See why customers prefer Avigilon Alta, formerly Openpath, and the all-in-one Video Intercom Reader Pro over Axis for their building security.
More and more, establishments are incorporating intercom entry systems that support video into their security procedures. There are many options to choose from in the market, but depending on your unique needs, how do you decide which one is right for you? Axis Communications is one of the names you might come across when searching for a video intercom system. Their products include a wide range of commercial and apartment building security systems in a diverse price range. In this Axis access control intercom review, we specifically highlight three video intercoms that serve three different functionalities. Also covered are the benefits and disadvantages of the Axis intercom features, and how the Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro might be a more secure and flexible option.
Voice AI helps guests and delivery couriers get in touch with tenants
Avigilon features a 5MP super high-definition built-in camera
|Secure access options
Avigilon offers a wider range of secure access methods compared to Axis
Avigilon can easily integrate with third-party platforms and 45+ tech partner
Some Axis intercoms do not include a reader and need add-on hardware
Although Axis intercoms come with impressive features, there are drawbacks with some. For example, the resolution in the Axis A‑8105‑E model’s camera is only 1080p, compared to the Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro’s super high-definition 5MP built-in camera. The barrel distortion in this particular Axis model’s camera is also quite significant, contributing to a less accurate visual identification. The lack of support for mobile credentials in the Axis A8207-VE Mkll makes access control inconvenient, and less-than-secure PIN code access option and temporary visitors pass can lead to a security breach. Plus, other convenient features like touchless mechanisms in Avigilon Alta are not available in Axis intercoms.
One of the convenient features in the Axis A8207-VE Mkll model is the ability for visitors to connect to a building’s receptionist or security personnel when a tenant is unavailable. While useful, the mechanism simply does not offer a diverse range of options to connect, and often presents visitors with no other option but to return to the building when the tenant is available, or start over and call a different tenant. Plus, this feature is rendered ineffective after working hours, when a receptionist or security personnel might not be present.
Avigilon Alta’s 24/7 intelligent call routing technology connects visitors to not just one destination, but a multitude of options, from an alternative tenant, voicemail, or specific directory path set by the tenant. The responsive voice AI assists visitors and guides them to specific directory paths, depending on settings such as access and door schedules, and tenant availability. The diverse range of options ensures that visitors always have a way to connect, even after hours and when a tenant is unavailable. To top off the list of benefits, this convenient feature is also touchless. With no directory to scroll through, tenants can choose to keep personal information private.
There are factors to consider when budgeting for a door entry video intercom system. The size of a building and the number of entry points, devices and users contribute to the overall cost of an intercom system. Other important components to keep in mind are the features that come with the intercom, installation and ongoing maintenance.
Axis video intercoms are reasonably priced. Some models come with built-in features, and others require additional hardware and installation to perform specific access control functions. For example, the Axis-I8016-LVE intercom does not come with a reader and needs wiring to a separate reader to allow access to credentialed users.
Avigilon’s sleek and compact Video Intercom Reader Pro is an all-in-one solution, combining a doorbell, camera, intercom and reader into a single device. The built-in features reduce the cost of installing the system and the cost of purchasing additional hardware. The mobile credentials and backward compatibility with legacy cards means reduced ongoing fees for access keys. Plus, the software is available in different tiers and packages to cater to a wide range of security needs. The Avigilon pricing plan is scalable, allowing organizations to only pay for what they use, depending on the number of users in the system.
Axis video intercom and the Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro run on a cloud-based system, giving both systems the flexibility in management and scalability. With the Axis system, users can simultaneously monitor video and control access through a unified interface, and the scalable system can accommodate hundreds of doors per server.
Like Axis intercoms, the Avigilon Alta cloud-based intercom system offers versatility in management. In a single dashboard, admins can easily add users to a directory, configure new locations, add and edit directory paths, manage visitor access and observe entry events in real-time. The remote management allows users to oversee multiple sites from anywhere. Similarly, the remote unlock enables tenants and security admins to open doors for visitors from any place in the world. Designed to accommodate infinite scaling, Avigilon Alta also enables users to conveniently add sites and locations to a network with a few clicks in the dashboard.
