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Unlocking options with IP

The era of securing a business with locks and keys is slowly but surely dwindling away.

December 9, 2014  By Steve Bocking

Not only are businesses looking for ways to leverage their corporate networks, but they also see tremendous value in moving to an IP access control system for easier day-to-day management. On top of all the obvious advantages over locks and keys such as addressing lost keys, automating unlocking schedules and tracking door activity, it is now very common for IP access control solutions to be integrated with other management systems — the most common being a video management system (VMS).

In fact, there are a few companies now offering combined software platforms for video surveillance and access control, which is commonly termed “unified solutions.” These unified solutions are changing the way property managers control access to their buildings by extending control beyond the typical reception desk. Many once high-end features are now accessible to even small property managers, such as having system control through mobile smart phones and tablets, visitor kiosks and human resource management systems (HRMS).

Mobile access control management: A growing number of facility managers don’t want to be tethered to a desktop PC or laptop to access their security system. Instead, they appreciate the convenience of using apps via their smartphones or tablets when they need immediate access. For the facility manager or security guard who is not always at their desk, a mobile client becomes a powerful tool that lets them interact with the access control system from anywhere.

Self-check-in kiosk automation: Visitor management and self-serve visitor management applications are becoming much more cost effective, and thus accessible to a larger customer base. While the pad and paper sign-in process might still be very common, visitor management software offers greater automation and improved tracking by registering all info (often including a photo) from a simple driver’s license or passport scan. Some visitor management software are even integrated with email applications.


Active Directory integration with HR systems: Many organizations have Active Directory as the central access point of their logical business data, but it can also be used to help manage physical access. For example, adding a new employee in the human resource software could automatically create a Windows user account in Active Directory and a cardholder account in the access control system. And the inverse is also possible. Disabling or removing a Windows user account will guarantee the equivalent deactivation or deletion of the cardholder account, thereby ensuring consistency. Ultimately, this integration helps to lower the risks of physical and logical security breaches.

These three examples only scratch the surface of how IP access control systems can operate beyond the security desk, but all contribute to greater efficiency and automation.  

Steve Bocking is the business development manager at Genetec (www.genetec.com).

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