Deploying Teleporte during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest adjustment in business operations in a generation. Authorities worldwide are asking everyone to stay home or to maintain a social distance from others if we need to go out. No one knows how this situation will evolve, how long until we get a vaccine, and what permanent effects will persist in a “new normal”.

At Sera4, while we can’t practically retool to make facemasks, we can help with social distancing and help to monitor remote sites when technicians visit less frequently. Teleporte’s keyless infrastructure means that you grant access virtually – no handing out keys, cards or fobs; no paper sign-in sheets. You can make your process more efficient and secure, while maintaining the social distance that is now required. 

A lot of people we speak with are concerned about the risks of going digital on something as important as site access control. No one wants a system that doesn’t work as intended every single time, and many people are afraid of the risks of a hacking attack. These are legitimate concerns, given the poor reliability of many new technologies and the steady stream of bad press about smartlock solutions that have been hacked.  

We are very aware of these concerns and work hard to address them. Starting from a security infrastructure that has its roots in BlackBerry, we have built Teleporte to be the most secure keyless access system, built on a patented system that uses digital certificate – just like internet banking. Having measured a 99.97% access success rate over the last 1 million openings on the Teleporte network worldwide, we maintain that Teleporte is as reliable as a traditional lock and key.

We’ve also made Teleporte a very safe and simple system to deploy. Being a cloud-based solution, it requires no IT integration project, no servers, no data connections, no power (in the case of our padlock), no maintenance routines. Just install a padlock or a lock controller on your door, enclosure or gate and visit teleporte.sera4.com to manage access. And that’s it!  

Contact us or our network of distributors and integrators to learn how Teleporte is the right solution to roll out in the face of social distancing. Or click here and take a look through some of our information to decide for yourself.

Teleporte 5.1 for Android: French Support

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of our Teleporte Mobile Application version 5.1 for Android. In addition to numerous minor usability and bug fixes, we now provide French language support natively in the app. Teleporte for iOS to follow shortly.

Teleporte Cloud Server 3.4 Launched

Cloud server 3.4 introduces one major new feature: 3.0 of the REST API.  This new API has additional security controls, allows for multi-organization control and surfaces new features and better performance than the existing API.  API onboarding and usage instructions can be found publicly at https://apidocs.sera4.com. Existing customers using the prior generation API will not be affected and a sunset date will be announced sometime in the future.

In addition, we have added support for flexible lock licensing. This feature tacks the exact license dates and features for each lock, allowing organizations to supplement additional locks with licenses at any time. Administrators may now see greyed out icons for features which can be enabled via additional licenses.

Finally, small feature fixes have also been implemented that target improved readability of reports, the usability of the administration dashboard as well as performance fixes for the download of digital keys to mobile devices.

Teleporte 5 now available for iOS

We’re excited to share that the Teleporte 5 mobile app for iOS is now available on the Apple App Store. This new release brings the current Teleporte experience to iPhone, aligning with the look and feel of the latest Android releases. This release is part of our ongoing commitment to compatibility with as many smartphones as possible.

Sera4 exhibiting at SICUR 2020

Together with our partner Jonyco, we are exhibiting at the SICUR 2020 tradeshow in Madrid.  Come and visit us to see and hear about the latest innovations in keyless access management at booth 10A01 from February 25 – 28, 2020.

Sera4 Exhibits at Distributech

Sera4 is Exhibiting for the first time at Distributech 2020 in San Antonio from January 28-30. Come and visit Sera4 at booth 4247 in the Ontario pavillion.

Access Digitization and 5G

The telecom industry has talked about little other than 5G for the past couple of years. All I hear about at IoT or telecom technology conferences is the potential of 5G and the opportunities with 5G. Despite all the hype, IoT 5G still seems to be stuck in the future.

I’m sure that the industry will eventually get there. So far however, I see few customers willing to pay for the costs of putting 5G inside their IoT applications.

These costs include:

  1. Adding an always-connected service to a device requires the addition of a LPWAN radio, including the chipset, firmware and antenna. These radio systems are not yet available at prices that will facilitate mass-market adoption.
  2. The power consumption of being always connected is falling, but is still high enough to seriously impact battery life in portable devices. Always connected portable devices either need to have bigger batteries or be recharged more often. Less time between charges is not attractive in remote mission-critical applications.
  3. The costs and time it takes to certify new wireless devices for use and for sale in each market.
  4. The ongoing cost of the wireless subscription service.

We have designed Teleporte to securely virtualize an IoT network through the smartphone. This approach has the obvious disadvantage that it’s not always connected and doesn’t serve real-time alarms in case of physical vandalism.  But the advantages in the design are numerous.

