In this interview Thomas Napora, Vice President & General Manager EMEA, Integrated Control Technology talks cloud-based access control systems
You have recently been appointed to the position of Vice President & General Manager EMEA for Integrated Control Technology (ICT), what experience do you bring to the role?
While I’ve only been at ICT for a month, I bring 29 years of experience working with IT network, software, and physical security systems in EMEA. Previous roles in technical, sales, and general management give me a clear understanding of what security problems can be solved by the ICT portfolio. And, how to support the partner network to deliver the right solution to end-users.
I’m a ‘builder’ who likes establishing long-term business relationships. Multilingual and internationally minded, I understand the diversity and specificity of a region which counts 118 countries. I’m here to build a team and implement a business strategy while being very hands-on in managing the day-to-day business.
Will there be a new direction for ICT with you at the helm for EMEA?
Founded 20 years ago and well established in North America and Australasia, ICT is ready to further develop in EMEA. While we have longstanding customers and many high-end projects, with boots on the ground now I can see so much business potential.
The purpose of my role is to establish the foundations and expand the business in a structured and sustainable way. My aim is to build a solid infrastructure to provide local sales, technical, and logistical support. We’ll focus first on specific markets where we see the biggest potential, then expand across the whole region.
How has the industry, and in particular access control, evolved over your time in the security market?
I’ve seen the transition from analogue only systems to hybrid or fully IP. While there is no argument about the many benefits and advancements this has brought, the shift to security systems on a network has led to the unavoidable threat of cybersecurity in the last decade. This affects not just large organisations and critical infrastructure, but any type of business and even individuals.
The next evolution is cloud-based access solutions, which have grown exponentially in the last few years. The enhanced cybersecurity offered by ICT’s Protege X that launched this year is a key benefit that customers can get from subscription based PSaaS (Physical Security as as Service) models like this.
With communication between devices becoming more important, I have also seen the growth of agility and interoperability. Standards such as OSDP for access control or ONVIF for video have been created to ensure security equipment can talk to one other so customers are no longer trapped with proprietary systems.
The growth of video surveillance has led to an ever-increasing need for integration with access control. High-level integrations such as those ICT provides with their VMS partners, means you can link video footage directly to security events, and view and control cameras from within a single interface which can lead to critical time savings for security staff.
It’s not just video integration that is needed, with tailored solutions now key to meeting customer demands. This is why I’m excited to help ICT products to work for installers across EMEA. Our Protege platform is a unified ecosystem which also offers integrations with elevator, intercom, wireless locking solutions, biometrics systems and more. And the modular system architecture means installers can deliver custom requirements with ease….
Read the full interview in our latest issue here.