Below is our recent interview with Haniel Lynn, CEO at Kastle Systems:
Q: Can you tell us something more about the company and what you do?
A: We are a Managed Security Service provider, which means we provide security as a ‘turnkey’ continuous service that spans from initial design, system selection, and installation through ongoing monitoring, software updates, maintenance, and repairs. We are in many ways like a software provider in a Software-as-as-Service (SaaS) model – you can refer to us as an “Access Control as a Service” (ACaaS) provider.
In the ACaaS model, our clients effectively outsource their access control and security management to Kastle, which is an organization comprised of dedicated security experts that only focus on best practices and technology in the industry. For most businesses, Access Control is not a core function of their organization and building it or running it themselves is an expensive distraction. With Kastle’s ACaaS approach, we provide clients with access professionals that are always on watch remotely ensuring all systems are operating, maintained and always using the most up-to-date versions of software. Thus, their security is more effectively monitored and maintained than if they were to manage it on their own.
Also, like the SaaS model, rather than requiring a client to purchase, install and maintain an entire access control system and hire a large staff to manage it, ACaaS enables a client to pay for the monitoring, data storage, and services as a monthly subscription without the added expenses of space and staffing required to run it themselves.
Q: What’s the story behind Kastle? How did you start?
A: Kastle Systems’ mission is to be our customers’ best service provider by making their spaces safer, smarter, and more convenient. Back in 1972, the idea for Kastle grew out of a need expressed by commercial real estate owners in the DC area for an outsourced solution for the management of their security to a vendor with dedicated security expertise so that they could focus on running their core business. Initially, we were focused on servicing the commercial real estate community and their tenants. We have expanded over time to additional verticals like residential multifamily, enterprise businesses, education, construction and more.
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Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief overview of your solutions?
A: For over 47 years now, the firm has offered innovative security services that include access control, video surveillance, visitor management, and fire and life safety in a single solution.
Kastle’s approach to security is innovative in that it is enabled by cloud computing with most of the software and data storage infrastructure being hosted offsite at our four geo-dispersed service centers around the world. This remote redundancy provides our clients with operational resiliency should any emergencies or disasters arise.
Additionally, Kastle provides the staffing required to support the systems and even monitor access and video operations from our remote security centers, reducing headcount and space requirements for the customer. The nature of remote hosting means Kastle’s systems and staffing can support multiple security customer simultaneously, spreading those facility and operational costs across the client base, reducing the share that each client must pay on their own.
Q: How is your managed service approach to security unique?
A: As opposed to most security solution providers that focus on single components of the ‘security service chain’—selling hardware or providing guard monitoring services—Kastle Systems brings a unique approach to the table where we can effectively take ownership of the security function for our clients. That includes design, installation, monitoring and maintenance. We do it all to relieve the client of the worries, complexities, and ongoing responsibilities required to effectively provide expert physical security. Furthermore, the company offers cloud-based access for their video surveillance cameras and access control systems. All these factors together play a huge part in our clients choosing us as their physical security provider—they value our managed security. The company also strives to stay on the cutting-edge of physical security technology by embracing open standards like Open Supervised Device Protocol while striving for best-in-class cyber security compliance standards.
Q: I read something about your partnership with Rise Buildings; could you tell us something more?
A: Yes, Rise is our first partner to embed our access functionality into its property experience mobile app, further extending our capabilities in mobile-based access control. While we have offered KastlePresence®, our mobile-device-based Bluetooth-enabled security solution (think of your mobile phone as your office key) to customers for years, we have now embedded that functionality into a Software Development Kit (SDK) that allows Kastle to partner with third-party ‘property experience platforms’, like Rise Buildings, as their access control function.
Providers like Rise offer a simple app that can enable residents or tenants to manage daily occupant activities from their smartphone like rent payments, package deliveries, maintenance requests, pre-authorized visitor access, amenity usage reservations and more. Our Kastle SDK allows them to plug-in a Kastle Access Control solution into their pre-existing platform to add one more benefit to the resident or tenant experience menu.
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Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: We will leverage our scalability and open-standards interoperability to expand our managed security service to more customers by partnering with other smart-building technology platforms, property management platforms, and enterprise businesses with multi-location operations globally. As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more ubiquitous with hardware, appliances, sensors and networks sharing information about their operation and environment over the internet, the physical and digital worlds are merging, including security risks. This is a world in which our business can thrive.