Security Solutions Vendors Establish Foothold In Booming Space Management Software Market

As the space and workplace management market booms, a spate of enterprise security solutions firms are building out their ability to monitor indoor space usage. In 2016, HID Global acquired BLE-based IoT solutions firm Bluvision for an undisclosed sum. In 2017, Hamilton Apps expanded into the UK software market, having established itself in the security and workplace software services market in France. And in 2019, AlertEnterprise launched a space utilization monitoring solution. 

As new entrants to the space monitoring market, do these security solutions firms have a unique selling point or competitive differentiator? In contrast to incumbents in this market, these security solutions vendors often have stronger links to IT stakeholders in client organizations, who are their default contacts for their heritage products, such as access control systems. And although real estate departments are the typical buyers for space monitoring software, they will often come up against IT stakeholders expressing concern over any plan to go ahead with a purchase and deployment plan. This is because IT departments have traditionally been cautious in their views towards space monitoring technology deployments that require access to IT networks or badge swipe data records. This is because it means giving a third-party entity access to sensitive information about their organization. This introduces extra risk to their operations and could lead to potential cybersecurity threats. 

But allowing a trusted external service provider to access such data streams can deliver valuable granular insights. HID Global’s subsidiary Bluvision supplies badges equipped with beacon devices to measure occupant movement throughout a property and build a database about utilization across its different floors, rooms and desks. These badges also integrate with HID’s existing access control solutions. At a higher level, AlertEnterprise’s new solution can reveal that one of two buildings in the same metropolitan area has a high percentage of telecommuting employees. It can do this by using embedded physical access control system (PACS) badge swipe data, so that the client organization can see that those employees are occupying the space only one to two days per week, for instance. Because this indicates chronically low utilization, the client organization can use this information to adjust their space planning by renting out the building or releasing it instead of renewing the lease. Although this is not the most cutting-edge example of using space monitoring data, it can be sufficient for customers with no appetite for sensor deployments. For example, Verdantix heard from a facility manager at a North American university with mostly assigned seating in staff offices, that working in conjunction with the IT department to access badge swipe data is the most convenient way for them to source data on who enters what building and which department they are from. This facility manager was also not prepared to stomach the cost of deploying sensors to monitor utilization at the desk level.

Making the most out of badge swipe data from access control solutions is therefore a value-add service, supporting vendors such as AlertEnterprise and HID Global in their strategic efforts to show how security solutions can help optimize their clients’ business operations and resource allocation.

To find out more about this booming software market, read our recently published report, Product Benchmark: Space And Workplace Management Software (2019).

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