About 20 years ago, when Dmitry Slepov started an access control distribution and installation business, the first thing that struck him was how inept the products were. His dream, since then, had been to reach a position where he could supply a much more efficient, reliable, and sophisticated access control solution.
Now, that dream is being realized through his company Tibbo Technology, of which he is the co-founder and managing director.
Based in Taiwan, Tibbo designs, produces, and markets a line of embedded Internet-of-Things (IoT) modules and external controllers. The company also has its own purpose-built, super-compact operating system known as Tibbo OS (TiOS), a powerful development software called Tibbo IDE (TIDE), and a cloud IoT platform called AggreGate. In other words, Tibbo provides a complete ecosystem, where no third-party hardware or software is needed.
"With the flexibility of AggreGate IoT platform and the versatility of Tibbo Project System, we offer solutions tailored to the customer's unique requirements."
-Dmitry Slepov, MD, Tibbo Technology
Tibbo’s latest line of industrial controllers, known as the Tibbo Project System (TPS), is a modular system based on miniature color-coded I/O modules called Tibbits. TPS allows the company’s customers to create their own unique controller configurations by plugging in the Tibbits they need.
“Need a certain I/O function? Install the right Tibbit,” Slepov explained. “Have no use for something? There is no need to have it on your device. This module-based approach saves our customers money by allowing them to precisely define the features they require in their automation
What makes TPS all the more attractive is its elegant design with striking color combinations. “The market is full of dull gray boxes,” said Slepov. “We want to breathe life into this colorless market. Good design helps our customers relate to Tibbo’s products at a deeper level.”
The company’s AggreGate IoT platform serves as a strong base for all this hardware. AggreGate takes care of acquiring, storing, processing, and visualizing data from connected devices, and integrates them into the enterprise. Devices connected to AggreGate may be Tibbo’s own products or third-party hardware communicating through standard protocols.
Such a powerful combination of AggreGate and TPS enables Tibbo to offer compelling, tailored IoT and cloud solutions for a number of vertical markets. One such solution is their access control offering.
Access control with infinite possibilities
The access control market is saturated with products today, and nobody knows this better than Slepov himself. What he also understands is that most of these products are simple, low-end devices that lack sophistication, imagination, and execution.
“Most access control products are really not all that secure anyway,” Slepov said. “It is not so difficult to break or circumvent them. I can argue that a lot of access control products actually give their owners a fake sense of security. In this regard access control devices and what they can do are somewhat misunderstood by a lot of folks.”
The role of access control solutions today is not as much about security as it is about compliance with laws and regulations. Corporate bosses, these days, are rarely worried about an armed assault, but issues of compliance are constantly on their minds.
“Say you have construction workers and the law limits the time they can work per day to a single shift,” Slepov continued. “It is not enough to tell your workers that they aren’t supposed to work over X hours per day. As their employer, you must actively prevent them from exceeding the limit.”
Ensuring compliance is a complicated process. There are job inductions, expiry and retraining, worktime tracking, visitor tracking, escorting rules, and several other factors to consider. Decision-making on granting or denying access is far more challenging than it was before and often needs to be customized to a particular site and the country it is in.
“AggreGate, with its flexible structure, is perfectly suited for this kind of work,” said Slepov. “Most of our installations are customized to the needs of our clients. Almost nothing is cast in stone. We will work with our customers and partners and implement business rules according to each site’s needs. AggreGate offers unparalleled flexibility in handling today’s compliance challenges.”
Making Tibbo’s access control system ever more unique is its ease of connecting various features to it, bringing it right under the paradigm of the Internet of Things (IoT). “Security systems and access control used to be isolated islands within the organization,” Slepov continued. “In the old days access control used to be managed solely by security departments, but now it is more of an IT play. Now, everything gets interconnected with everything else. This is what IoT is really all about.”
“Our client may start talking to us about an access control system, and this conversation will quickly expand into building automation, then into HVAC management, and so on,” Slepov said. With the inherent flexibility of the AggreGate platform and TPS devices, Tibbo can deploy a system that is tailored to their client’s needs and takes full advantage of the heterogeneous nature of the TPS+AggreGate architecture.
Adding value to IoT
The technology world is fast moving toward intelligent devices that connect and communicate with each other. This is set to radically increase the demands on solution providers and their products, but Tibbo has always been well-positioned to take full advantage of it.
“We put substance into the phrase IoT,” Slepov said. “What we now call IoT was known as embedded modules, network enabled devices, etc., 10 years ago. Even before IoT as a term caught on, we were in this business.”
In short, what Tibbo offers its customers is a strong hardware and software base, and the flexibility to build unique, tailored solutions upon this foundation. Technologically, this flexibility empowers Tibbo’s customers to have infinite combinations of solutions. That Tibbo does it with such aesthetically designed products is the icing on the cake. www.tibbo.com