Impro takes the lead with Impro Technologies Primo
A leading South African company in the access control space for over three decades, Impro Technologies has once again set the bar high as it rolls out its latest generation of innovation.
Following its acquisition by ASSA ABLOY in 2016, Impro has maintained its independence and has been able to grow its market share internationally while being recognised as one of the leading access control brands globally. Over the past year or two, the company has consolidated its international experience as well as the knowledge gained from ASSA ABLOY’s century-old operations and is set to launch its latest generation of access control products.
Raffael Beires, Impro’s Product and Strategy Director, says the past years have seen significant investment in Impro’s R&D and development team, covering all aspects of the business’s operations: software, hardware, firmware, electronics and manufacturing. In fact, these departments have grown by over 30% in the last 12 months alone.
The latest generation was driven by the aftermath of the COVID period, when organisations were keen to move to newer, but still reliable contactless access control systems. In some countries this meant facial recognition, but in places like the EU where privacy laws are strictly enforced, mobile technologies are increasingly being used to manage access to property and assets.
“Impro has a responsibility to its clients to move with market demands and provide the access systems clients require,” says Beires. “Our first-generation was the IXP range, thousands of which are still in use after two decades, while Access Portal was our second generation, initially released about 10 years ago. Impro Technologies Primo is our latest generation of access technology.”
Meeting the requirements of access control customers today, Primo has been designed to be a flexible, feature-rich platform with built-in functionality customers have come to rely on. Beires says it has been designed for multiple use cases, whether clients want to manage access via tag, card, biometrics or mobile devices. This also means it has been designed with integration in mind.
Impro’s development team adopted what is known as a ‘scaled-agile’ development methodology, which sees the team breaking its goals down into 3-month detailed plans, which are further divided into 2-week ‘sprints’. This has allowed the company to develop the system at a granular level, making sure everything works together and everyone is focused on achieving the same goal, and is flexible enough for any future enhancements, additions or integrations.
The first release of Primo is designed for on-premises access control for companies managing up to 100 doors. The plan for future releases includes larger installations as well as a cloud or a hybrid approach to managing access. One of the key areas Impro has focused on for Primo is the user experience (UX).
The company worked with a UX Designer for 12 months and included input from various departments in the organisation, from technical support to HR and even Training Specialists. The idea, according to Beires, was to make sure everyone benefited from the data collected by the access system and could easily draw reports and obtain business intelligence relevant to their requirements.
It’s also worth noting that security has been built-in from the ground up. Whether it’s the firmware, storage, software stack or data in transit, data is encrypted and secured throughout the access control lifecycle. Impro has included the Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) as standard to improve the security of data communications as well as interoperability with access control and other security products. Whether it’s GDPR or PoPIA, customers can reast easy that the platform is compliant.
Primo will hit the market with two popular biometric brands already integrated into the platform, IDEMIA and Control iD. For companies looking for mobile access solutions, HID’s Mobile Access platform is also part of the initial rollout.
These integrations are based on customer requirements and market demand, as well as Impro’s long-term relationships with these brands. However, Impro already has its eye on many more integration projects, both for biometric and mobile device access control, including integrations into ASSA ABLOY’s range of products. “It’s all about customer choice,” states Beires.
Primo is a web-based platform, so it can be accessed from almost any device. Ease of use was also a key factor in the development cycle, making it as simple as possible for installers to install and configure the system and get it running as quickly as possible with as few complications as possible. The new architecture of Primo will also allow for regular updates and enhancements every three months, allowing the product to adapt as customer requirements change.
Primo is currently in the final phases of user testing and will be released to market in July 2023.
For more information contact Impro Technologies, +27 31 717 0700, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.impro.net