In a recent addition to the company's tech article series, ColorID's David Stallsmith discusses the options at a university's disposal should it decide to pursue open-source hardware and software solutions. Opting for open-source solutions can offer an alternative to the traditional practice of opting for card system vendor solutions and the comprehensive ecosystems that come with, says Stallsmith.
"Many organizations purchase these solutions exclusively from their system providers, but many others chose to acquire some applications and services from third-party suppliers," he explains. "This latter arrangement allowed them to prioritize their options for the applications they needed according to price, features, brands and support."
When it comes to card issuance, the predominant school of thought is for ID software, printers and card stock – especially contactless smart cards – to all be purchased directly from a trusted vendor for optimal performance. But as Stallsmith notes, third-party solution providers can also offer a wide range of printers and software that can effectively meet the needs of a campus.
For campuses intent on moving away from proprietary solutions, there have been a number of advancements across numerous ID solutions. "Powerful ID issuance solutions are available now with many new features, including web-based architecture, modern GUI’s, enhanced connectivity, contactless smart card encoding, advanced network printer support, mobile device integration and photo upload portals," says Stallsmith.
With regards to physical access security, the advantage of deploying solutions direct from card systems vendors is that they offer access control modules that are well integrated with the rest of the platform. But universities can also choose to leverage access control systems from third-party providers. "This can allows a campus to use readers, electronic lock systems, mobile credential products, biometrics and many other building automation and security applications," says Stallsmith. "New tools and services are now available to connect those systems on the back end, provide users with web-based portals and provide administrative control and reporting."
Managing physical identities is another of the vital tasks of a card system. "Many card systems today excel at managing and tracking financial transactions within the ID badge ecosystem," says Stallsmith. "However, the ability to properly manage the physical identities throughout your organization via these systems can be a challenge."
As Stallsmith explains, utilizing a dedicated Physical Identity Access Management (PIAM) solution can enable a campus to instantly and intelligently provision and issue credentials to all of a university's disparate systems from a single platform. "A PIAM solution gives cardholders the ability to report and deactivate lost credentials, request mobile credentials or pick up ID badges at kiosk stations or ID offices," says Stallsmith.
Visit the ColorID website for more on the company's PIAM offerings and some of the open-source options available to campuses.