August 2010


You may love or not love social media. Personally, I love it! Not only for my personal networks and keeping in touch with family and friends, but as a way of keeping up with the latest trends in my profession, the field of communications and in our industry.

Examples of what is defined as social media are not just the best-known examples such as blogs, micro blogs (like Twitter), social networks (like Facebook), and video sharing services (like YouTube). Social media also extends to image sharing services (like Flickr), bookmark sharing services, and wikis; it’s also all other types of interactive platforms where people come together to share information.

Did you know that today Facebook has more than 400 million active users and that 50 percent of them log on to Facebook in any given day? Or that every minute, 24 hours of video is uploaded on YouTube? In fact, YouTube has become the second most used search engine next to Google. There is a lot of activity going on out there!

A key to understanding social media, I believe, is to understand that it is centered around people rather than technology, and that the principles driving social media are human. Technology is merely an enabler and facilitator of fundamental human activities. As a company you can decide not to take part on these terms, but even if you don’t participate, you can’t prevent any discussions or information to circulate. And participating in these discussions can give you valuable information on what is being talked about in regard to your company, brand or products, as well as that of your competitors.

You could say that companies adapting or engaging in social media forums are stepping away from conventional communication methods and moving towards seeking dialogue with groups or individuals; and that they participate in the conversation about their company in these channels instead of standing by as spectators. And there are benefits that can affect your business. Sales people can benefit from using social media to create real results. You can use social media marketing of your products or services. And there are great opportunities for brand building.

On a day to day basis I work at ASSA ABLOY, parent company of HID Global. But recently I had the privilege to work with HID here in Irvine, California for a few weeks. Both HID and ASSA ABLOY use social media. So far, HID is communicating, seeking dialogue and listening in on the buzz on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and LinkedIn.

I am curious to know if you use social media and how are you using it? Which is your favorite?

Please take the poll or comment. We’d like to know your view on social media!


<br /> <a href="//"">">Is social media a good way to keep up with what’s going on in your profession or business area?</a><span style="font-size:9px;"><a href="//"">">survey software</a></span><br />

Interested in following HID Global in social media? This is where you’ll find us:,,,, and

To follow ASSA ABLOY, go to our pages on,,


HID Global reached out to physical access control (PACS) manufacturers, integrators, and end customers to find the answer. Earlier this year we commissioned an independent secure identity market study and held integrator roundtables to investigate current and future industry requirements, as well as the key challenges facing the global physical access market.

From this research, we uncovered some interesting dynamics that are influencing the major market drivers for innovation in the industry. But before delving into these dynamics, let me first share with you what the survey results indicated are the top drivers in the industry for 2010:

#5: Increased government influence;
#4: New technologies and accelerated adoption rates;
#3: Single smart card solutions with multiple applications growing at a faster rate; and
#2: Security level requirements are becoming increasingly important.

And the #1 driver influencing the physical access control market from the study is total cost of ownerships, or TCO, where more and more customers are seeking to invest in future-proof solutions.

I am sure most of these drivers come as no surprise to you, but what we found intriguing are the new dynamics behind these drivers and how they influence the balancing act of cost, convenience and security (what we call at HID the customer value equation). If we look at the dynamics around new technology and accelerated adoption rates, for example, we found that specifically migration to IP connectivity is a key area in which manufacturers and end customers are focusing their attention. The dynamics are around lowering installation costs via reduced cabling cost and adding intelligent readers at the door as it related to IP connectivity.

To dig deeper into the issue of IP connectivity, one of the questions posed in the research study was around how the migration trend to IP connectivity impacts what reader technology customers are now seeking. This question focused on upgradeable readers and credentials, next generation reader functionality, and universal programming and configuration options.

The future of Physical Access

And the answers were quiet revealing indeed. To learn the answer to this question and more about the market research findings, I encourage you to click here to listen to the recorded version of the webinar.


In mid-July, millions of sports fans around the globe watched Spain’s historic victory in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Now, Brazil is gearing up to host the event in 2014. The 2014 FIFA World Cup will take place in 12 different venues throughout Brazil and the country will need to be ready to accommodate and transport tens of thousands of visitors. With an estimated US$3.6 billion to be spent on construction and remodeling the country’s soccer stadiums, the country will invest heavily in infrastructure projects over the next few years. During this time, significant improvements will be made to public transportation, public safety, health systems and several other areas to support hosting the event.

So what opportunity does this investment in infrastructure represent to companies in the security space?

Any sporting event that attracts a large amount of fans undoubtedly poses a huge challenge for organizers in terms of security and access control. And contactless smart card technology has already proven its effectiveness in providing secure access control for sporting events. One popular example is purchasing tickets online and then presenting a print out of the ticket at a venue kiosk where the spectator would be identified using multifactor authentication (for example, card and PIN number). Smart cards could also be incorporated into a contactless payment card (or ticket). HID Global technology has been used successfully in this type of application as part of the access control system in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

This month, the Brazilian government also announced a US$3.16 billion investment in airports. Transportation security is mission critical for any airport, of which access control is an important component. HID Global offers strong, risk-appropriate authentication capabilities, as needed, at the credential level. And HID has a history of successful airport security implementations, most notably the International Airport of Mexico City (IACM), Latin America’s busiest.

Undoubtedly, there will be significant opportunities for companies that want to participate in preparing Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, an exciting event for a nation that views soccer as but a way of life that unites the whole country.

<a href="//"">">What do you think will determine the selection of access control products to support the infrastructure investment?</a><span style="font-size:9px;"><a href="//"">">Market Research</a></span>


There is a lot of talk about the diverse needs of the various points in “the value chain”. For product manufacturers who rely on integrators and installers as critical links in delivering their value propositions and brand promises to end customers, this diversity can be a complex challenge.

Integrators have a different set of concerns than those of installers. One cares about how easily the product can be integrated into the overall system while the other needs to be able to put all the pieces together seamlessly in a reasonable period of time at the installation site. Users expect that the system will function reliably long after installation.

What do they have in common? They all want the products they buy to work. Especially in these times of austerity for many organizations, at all points in “the value chain” people need to have confidence they will get a solid return on their investment. And it’s not only about financial investment; it’s about time as well.

Quality is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about products that work, but our parent company, ASSA ABLOY also sees it as a direct result of intelligence. Here’s what it means to us.

• For integrators - works right the first time
• For installers - works right in less time
• For users - works right all the time

Simple statements, but full of depth, substance, and even challenge for those of us who want to make sure value delivered both through and to “the value chain”.