Architects, Consultants, and Engineers in Security (S2:E47)

January 19, 2023

Today, we’re joined by Joe Maddox, ACES Program Manager here at Identiv. ACES is our Architects, Consultants, and Engineers in Security partner program, providing continued education opportunities, resources, and technical design assistance to end-users and consultants on the converged nature of IT and physical security.

Full Transcript

Voiceover: You're 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, cyber security, and IoT ecosystems. We reach beyond the physical world, discuss our digital transformation as a species, and dive into the emerging Phygital [00:00:30] experience. Join us on our journey as we discover just how connected the future will be and how we will fit into that picture. Your host is Leigh Dow, VP of Global Marketing at Identiv.

Leigh Dow: Thanks for listening in. Today we're joined by Joe Maddox, Identiv's ACES program manager. He's a third generation Florida Gator, but this fourth generation Florida State Seminole is not going to hold it against him. ACES is our Architects, Consultants, and Engineers and Security program that provides continued education [00:01:00] for end users and consultants on the converged nature of IT and physical security. For the last 11 years, Joe's been passionately designing security and telecommunication systems for two large MEP engineering firms and building a technology design group from scratch. It's so nice to have you join our Humans in Tech podcast today, Joe.

Joe Maddox: I'm really glad to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

Leigh Dow: Yeah. Like I said, I'm going to try not to hold the Florida Gator thing against you. We'll see how far we get.

Joe Maddox: I appreciate that. I'm feeling [00:01:30] a little bruised after the spanking that Tennessee finally was able to give us after all these years.

Leigh Dow: You and Alabama.

Joe Maddox: That's right. That's right.

Leigh Dow: We can all agree on our hatred for Alabama, I think. That's where we find common ground.

Joe Maddox: Amen.

Leigh Dow: I understand you've only been in the position for a few months. How's it going so far?

Joe Maddox: Fantastically. It appears that I've joined a winning team with a healthy culture, with people all rowing in the same direction. The more I learn about identity and the people in it, the more [00:02:00] I like it and them. I think everyone in the workplace dreams of being on a team with winners in a we work hard and play hard environment and from that point of view, I recommend the identity team. For me, the past few months have mostly been evaluation, training, and orientation, but I'm excited to have also been able to drive some tangible results and move our program forward.

Leigh Dow: For me personally, I started off with the company as a consultant and one of the things that [00:02:30] really attracted me to joining the team full time is the people. I have so much fun working with the physical access team. It's such, like you said, a work hard play hard kind of team, and being able to win and have fun is such a great attribute of that culture.

Joe Maddox: Yeah. You just don't get that everywhere. Anybody that's been around in the workplace long enough knows that that is a rare and beautiful thing. [00:03:00] Treasure it.

Leigh Dow: I completely agree. And like I said, it's one of the main things that attracted me to the role. The ACES program at Identiv was created in about 2019 to focus on building really strong relationships with dedicated integrators, distributors and dealers and really build those lasting partnerships with technology leaders. Can you tell us a little bit more about the purpose of the ACES program?

Joe Maddox: Sure. The program concentrates on educating all architects, consultants, [00:03:30] engineers and designers in the physical security community on the cutting edge products and Identiv's portfolio while providing resources and technical design help. End users, of course, have very specific needs of concerns. Our authorized integrators have different needs of concerns. National accounts are different from each of those. Identiv has specific specialized support personnel tailored to each of those groups. But having been a specifying consultant myself, I know that the needs of design consultants [00:04:00] are different from all of those other groups. And the purpose of the ACES program is to make sure that the specific needs of this specifier community are addressed.

Also, since having been a specifying consultant, I can assure you that the manufacturers calling on me that had specific personnel and programs dedicated to the needs of the design community were much more likely to get an audience with me because they made my life easier, my designs better, and ultimately my clients happier. [00:04:30] This is part of the reason I'm so excited about this role, Leigh, is because I'm serving a community that I love and respect and providing a service that I believe is critically needed and valuable.

Leigh Dow: When you talk about those consulting groups, the specifiers, architects, many years ago I was in Vegas for a trade show at the same time the World of Concrete was going on and I didn't realize it's one of the biggest trade shows in the world. And when [00:05:00] I asked somebody from that show, "Why is this show so big?" They were like, "Well, Leigh, because everything starts with concrete." I was like, "Yeah, I guess that makes sense." So when you're in that world of being a specifier, an architect and building things from the ground up, it's just a really interesting space. And I think that the people in that space are very interesting as well. That whole community of specifiers and the kinds of things that they look for and study and new [00:05:30] technologies and new ways to do things. It's a very interesting segment of our business to be involved in.

