Those of us in the security industry are no strangers to the benefits of integrated systems. The value-add benefits, which may not be immediately apparent to end users, can turn a cost purchase into a cost saving one. It is a great example of something that is greater than the sum of its parts being able to link many different systems together offers far reaching opportunities to create intelligent solutions.
An Access Control System that is linked to central business systems (such as Microsoft Active Directory) offers an excellent way to provide employees with authorised access to computers or IP phone systems. This could be especially useful for shift workers and/or those working in sensitive or highly secure organisations. Once the individual is confirmed with the Access Control System their workstation or access to business systems can be enabled. This lessens the time needed to gain access to critical systems and could even be used to present the user with key information when they reach their desk or workstation.
In time-critical environments employee management is crucial and secure access can make a huge difference.
Security authentication is the perfect way to administer Time and Attendance recording without the need to invest in additional hardware. This is very well suited to companies that require their employees to 'clock on and off' (such as a contact centre or production facility) or where timed billing is a vital part of operations (such as a legal practice for example). Equally it is a perfect way to record staff movement and activity for compliance purposes and auditing or investigation of an incident.
Integrated security systems can also play their part when it comes to customer service. For example a bank or financial organisation will undoubtedly have stringent physical security measures in place at a branch, but equally it will have visiting customers that need to be served. Visitors are greeted by a reception point, with their details logged and an automated system ensures that the appropriate member of staff is alerted. This could equally apply to a GP surgery, hospital or veterinary practice, where security and customer service actually make very sensible companions.
Security can be used to control and manage occupancy
This could be through ID access but equally it could be administered by a turnstile system at both the entrance and exit to a public space - such as a museum/gallery or theme park facilities for example. There is an obvious safety aspect but this could also be to ensure visitors have greater comfort and enjoyment of the facilities. This can easily apply to car parking too, where spaces are limited and visitors can become frustrated. If a barrier security system can be used to prevent unauthorised access it can just as easily be used to control the numbers of vehicles able to enter in search of a space, blocking the entrance when the facility is full.
There are other benefits for customers and staff alike. Integrated security can give an highly accurate record of people within a building or groups of secured facilities, which is invaluable in the event of a fire or similar emergency. It can also provide records for the emergency services to ensure everyone is evacuated successfully or rescued if required.
There are considerable savings to be made in terms of the control of energy consumption.
A combination of access control and intruder sensors gives a very accurate picture of when a facility is being used. In an age where energy consumption is under close scrutiny, being able to shut down heating/cooling and lighting when it is not needed is highly desirable. This can be especially effective when staff work at different times of the day or complete long shifts and need these resources to be available, but other parts of the facility need to be dormant to reduce wastage.
Because physical security works so closely with the movement and management of people and facilities it was always going to be a highly useful part of a fully integrated business system. Playing its part as the 'eyes and ears' of a business it can offer so much more than a traditional security role something which every self-respecting business needs to be aware of to make the most of the opportunities on offer.
If your company could benefit from added security to increase productivity and improve customer service, contact our specialist UK Sales team today on 01202 723 535, or click here to submit a contact form.
TDSi Product and Marketing Manager
Sarah began at TDSi in 2011 as Marketing Co-ordinator, her role has developed to emcompass both marketing and product managment. Her key focus is to improve the customer experience by supporting the delivery of innovative products and services. To meet Sarah at IFSEC 2015, Click Here.