  • The current Teleporte system is fully redundant to the core network of our customers. This means that it is more resilient: working even when other networks are failing.
  • The battery life of portable or remote devices is much longer.
  • Products like this can be significantly less cost to deploy, both in the up-front costs and the ongoing costs of the 5G wireless connectivity service.

Our approach with Teleporte also provides a higher level of cyber-resilience than any always-connected device does:

  • Any nefarious hacking into our customer’s core networks doesn’t affect Teleporte and if any compromise was found on the Teleporte network it couldn’t be a vector into other sensitive networks. Access control data networks should be independent of the other systems. Cyber-attacks are routinely carried out through connected “smart” devices that seem to perform a tangential function.
  • A possible hacking attack with an always-connected device might try to reach all networked access points simultaneously. For example, to unlock all sites on a network. With a network topology like Teleporte, which requires physical presence at the node to make the connection, such an attack is extremely impractical as it would involve visiting each site at the same time otherwise there is no connectivity to carry out such an attack. With most cyber-attacks being conducted by AI today, the most secure form of defence is having the connection only when it is needed.

At Sera4, we participate in building a world of machine-to-machine connected devices. We are already innovating toward secure always-connected solutions in our labs that overcome the challenges described here and when it’s feasible such features will soon integrate seamlessly in the Teleporte network. We encourage those who want the benefits of IoT access devices and smartlocks to proceed today with confidence that today’s Teleporte networks are secure and pragmatic, and that Sera4 will remain at the forefront by introducing always-connected devices as soon as it’s commercially practical to do so.

Teleporte Android App 5.0

Today, Sera4 released version 5 of our Teleporte mobile app on the Google Play Store. Version 5 introduces full compatibility with the Teleporte Single Sign-On servers. From now on, users will sign in to the Teleporte app on their mobile phones and are be provided with the choice of organizations where they have memberships throughout the Teleporte network. In addition, there are a number of improvements in the user experience.

The Teleporte mobile app remains free for anyone with an Android device to download and use.

Announcing Teleporte Server 3.3

We’re happy to share that Teleporte Server 3.3 is released today. All Enterprise customers are going to have access to the new features immediately. Server 3.3 introduces a two new features.

Failsafe Unlock allows administrators to give a temporary access code for a specific lock that can provide access without a smartphone. This is useful in emergency situations where there is no data connectivity on a smartphone or a phone battery is dead. The event is still recorded on the Teleporte event logs with the user that the administrator specified when he provided the FSU code.

Enterprise smart lock maker Sera4 of Waterloo secures $1.5M financing from BDC Capital

KITCHENER and WATERLOO, November 4, 2019—Sera4 of Waterloo, Ontario has secured non-dilutive growth financing totalling 1.5 million dollars from BDC Capital’s Growth & Transition Capital division. Sera4 makes enterprise-grade locks that are opened wirelessly with authorized users’ smartphones. Its technology affords greater security and efficiency as there are no physical keys in circulation and no anonymous access.

Sera4 was founded in 2014 by Jerod Klink, a former software engineer at BlackBerry. He was joined two years later by David Coode, a senior manager at ON Semiconductor, who took on the role of CEO. Sera4 has enjoyed early success with substantial sales to telecommunications service providers and tower operators in Mexico. It is now expanding in North America and elsewhere in the world as well as penetrating other industries with critical installations requiring access control.

“BDC Capital’s financial support is an integral part of our overall growth plan at Sera4,” says CEO David Coode. “The financial products and advice from BDC fit perfectly with our needs at this stage, and dealing with BDC Capital has been a pleasure.”

This transaction was conducted by Mark Lunick, Director, Growth & Transition Capital for Southwestern Ontario at BDC Capital. “Sera4 has solved a big problem for companies that need to give controlled access to their critical infrastructure,” comments Lunick. “The market for Sera4’s technology is considerable. The go-to-market strategy that management is now deploying is very well thought out and includes a deep pipeline of potential customers.”

About Sera4

Sera4 Ltd. is a leading supplier of keyless physical access control for critical infrastructure. It provides cyber-resilient site access automation and identification at scale, solving real challenges in operations while reducing significant asset losses. Sera4 solutions currently secure customers throughout the Americas and in Africa. Sera4 is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario.

About BDC Capital

BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC—Canada’s only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. With more than $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most innovative firms. It offers a full spectrum of risk capital, from seed investments to transition capital, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who wish to scale their businesses into global champions. Visit bdc.ca/capital.