Heroes of Physical Access (S1:E4)

Humans in Tech

We are joined by Mike Taylor, VP of Global Sales at Identiv, to chat about the real heroes of physical access technology: our own robust, feature-rich systems, hardware, and software that verify frictionless access managed from anywhere. While other big players in security are facing a debilitating backlog of access control readers and credentials, Identiv is in stock and ready to ship. Are these strange days the perfect time to switch manufacturers?

Full Transcript

Speaker 1 (00:00):
You are listening to Humans in Tech. Our podcast explores today’s most transformative technology and the trends of tomorrow, bringing together the brightest minds in and outside of our industry. We unpack what’s new in physical access, identity verification, cybersecurity, and IOT ecosystems. We reach beyond the physical world, discuss our digital transformation as a species, and dive into the emerging figital experience. Join us on our journey as we discover just how connected the future will be and how we will fit into that picture.

Identiv’s physical access control and video intelligence solutions provide the highest security at the lowest cost, robust feature rich systems, hardware, and software verify frictionless access managed from anywhere. The company’s credentials, ID’s and smart cards verify the identity of employees, temporary workers and visitors. The portfolio features form factors for physical or logical access control, converged access, transit payment, brand protection, time and attendance, cashless vending, and IOT applications. While some very big names in the physical access game are dealing with the debilitating backlog of access control readers and credentials, Identiv is in stock and ready to ship. Leigh Dow, VP of global marketing at Identiv and Michael Taylor, VP of global sales at Identiv are here to talk about the struggles the industry faces right now and why it might be a perfect time to switch manufacturers.

Leigh Dow (01:38):
It’s no surprise the physical access industry is suffering. Everyone seems to be affected by supply chain issues. We’re really fortunate to be in the position to fulfill orders just as easily today as we were in January 2020. If the excessive backlogs in the market are hurting your bottom line, we’re here to help. And we’ve got Mike on the line to help us take a good look at the pain points Identiv solves during these strange days. Thanks for taking the time to meet with us, Mike.

Mike (02:00):
Absolutely, glad to be here.

Leigh Dow (02:02):
Before we start, can you tell our listeners how your 20 year path in security sales led you to Identiv?

Mike (02:08):
Absolutely. I wish it was just 20, but doing the quick, quick math is 27 years in the security space.

Leigh Dow (02:15):
20 plus years. Yeah, okay.

Mike (02:17):
Certainly. I started out on the residential commercial integrator side of the business with ADT and I think our industry is probably riddled with people who started and cut their teeth at ADT and got trained and learned the business. And then from there, I jumped over and had a myriad of opportunities on the manufacturing side. I’ve done major access control, major video management, proactive video monitoring, and even spent a couple years with a cloud company. I really had the opportunity when Identiv came and offered me the job, I really had an opportunity to walk into it knowing the video space, the access control space, the third party space, both onsite enterprise level and cloud based solutions. I really do feel that 25, 27 years of experience was getting me ready for this. Pretty excited to be able to roll up some of that experience. And again, I can’t fathom that it’s been 27 years, but it has.

Leigh Dow (03:15):
You and I have a similar in our experience at Identiv, which is you started, I think, about six months or so before me. And you joined at the Genesis of the pandemic, and COVID Identiv is the only Identiv you’ve ever known. What’s that experience been like?

Mike (03:33):
Well, certainly, it’s been interesting. I did start a couple months after of the nationwide lockdown. And really what I’ve noticed is a little bit of change in our customer base more than anything else. Empty airplanes and things like that we’re just part of it, but what I’ve really come out to notice is the way customers want to go to market. For years, they felt if it was a security platform, they had to own it. It needed to be in their secure center and they wanted their arms around it and hands off. And really what we started to see is a shift away coming out of COVID where companies wanted to hoard cash, they wanted to do either a pay as you go, or a SaaS model. And so for me, it’s been interesting coming to an enterprise solution company, yet looking at how do we do… Whether it’s Hirsh Prime or 3VR Prime, or how do we do Freedom and Liberty in the cloud or Cirrus in the cloud and really change the model. The COVID world has really made us pivot on how we service our customers and how our customers want to go to market.

Leigh Dow (04:45):
It’s no secret that nearly everyone is having trouble ordering physical access readers, because major manufacturers just can’t fulfill those orders. How significant is this problem in the industry?

Mike (04:56):
Well, if you’re looking at third party products like generic card readers from other companies, it’s a very real issue. We sell our product and we sell third party products, and we’ve seen some of the order requests come back to us for third party products from a seven to nine month lead time. It is a very real opportunity. We’re very fortunate in that we do build our own as well. And so, having control of our own supply chain has been significantly helpful to us. However, if you are looking at a third party solution or one of the national providers out there that services everyone, you are looking at seven to 10 month timelines, which can be pretty troubling.

Leigh Dow (05:37):
Wow. Just to confirm, Identiv’s uTrust TS Readers are in stock and ready to ship, right?

Mike (05:43):
They are. Absolutely, ready to go today.

Leigh Dow (05:45):
This trusted high security family of readers solves more problems than just the backlog. Maybe take us through some of the top benefits of uTrust TS as a commercial solution.

Mike (05:56):
Sure. As a commercial solution, the great news is they are very secure readers. We offer strong security through strong benefits of those readers, such as being backwards compatible with older and allowing you to transition to newer technologies. We like to call them future looking products, which are again, ability to do legacy and new product. We are based in the USA, most of our manufacturing is done here. We have friction mobile options. And I think one of the other big benefits of that particular reader is the fact that it is a POE. It gives you additional power offering at the door, thus not needing additional supplies out at the edge. The uTrust do offer a higher level of technology than sometimes often needed at a commercial site. But I would say one key thing that we like to discuss with our customers is even if they just need a basic card reader today, by using the uTrust solution, they’re really future proofing their solution. If they do need a higher level of security down the road, they’ve already got the infrastructure in place to handle it.

