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Avigilon Alta vs. Genea access control

Genea is a workplace SaaS (software as a service) provider that bought Sequr access control in 2020. The Genea access control product, formerly Sequr, utilizes mobile credentials via smartphone to get people into their buildings. The company also provides a cloud-based management platform, and HVAC and billing software services. If your organization needs multiple key points of access control, including video capabilities, open API architecture and multi-technology hardware products, Genea may not be your best option, as it only offers software solutions. Avigilon Alta offers cloud-based access control and award-winning hardware products fit for any organization’s access control needs. To learn more about the key differences between Genea and Avigilon Alta, read on for a closer look at each company’s offerings.

Quick look: key differences between Genea and Avigilon Alta 


Avigilon Alta


Credential compatibility

Avigilon supports a wider range of credentials on its multi-technology reader 

Open standards

Genea integrations may be limited based on third party systems you choose 

Video capabilities

Genea doesn’t have video capabilities, but offers integrations with some VMS 

Intercom functionality

Avigilon combines a camera, reader and AI-powered intercom in one device 

Complete access control

Avigilon offers a complete system, all managed with cloud-based softwar

The leading solution in access control

  • Multi-tech readers support mobile, PIN codes, key cards and fobs

  • Touchless and remote unlock backed by 99.9% reliability

  • Intuitive cloud software with real-time remote management

  • 5MP video and smart AI intercom with mobile monitoring

  • Open standards for frictionless integration across all systems

  • Scales to secure a single entry or entire enterprises with ease

  • Standard wiring and PoE options with easy snap-in installation

  • Automatic updates, offline sync and encryption at every level

Comprehensive Genea access control review

Genea’s cloud-based access control software supports some third-party integrations for smart building management. With mobile credential support, Genea offers organizations the ability to use smartphones to unlock doors. However, the system does have some limitations that organizations should be aware of prior to investing in Genea for access control. 

To use Genea’s cloud-based software, you’ll need to purchase and connect access control hardware from a third-party company, like HID. The use of several different companies and company products may lead to additional costs and unnecessary complications in installation and management processes. Avigilon has a broad range of in-house access control hardware including Smart Readers, controllers, wireless locks and Smart Hubs that are simple to install, connect and manage with the cloud-based software. Several Avigilon Alta products also unite multiple types of technology in a single device. 

All-in-one access control hardware

Avigilon’s Smart Readers, for example, can do much more than authorizing entry via card credential, mobile app, or Wave to Unlock entry. The Avigilon Pro Series Video Readers use video functionality and intercom capabilities for additional flexibility and security all in one device. Avigilon’s Video Reader Pro features a built-in, adjustable 5MP camera for robust video monitoring and visual verification in addition to the fully encrypted Smart Reader. The Avigilon Video Intercom Reader Pro takes it a step further, combining the high-resolution camera and touchless reader with a smart door intercom for added access control flexibility. From guiding guests through an intelligent voice interface to initiating two-way calls between users, the intercom feature adds another layer of customization and security in a single piece of hardware. 

Avigilon’s intuitive line of Smart Readers also includes the Embedded USB Smart Reader, which allows for a configurable reader solution for your organization. This reader can be used as a USB printer reader, desktop enrollment reader and embedded module in this single device, supporting a variety of key cards and fobs, touchless entry and mobile unlock access. Like other Avigilon Smart Readers, the Embedded USB reader is designed to withstand power and Internet outages, and is easy to install. This reader is especially unique, as it can be installed on a single gang box, embedded into an elevator or a wall, inside turnstiles and desks, and so much more. 

Legacy hardware is often bulky and lacking in design that takes away from the overall aesthetic of your space. Unlike the boring gray bricks you’re probably used to, Avigilon’s award-winning readers are sleek and sophisticated. 

Access credential possibilities 

Mobile access is becoming an increasingly desirable feature for organizations to provide an alternative entry option. It can be a more secure, convenient and cost-effective solution for businesses. However, some businesses may still want to use keycards, fobs or other access methods throughout their property. Genea offers access via their mobile app or Apple Watch. The platform also works with some key cards and fobs, but does not support all smart card types. Depending on the readers you select to run your Genea software, your key cards and fob choices may be limited. And depending on your hardware selections, admins may have to manage other credentials in a separate system from the Genea platform.

