In today’s world, the “open campus” — whether an office complex, school or other type of business — is increasingly a thing of the past. Mass tragedies such as the Parkland school shooting are an extreme example of why it is more important than ever to make sure you know exactly who is visiting your facility and why, but other issues have driven the market forward over the years as well, from business espionage to theft. But for facilities that already incorporate an access control system, adding visitor management sometimes presents complications for the security integrator.
Do you go with a third-party option and integrate it with the access control and HR database, or a stand-alone product? Do the visitor management features in the existing access control platform provide all that the customer needs? What about newer technologies such as cloud?
“Traditionally visitor management [was] a separate third-party product sporadically synchronized with an access control platform that required integrators to become experts on multiple systems for both installation and maintenance purposes,” says Jeffrey Barkley, senior product manager, security products, building technologies and solutions, Johnson Controls, Westford, Mass. “This can be challenging for those integrators for whom visitor management isn’t a day-to-day installation.”
Visitor management is becoming increasingly important to users, Barkley adds. This has led several prominent access control manufacturers to beef up their visitor management offerings, which were sometimes referred to as “visitor management lite” in the past.
“Access control systems seek to control which identities have access to various secure areas within an organization, and a visitor management system is an essential part of any access control program,” says Jonathan Moore, senior director of enterprise solutions, AMAG Technology, Torrance, Calif. “The access control industry is seeing growth in the deployment of visitor management systems due to factors such as an increased awareness of the risk of data breaches and organizational theft, increased regulations requiring visitor data to be tracked and stored, and also due to new technology such as mobile tablets and devices providing additional options and functionality that enhance the visitor experience.”
Third-party manufacturers of visitor management platforms and software are also noting these trends, and offer a wider range of integrations with access control manufacturers. “The trend in security has been for more advanced end-to-end security solutions,” says Phil Mantia, senior account manager, STOPware Inc., Pleasanton, Calif. “[Our] comprehensive visitor management system integrates with over 30 major access control systems.” This allows security integrators to provide a complete solution that meets all security, compliance and regulatory requirements, as well as interfacing with other systems to allow the management of all systems from one machine, he adds.
“Visitor management and other similar add-ons offer up an opportunity to sell more than just door hardware and installation services to clients,” adds Evan Tree, CEO, ProdataKey, Salt Lake City, Utah. “It provides a method for integrators to secure more recurring revenue, expand penetration with the organization beyond safety and security, and provide more overall value to the end users.”
From cloud-based offerings to integrations, native offerings and more, featured on these pages are some of the latest visitor management products from access control manufacturers as well as third-party providers.
AMAG’s Web-Based Visitor Management Automates Processes
Symmetry GUEST visitor management system from AMAG Technology is a Web-based software platform that improves and streamlines the visitor experience while enforcing security policies. GUEST operates on most tablets, smartphones or PCs as well as most Web browsers, allowing for easy pre-registration of visitors. Symmetry GUEST will automatically create barcode credentials and assign them to each visitor on the fly, as well as allow companies to assign their chosen credentials. The system supports VIP visits and temporary badges for employees. The integration with Symmetry (AMAG’s access control platform) also lets GUEST administrators create reports on events, transactions and visitor status records. Sophisticated reporting capabilities allow companies to meet the strict audit and compliance requirements demanded by regulated industries.
“Security integrators will find Symmetry GUEST easy to install and implement, and intuitive to use,” Moore says. GUEST is a good source of recurring revenue with a small on-site footprint.”
Vanderbilt’s Cloud-Based Access Control Includes Visitor Management
ACT365 is a comprehensive, next-generation cloud-based access control and video management solution that enables end users to manage their security infrastructure from any device at any time. The solution allows users to remotely control and manage access to their facilities without the expense and addition of dedicated IT expertise. ACT365 offers a cost-effective solution that allows end users the ability to remotely access and manage access control and video investments from a single platform on any Internet-enabled device, making it easy to modify or grant access, pull reports and monitor alarms from anywhere at any time. Real-time management allows the kind of flexibility that end users need to instantly protect people and assets in the event of an emergency. Reporting is also made easy by offering users the ability to access reports instantly without relying on a server that might be down.
STOPware Updates PassagePoint Global for Hospitals’ Unique Security Challenges
STOPware Inc. now includes features to manage outpatients and hospital visitors via a kiosk. PassagePoint integrates with a hospital’s HL7 system to automatically create pre-registration visits for outpatient visits. The outpatients can follow a simple procedure at the kiosk:
- After scanning their government-issued identification, the outpatient can see all their scheduled visits display on the kiosk screen.
- The outpatient chooses the current visit and an RFID-encoded visitor badge is printed that integrates with the hospital’s access control system.
- The RFID badge contains an integrated circuit and an antenna, which are used to transmit data to the RFID reader. The readers receive the information from the RFID tag and the doors automatically open to areas where the outpatient has access.
This kiosk/RFID configuration also works for visitors to inpatient areas, hospital employees and the cafeteria. The visitor simply chooses their category from the kiosk welcome screen and is presented with the appropriate screens for scanning their ID, choosing a patient or location to visit, and receives a printed RFID badge.
Replace Paper Logs With Native Visitor Management Application From Johnson Controls
C•CURE 9000 Visitor Management from Johnson Controls enhances the safety and security of people and buildings by replacing paper-based visitor log books with a consistently standardized approach for physical access — natively. C•CURE 9000 provides a standardized approach for physical access authorization through a formal visit and visit site policy management. Authorized operators and internal hosts can then create and manage their visitors from invitation through checkout. As an integral part of C•CURE 9000, visitor information is automatically logged and available as part of regular business reports and critical forensic investigations. A self-service visitor kiosk is optionally available for visitors to use on arrival to check in and automatically notify the host of their arrival.
Cypress Barcode Scanner Kits Provide Plug & Play Solutions for Visitor Management Systems
The Cypress Barcode Scanner kit provides a trouble-free solution for adding visitor management to existing access control systems. Integrators and end users can quickly add visitor management to legacy card access control systems. The TSP-3100 laser scanner kit reads one-dimensional barcodes, while the TSP-2104 optical scanner kit reads multiple barcode formats and QR codes.
“Integrators and their customers both benefit from a low-cost and easy-to-install solution for visitor management,” says Paul Ahern, CEO of Cypress Integration Solutions. “The Barcode Scanner kit allows companies to control access and track visitors using inexpensive and disposable barcode credentials instead of expensive RFID access cards.”
savance-pdk-visitor-management-kiosk-in-lobby_2.jpeg PDK & Savance Offer Integrated Solutions For Access Control & Business Automation
ProdataKey (PDK), a cloud-based networked/wireless access control products and services provider, and Savance, a provider of business automation and employee tracking solutions, entered into an integration partnership last fall. This partnership offers customers comprehensive and fully scalable solutions that combine access control with business management and automation, as well as visitor management. By integrating PDK’s cloud-based access control solutions with Savance’s EIOBoard brand of business automation solutions — including electronic in/out status boards, emergency mustering, staff tracking, time & attendance, and visitor management — the PDK/Savance partnership provides added functionality and value to both companies’ lines of products. The combined solutions are modular in nature and customizable to any type of business and its specific needs.
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