6 min read

It’s Time to Retrofit the Way You Think About Rip-and-Replace Access Control

Access control system manufacturers have been singing the same old song for a long time now: Our software is better than their software. Just rip out all of your perfectly good readers. Replace all of your credentials with our more secure ones, and we’ll show you!

Not exactly a Top 40 classic. But it’s one they’ve had playing on repeat for the last three decades.

The concept of interoperable access systems has long been the field’s mythic holy grail. Yet despite wild promises and claims, there is yet to be a solution that allows for a truly agnostic reader and credential experience.

Until now.

Zerv is a one-of-a-kind technology that unifies all access control readers from any manufacturer into one seamless solution.

The antithesis of “rip and replace,” Zerv technology adapts to any existing access control hardware and converts legacy physical badges like key fobs, into modern secure credentials. The cost-efficient retrofit means mature access readers can now communicate with nearby smartphones and report insights to a centralized hub. 

In addition to updating existing infrastructure into a more secure, more convenient, and more reliable access solution, Zerv is a treasure trove of insightful data that can be used to lower operational costs and maximize smart building efficiencies.


Disparate access control systems? A mix of old and new readers and lock hardware? An overload of proprietary physical badges that only work on your outdated readers?

Keep them. Seriously.

Zerv modernizes your existing access infrastructure, creating digital clones of the physical credentials which have already been deployed: fobs, security badges, key cards; you name it. The technology takes only seconds to install per reader, and the cost savings are unparalleled.

Zerv can also convert existing readers into mobile-ready readers so they can support both existing physical badges and new mobile credentials. The antiquated chore of replacing readers and credentials is inevitably time-consuming, incredibly expensive, and painfully proprietary.


The physical credentials we’ve become reliant on carrying many inherent vulnerabilities. Migrating to mobile credentials mitigates many of these risks, including card cloning and tailgating or just having a fob gets lost or stolen.

Combining the power of mobile credentials with multi-factor authentication such as biometrics creates an impermeable access solution that never goes out of date. With Zerv, the endless cycle of replacing hardware with hardware because technology continues to evolve has finally run its course.

As for building security, Zerv takes a proactive approach with real-time access logs. Integrated with a building management system (BMS), this data offers a precise picture of who is using a property, and when and where they’re accessing it. In an emergency situation, such as a fire, that information can allow security to have eyes on exactly where people are in the building and assist in streamlining life-saving efforts. 

Insightful Data

According to Allied Market Research, the global sensor market is estimated to reach $345.77 billion by 2028.

Enormous amounts of capital are being invested to capture insightful data about how people are using a space. With Zerv technology, every single hard swipe (physical badge) and soft swipe (mobile credential) can be reported in real-time and translated to make a BMS smarter.

Standard BMS relies on assumption-based data and motion sensors to make decisions for spaces, like when to turn on or off HVAC systems and lights. Zerv can provide more insightful data based on what’s actually happening right now in the building to make these decisions.

For example, instead of assuming someone will enter an office building at 7 a.m., Zerv can tell you and your BMS exactly when someone parks their car in the adjacent lot. This allows you and your systems to make more informed decisions based on real-time data rather than depending on costly assumptions.

Zerv in Action

Zerv is working with a flagship building in New York City that is leveraging our technology to reduce utility costs by 75%.

Not only have they reduced operational costs and maximized smart building efficiencies; they’re also increasing security and elevating their users’ experience by allowing them to move seamlessly throughout the building.

And all it took was a fast, easy integration between Zerv and their BMS.

Why Now?

We have become consumers addicted to the immediacy of results, we have also become keenly aware that we only need to be paying for what we use (thank you, cloud).

To top it off, we are in the middle of a worldwide electronic component shortage that has impacted our ability to source products when we need them. As we approach 2022, the landscape of physical security is finally shifting as these forces require adaptation and flexibility in deeply entrenched industries.

Consumers are driving the demand to stop the wasteful and unnecessarily expensive security practices which have dominated the past 20 years. Zerv is the bridge that will take us to this sought-after realm of interoperability and affordable access.