What does it take to set up cloud-based visitor management systems?

What does it take to set up cloud-based visitor management systems?
While many businesses still rely on manual methods to manage visitor access, cloud-based visitor management systems (VMS) can automate check-in processes without the need for extensive investment in hardware and software.
 
Stable internet connectivity is a must if a cloud-based VMS is to function smoothly. A VMS also requires a touchscreen tablet (with off-the-shelf devices like iPads an option) to function as an interactive check-in kiosk.
 
Companies may also choose a display stand — such as a desk stand, floor stand or wall mount — to house a tablet. A display stand “present[s] a polished check-in kiosk to greet visitors upon their arrival,” said Andy Alsop, President and CEO of The Receptionist, a cloud-based VMS vendor.
 
The third component that is often included in a VMS is a visitor badge printer.
 
“All in all, these hardware investments should be fairly nominal and are often available through a visitor management system vendor with the potential for discounts,” Alsop said.
 
Envoy, whose clients include Nike, Pinterest and Accenture, offers a VMS with the option to purchase iPads, printers and other hardware.
 
Nexus Group, a digital access solution provider, offers touch screens, badge printers as well as consumables like plastic pockets, lanyards, clips, etc. to carry visitor badges. 

Advantages of using the cloud

Most vendors believe cloud-based VMS’s straightforward architecture makes installation relatively simple.
 
“As we take the full responsibility for the installation there are few issues the end user needs to worry about. There are things that must be prepared prior to the installation such as access/right to network and connected PCs,” said Ann-Christin Barck, Product Marketing Manager of Nexus Group.
 
Biometrics identity solution provider M2SYS Technology’s Team Lead Shaon Shahnewaz, who handles the company’s digital marketing, said a cloud-based application like M2SYS’s VisitorTrack “removes hardware expenses, as M2SYS provides hardware,” adding there was “no need to buy, install, configure, and maintain servers, databases, and other components of your runtime environment.”
Teh Ke Huan,
Business Development Manager,
TimeTec


Teh Ke Huan, Business Development Manager of TimeTec, said the company’s VMS eliminated the need for on-site cables and specialized computers, as well as updates and maintenance for such devices, given users could access cloud-based software via an internet browser.
 
“Based on our experience on doing cloud-based solutions for four years, many users feel weird that we do not install anything in their local software. However, after they have been using the system for quite a while, they understand the concept and feel comfortable with cloud,” Teh said.

Security concerns

Concerns over security and data privacy may see companies opt for an on-premises system instead of a cloud-based system, according to Russ Thau, VP Revenue and Success at Envoy. Thau said this could be addressed “by ensuring that your vendor is SOC 2 and GDPR compliant, meaning they have the highest data privacy and security standards.”
 
Companies could build a more robust system and enable smooth workplace operation by integrating VMS with enterprise software, Thau said. Envoy offers integration with tools like Slack, Dropbox, Okta. One of its clients is marketing automation platform company MailChimp, which uses Hipchat for internal employee communication. With Envoy’s service, MailChimp staff can be notified directly through Hipchat when visitors check in.


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