Today, TDSi has some 60,000 installations in operation throughout the world, across a wide range of business sectors -- including financial services, healthcare, education, commercial and manufacturing as well as local and national government. Over a million card holders benefit from TDSi technology each day and the company is committed to continuing to develop cost-effective, advanced access control systems which deliver optimum design together with the flexibility to enable integrated system capability.
The company¡¯s headquarters in the South of England house its commercial, research and development, technical and customer services teams, providing experienced support and technical advice to security system designers, installers and users. With an established presence in the U.K., the company has also achieved significant growth in recent years in markets across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa with dedicated offices in France and China, and an established network of distribution and installation partners across these key markets, this growth is set to continue, giving the company a highly effective, international market presence.
Every aspect of TDSi¡¯s operation reflects the company¡¯s quality ethos. Quality systems and procedures are assured by ISO9001:2000 accreditation with standard guarantees provided on the company¡¯s full product range.
COMPREHENSIVE PRODUCT RANGE
With a wide selection of controllers, readers, software systems and accessories, together with products developed for specific sector applications, the TDSi portfolio ranges from stand-alone, entry-level products right through to sophisticated multi-application management systems.
Every product and system is designed with the same philosophy in mind -- to provide quality access control solutions that deliver consistently high performance levels, meet the needs of installers, managers and users and provide whole-life value (with cost of installation and maintenance key design factors). Each system is also designed to be fully scalable and capable of integration with other systems -- both TDSi¡¯s and other proprietary manufacturers¡¯-- including biometric, CCTV, fire control and intruder alarm systems.
TDSi¡¯s wide range of controllers begins with SOLOgarde, a recently-launched stand-alone unit, which provides a high quality, cost-effective access control solution for a wide range of applications. Utilizing MIFARE smart card technology, SOLOgarde is capable of supporting up to 1,000 users, is fast and easy both to install and to program and enables users to carry and use just a single card for multiple applications. SOLOgarde features an innovative hand-held programmer. Easy-to-use, the programmer completely eliminates the need to manage and control shadow cards, allowing not only the easy and clear management of all user cards, but also enabling more advanced functionality -- including controller settings and diagnostic features.
MICROgarde is the company¡¯s entry-level range of networkable products, providing cost effective solutions that deliver many of the benefits of much larger systems. Available in one or two door versions, and with an operational capacity of 5,000 card holders, the MICROgarde controller features distributed intelligence and operates as part of a system network, providing users with full control and event reporting. MICROgarde is also available as a complete starter kit -- including controller, PC cable, PC software, cards and reader.
The company¡¯s EX series controllers are the building blocks for mid to large-size, single or multi-site access control and integrated security system networks. The EXcel range delivers versatile control for two or four readers and is suitable for monitoring and signaling alarm conditions and for integration with other building management systems (for example, intruder alarms, lighting and heating controls). EXpert is a high specification, networkable controller which is suitable for monitoring and signaling alarm conditions, as well as being capable of full integration with intruder alarm and building management systems.
TDSi¡¯s range of readers is equally impressive -- encompassing infrared, MIFARE, magstripe, proximity and biometric technology -- in a variety of combinations and designs, to suit all applications and budget requirements.
The most recent addition to the range has seen the launch of two new MIFARE readers. Available in two variants (card serial number and sector readers) to suit different security and budgetary requirements, the readers can accommodate existing applications which draw on MIFARE technology. The readers are fully encapsulated -- suitable for use both indoors and out -- and feature a stylish, elegant design, incorporating LED indicators and an inbuilt sounder.
The company¡¯s biometric range of readers includes the PALMgarde palm vein reader, and DIGIgarde finger-print reader, providing alternative systems to meet a wide range of application requirements.
One of the first physical access control products to incorporate Fujitsu¡¯s PalmSecure sensor, PALMgarde reads and processes the palm vein pattern (which lies beneath the epidermis and so can¡¯t be distorted by skin damage) and delivers extraordinarily high standards of accuracy -- a false rejection rate of 0.01% and a false acceptance rate less than 0.00008%. Delivering true contact-free biometric technology, PALMgarde offers a hygienic, user-friendly solution for any public area.
DIGIgarde is a compact and versatile optical fingerprint reader, capable of storing up to 9,000 user templates. Featuring a high resolution (500 dpi) optical scanner, DIGIgarde is a user-friendly, ergonomically designed unit which allows fingers to be read, over a wide presentation angle. With ease of use and operation in mind, enrolment is straightforward -- this can be achieved either directly through the unit, or via a desktop scanner.
The company¡¯s software offering is led by its flagship system, EXgarde PRO -- a fully-featured access management PC software application that combines the latest TDSi technology in a single package with a user-friendly interface. Highly flexible, EXgarde PRO is suitable for applications from single door/ single site, right up to multi-site projects with many thousands of doors and users.
EXgarde PRO has been proven in applications across the world, its integration and expansion functionality offering a wide range of options to support biometric and CCTV DVR technologies (biometric options include the Bioscrypt fingerprint technology, as well as Panasonic iris recognition modules). The software also allows full integration with Dedicated Micros¡¯ popular Digital Sprite 2 DVR, giving system users the opportunity to not only view live camera feeds, but also to tag recordings with predetermined access event information, allowing specific footage to be retrieved quickly and easily.
