Why secure video intercoms are opening new doors for integrators

Jamie Barnfield, Senior Sales Director, IDIS Europe


Remember all those new solutions for secure door entry that were rushed to market by vendors during the Covid pandemic? It suddenly became a priority to have convenient – and touchless – entry to premises.

But it wasn’t a passing trend. For many larger organisations 2020-21 kick-started a revolution in the way staff and visitors access buildings, with keys and ID cards being replaced with biometric and smartphone credentials.  At first, due to cost and the complexity involved in upgrading access control software and controllers, these solutions were mostly still the preserve of large enterprises.

But now, for smaller commercial applications and residential customers, new video intercoms solutions are proving equally attractive.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be so surprising. Video intercoms offer compelling benefits in comparison to enterprise solutions, making them an increasingly popular choice not just for smaller applications. It also makes them an attractive proposition for integrators – something to offer a wide range of customers, for both new projects and simple upgrade opportunities.   

So, for end-users, integrators or installers, here’s my take on the top five advantages of the latest video intercoms: 

Enhanced security

One of the primary benefits of video intercoms is of course improved security. By allowing reception and other staff to visually identify visitors before granting access, they provide a way of screening potential threats and preventing unauthorized entry.

With the rise of ecommerce, takeout apps and associated deliveries, strengthening security around entrances has become more important in settings such as apartment complexes, gated communities, and business premises, providing an extra layer of protection.

The presence of visible and robust video intercoms also acts as deterrent to potential intrusion, criminal, or anti-social activity.

The latest intercoms come with high-definition and wide lens cameras which will capture much clearer foreground and background footage - along with noise cancellation audio - and record them simultaneously. So, users now get a comprehensive visual and audio audit trail that can easily be exported as evidence in the event of an incident or dispute.  

Convenience and accessibility

Video intercoms offer the convenience and operational efficiency of remotely granting or denying access to visitors from any location. Busy staff or managers are often away from reception desks and entrances, while individuals at home might find it difficult to open doors quickly, especially if they have mobility challenges. In addition, more people in urban areas live in high-rise apartments with rules to prevent delivery drivers, often on bicycles, gaining free movement around communal corridors, stairs, and elevators, due to security risks and the potential for accidental damage. Video intercoms with mobile apps solve all these challenges, allowing users to visually check and communicate with visitors and delivery drivers via their smartphones or tablets, and to direct them accordingly.

Visitor management

We all know that first impressions count, and we’ve all experienced the frustration of pushing a buzzer, waiting for someone to respond, and eventually being allowed access to a building – doubly annoying when you are trying to get to a pre-scheduled meeting.  The latest video intercoms provide clear two-way noise cancellation audio and video communication via client software or via mobile apps, enabling staff to have eye-level and face-to-face conversations with visitors. For businesses, this ensures stress-free communication with customers and vendors. It allows visitors to be invited into reception areas remotely, perhaps to take a seat, meaning that interactions are more professional and seamless – and that’s particularly important for creating good first impressions with clients.

Simple integration

Today’s latest generation video intercoms can be easily integrated into wider video surveillance solutions, access control systems, and electronic magnetic door locks, allowing for remote management of entry points along with monitoring and recording of both video and audio simultaneously. Thise features are particularly valuable for businesses, schools, and larger campuses such as universities and hospitals which have a duty of care for everyone on their estates. Video intercoms provide an added layer of security and control over who enters premises, particularly useful where there are multiple entry points. Rather than relying on a single layer of security at the perimeter, a strategy which will not work anyway at most campus sites, this provides multi-layered and distributed protection throughout the site, helping to keep staff, students, patients, and visitors safe.

Easy installation and scalability

Many modern video intercom systems are designed for easy installation and can be quickly surface mounted without the need for complicated configuration. They offer a far more flexible alternative to traditional front desk receptions and eliminate the clutter of additional equipment around entrances.  The latest models come with pollution and weatherproof ratings making them ideal for a wide range of settings, with resilience against increasingly common severe weather events, extreme high and low temperatures, dust, and the kinds of hazardous liquids found in industrial and manufacturing applications.

Video intercoms are also scalable, making it easy to add more devices as needed. And take note - with the right VMS that doesn’t mean additional license fees or device connection costs.

This makes them an affordable and flexible solution for growing businesses, hospitals with multiple wards, university campuses dispersed buildings or expanding residential communities.

There are many more benefits and applications of course, but the takeaway here is that video intercoms improve security, convenience, and accessibility, and are more flexible, affordable, and powerful than ever.

This is making them a compelling option for both residential and commercial settings – and a useful new offering for systems integrators.

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