Game changer

Game changer

Access Control Integration in a Post-COVID-19 World by Alex Holmström, Sales Director, ACRE International

The COVID-19 pandemic changed how numerous systems operate within the security industry, and access control is just one component of that. Fortunately, many access control solutions on the market today already contain ideal security features for a post-pandemic environment. With that being said, the virus still presents new challenges to communities and businesses as they begin to open back up. As we all emerge with new safety procedures, security manufacturers have considered the demands that have evolved since the pandemic (such as touchless solutions, occupancy management, and more), and have honed in on these features to provide security solutions in this new era.

Access Control Integration Post-COVID-19

As organizations reopen and now have different safety requirements, security solutions must integrate and incorporate these new demands without any type of compromise. This begs the question, how should access control be integrated into newer security systems post-COVID-19? For any kind of integration to be successful, it’s vital for access control solutions to be open platform and highly flexible to integrate with newer security technologies.

This brings us to visitor management and building automation systems integration. The introduction of touchless visitor management has been a huge development in the industry. By streamlining security with its ability to integrate with access control, this is a highly beneficial system for organizations seeking a low-resistance, touchless solution for authorizing short-term entry. Visitor management software integration should allow both operators and occupants a robust comprehension of the flow of people in and out of areas located within the building. By aligning the interests of building managers and their residents, whether that entails screening for those who may be infectious or monitoring the building’s physical occupancy, this solution benefits all of those involved.

Flexible security practices already change the way we live, and work, and will continue to present significant changes for the security industry in a post-pandemic world. Integrated security solutions have a vital role in protecting the safety of employees as they return to work and the ever-evolving updates that will be taking place as communities adopt a new normal.

Cloud-Based Access Control and Integration

Speaking of flexible integration, a significant change to access control over the last few years involves its’ transition to the cloud. With this functionality, we see more value with cloud services where specific individuals’ needs are met more simply, and cost-effectively.

Because of the cloud, system installers and integrators now have the option to switch to a service-based business model that provides recurring subscription-based monthly revenue. Instead of just selling traditional hardware-based systems or service agreements, they can now offer full-service cloud solutions that can include system health checks, cybersecurity functions, and other professional services.

For companies realizing that newer security technologies can effectively solve challenges by helping their business scale, provide seamless integration, and IT support, cloud-based access control is an ideal option. In fact, it’s the best solution for small-to medium-businesses that are looking to upgrade their security in the post-pandemic world but don’t have the fully fleshed-out security team to manage it.

It’s essential to search for an access control provider that can meet these new demands without any compromise, and cloud-based access control typically serves as a very flexible solution that can streamline with ease when integrating with other devices such as visitor management and building automation. Users looking for updated access control integration should search for manufacturers that meet the following requirements.

Touchless Access Control Devices

Touchless devices have been in high demand as organizations are opening back up. With touchless access control devices like Bluetooth readers and touch-free exit buttons, staff can minimize contact while still maintaining proper security procedures. For example, with Vanderbilt’s access control solution, ACT365, and ACT pro, users can deploy new credentials with no physical unit, and authorized visitors can be emailed a QR code that will grant them access to the building in a hands-free way.

In fact, the spearhead of ACT365’s benefits is that it is hosted in the cloud and therefore delivers remote access and instant management to protect your premises. Access control and video management are key security systems and having a touchless, remote solution creates a complete system, delivers a force that gives business owners far greater visibility and control of their property.

Occupancy Management for Social Distancing

Access control systems that offer occupancy management are a great addition to security as users can manage and audit occupancy levels to ensure social distancing. Automated people counting systems provide a method of counting and limiting access to certain areas. For example, operators can enable a maximum occupancy level to prevent overcrowding within a building or a room.

Contract Traceability Reporting

Contact traceability can provide reports that enable organizations to monitor areas or zones where an individual has potentially contracted the virus. It features push notifications that can be sent to employees that encourage testing if they have encountered an infected individual while at their place of work.

Real-Time Cleaning Requirements

This feature can provide alarms when thresholds are met to alert cleaning staff. For example, a building supervisor can set points on different areas in the building to alert the cleaning staff when areas have reached the level of re-cleansing.

The past year has presented numerous security challenges to communities and businesses. As organizations start actively planning to open their workplaces safely, security providers need to equip customers with intelligent and reliable strategies to help create an overall safer environment for staff and visitors. Stakeholders searching for an upgraded security system as they return to the office need to remember to select a solution capable of flexible integration, scalability, and post-pandemic protection without security compromise. 

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