Don Williams of Common Credential Systems talks about allowing building access for First Responders during emergencies.
What is your background?
We’re IT professionals. I was one of the initial founders of Lares Security Systems (now NovusEdge) about 12 years ago. Lares was one of the first companies to converge security systems with IT networking. Before Lares, access control systems were program logic controllers or PCs connected via direct building wiring. Lares was the first to build network-capable door appliances for access control security. Over the last three years, we’ve been working on our new company, Common Credential Systems.
What problem does Common Credential Systems solve?
We created the company to solve the Homeland Security emergency response problem. Consider one of our current projects, Duval County Florida, there are more than 100,000 first responders county-wide. That’s a big number. Most access control systems can’t handle that many IDs. And even if they could, the community’s diverse access control systems don’t know the responders. How do you prepare the County’s critical infrastructure doors to accept these responders when an emergency occurs – and only when an emergency occurs?
How do they do it today?
If the door is locked, they wait. They must have someone meet them at the facility. That not only heightens the danger - it’s also costly.
How do you propose solving it?
We’ve developed a common internet database so the whole community can prepare for emergencies beforehand. That database is then stored in our network appliance at any door in the community – even doors connected to diverse existing access control systems. When an emergency occurs, rules in our appliance allow responder access.
That was our first problem solved. Once we began to sign up integrator partners, though, we found corporations and military bases have the same problem - different access control systems from different vendors scattered across the corporation or across the military base. Our solution (CommonPass™) establishes a common set of rules and people across these diverse systems. The existing systems can still operate autonomously, but when an event occurs, CommonPass™ allows corporate personnel to access their branch locations or military safety and security officers to access their contractor operated facilities – utilizing their existing badge.
What’s the status of your system?
It’s ready to go. We completed our beta sides in 2007. We’re now conducting three high profile market trials – Duval County Florida and Palm Beach County Florida for Homeland Security responder access and the Federal Reserve System for corporation-wide business access.
How do you charge for this?
We charge by the door. We charge for the network access appliance and for the software system - by the door. We have 170,000 doors in our current forecast pipeline.
Have you sold any systems yet?
Yes we have. Our beta sites have paid for their systems and we are moving our market trial sites toward purchase orders.
In San Antonio?
In San Antonio and in New Braunfels and, as I mentioned earlier, in Duval County, Palm Beach County and Federal Reserve System Banks in Atlanta and Jacksonville.