Assets of the city of Madison, Wisc., are protected by a team of security and technology experts whose responsibility includes everything from assigning rights to software use to protecting taxpayer data to securing buildings and people, and more. When officials were unable to lock down a building during an emergency due to technical issues and the company who installed it said they could not provide on-site support for two days, Ken Ferguson, information specialist 3 and system administrator for the city of Madison, knew he needed to replace the system.

“My job is to protect all of the assets of city of Madison,” Ferguson said. “I assure access to buildings and secure people. Our inability to provide mission critical lockdown support told me we needed to get a better system in place quickly.”

The city of Madison has a rich mix of new and older buildings. Some of the city’s oldest buildings are 50-60 years old and of complex construction. Buildings include engineering sites, streets buildings, five different police districts, 14 fire stations and government facilities, among others. The IT department services 36 different agencies in 20 sites across the city.

Ferguson was hesitant to replace existing technology without first testing any new system. He conceived a pilot program in which he would secure IT cabinets that were not already behind locked doors. He reached out to Integral Building Systems Inc., a security integrator in Madison who had been working with the city on a cabling project, for recommendations.

“Initially, we installed dormakaba’s CA150 control panels, which are part of the company’s Keyscan Access Control Systems,” said Kevin Judd, co-founder and vice president of Integral Building Systems. “The panels can lock down the cabinets so that only IT can access. The relationship just grew from there.”

“Pure chaos results if wiring closets are not secured,” said Ferguson. “I tested the new system on them with the intention that it would become the backbone for the network. That initial test has grown to over 300 panels and over 1,500 doors. It’s a major success story for us.”

Keyscan electronic access control systems deliver a broad spectrum of innovative solutions that combine convenience with performance to provide controlled access for all openings. The identify level is the ability to perform electronic identification of all persons moving within a controlled building environment. The authentication level is the software technology to confirm identification of an individual and compare to set permissions assigned to that individual. The control level grants or denies access based on successful identification and authentication levels. The system offers unparalleled integration options with other dormakaba product portfolios as well as third-party partnerships for greater connectivity and performance.

Keyscan Aurora software, with its many features and integration options, provides a single solution for access control with no limiting or expansion governors or recurring fees. It is ideal for any access application, regardless of application, size or complexity.

Once Ferguson chose Keyscan, he set up a support system within each agency of the city of Madison. He and Judd trained key individuals to run the system and provide basic troubleshooting. They then initiated widespread implementation.

“I chose Keyscan for several reasons,” Ferguson said. “First and foremost, I knew it was secure. I also knew that even though the product is easy to learn, I had local support. I also liked that I could create schedules for access, which is especially important when it comes to providing access for first responders and the many areas within their buildings that have special access requirements.”

“Keyscan Aurora has all the functionality you need,” Judd added. “It’s extremely intuitive and the menus are easy to get through.”
Both Ferguson and Judd cite Keyscan’s versatility and training from dormakaba as significant product benefits.

“[dormakaba] is always growing and making enhancements to Keyscan and Aurora,” Ferguson said. “They took our wish list and developed the things we needed. They listen to their customers. I’ve even had calls with the head engineer at Keyscan.”

“[dormakaba] does more for customers from a software perspective than others,” Judd said. “Every time we sell a Keyscan system, we have a full program meeting with our clients to review every potential setting they might need and set up custom software for their specific application. dormakaba fully supports us in this as needed.”

As each city of Madison department implemented Keyscan, Ferguson and Judd realized that each had different preferences about what to use as credentials. As a result, keypads, fobs and ID badges are all in use.

“Our number one asset is our people,” Ferguson said. “I can replace computers and network switches, but I can’t replace people. As a security guy, I need something I can count on. Keyscan Aurora does a great job of protecting all of our assets within the City of Madison.”

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