Avigilon Alta’s frictionless, encrypted mobile app creates one unified credential, generating a custom digital badge for each user for heightened security. Authorized users can remotely unlock doors, active lockdown plans or give guests access to the building. You can gain access to the app through an iOS or Android smartphone, tablet, Apple Watch, encrypted key cards and fobs, and Cloud Key credentials. Touchless access is also a top feature for the best door access control systems, and is a feature tenants want for convenience and ease of use. Avigilon Alta features a unique Wave to Unlock capability, which automatically recognizes a verified user’s phone is in proximity to the reader without opening the app or unlocking the smartphone.

As for key fob and key card options, Avigilon’s DESFire EV3 128-bit AES cryptographic cards. Key fobs are exceptionally secure entry solutions, as they’re digitally signed identifiers, making it very difficult to copy cards. They’re also backward-compatible, connecting easily with legacy RFID systems, as well as Avigilon Alta’s state-of-the-art software and hardware.

The ultimate guide to access control

Learn everything you need to successfully future-proof your physical access control system with this buyer’s guide.

Access control for visitors

Access control should also extend to building visitors and guests. While Genea offers a visitor management platform, it’s a separate product from their access control platform. Genea’s access control software does not easily accommodate guests. Visitors will either need to download the app and get set up with credentials in the system, or be issued a physical key card or fob for temporary access, which defeats the purpose of a mobile system. 

Avigilon Alta has a convenient digital Guest Pass feature built into the access control platform. Admins can easily send a temporary guest credential via text or email. Visitors don’t even need to download the app. Plus, the mobile Guest Passes are completely customizable. Set specific permissions for each guest, put time limits on the visitor pass and view the visitor access activity in the Avigilon Alta dashboard. And if you integrate Avigilon Alta with a visitor management platform, everything the guest needs for registration, check-in and access is all conveniently available on their phone.

In addition, Avigilon’s Video Intercom Reader Pro is an incredible solution for visitor management. The smart intercom allows for guests to say the name of the person they’re visiting, speak to a receptionist or leave a voicemail for a specific user, adding flexibility to the guest experience. This video intercom, also featuring a high-resolution camera, allows administrators to visually monitor user and guest entries from the app or Control Center.

Available integrations for access control

Open software platforms let you integrate with other business apps and tools. This is beneficial if you want to streamline your operations and automate processes across your connected building management systems. Genea offers a few cloud-based integrations, but Avigilon Alta offers far more options with more diverse, organization-specific solutions like gym or flexible workspace management. Genea also relies on non-proprietary hardware. Therefore, you may encounter additional limitations while attempting to integrate with your readers and controllers. For organizations looking to add video surveillance to Genea Sequr access control, you’ll need to use the specific providers Genea integrates with or operate the VMS as a disparate system. 

Unlike other access control companies, Avigilon Alta is built with fully open architecture for superior interoperability. The open API and mobile SDKs allow you to seamlessly integrate with the tools and apps you use to run your business. Avigilon Alta partners with leading commercial video surveillance companies, including Cisco Meraki, Camio, Rhombus Systems and Milestone, plus tenant and visitor management, user management and productivity tools to create a powerful integrated building system. With an extensive list of native integrations that work right out of the box, Avigilon Alta gives you greater flexibility in customizing your security and safety solutions to your unique needs.

Secure and compliant access control systems

When it comes to protecting your building, safeguarding your data is a top concern. Mobile credentials, like those offered by Genea and Opepath, can’t be cloned, making them a safer alternative to key cards and fobs. Cloud-based access control platforms with end-to-end encryption offer enhanced security measures. Because mobile credentials also store personal information, your access control system should meet any compliance standards your industry requires. 

Avigilon Alta is SOC 2 (Type 1 and Type 2) and CCPA compliant, and can help you meet physical security requirements like GDPR, HIPAA and PCI. In addition, Avigilon hardware is UL 294 and FCC compliant, meets European and Canadian standards, and the readers are IP65 rated. 

Alternatives to Genea access control

If you’re looking for a complete access control system, Avigilon is a better option for your space. Offering a full line of hardware that scales to accommodate a single site, up to hundreds of entries, the Avigilon system is customizable to fit any business. With convenient wiring, straightforward software and a sleek design, Avigilon access control is quick to install, effortless to set up and frictionless to use. If your organization wants the flexibility of adding new security technology and access measures, such as video and intercom capabilities, under one management system, Avigilon’s in-house hardware is an ideal choice.

Because access control should be a security product first and foremost, the Avigilon Alta platform comes with built-in safety features, including patented Triple Unlock technology for reliable access, even when the Internet is down. You’ll also get Avigilon Alta’s award-winning Lockdown solution to help you proactively plan for emergencies. For full-building deployments, Avigilon is a top choice not only for door access control, but also for securing parking garages, elevators and turnstile applications. 

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