Blank Rome migrates to Symmetry SR solution

Blank Rome migrates to Symmetry SR solution
When Blank Rome, a 70 year old prestigious law firm, learned its existing access control system was end of life, Director of Information Security, Robert Weaver, was faced with a decision. Should Blank Rome continue using its current system, Facility Commander, where getting replacement parts would become expensive and difficult to source, or should they consider a new alternative?

Weaver turned to its longtime partner and integrator, The Protection Bureau, for an answer. Together, Weaver and The Protection Bureau President, J. Matthew Ladd, reviewed the pros and cons of staying with Facility Commander, or upgrading their system and installing AMAG Technology’s Symmetry SR Retrofit Controller system. The Symmetry SR Retrofit solution offered an easy and affordable upgrade path. Blank Rome could keep their existing hardware, saving thousands of dollars, and upgrade to a state-of-the-art access control system that would expand as their company grew. Having a system that could grow with them was important as the company is currently adding more offices.

Blank Rome required a centralized enterprise access control system to limit access throughout their offices and protect their physical assets. Symmetry would secure nine locations and be managed from one office. Remote monitoring and identity management were critical requirements for the system.

The Symmetry SR Retrofit solution allowed Blank Rome to use their existing card readers, cards, locks, request to exit devices and enclosures. The Protection Bureau converted their database and easily changed out every controller. The Protection Bureau and Blank Rome worked closely throughout a lengthy pre-planning phase to ensure project success. The conversion would be done live, while the current system was running. This was no easy task. 

Blank Rome’s current system had been installed since 1997, and The Protection Bureau’s knowledge of the system was important to the success of the conversion. A conservative hardware timeframe was established, and The Protection Bureau was able to accelerate that dramatically once they saw how quickly the panels were swapping out. The Protection Bureau built a parallel system, installed the new software and approximately seven clients to prepare the environment prior to the conversion.

A month before the conversion, The Protection Bureau provided a one-day training for Weaver and his security team where they learned the system and went over troubleshooting, maintenance and badge creation. Blank Rome found Symmetry access control software easy to learn and use.

Cloning the environment took a week of reprogramming hardware components using the old system as a template. All cardholders and access levels were migrated from the old system to the new Symmetry SR system. Once the migration was complete and Symmetry software online, The Protection Bureau manually programmed each site location including each controller, reader, input and output. 

The Protection Bureau and Blank Rome carefully timed the card export to coordinate with business operations. The card export of 1200 cardholders took a day and a half, which was quick, and the staff didn’t notice the seamless changeover.

Blank Rome was the first large-scale SR retrofit opportunity for The Protection Bureau. They dove in and completed nine sites throughout the US and one in Shanghai, China. Their familiarity with the product helped make the conversion go smoothly.

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