Joe Maddox: It's fascinating. The whole 11 years was a joy to me. And it's funny that you mention concrete. Not to derail the conversation too much, but when I was on job sites, looking over our work and building the initial relationship with the general contractor who was going to build the project that I participated in designing, watching them talk [00:06:00] about the elements of concrete and the different testing and the attention to detail that's required with pouring it, specifying it, getting the right stuff, letting it cure out and all that. It was just fascinating. It's a deep rabbit hole and it brought the light to me the same thing you learned, which is everything starts with concrete.

Leigh Dow: Right. yeah. So about two years ago I think, I went to that show and obviously it was a little smaller [00:06:30] because it was pandemic times, but really saw exactly what you were talking about, which is if you're not in that industry, you're like, "Wow. There's really that many different kinds and different elements and different technologies involved and different processes depending on what you're building." Just a world I just had never been exposed to before. But yeah, it's just like everything starts with concrete. Specifically, what are the products that you focus on in [00:07:00] Identiv's portfolio?

Joe Maddox: Well, so my main focus is what you would refer to as our PACS line, the Physical Access Control line. But Physical Access Control also includes video surveillance. But I'd like to start with a generalization. As a rookie to this company, my favorite thing about the Identiv product line is how it truly stands out as an end to end solution on multiple fronts. Meaning that nearly everything an end [00:07:30] user would need for an electronic security system can be procured through Identiv and their integrator and distribution partners. Doesn't have to be in many cases, but it can be if that's desired, which many people value a one throat to choke approach. At the core of this end to end are three access control systems, each of them optimized for the needs of specific various end users.

Our flagship product is the Velocity Access Control System. [00:08:00] Many people know this by its legacy brand named Hirsch. And it is the gold standard in many federal and commercial installations. It's extraordinarily compatible, configurable, and it's compatible with traditional Wiegand and OSDP readers and for high security applications. It's one of the very few systems that offers true end to end FICAM compliance.

Identiv's Freedom Access Control line is lighter in scope, but still an enterprise great system with excellent failover capability [00:08:30] that is also used in federal and commercial applications.

But we also have a value line that honestly I wish I'd known more about when I was a specifier. That is our lowest cost system and perfectly optimized for frugal commercial applications of 32 card readers or less. Speaking of card readers, we also offer our own card readers, and they come in a variety of form factors, protocols, and feature sets for almost any need. Identiv is committed to open industry standards. So our readers [00:09:00] are all frequently purchased for use with systems by other manufacturers. And one of the reasons for this is that Identiv's supply chain for all products is in very good shape. In general, we consider a 30 day lead time long for us and this is when many other companies are routinely struggling with 6 to 18 month lead times. So design teams with projects that are delayed by the availability of credentials or readers might make themselves heroes by [00:09:30] adding Identiv credentials and readers as an approved alternate.

Leigh Dow: I really think that end to end but doesn't have to be is so important because some people really need that end to end solution. Some entities already have something in place that they need something that it works with. So having the ability to do both is probably really important to a specifier.

Joe Maddox: It is important to a specifier. As a specifier, I felt like for [00:10:00] 11 years that I was the owner's advocate. So it's a whole solution for the owner. It's not about me. It's not about loyalty to some company. It's about what is best for the owner. And the owners need flexibility. I mean, the pain point of facility directors is frequently their fire alarm system and fire alarm systems are extraordinarily proprietary. And once you're locked into a brand X fire alarm system, then only the brand X [00:10:30] corporately owned people can work on it in your area. Those people may be awful, or not the people, but the companies that they're working for may be awful. So you're stuck with that. You've got a whole building with a fire alarm system that you can't get reliable service on. That's just a terrible place for a facility director to be. The fact that you have flexibility in terms of how to put the system together is a real boon to owners.

Leigh Dow: Yeah, I can definitely see how that would be very beneficial. Sorry, [00:11:00] I didn't mean to interrupt you, but that message really stuck with me, the whole end to end. Yes, but doesn't have to be also yes.