Axis intercoms are relatively simple to install. The systems use a PoE cable and can easily connect to existing systems with no additional wiring. Although some Axis intercom models come with built-in features like a camera, microphone and reader, others might require additional hardware and installation to achieve the same level of functionality. Integration is quite straightforward, with an open interface that allows for integration with property management software and tenant service apps. However, some models do not have ACU functionality and require wiring to an access controller to connect to legacy systems.
Similar to the Axis system, Avigilon’s Video Intercom Reader Pro is equally effortless to install. The sleek device installs with a simple snap-in mechanism. Because the Video Intercom Reader Pro combines four functionalities in one, it eliminates the cost of installing multiple devices. Like Axis, the Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro uses one PoE cable and standard wiring, with the flexibility to rotate the camera during install to achieve the best viewing angle. When it comes to integration, the Avigilon Alta system is built on an open API and mobile SDK, and easily connects to other hardware, software and apps like property and tenant management platforms. Plus, the App Marketplace allows users to discover more than 45 technology partners that Avigilon can seamlessly integrate with.
When it comes to the video platform, the ONVIF Profile S and T compliant platform make it easy to integrate with video security providers, and the ACU functionality means the system is compatible with any legacy system.
While some Axis access control intercoms serve basic access needs, other models lack the features of an advanced access control reader. Access can be granted through an IP phone and a Video Management System, and a remote entry option is available. Other methods include key cards, and for visitors, access can be granted by entering PIN codes to a keypad.
While these are commonly used access methods, they may not be the most secure. For instance, PIN numbers can be shared with multiple visitors and unauthorized users. The key card option is adequate, but is not as convenient as mobile credentials, which are only available in some Axis intercoms. The Axis I8016-LVE intercom does not have built-in reader support, so access can only be granted remotely. Installing a separate reader is required to allow access to users with credentials. Plus, the lack of a touchless entry feature adds to the inconvenience of the system.
The Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro offers a wide range of access options with advanced features that make access control secure and frictionless. Unlike Axis, Avigilon Alta supports mobile capabilities, allowing users to open doors from a range of mobile devices through an app. The patented Triple Unlock technology ensures a fast unlock with 99.9% reliability using simultaneous Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular signals. This mechanism grants users access at all times, even when one connection is down.
Temporary entry access to visitors or service providers can be granted through convenient email, text message or messaging apps like Slack. Accessible directly from a smartphone browser, temporary Guest Passes are customizable and permit one or more entries within a limited time, with all access activity tracked and recorded in real-time.
Users are able to take advantage of the convenient Wave to Unlock, a feature that allows users to open doors with a quick movement of the hand or phone. With the touchless technology, visitors are also able to request access quickly without having to scroll through an overwhelming directory to find the tenant they are looking for. Plus, visitors can request access without entering personal information into a public device. Like Axis intercoms, the remote unlock feature is also available in Avigilon Alta’s system, allowing tenants to unlock the door for guests from their mobile phone or the Avigilon Alta dashboard.
For users who prefer physical keys, high- and low-frequency key cards are available. Unlike Axis intercoms, Avigilon Alta supports MIFARE DESFire EV3 cards, the most advanced encryption technology on the market. The Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro is also backward compatible with legacy access control systems.
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Avigilon’s Video Intercom Reader Pro:
There are options available if Axis intercoms do not fit the needs of your building. The Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro makes security versatile and convenient, with advanced built-in features that include a doorbell, reader, speaker and microphone with automotive grade code and echo reduction for two-way audio and a 5MP high-definition camera that supports video calling. The system allows for an optimized mobile experience and the Bluetooth-backed mobile credentials enables fast and reliable access supported by patented Triple Unlock technology. To round off the list of benefits, the touchless feature is safe and convenient, and the award-winning compact device is versatile, making it easy to find space to install the device.
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