By Andy Williams, Contributing Editor
With a series of significant acquisitions, HID Global has been expanding its access control empire. Earlier this year, the company combined some of these new resources and capabilities – specifically those from AccessID and Synercard – in a new company called HID Identity. The new entity’s mission is to offer a comprehensive set of solutions for the deployment of contact and contactless smart card-based identity credentials.
“End-users are frustrated by how difficult it is to issue a single credential that works across all their applications–physical access control, logical access, time and attendance, cashless vending,” said HID Identity general manager, Dennis Caulley. “With HID Identity, this problem is eliminated and the credential is provisioned for multiple uses right out of the printer.”
The new organization aims to benefit end-users by providing solutions and expertise to help streamline and simplify the acquisition and issuance of access control and multi-application credentials. HID Identity will also help end-users achieve an important identity management goal – issuing a single secure credential that links the enterprise’s diverse set of applications.
The new organization leverages AccessID’s strength in providing secure card solutions for the electronic identification market, including iCLASS®, DESFire®, barcode, magnetic stripe and contact smart card technologies, all on one card. Adding to that strength, it uses Synercard’s badging software development skills. Its interoperable photo ID and ID card application control software allows organizations to create, manage and verify an individual’s credential. One of its software products is Asure ID, a control solution for organizations that need to collaborate and share data or need their smart photo ID cards to work with other enterprise systems.
A major reason for the creation of HID Identity was that AccessID and Synercard “had many similar channel partners,” explained Chris Sincock, vice president of sales and marketing for HID Identity. That included the identity systems channel, the sale and support of ID systems, badging software, printers and consumables, he added. Now, he said, HID Identity is “the group within HID Global that has a high level of expertise in designing and deploying credentials.”
“We recognized that, under one roof, we had a very high level of expertise and that, by focusing our expertise on this market, we would bring together skills that our customers were requesting,” said Mr. Sincock. “We have some very knowledgeable people relative to card issuance, card manufacturing and software development and we wanted to get these resources working together as a base for the rest of the organization.”
Configuring multi-application card with a click of a mouse
HID’s iDIRECTOR™ technology platform was launched earlier this year. The latest in the Asure ID photo identification software line, it allows multiple applications to be loaded onto a smart card via a single, seamless process. The software incorporates application modules from several HID technology partners: RF IDeas Air ID for logical access control; QI Systems’ QiWave™ Purse for electronic vending, and Bioscrypt Fingerprint for biometrics, all accessible through a drop down menu. Now, explained Mr. Sincock, multiple applications can be loaded onto a smart card in one step at the point of issuance.
“On the identity issuance software, such as Asure ID with iDIRECTOR, if an organization uses a QI system of cashless vending, they can go to a drop down list of drivers to see how to provision that card with that application.”
Better servicing core markets
Mr. Sincock says the emergence of HID Identity will help HID Global increase its offerings to some of its core constituencies, like the education market, government, and healthcare. “We are there to support all sales organizations and channels within those (core) markets.”
HID products can be found on an installed based of around 200 colleges and the organization recently bolstered its commitment to the education market, hiring Mark Doi to support the sale and migration of HID technology to that market. With prior experience at Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies and Onity, Mr. Doi’s main goal is to work with campus administrators migrating to multi-function iCLASS cards via HID Identity. “
“We want to help colleges understand the technology choices they have. A majority of schools are still on very insecure legacy technologies like mag stripe or bar code,” said Mr. Sincock. “Through iCLASS, we can provide the ability to store multiple data sets besides just access. We can install application data for libraries or food services, etc.,” he added.
“When you look at the education card, colleges have been leveraging the power of the card for multiple applications for a long, long time. They’re getting people into facilities, using it for meal plans, libraries, plus it has other uses, scraping frost off a wind shield, for example,” he laughed. “We’ve developed specific card formulations for that marketplace that allow the card to withstand more abuse.”
As the FIPS 201 standards develop and gain adoption, Mr. Sincock sees HID Identity getting involved with more government projects. “With FIPS 201, our expertise is in card manufacturing, and the current specification requires a minimum of one embedded anti-tampering feature, such as a hologram,” he said.
With healthcare, he said there is increasing concern for credential security “and you need cards with embedded security features here, too. In many ways it’s a campus-type environment because, often times, meals and cafeterias are subsidized. Plus, healthcare providers are looking for HIPAA compliant cards that allow the cardholder to securely log on and log off (to a patient’s record),” he said.
This is also where iDIRECTOR can help, he believes. “Everybody in the market is enamored with smart cards, whether they’re contact or contactless,” Mr. Sincock said. “While smart cards are useful for many applications, the key question is ‘how can I get all these data sets on one card?’ A badge often needs to serve multiple functions–access control, time and attendance, e-purses for use at the cafeteria. How do you accomplish all that with one card? And wouldn’t it be better if, when you issue the card, all these functions could be enabled at that time? iDIRECTOR satisfies that need.”
The reaction so far …
What kind of industry reaction has HID Identity generated so far? “We’ve created a bigger buzz than we could ever have hoped for,” said Mr. Sincock. While continued North American growth is one of its goals, “we’d also like to see the growth of cards and credential sales within HID Global worldwide,” he added. “We want to leverage our expertise in custom printing and security. Likewise, we look forward to continuing the development of Assure ID credential issuance software so it continues to incorporate more features, especially regarding our iDIRECTOR™ smart card provisioning technology.”
What’s next? “I think HID Identity has a tremendous opportunity to have an impact on HID Global’s growth. At the end of the day, we don’t care which channel provides the solution to the end-user, we just want to make sure that the end-user’s problems are solved.”
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