Presented By: Brivo
Why Modern, Comprehensive Access Control Is a Must for Every CRE Sector
Future Of Digital Transformation in Commercial Real Estate brought to you by Brivo
Brivo, a pioneer of cloud-based access control systems, has been designing and installing comprehensive systems since 2001. As an industry leader, Brivo is the rare access control firm that can work with companies in any sector and of any size, anywhere in the world. Partner Insights spoke with Steve Van Till, Brivo’s founder and CEO, about why his firm has the widest capability set in the access control industry, and how this benefits Brivo’s customers.
Commercial Observer: Brivo can install its access control system in any sort of building, from offices to residential, from schools to hospitals. What does this involve?
Steve Van Till: This relates to the depth and breadth of our feature set. We look at the market as having three main segments. Brivo is unique in that we have the feature sets to span all three of those market segments. Nobody else does.
Can you walk us through the three main segments, and how Brivo serves each one?
One is just the broad commercial real estate market. This includes individual office suites, factories, strip malls, buildings owned by commercial real estate entities — they’re all generic commercial real estate from an access control perspective. There are probably around 40 or 50 companies selling software and parts that work for small and midsize businesses. It’s a very fragmented vendor market, including legacy vendors still selling CD-ROMs, or licensed software that runs on a local computer inside the building and employs a cluster of features that work for businesses without specialized needs.
Then there’s enterprise, which we describe as any company with 1,000 or more employees. We’re the only company that’s built out the scale and feature set to serve these large enterprise businesses. We have customers in this category that have 20,000 or 30,000 employees.
For an enterprise business, is it merely a matter of designing systems to a larger scale, or are there other factors driving this?
The other significant factor in the enterprise space is compliance — with a company’s own policies, or with government regulations, as with medical or health care companies. The smaller, newer access control software vendors usually haven’t gone through all of the very expensive steps required to reach the level of certification for cyber or privacy protections, or for other sorts of compliance. They’re expensive to get and then maintain, because you’re audited every year. So we’re alone as the cloud vendor in that enterprise space.
The third segment is multifamily. There are a lot of new companies really interested in making apartment life better, so it’s attracted a lot of startups. But we’ve been in that market for well over 10 years. We started out selling just the basic building part, which is access control for lobbies, the manager’s office, the swimming pool, the gym — the basic facilities. Over time, we saw that people wanted a full stack solution including both that and smart apartments — things like smart locks on the door, smart thermostats, smart lighting and water sensors. So, in March 2020, we bought a company called Parakeet Technologies that just made that piece. Now, we have a complete solution that goes from the ground floor of the building, and all the common areas, up to the individual apartment and the devices inside them. If we look at the companies that are doing or trying to do business in general commercial and enterprise, they don’t, as a rule, have a solution for multifamily buildings. We do. So Brivo has feature sets that work in all three of the main market segments out there. We’re in every kind of building there is.
Can using Brivo’s access control system help building owners and landlords attract and retain tenants?
There have been studies where tenants are asked to rate amenities like a swimming pool, washer/dryer in-unit, smart department features, etc. Security features, like cameras and other smart features, end up being third or fourth on a lot of these lists. So people consider them to be very attractive capabilities.
Are there any particular capabilities that seem to be most desired?
One capability that makes a huge difference for people is the ability to create keys and share keys with guests. And that is for any segment. For instance, if somebody was visiting for a few days in the old days, you had to have an extra physical key. The modern mobile credential allows people to share short-term keys not only with friends and family who might be staying, but with dog walkers, people doing deliveries, etc. It’s become a huge convenience, and because people make a lot of decisions based on convenience now, access control is really a part of that convenience decision people are making about apartment building A versus apartment building B. Anybody who’s building new apartments today is making them smart apartments from the get-go. They know that these things matter, especially to younger generations where everything is mobile or it doesn’t exist. There’s an expectation in the current generation that these amenities will be controllable by phone. It’s a much bigger shopping factor for that generation of people than it would be for the rest of us.
Let’s talk about Brivo’s global reach. How far does that extend, and what does that mean for the system overall?
We’re around the world. We’re in 42 countries right now including everything from here to China and down into Africa and South America. If we go back to the enterprise class user, this is a capability that they need both for the system to operate and be licensed to work in all these places and, very importantly, to have our channel partners in all of those places who can install and service those systems. If you are a multinational corporation with offices all over the place, you need to have an access control system that’s got the infrastructure, the people, the channel partners, etc. to operate on a global basis. So while it might not matter for somebody running a dry cleaner on the corner and just looking for a way of letting employees in and out conveniently, it matters very much to enterprise users, and to property managers that have international portfolios and want everything on the same dashboard
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