infrastructure and that will give your customers what they really want.
Give your project advanced features: including mobile access
Mobile access credentials are the future and are great for commercial projects. They allow authorized personnel to access a building using only their mobile phones: removing the need for RFID cards which, although still valuable in the commercial access industry, are easily misplaced. Everyone leaves home with their phone, and everything is on it nowadays – so it’s a natural leap.
Customers can often be hesitant before implementing new technology, especially in the context of business. Thankfully, choosing mobile access such as 2N’s powerful Bluetooth technology, WaveKey, also ensures that mobile access control is reliable, fast, and secure, too.
Can a commercial IP door entry solution be both secure and user-friendly?
Of course! High security doesn’t mean a complex or difficult user experience. A futureproof commercial access control solution must strike a balance between security and user-friendliness: both are vital to commercial projects with high footfall and varied security concerns.
Some factors you should consider:
a. Authentication - The system should employ strong, easy-to-understand authentication mechanisms, (potentially including multi-factor authentication), to prevent unauthorized access. One example of a secure yet user-friendly form of access could be a combination of an RFID card and a PIN code, or mobile access plus a PIN code.
b. Encryption - All data transmitted between components of the system should be encrypted to prevent eavesdropping and data theft. 2N’s IP door entry system has an HTTPS connection and supports TLS1.3, SIPS, and SRTP: meaning your site and data are safe.
c. User-friendly interface - The system’s software and all devices should have a user-friendly interface that is easy to use and navigate, even for non-technical users. You won’t want to deal with pointless technical questions every day, so don’t compromise on this.
d. Integration – Mentioned before, but we’ll say it again: the system should integrate with other security systems, such as CCTV and alarms, to provide a comprehensive security solution and should be easy to configure, too.
e. Customization - The system should be highly customizable to meet the specific needs of your business, with the ability to easily deny access rights and permissions for different groups of users as and when needed. Also, consider attendance monitoring and response to incidents: both are vital for security and made easy when you choose configuration software that prioritises an intuitive interface.
In summary, to futureproof your commercial access control solution, you should consider using the right intercoms, access control readers, and mobile access credentials from the right provider. Look for a company that offers scalability, flexibility, and ongoing support. And don’t fear IP technology: it’s important for modern features that keep up with customer demand, as well as for remote management and site monitoring. A future-proof access control solution must also balance security with user-friendliness, with strong authentication and encryption, a user-friendly interface, integration with other security systems, and customization options. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can ensure that your access control solution is adaptable to changing demands and will allow you to succeed!