Interview with Bernhard Mehl, CEO at Kisi (Industry-leading Physical Security System for Modern Facilities)
Access control is a burning topic for all coworking spaces. Why is it important to automate access to your coworking space? Because this adds an extra layer of security, helps to establish certain rules of using a coworking space, and makes your space available for members 24/7.
If you are using a modern coworking space management app, like andcards, it won't be an issue to integrate access control system into it. Did you already think about it? Maybe even talked to the software vendor?
Then, the developers have probably offered you to consider access control system from Kisi, as one of the best options available on the market these days. We went even further and asked Bernhard Mehl, CEO at Kisi to answer some interview questions for our readers.
Do you agree that interviews are fun and easy to read yet they still give us all the insights we are looking for? Great! Let's start.
Helga: Please tell us a bit about the company. How long are you on the market?
Bernhard: We provide a mobile-first, cloud-based physical security platform to spaces around the world. Businesses of every size and industry use our hardware and software to secure their space, streamline operations and build a vibrant office culture.
In 2012, Kisi’s three co-founders created the first prototype — since then Kisi has been installed in corporate buildings, unmanned facilities, coworking spaces, air force innovation labs, cannabis facilities, warehouses, and preschools.
Helga: What main obstacles did you face on your way to success?
Bernhard: We’re on a mission to arm your members with a keyless access solution, a system that removes the stress of lost fobs, wasted time and promotes a sense of security. We believe this brightens the workday for coworking members and visitors, enabling them to feel in control and autonomous with Kisi’s on-demand access. Obstacles we found pursuing this mission were mainly an old mindset around what physical security is and how it's used which made one of our goals to re-educate the market.
Helga: Please present us your product in a few sentences.
Bernhard: Our cloud-based system updates in real-time, so it can evolve and scale as fast as your business, allowing admins to remotely grant or revoke access in seconds. Employees gain authenticated entry to the office in less than one second (using their smartphone or the card credential of their choice), while admins receive real-time data from Kisi’s dashboard about how their spaces are utilized along with the peace of mind that their colleagues and belongings are secure.
Helga: What features of your access control system can be considered unique/innovative/revolutionary?
Bernhard: The modern office is flexible, and so is Kisi. Admins have full in-house control with directory and device fleet management integrations, over-the-air updates and an open API for companies to create their own solution. Corporate facilities, warehouses, manufacturing plants, places of worship, fitness centers, shared workspaces — they come in different shapes and sizes but, more importantly, they experience different security risks and access needs.
Kisi’s door timer scheduling, digital visitor log, and access groups simplify the most problematic physical layouts, compliance standards, and enterprise-grade requirements.
Helga: Why using your product is beneficial for coworking spaces?
Bernhard: It starts with the most powerful sensor in the building — your phone. It authenticates who you are and securely grants you access to Kisi-equipped spaces. Our enterprise-grade system is built for companies that focus on great user experience while, on the backend, we provide physical security as a service that only begins with access control — or as we say — a better office that starts at the door.
For using cloud-based access control for coworking spaces three advantages stand out:
- Increase revenue by using on-demand access control for promotional campaigns for your space,
- Make sure all your members are paying by tying access control to your paying members in the CRM and
- Allow for 24/7 secure access using mobile credentials.
Helga: Is it easy to integrate your ACS with a coworking system?
Bernhard: Kisi integrates with all major coworking solutions and those are typically an out-of-the-box experience. This means coworking operators can just link up Kisi to their CRM and make sure everyone who is a paying member automatically has access.
Helga: What hardware does a coworking space need to implement your system?
Bernhard: The Kisi product family consists of two main parts: The Kisi reader that is installed at the door to enable access to Kisi provided credentials and the door controller that is connected to wired electronic locks which one of our partner installers can install.
Helga: You constantly improve your product. What is the biggest thing implemented recently?
Bernhard: We are releasing features and product updates in two-week sprint cycles. With our recently re-launched Apps, we quickly became the best rated mobile access systems on both platforms: iOS and Android.
Helga: Where do you see your company in three years?
Bernhard: We believe the real estate transformation into becoming an on-demand product is just the beginning at the moment. In three years we believe any landlord will have adopted a real estate as a service strategy and Kisi will play a major part in this transformation.
Many thanks to Bernhard for his comprehensive answers and to Ashley who made this interview possible. Wish all their business plans come true.