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HID Talks About The Latest Solutions In Secure Identity
Tuesday, June 05, 2012:
HID Global deals in solutions that deliver secure identity. Owned by the Swedish company ASSA ABLOY, HID sells physical access control products, IT authentication solutions, and issuing smart cards that are deployed with national ID and e-passport programs, supply chain management, animal tagging, financial transactions, transport and various industrial and manufacturing solutions. HID also provides security solutions to the Delhi International airport and the Delhi metro.
Ranjit Nambiar, director of sales, HID Global, speaks to Dilin Anand of EFY about the future of secure identity solutions in India.
EFY: Could you explain a bit about HID Global so that our readers can understand the company better?
HID Global has been playing in the RFID domain for about 20 years. It all started with the evolution of the RFID contact technology back in '91. We deal with access control and secure identity solutions including secure card issuance, RFID Technology and eGovernment. We are a global player in citizen ID projects like e-Passports and electronics visas. In order to boost our products value, we have also acquired EasyLobby who dealt with Secure Visitor Management software. Moreover, we have also acquired ActivIdentity who provide Identity Assurance and strong authentication solutions.
EFY: What are the different verticals that HID focuses on?
We have 2 broad business units, the Identity and Access Management (IAM) unit, and the Identity Technology (IDT) unit. We work on IDT here which consists of transponders, chips and antennas. The different verticals that IDT caters to are supply chains, retail markets, financial firms, and for animal ID.
EFY: Could you elaborate on IAM?
IAM consists of Physical Access Control, Secure Issuance and IT authentication or Identity Assurance. We are the pioneers of Physical Access Control, which deals with the physical access of a person to a particular resource depending on authorisation. This is where you see card readers, and different RFID technology such as Low Frequency 125kHz and high-frequency 13.56MHz technologies.
Secure issuance deals with providing the flexibility to issue secure cards and credentials. This part of our business was boosted after our acquisition of Fargo. This has got more to do with visual security such as holographs and pictures. IT Authentication or Identity Assurance is what allows us to put in multiple applications on a single smart card. Some companies use smart cards, or USB tokens for secure access. By using IT Authentication as a key application, we have been able to provide Identity Assurance solutions in a single unit or form factor.
EFY: What is your R&D centre working on now? Where is it located?
We are a product solution focused company wherein we have multiple R&D centres around the globe working on the same technology and product. Out primary R&D lab is in Denver, while we have more in Connecticut, and Germany - Germany deals mostly with IT Authentication. Manufacturing facilities are mostly taken care of with the help of ASSA ABLOY Group as we are a part of their brand. HID has a wholly owned plant in Malaysia. We also have third party plants in China and the Philippines.
EFY: What are the activities of HID Global in India - I know there is no R&D but could you elaborate on sales, engineering, and other areas?
The India office is just a sales office. The functions present in the South Asia HQ are sales, customer service, marcom, operations and finance. Our Bengaluru office is one of the 3 production units in APAC (Asia Pacific) - the production unit takes care of configuration and customisation on the cards and readers.
EFY: Do you handle everything in-house? If not, who are your major solution providers?
HID Global is not an integrator, we are a product solutions services organisation and as such we have partners who take care of integration. Some of our System integrator partners are Bosch and Schneider. In Secure Issuance, our integrators are those that deal with banks and similar institutions. In Identity Assurance, our integrator partners deal with the physical part and not the IT part of it. It all works on a channel centric model which changes with respect to the business at hand.
EFY: Are there any new and exciting products in your pipeline?
Yes, from the tech perspective, our key initiative is on mobile access. Mobile penetration is very huge, and growing. This makes Near Field Communication (NFC) very big when looked at from the payment perspective. HID sees a great opportunity here. Conventionally, the RFID smart card has keys and formats. We can easily implement this onto an NFC enabled phone, thus, giving it what we call as Mobile Access. We believe credentials will change its form with the new iCLASS SE (secure element) platform that is Secure Identity Object(SIO) enabled.