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It used to be you wanted to sell an access control system your initial point of contact was a company's security director. An information technology manager may have been brought in as a consultant on the network requirements. Times have changed quickly.

Now the decision maker is more likely to be in the IT group since products are based on IT infrastructure. However, the IT department doesn't necessarily want to take ownership of the hardware that attaches to their network so that part may still go to the physical security director. The IT group wants products to be commodotized, centralized, and standardized. Platforms based on the Linix operation system make them happy since it is PC independent.

Access-at-the-door profit margin is expected to come down so integrators will need to make more money on their knowledge than on hardware. IT departments want access control to have Web-based components so they can scale across a number of buildings, even in different cities.

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