Contactless identification technologies are increasingly used in today’s world. The term refers to all technologies used to make smart objects that communicate with the world around them. Guy Pluvinage understood the importance of this up-and-coming technology when he founded STid in 1996. His deft intuition paid off, because STid, now managed by Vincent Dupart, has become a market leader in corporate security services. How has a French enterprise become the benchmark setter in an international market? We asked Vincent Dupart to explain.
The French company STid and its team of 40 employees focus their business on protecting people and business data. STid makes security a top priority and was the first access control reader manufacturer to be awarded First Level Security Certification by the French Network and Information Security Agency (ANSSI). But Vincent Dupart’s ambitions were bigger still, “By using technology to meet security requirements, you are addressing a primary need – ensuring that anyone going through a door is authorised for entry. But when you analyse all user needs, the solution also has to be scalable, interoperable and extremely easy to use.”
Employees use their access badges an average of 11 times a day and 98 percent of them feel that this is a burdensome activity. Times are changing though, and people should no longer have to fumble around at the bottom of a bag or remember to get their badge out every time. STid has developed a new contactless identification system where a person’s smartphone is his door key. “A technological revolution is underway, based on interconnected resources, shifting access control towards new uses and new devices. Smartphones offer new ways of interacting with access readers and resolve issues generated by increasing staff mobility,” adds CEO Dupart.
These social changes have led STid to draw on its experience to develop the STid Mobile ID solution. STid Mobile ID has been developed with RFID, NFC and Bluetooth Smart technologies, transferring an access badge to a smartphone, to work alongside or replace traditional badge technologies.
These days, everyone comes to work with their mobile phone. “[Mobile] phones have become an essential everyday item, with all of the freedoms and functions they offer. Using smartphones can help employees accept the company security policy, by making usage instinctive and user friendly,” explains Vincent Dupart.
The virtual badge offers a range of intuitive and easy-to-use methods that can be tailored to any situation. Hands-free mode can be used for identification without requiring any user action, or other methods implemented, such as double-tapping the phone (even in the user’s pocket), or raising a hand to the reader, even if one is already on a call. This solution is the most instinctive on the market and has won STid three technology prizes, including the Gold Trophy at the 2016 Security Awards. The future is bright for STid. Its ability to think out of the box has enabled it to offer these user-friendly innovations.
STid, a French champion
In a challenging economic climate, STid has held its own and developed. Success has been due to the team’s ability to anticipate future needs and innovate, along with its unique and clear market positioning. “Our partners have chosen to remain free by adopting open technology, leaving them fully independent and in control of their security,” explains Vincent Dupart. The figures speak volumes. In the mature and competitive access control market, which saw four percent growth in 2016, STid grew by more than 20 percent.
New frontiers for 2017
Given the company’s development plans, it does not look likely that STid’s growth will slow any time soon. According to the latest forecast from the Gartner technology research and advisory firm, 20 percent of organisations will be using smartphones instead of traditional access badges within the next three years. STid’s corporate strategy is ambitious, but the approach taken on the ground fits these goals. “We have focused on developing innovative, high-value products before starting to invest in international sales development. That now leaves us in a strong position to penetrate new markets.”
In 2017, STid is setting its sights on North America, among other key markets.