AKCess Pro has integrated Southco’s Electronic Access Solutions (EAS) into its data centre infrastructure management to offer customers secured and convenient experience.
Growing markets drive greater demand and higher standard
As businesses are realising the benefits of cloud computing and increasingly adopting cloud in their organisations, the demand for data centres is greater than ever before, with many competitors entering the game. In order to stand out from the competitors, they therefore need to equip themselves with a comprehensive and up-to-date data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) solution to manage the whole logistics process. According to 451 Research, the DCIM market is expected to reach US$1.8 billion in aggregate revenue in 2016.
AKCess Pro (AKCP) created the market for networked environmental, power and security monitoring solutions back in 1981. Today, it has more than 100,000 systems monitoring infrastructure in more than 150 countries, and its products are used in hundreds of applications around the world. Some of its customers include Verizon, T-Mobile, Alcatel Lucent, Bell Canada, Microsoft, Sprint USA and more.
With more and more information including sensitive data being put on servers, AKCP’s customers were increasingly concerned about cabinet security. The demand for access control with an audit trail was also increasing. “Data centre security is in high demand. Not only did they want to implement remote access control and monitoring with simplified key management integrated with CCTV video playback capability for a more secured service, customers were also looking for cabinet level access in addition to the existing door level access control,” said David Reid, Vice President of Operations at AKCP.
“Highly reliable DCIM solutions are a must to stay ahead of the competition as our customers are expecting the most secured data centre management service,” said Reid. “We are always seeking ways to effectively ensure security within our premises. Previously, we need to spend a lot of resources on manpower to keep track of the CCTVs.”
Before, AKCP had to manually monitor the CCTVs which created pressure on manpower resources and reporting processes. To maximise operational efficiency, AKCP looked at different ways to improve its security offerings within its DCIM solution.
Compatibility, industry standard and product quality are key for vendor selection
AKCP is always looking for ways to improve on its existing line of products and is regularly designing and manufacturing new solutions. “When we integrate third party hardware we take many things into consideration, including their reputation for quality and market share. Over the past 30 years, our commitment to quality has eliminated a number of hardware providers,” said Reid. “Southco has excellent market penetration – its locks are among the most commonly used solutions in the data centre industry today, while the company has industry standard accreditations and a solid reputation for reliable products. Hence, it is a perfect match for us.”
In addition to reputation and product quality, the compatibility of Southco’s products was also a major reason contributing to this co-operation. Southco locks are easy to install - almost all of the units are plug and play, and they fit many of the cabinets that are popular in data centres today.
AKCP has integrated Southco’s Electronic Access Solutions (EAS) swing handle server cabinet locks and latches into its existing DCIM solutions. The whole deployment process only took two to three weeks to complete. Furthermore, several AKCP customers were already using Southco’s locks. As a result, when the technology firm integrated Southco’s products into its DCIM solution, customers did not need to purchase new lock hardware.
“Southco’s solution passed our rigorous standard tests and performed well in all of our onsite trials with multiple cabinets and with our software. With a large selection of hardware, a commitment to quality that AKCP requires of its partners and the fact that the server cabinet lock and handle from Southco worked so well, Southco gave us more hardware options for server cabinets which allow us to better serve our clients,” added Nicholas Barrowclough, Vice-President of Production at AKCP.
New monitoring and security system simplify operation and save resources
Following the integration of Southco’s EAS and AKCP’s DCIM solutions, the data centre service provider can now easily manage the security system centrally. When customers or visitors want access to certain locations or servers within the infrastructure, AKCP’s facility manager can remotely unlock the door rather than physically walking to the area, which increases work efficiency.
Moreover, the integrated solutions enable real-time monitoring within the premises. When there is an alert, staff will immediately be notified by the alarm system to ensure the data stored in the servers is highly secured.
AKCP can also benefit from the simple reporting system. The integrated solutions can quickly generate a report of access and summary of activities which saves a lot of resources compared with compiling the report manually, streamlining the process.
“We like Southco’s large product line as our clients want us to integrate a wide variety of locks, sensors and software,” said Charles Meyer, Senior Hardware Engineer at AKCP. “Being able to accommodate requests for traditional style locks and hinges, as well as electronic server cabinet locks, with one company makes ordering more convenient. In addition, it provides increased security, as well as helping us to comply with company and regulatory requirements.”
AKCP has since continued to expand its market share. “Our door control unit and cabinet control unit allow our clients to expand their security measures within their budgets,” said Reid. “Southco’s offering gives us the level of security a data centre service provider needs, and we are able to make better use of our resources to deliver higher-value service to customers.”
The company is now looking to establish an even closer relationship with Southco to further grow its business.
“Southco’s global footprint enables AKCP to freely expand our businesses into other markets based on our customers’ needs. With the benefits we experience and the positive feedback from our customers, we look forward to further collaborating in the coming data centre projects,” David concluded.