An integrated access control system performs multiple functions in different industries. The article demonstrates how it is applied in some industries, such as office, retail and banks.
Office Security and Management
Human resource (HR) management also benefits from integration in access control systems.Eric Joseph,Manager of Architectural, Engineering and Consultant Support Services at Lenel System International ( a UTC Fire & Security company) pointed out that all demographic information that HR departments enter for new hires into their databases, such as names and departments, can be automatically transferred into the security management system so there is no need to duplicate data implementation. This greatly reduces the chance of errors and improves overall efficiency.
"Security systems can provide valuable information to the customer. Information about arrival and departure of employees, number of employees in a specific area, and the location of an employee within the facility are all valuable pieces of information that can be easily gleaned from the security management system," added Joseph.
If an employee's title is IT department manager, this information in the HR database is transferred to the access control database so that the employee is granted a specific access level based on the position, such as authorized access to the restricted server room.
Another application is attendance control. Prior to the implementation of the integrated system, a Korean police station was keeping records of its officers' daily meeting attendance using handwritten reports a sometimes inaccurate and tiresome process. "Now, the officers only need to scan their cards at the portable controller before the meeting, and the management software automatically generates a report right after the forum," said a representative from IDTECK.
Membership Management in Gym
Other applications are possible. As the 24-hour health club business is booming, gym owners must better manage physical access control and customer databases. "Health club member and billing management software actually drives our access control system," said Jerry Graciano, Manager of Development Partnerships at Brivo, "and data that is entered into billing management needs to be entered only once. After that, data migrates in real time to the access control server."
The access solution also enables users to receive email alerts and notifications or cell phone messages and then access the system (billing management and physical access control system) on line as both are web-hosted. "They now have the single point of data entry," pointed out Graciano.
Gas Station Monitoring and Cashless Payment
As gas prices have sky rocketed, companies that distribute credits to designated employees must do more than control purchases with honor systems. An access control reader can now be installed on gas pumps to help gas stations monitor use. "The user has to swipe the company gasoline card and key in the mileage," said David Benhammou, President of CDVI.
"The access control reader communicates with gas pumps so that number of liters sold is automatically recorded and sent to the user's company. This will become a major market as energy prices continue to soar," added Benhammou. "Gas stations in Europe are now required by law to install cameras to monitor safety. Those cameras can also be used to record, enabling station staff to check if users are the valid card holder by comparing images against photos stored in the access control database. They can also check license plate information to see if the vehicle is the designated car.
Now, all rental agents use a common interface to assign parking; agents are allocated an inventory of parking spaces and unused spaces are pooled and made available at designated times, said Graciano. Guests receive a parking permit to display on their vehicles. Each permit has a microchip, which can be programmed remotely by the rental management agent. The chip can be programmed to contain a variety of data, including check-in and check-out dates. Parking management software can also be integrated to manage reservations and credentials for common areas such as spas and fitness centers.
A representative from VMC House, a cashless payment solution provider, explained that ¨smart card users can load value onto the card using an electronic money loader. This card can then be used to make purchases at vending machines, staff restaurants or any point-of-sale (PoS) terminal located within the business or on the premises.
IDTECK integrated its portable access control controller with a catering software program, together they allow officers scanning their proximity cards before ordering meals at cafeteria. The management software tracks meal costs, automatically calculating the correct amount to deduct from employee salary, saving the hassle of HR personnel counting themselves.
Financial and Retail
Promising market sectors for integrated access control include financial and retail. The biggest security concern for banks is information. The complexity and sensitivity of personal banking information are extremely high; users can access and protect information, for example, with integrated solutions like Novel and Imprivata (ID management software). "If users don't have access to the door, they don't have access to the information. The possibility of having someone hack into bank information systems using a false VPN is thus minimized," said Vineet Nargolwala, Managing Director of Honeywell Systems Group EMEA.
"Integrated access applications are more often seen in the retail vertical, which benefits most from sharing data," said Leonard. "With access control, video, intrusion and information management, users not only monitor entry and exit of personnel, but also supervise delivery and dropoff of goods, flow of customers, PoS databases and customer information."