Joe Maddox: Right, right. So for example, with our readers, the reader that most people who have been around for a long time recognize Identiv/Hirsch for is the ScramblePad, which is a very unique reader in the industry that allows the combination of a pin plus credential, but it adds the fascinating [00:11:30] randomization of the pin pad on every use rendering shoulder surfing ineffective. But for more traditional type readers, we have our TS line, which is a clean high tech look, and it's available in all communication and encryption protocols from legacy Wiegand to OSDP, MIFARE, DESFire, and it can be part of an end to end FICAN solution just like our ScramblePads. And for budget conscious projects, we have our Primis line, which [00:12:00] provides entry level security at a surprisingly value price.

But Identiv is unusually unique among access control companies. I really don't know of perhaps maybe one other that does. We actually offer credentials as well. The credentials can be plain or they can be printed and programmed. It's a turnkey service, which can eliminate for owners one of the biggest headaches, which is owning your own dye sublimation [00:12:30] card printer. If you're using one every day and it's a mass production type printer, that's one thing. But if it's one of these things that only gets used occasionally on a desktop somewhere, those can be a maintenance hassle. So the idea that we can provide that service to end users, I think is kind of wonderful.

Leigh Dow: Yeah, definitely. Identiv has a partner portal where partners can get the resources needed to design successful projects. What [00:13:00] kind of resources do they have access to?

Joe Maddox: Well, our partner portal has specific features for different kinds of partners, the ACES, which stands for Architect, Contractor and Consultant Portal has ready to customize CSI specifications in Word format, graphics content, and product data.

Leigh Dow: What are the other benefits of the partner program that partners have access to?

Joe Maddox: The most important benefit is me and our growing ACES team. [00:13:30] My phone number and email are the easy button for the design community.

Leigh Dow: Oh, I love that.

Joe Maddox: Yeah. I'm sorry to plagiarize that from Staples. You got to admit they're right. That's just beautiful.

Leigh Dow: I actually have one of those buttons.

Joe Maddox: Awesome.

Leigh Dow: I forget why I have it or where it came from. I know it's from Staples, but yeah, I have it somewhere on my desk. I know it's there.

Joe Maddox: I hope whoever came up with that got a big bonus.

Leigh Dow: I know, right? It's clever. How is ACES increasing the value that consultants bring to their customers?

Joe Maddox: [00:14:00] Well, consultants have early and trusted access to owners. Owners benefit from the differentiating features that the Identiv solution offers. And ACES supporting consultants enhances their value, the consultants' value to owners by presenting those unique benefits to the owners.

Leigh Dow: How does ACES educate on products and solutions that increase physical and cyber security?

Joe Maddox: Well, this podcast is the tip of the spear. I mean, this podcast is obviously not ACES specific, but this is the beginning. [00:14:30] This is part of the outreach. But day to day, we love webinars, technical meetings, lunch and learns. That's our bread and butter. We are doing these in person, or if people prefer, we can do them virtually.

Leigh Dow: So if I want to join the ACES program, how do I do that? And are there any requirements to join?

Joe Maddox: Well, the big requirement is that people that want to join the ACES program need to be in a security design role with [00:15:00] an architect, engineering or consulting firm that does that kind of work. The portal is not designed for integrators and it's not designed for the general public.

Leigh Dow: Okay. Are there any other thoughts you'd like to share with us about ACES? I know like you said, you're 90 days in. Sounds like a very solid 90 days though. So what else would you like people to know about the program?

Joe Maddox: I can't think of a thing. I'm very excited about the program, where we're going and the [00:15:30] product line in general.

Leigh Dow: Yeah. And like I said, it's such an interesting group of people, a completely different audience in this space and the way that they like to work with us and communicate with us is very different than some of our other customers and end users. So it's just a very unique and interesting space to be in.

Joe Maddox: I've already found consultants very receptive to us and glad to have [00:16:00] dedicated resources to help them with this.

Leigh Dow: Yeah, that's great. Well, Joe, thank you so much for joining us today and informing the audience about Identiv's ACES program.

Joe Maddox: It's been my pleasure.

Leigh Dow: For all of you, if you enjoyed this podcast, please like and subscribe for me. We drop a new episode every Thursday.

Speaker 1: 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 [00:16:30] 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

Get access control anywhere anytime for less money out of pocket. Highly Secure Freedom Cloud is a cloud-based access control as a service offered [00:17:00] through a cost effective subscription model, allowing users to control, manage, and maintain their physical access control systems via Freedom's intuitive, always up to date, browser-based web administration. Learn more at

Physical security identity verification, the IoT. The hyperconnectivity of our lives will only grow more pervasive as technology becomes more automated and experiences more augmented. It's up to us [00:17:30] to preserve our humanity and use new tools and trends for good. The only question is, are we up for the challenge?