ISJ Exclusive: Open architecture, close partnership


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AMAG and SEi Security have integrated with ACI Worldwide in a collaborative approach to global solutions.

This is a story about security solutions that work together to solve problems and deliver peace of mind. It’s also a story about people – customer, integrator and manufacturer – working together to do the same, on a global scale.

ACI Worldwide is a global software company that provides mission critical, real time payment solutions to corporations, along with 19 of the world’s top 20 banks and thousands of merchants.

This means for ACI, compromising on security and compliance are non-negotiables. It also means that trust and flexible, responsive, fully engaged partnerships are essential.

“I look for the long term rather than just buying a product”

When ACI planned to update and unify access control and security across its locations around the world, it turned to two names who’ve earned its trust in the past: Omaha, NE-based SEi Security and AMAG Technology.

Jason Cloudt, SEi VP of Sales and Marketing, gives us the background: “ACI has locations all over the world, and requires centralised security. Jeff Chubb (of ACI) approached SEi about updating the organisation’s system.

“He had some pretty strict auditing/reporting and compliance requirements, including GDPR* due to their global locations. Control panels couldn’t handcuff Jeff to specific technology. That meant we needed an open platform.

“We’ve been an AMAG dealer for over 25 years. So we brought AMAG in as a partner and started looking at ways to serve ACI. AMAG’s open architecture made a big difference and now we’re all working together to manage the deployment of ACI’s AMAG’ Symmetry System across the world.”

ACI’s Chubb had previous positive experience with both SEi and AMAG: “I was with a company that was a client of SEi and used AMAG Technology. Because of the relationship through that company, I was comfortable with them and there was a certain level of trust.”

Chubb continues: “If we’re going to have a relationship, I look for the long term rather than just buying a product; I look for what we’re going to do in the future, what we’re trying to accomplish, and I look for that partner to help us put that in place.”

Compliance and audits are always top of mind, Chubb says. “Because of PCI, ISO, GDPR* and other standards, we’re highly regulated and audited to a high standard.”

Passing client audits is vital, too. “Every time an ACI client or prospective client does an audit or assessment of our physical security, they’re bringing in people to look at our security and that’s a factor in them working with us.”

Another major factor for ACI is data-management efficiency. From the start, ACI’s Global Physical Security Operations Manager, Steve Litherland, stressed the importance of a single, integrated solution: One that could support everything from CCTV to automating Active Directory HR functions and other identity management, along with visitor management and GDPR-compliant access control. What’s more, that single platform had to allow functionality to be added as needed – without adding platforms or databases.

The solution was AMAG’s latest Symmetry M4000 Controller. Although it functions as a door controller, the M4000 opens a whole new world of streamlined security options.

When the project began, SEi had spec’d the M4000 and was just rolling it out. This timing turned out to be an advantage. ACI was able to contribute to the development of very specific M4000 features: Features that now benefit other M4000 users worldwide. And ACI, SEi and AMAG continue to work together on M4000 updates.

“Where ever evolving technology comes into play”

This collaborative spirit applies to other relationships – and continues off the clock, too. Chubb recalled the GSX Orlando show dinner with the CEOs of AMAG and Salient Systems (AMAG Technology Partner and Symmetry CompleteView VMS developer).

Chubb asked about certain functionalities he saw in several other CCTV offerings, but said he didn’t want to manage two different platforms to get those features. The CEOs listened, started planning right there at the table and now AMAG and Salient have incorporated those functionalities into Symmetry CompleteView.

As the global installation continues, the team is also working on adding facial recognition. Again, data-privacy laws around the world are a factor and single platform integration is key. Litherland says ACI is looking at mobile technology for combining biometrics and access control, especially in light of GDPR requirements.

Efficiency and simplicity are “musts,” too, Litherland explains. “Just like we want to have things at our fingertips in terms of ease of use, we want the same for our employees… we want to make sure it’s easier for them to use.

“So, we’ll look at the next six months of testing and reviewing. That’s where ever evolving technology comes into play.”

Cloudt adds: “The deployment continues; around 27 of 36 ACI facilities are using Symmetry now, with more in progress. Ultimately all ACI facilities globally will be on board.”

The project has evolved into a collegial relationship with an exceptional level of partnership and trust. Litherland has been invited to AMAG’s US facility and Cloudt sees Litherland and Chubb as major contributors to the M4000’s development – and of course, SEi’s successful rollout.

Chubb continues: “We’re extremely active clients and have frequent meetings with SEi. Whenever we kick off a new project, we include AMAG in the meetings, too and they’ve been very responsive. Quite honestly, they’re an integral part of what we do.”

Thanks to open architecture, open-minded collaboration and dedicated teamwork with a true solutions mindset, ACI and SEi are an integral part of what AMAG does, too.

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This article was originally published in the October edition of International Security Journal. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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