A range of optional modules includes EXtour which provides an effective means of managing guard security tours, utilizing TDSi¡¯s access control readers. Traditionally guard tour systems have relied on specialized equipment, such as wands, meaning all logged data had to be downloaded before it could be analyzed or reported -- EXtour eliminates the need for such equipment, giving real-time information and control. Other module options include EXnotify, enabling users to be notified of predetermined events via a wireless PDA device.
Time and Attendance
A recent addition to TDSi¡¯s suite of products, TIMEgarde utilizes the company¡¯s proven biometric technology to provide an effective time and attendance system, giving fast and accurate management information.
TIMEgarde is a Web-based system which allows any approved user (with a suitable Web browser -- IE 7 or higher) to log in and carry out a range of actions according to their specific access rights. The system allows users to be allocated to one of four levels -- employees, managers, HR staff and administrators -- each with increasing levels of rights. The system may be configured to account for a number of key parameters, identifying, for example, individuals¡¯ core working hours, acceptable start and end time windows and flexi-time working, absences are recorded on the system and flagged to managers for authorization.
Site Monitoring System
Also new from the company is ACCESSwatch, a technically advanced access control sensor, specifically designed to monitor and protect access hatches within reservoirs and water treatment sites from malicious attack. The unit has been developed to meet the requirements of various organizations, including the U.K.¡¯s Association of Chief Police Officers. SEAP 3 approved, ACCESSwatch provides constant monitoring and protection for remote hatches and entrances and may be used either in stand-alone mode, or networked via a range of alternative communication means.
PROVEN SERVICE AND SUPPORT
With established, experienced technical services and product development teams, TDSi is able to respond quickly to changing market and customer needs, placing a ¡®customer focus¡¯ philosophy at the core of every aspect of its business. Customers are included in product development and design programs to ensure that products and systems are developed to high performance and quality specifications, while remaining easy to install and operate -- and delivering high value. Professional support is available at every stage of the process, from initial scheme design right through to user training and maintenance.
The company¡¯s comprehensive range allows specifiers, installers and users to identify the right product for their individual needs, capable of operating with other TDSi or proprietary systems to provide fully integrated security solutions.
Combining technical excellence with innovation, value and the highest standards of service and support, TDSi¡¯s systems are proven in applications throughout the world.
With a continued focus on the requirements of its customers and their specific market needs, the company is set to maintain its impressive growth record both in the U.K. and overseas.
Roots of TDSi, a customer-focused manufacturer of access control systems, go back to 1982 when the company was formed to supply time and attendance systems to the U.K. market. However, it was the development of a range of infrared readers, which in turn led to the development of an access control platform, which really began to shape the business into its current form. By the end of the 1980s, the company had become a recognized and established access control systems provider.
John Davies, CEO of TDSi, speaks about what makes TDSi stand out from its competitors in this interview with Jeanny Lim, Editor-in-Chief of SecurityWorld INT¡¯L.
¡°Our philosophy is clear and focused -- to design, develop and market integrated access control solutions to meet the changing needs of our customers.¡±
Please tell us if there has been any technical breakthrough or solutions your company has made recently, and thus contributed to the security industry?
Product innovation and development have been at the heart of our business for over 25 years allowing us to deliver a constantly evolving and expanding product range to the market.
Recent examples of our successful product development program include our optical-based key pad, Optica, which won the coveted Best New Access Control Product Award at IFSEC in 2004. Our low-cost networked-controller MICROgarde was a finalist for Best Access Control Product at IFSEC 2005. In 2007 we began to roll out our biometric range with the launch of the DIGIgarde fingerprint reader, followed this year by PALMgarde, our high performance palm vein reader.
We have already introduced a number of other products this year, including a new range of MIFARE readers, giving users two reader options for this market-leading, smart card technology, and ACCESSwatch, a new counter terrorism solution which helps in the protection of critical national infrastructure installations.
Could you tell us some of the competitive edges that differentiate TDSi services and products from your competitors?
In particular, our systems integration platform gives customers the ability to integrate, cost-effectively with the ¡®best of breed¡¯ products and systems across all key security areas (CCTV, building management, alarm systems, etc). We work hard to make sure that our platform is capable of supporting the leading manufacturers¡¯ products and systems, giving our customers a straightforward solution for full system integration. We also aim to make these systems widely available by keeping the price point as low as possible. For example, we don¡¯t impose restrictive and expensive licensing arrangements once we have sold our software solutions, we encourage customers to fully exploit their capabilities.
We are also very proud that although we operate and compete on a worldwide basis, we remain an SME. Consequently, we don¡¯t suffer from layers of decision making bureaucracy and are able to react quickly and decisively to changing market conditions and to new product initiatives. We also aim to develop lasting relationships with our customers at every level actively encouraging their participation in our product development program. We accept we don¡¯t have a monopoly on good ideas!
According to your understanding, how are customer needs for access control changing?
In certain markets, customers are moving very quickly to identify solutions for the full integration of all their business systems, including facilities management, security and IT, rather than looking at each function in isolation. This appears particularly to be the case in developing markets -- notably the Middle East and Asia -- although there are clear signs that this trend is also emerging in the more established markets.
With the rapid introduction of new technologies, particularly biometrics, customers are also increasingly looking for cost-effective systems that deliver the highest standards of accuracy combined with ease of use and fast operational performance.
Please explain to us about strengths and limits networked access control systems have.
There¡¯s no doubt that systems are becoming much more cost -effective, allowing an ever wider group of customers to implement and benefit from more complete, integrated solutions.
However, while integration flourishes, there are as yet no agreed open standards that would allow integration to be achieved more easily.
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