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Exclusive: Leading the smart space revolution


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Steve Van Till, Founder and CEO of Brivo discusses the security challenges posed by hybrid working environments.

One of the most significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the transition towards hybrid working for a large number of organisations. According to the latest figures, more than two-thirds of business leaders are now planning to reconfigure their office space to accommodate hybrid working permanently and 73% of employees say they want flexible, remote work options to stay as a condition of their employment.

This accelerated digital transformation has created a variety of security challenges for companies looking to keep their employees safe and secure. The requirement to control who has access to certain spaces, especially in a co-working environment, is now one of the foremost priorities for corporate security teams.

Brivo is one of the leading solutions providers in this particular sector and to find out how the company is helping clients to navigate the smart space revolution, International Security Journal sat down with Founder and CEO, Steve Van Till.

Making a difference

For more than 20 years, Brivo has been a pioneer of cloud-based access control. The company’s range of cutting-edge solutions is helping organisations all around the world to better protect their people and assets.

It’s enterprise-grade cloud security solution enables clients to manage all their assets through a single interface as well as connect physical access control with corporate identity and access management (IAM) to automate onboarding and offboarding. The platform also manages enterprise risk and compliance, provides insights into security data and minimises an organisation’s cyber vulnerabilities.

Steve Van Till described what makes Brivo stand out in such a competitive marketplace: “The main differentiator for us is simply the scale of the customer base that we serve. As far as we can tell, we are the largest provider in the sector by a factor of somewhere between five and ten. This means that when enterprise customers are looking for new solutions, our track record of product quality and scalability speaks for itself.”

The vendor has recently announced that its comprehensive enterprise security solution, Brivo Access Enterprise Edition, is being used by some of the biggest companies in retail, home services and data, including Afterpay and Angi.

As businesses evaluate their physical security cloud technology, full security ecosystems that span access control, mobile management, mobile credentialing, video surveillance and identity and visitor management are becoming an operational imperative. Cloud technology allows building and property managers to bring all of their physical security and cross-functional security systems together to create an integrated, data-driven, technology-forward platform.

For enterprises that have multiple locations, Brivo’s cloud-based security technology allows them to manage more sites and open more locations in this increasingly hybrid-first world. Over 70,000 locations across 42 countries rely on Brivo’s enterprise security solution to achieve their objectives of securing their employees, customers and visitors.

“Brivo’s system goes beyond just access control and offers us a complete enterprise solution,” said TJ Garber, Security Manager at Angi. “As someone who manages the program across multiple sites and different states, we know we have a strong partner in Brivo for reliable, accurate data and access control.”

Brivo’s enterprise security solution features several new innovative technologies, including Brivo Snapshot and Anomaly Detection. With Brivo Snapshot, customers can flip through a “photo album” of single frames derived from a video associated with an access event without having to watch a full 30-60 second recording for each event. This enhancement saves customers an incredible amount of time over the course of a day.

Brivo Anomaly Detection’s AI engine learns the unique behavioural patterns of each person in each property to develop a signature user and spatial profile, which is continuously refined. This dynamic real-time picture of behavioural changes complements static security protocols, permissions and schedules.

The new normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the working environment, possibly forever. Hybrid work, shared spaces and health and safety protocols make up the “new normal” of the working landscape.

Van Till explained the role that access control has to play in a hybrid work environment: “I think being able to control access to spaces with more granularity is a very important part of hybrid work environments. This is one of the key things that we have been able to do, particularly in co-working spaces, both directly and through some software partners that use our API to provide additional management services.

“If we dial the clock back to the very early part of the pandemic, this is the phase that I would call forced hybrid working, we were able to very quickly deploy several different features that allowed management teams to institute health protocols at the boundaries of their organisations. This encouraged the adoption of hybrid work as businesses knew that they now had the methods available to enforce whatever health and safety policy they had, for example regarding mask wearing or vaccination status.”

He added: “Another key factor to hybrid work is not the access control for the physical space, from a management perspective, the more complex part is the identity management and the people management, particularly when you are unable to conduct face-to-face hand offs of traditional key fobs and access control cards. Our ability to allow remote credentialling into mobile applications has reduced a lot of friction and really made the whole return to work equation much easier for organisations.”

Up in the cloud

Cloud-based access control systems are becoming increasingly popular with businesses of all sizes and Brivo has been at the forefront of the cloud transition for more than two decades. Van Till explained the benefits that cloud solutions can offer: “When we first started, every large facility used a PC or a server, we were the very first cloud provider. What our customers found straight away is that it became much easier to provide a single umbrella security solution for a collection of geographically dispersed locations. Our cloud-based solution is also several orders of magnitude less expensive than server-based systems which was another benefit for customers.

“In the long term, it is also proven that the total cost of ownership will be lower for a cloud-based solution compared to server-based. The CFO of any large enterprise will appreciate that having a provably lower total cost of ownership is incredibly important.

“The final benefit, that may not be immediately obvious to everybody, is that when you consider the apps on your mobile phone, every single one of those is working from cloud technology. So, being able to provide robust mobile solutions is something that is now synonymous with cloud-based technology. When you think about it, cloud is the entrée into the world of mobile solutions for access management.”

The rising demand for cloud-based access control means that Brivo solutions are going to be even more popular throughout 2022 and beyond. Van Till revealed that the company will be expanding its sales force and making a focused effort to enhance its footprint in Europe and Latin America. From a product perspective, Brivo will be working on creating additional layers of subscription services as well as releasing new hardware.

With hybrid work now very much here to stay, Steve Van Till and his team look certain to be positioned at the forefront of the access control industry for many years to come.

For more information, visit: www.brivo.com

This article was originally published in the March 2022 edition of International Security Journal. Pick up your FREE digital edition here.

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