Leigh Dow (07:03):
I see. What about for the US Federal Government?

Mike (07:06):
On the federal side, the real big standout of the uTrust readers are first and foremost that we are a standards leader. Whether that standard is the old HSPD 12, whether it’s PIV, whether you need a phiCAM solution, or even if you’re just trying to buy something off the GSA APL approved products list for 13.1 or 13.2, we have those solutions covered. And then we also obviously offer the strong authentication leaders. We have multiple technology support, so we can do PIV, PIV-I, CEC, CIV, TWIT cards, or even event legacy products. And then of course, we’ve got our standard scramble pads, which are beloved within the federal community as well. Sorry for the acronym soup there, but if you’re going to talk federal, you need to be able to spell it out. And those are some real benefits for our city, state and federal customers.

Leigh Dow (08:00):
How easy is it to switch to Identiv physical access control?

Mike (08:05):
Switching to Identiv is really pretty straightforward. I think part of it is everyone goes, it’s so easy. Part of it depends on your deployment and your wiring and how your system’s set up and what your system needs are. We are fortunate in that we do have multiple access control solutions that are very flexible. You can use the Hirsh Velocity if it’s an enterprise solution and you’re trying to do an upgrade to an enterprise level product, maybe where you have deployed panels in the field. We also have our Freedom and Liberty lines, which are designed for putting controllers out at the edge and leveraging wiring to the door, more of an IT centric solution. And then the other really nice part of the Identiv family is that we can talk to most readers via [wig in 00:08:50] connection. A lot of times your card readers and your cards can be reused and you don’t have to completely replace card readers and credentials out at the edge. Meaning it’s a little bit more cost effective to make the jump over to an Identiv solution.

Leigh Dow (09:04):
I’ve seen a lot in the news about other manufacturer readers that are a problem, or not a problem right now, but credentials are backlogged as well. Are you seeing any issues with fulfilling orders of Identiv credentials today?

Mike (09:17):
It just depends on the product. We’re really fortunate. Some of the people that we have on our supply chain here at Identiv have years of experience and do a phenomenal job keeping up with our needs for products. We are seeing some long term concerns on chips when it comes to smart cards, but so far we’ve been able to fulfill all of our orders. Whether it’s chips for smart cards or even specific plastics for card stock, we’re always looking for alternative providers. One of our real benefit is that if it’s a third party, we certainly have less control over it and some of those orders can come back with ship dates over 90 days. We’ve seen the product coming, it’s been the train in the tunnel, if you will. And we’ve been really able to position ourselves in such a way that we haven’t been really affected by these shortages. And it’s actually been great for our customers, our integrators that maybe have been using other third party products, they’ve come to us and we’ve been able to solve one of their pain points for them. We’re pretty excited about our position and where we are today.

Leigh Dow (10:19):
If you look at the customer base, commercial and government entities can use and enable employees and temporary workers and visitors with our high security credentials. What are some of the top 10 reasons why somebody should switch to Identiv credentials today?

Mike (10:32):
Wow. 10 would be a lot.

Leigh Dow (10:34):
Yeah, some of.

Mike (10:35):
And we can probably go through… But I think there’s really three to four really key issues that are facing people today. First and foremost, more than anything is availability. If you need a 32 bit card, whether it’s 125 kilohertz, or whether you want a MIFARE DESFire EV2 or EV1 smart card, it is really a common product. As long as you meet that requirement, the biggest function of a company is the availability of their product. And we have very strong availability. We can fill most orders immediately. That’s, I think one of the big reasons. Beyond that, the fact that we are a US based company. Our pricing is stellar. And then beyond that, it’s our quality. I would put our quality product up against anyone else’s. And I really feel we’ve been in a unique position where as we’ve been able to grab additional business sort of at the expense of some of our competitors, our quality and price is going to keep customers coming back. We’re hoping that if they’ve made that move, once they try us, they’re going to stay with us in the long run. I think those are probably the biggest reasons, more than anything else

Leigh Dow (11:47):
We’re leading into ISC West in just a couple months. I’m sure you and your team are excited to get to the show and see customers and partners, and just get back to big events.

Mike (12:02):
Absolutely. We are committed to showing at these events and being there for our customers. For us, it’s a unique opportunity for us to see customer from 40 to 50 different states, some global customers without having to jump on multiple planes. For that fact, it’s a unique opportunity. But I think for the industry overall, it’s really important for us to get back at these events, do business face to face once again. It might be eye to eye, right, with a mask below. But I really think it’s critical for us to be there for our customers, be someone that they can reach out to and support. And whether it’s being at a show or whether it’s showing up at their site to do a demo, we’re pretty excited about the opportunity to get back at one of these trade shows. We didn’t stay away from them completely last year, but we’re hoping to see a few customers and get these shows back to pre-pandemic levels.

Leigh Dow (12:57):
Same. Well, thanks for joining us, talking about the industry and your perspective on it. We really appreciate you taking the time.

Mike (13:06):
Certainly. Appreciate the invite, then. Wish y’all the best.

Speaker 1 (13:09):
The problem isn’t security, it’s awareness. Velocity Vision is the future of visual surveillance, an intelligent video management solution that delivers real time situational awareness in an open security platform. Integrate with your existing systems, verify your environment in one pane of glass, and increase the efficiency of your security operation. Get full control of your environment when and where you need it. Learn more at identiv.com. Physical security, identity verification, the IOT, the hyper-connectivity of our lives will only grow more pervasive as technology becomes more automated and experience is more augmented. It’s up to us to preserve our humanity and use new tools and trends for good. The only question is, are we up for the challenge?