Cloud or on-prem? Proprietary or non-proprietary hardware? When it comes to choosing the right access control system, IT and security teams face more options than ever before. It’s important to match the needs of your facility with the features of potential access control systems.

But what are the key features to look for when evaluating a new access control system? 

In this article, we’ll compare and evaluate the functionalities of the two cloud-based access control providers Genea and Avigilon Alta (formerly Openpath). 

Upgrading Your Avigilon Alta Access Control System

How compatible is your access control software for system upgrades? Will you be able to upgrade your access control systems and switch service providers without being forced to rip and replace the existing hardware?

This is one of the areas Genea outscores Avigilon Alta. Genea runs on non-proprietary hardware from major hardware brands such as Mercury, HID and STiD. It means you can easily switch to Genea and upgrade the existing access control infrastructure with almost no extra cost. But, this isn’t possible with Avigilon Alta. Since Avigilon Alta operates on 100% proprietary controllers and smart readers, you may need to spend a massive amount on replacing your existing hardware if you plan to migrate from Avigilon Alta to another service provider.

Genea and Avigilon Alta Integrations

Your access control system should integrate well with third-party systems. Integration areas include:

  • Video Management
  • Identity Management
  • Visitor Management
  • Notification Systems
  • Parking
  • Elevators

Both Genea and Avigilon Alta offer flexible integrations with third parties. For instance, you will get a similar suite of identity management integrations with systems like Azure Active Directory, Google Workspace (G-Suite) and Okta. However, the advantage of Genea is that it offers these at no extra cost.

Genea works with video management systems such as Rhombus Systems, Cisco Meraki, and Eagle Eye Networks to bring in features such as facial recognition, activity logs, door mapping, Slack notifications, video GIFs, and event snapshots. Additionally, Genea’s technical support team will closely work with your IT team to set up API integrations. With Avigilon Alta, you are forced to deal with a hardware integrator that is unfamiliar with API integrations.

Customer Support: Genea or Avigilon Alta

Having a global service provider is vital when you are managing physical access control operations. A global service provider will take care of your ongoing support requirements and software updates. Genea offers 24/7/365 direct support team whereas this is not offered by Avigilon Alta.

You may be forced to work with different groups of systems integrators that may take time to coordinate themselves and resolve issues.


Both Genea and Avigilon Alta offer cutting-edge access control technologies such as cloud-based access control and mobile access control that enhance the security of the building while improving the ease of access for users. They both will accommodate different types of access credentials, including keycards, fobs, biometrics, and mobile credentials.  

Both of them support advanced techniques such as rule-based access control, role-based access control, multi-factor authentication (MFA), triple unlock technology, and so on. Another major benefit of these two systems is that they support all types of smart credential technologies like MiFare Desfire EV2 + HID SEOS.

Which Industries Use Avigilon Alta

Let’s explore the suitability of Genea Security and Avigilon Alta for various industries, including commercial real estate (CRE), enterprises, healthcare, retail, and education.

Genea Security for Enterprises

The way enterprises operate has changed significantly as there is an increased need to facilitate hybrid workplaces that increase the ease of access to employees while protecting their critical assets.

Genea has a range of access control solutions, including Custom Roles, Custom Reporting, Badge Design and Printing, Mobile Access Control and more. These tools, designed especially to help enterprises, efficiently operate, scale, and secure their physical spaces. For instance, mobile access control enhances the convenience of employees by allowing them to use their near-field communication (NFC) or Bluetooth low energy (BLE)-enabled mobile phone or Apple Watch to unlock doors. Avigilon Alta security system also offers a range of adaptable corporate and enterprise access control solutions with features such as touchless access, real-time visibility and remote lockdown capabilities.

Commercial Real Estate

Genea offers cutting-edge access control technologies designed to improve the operational efficiency of CREs. They help CREs slash admin times and reduce access control costs while improving the tenant experience. Many CRE leaders, including Transwestern, CBRE, JLL, and Starwood Capital Group have been using Genea’s products for the past few years.

Avigilon Alta’s access control products may also be well-suited for CREs. Avigilon Alta helps CREs reduce operational costs and increase the security of their buildings through multi-layered security for both front-end and back-end offices.

A primary difference between the two lies in Genea Tenant Portals. With Tenant Portals, property managers can put the power of access control management into the hands of their tenants. For example, if a recently hired employee needs to be provisioned, the tenant’s IT or security team can fulfill the task. Without Tenant Portals, the team would have to submit a request to the property manager and wait for them to provision the employee. 


Healthcare has a unique environment where the staff, patients, and visitors are vulnerable to physical threats and infections.

Genea offers a cloud-based access control solution that helps hospitals automate and strengthen their physical security. With features such as a globalized dashboard for total oversight, remote access, emergency door plans, visitor access management, and pre-arrival health questionnaires, Genea’s cloud-based access control is a perfect fit for the healthcare sector. Genea also facilitates integrations of video management and visitor management systems to provide enhanced security for hospitals.

Avigilon Alta’s access control is compatible with healthcare organizations also. With its cloud software, Avigilon Alta can streamline staff access to various facilities such as diagnostic rooms, procedure rooms, and ICUs. With Avigilon Alta, hospitals can provide guest passes to visitors, granting them temporary access to some facilities in the building.


Retail organizations have been facing issues such as shoplifting and employee theft for the last few decades. For instance, organized retail crime costs around $700,000 per $1 billion in sales.

Genea’s cloud-based access control helps retail organizations safeguard their margins by reducing incidents such as employee theft and shoplifting. For instance, The integration between Genea Security and a high-definition video surveillance system with a facial recognition feature will enable a feature that sends an alert to security managers whenever a known shoplifter visits one of the supermarket chain’s locations throughout the globe. This functionality helps retail companies minimize organized theft.

Avigilon Alta systems are also a perfect fit for retail environments. Its access control software helps retail companies streamline hands-free access for employees and monitor access activities from a remote location. Retailers can also set door schedules for work hours and holidays with Avigilon Alta.


Educational institutions have become soft targets of intruders, thieves, and active shooters.  For instance, 27,300 criminal incidents were reported on campuses of post-secondary institutions in the United States in 2019.    

Genea security solutions come with a range of functionalities such as emergency lockdown, automated door plans, and integrated video security that keep the students on the campus safe from intruders and active shooters. Genea also helps schools and universities safeguard their high-risk areas such as music rooms, computer labs, store rooms, and gym storage from theft.

Avigilon Alta, similar to Genea, will also help schools and colleges protect their students and staff from intruders and thieves through its access control software that comes with features such as remote lockdown, temporary access to users during off-hours, and attendance tracking.

See Genea Security in Action 

Both Genea and Avigilon Alta enhance building security while providing seamless access to users. Avigilon Alta’s access control consists of cloud-based software, proprietary hardware, and integrations with various third-party vendors. However, the problem with proprietary hardware is that it limits scalability. Additionally, Genea offers free out-of-the-box integrations to unit your security ecosystem.

Genea facilitates seamless integrations with third-party vendors, and provides 24/7/365 customer support.

Want to learn more about Genea’s access control solutions? Book a demo today!

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