Huge Investments Fuel The Emergence Of Next Generation Building Security Software
For many decades, firms have managed building security using on-premise access control systems and CCTV surveillance, with local staff monitoring and enforcing security. Today, a new generation of cloud-based security solution vendors are vying to shake up this market, providing solutions that facilitate remote management and enhanced usability. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated buyer interest in these solutions, with many firms seeking the benefits of touchless access control and remote monitoring enabled by cloud-based offerings. According to our 2020 survey, 24% of facility management executives are planning to increase investment in commercial software around visitor management, whilst 17% plan to invest more in access control and security management software.
Recent funding has focused on solutions that support remote security management and mobile-app based access control. In July 2020, access control system vendor Openpath raised $36 million in a new round of funding, whilst Latch, who provide a SaaS ‘building operating system’ centred around its smart locks, saw a cash infusion of $510 million as part of a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) deal that saw the vendor valued at $1.56 billion. Envoy, who deliver visitor management systems (VMSs), raised $20 million in May 2020, and competitor iLobby, whose solution is deployed by firms such as Nikon and Pepsi, raised $100 million in January this year. Elsewhere, cloud video surveillance firm Eagle Eye Networks received $40 million in investment at the end of 2020.
This injection of funding is helping to fuel a new wave of innovation with vendors pursuing solution developments and partnerships to better fulfil evolving customer demands. For example, in February 2021, Openpath partnered with Cisco Meraki, who provide cloud-based IT solutions. The partnership enables customers to manage their security remotely and in real-time. The combined solution has already been deployed at the Biocomplexity Institute at the University of Virginia, enabling a small team to effectively manage the security requirements of the research facility. Cloud-based access control vendor Brivo supports an integration with Eagle Eye Networks, so users can access cameras, review live events and even record video via a Brivo interface. Both Brivo and Openpath promote non-intrusive implementation, so customers can employ these solutions on top of incumbent systems rather than pursuing expensive and resource-intensive ‘rip and replace’ deployments.
Over the next 12 months, we predict a continuing 'arms race' amongst security software vendors to acquire or develop innovative features that aid better usability and more cost-effective remote management. Vendors standing still risk getting left behind. To learn more about other trends to look out for in the smart buildings technology market, see our 10 Predictions For Smart Building Technology In 2021 And Beyond report.