Drones (continued) – Innovative User-Defined Fields
According to Wydner, the system, which was installed by security systems integrator Steve Murphy of Chown Security, Portland, Oregon, had to not only work with existing HID Global identification cards used by students across campus; it also had to have an easy-to-access user repository. “A key feature that really helped us was the ability to add in user-defined fields because we needed to have our own unique key,” Wydner says.
The innovative charm of the access system’s technology, however, is its hand- shaking with other software platforms for a completely interoperable access and room reservation system. To accomplish this, Wydner and his team installed the data management engine (Pinwheel DME from SwiftData Technology). Pinwheel integrates data from the access system along with several other enterprise software solutions employed at the facility, including sophisticated room scheduling, Web calendar and online event registration software (from Dean Evans & Associates) and an enterprise resource planning platform from higher education software provider Ellucian.
However, there were several significant hurdles that had to be overcome by both the OSU IT group and others involved to help make these interoperability goals a reality. An integration of this magnitude had never been done before, so much of the project was uncharted water, comments Murphy. “We didn’t know quite where to begin,” Wydner adds. “We knew that we needed to get all of the user data – our faculty, staff members, and students. We needed some way of defining who is taking a college business class and which system we were going to pull that out of, whether that’s going to be our central student repository, Active Directory or if we were going to go off of Salesforce.”
Wydner said the university eventually decided the best way to bring this information together was to enter it into Salesforce, the San Francisco, California-based firm known for its Web customer relationship management system and its strength in application programming interfaces or APIs. He started a separate project focused on integrating the identification numbers from the campus HID cards into their Salesforce database. Aside from that, the team also had to figure out a way to format the data from Salesforce so that it would be recognized by the access and Dean Evans event management software solutions.
By using the Pinwheel data management engine or DME platform, students are now enrolled automatically based upon the information entered into the Ellucian enterprise resource planning system. The successful integration of these systems would not have been possible, however, without some of the unique features provided by the access control platform with its innovative way of combining the access levels of students and staff members with their respective rights and privileges through a process known as nesting.
Austin Hall also uses an automated lock system which saved significantly on time and manpower.
Door Access and Meeting Scheduling
“The main thing that our faculty and students enjoy about the integration is that they can just walk up to a project room or a meeting room [and] tap their OSU ID on the lock (AD-400 wireless networked locks from Schlage). It then opens up, lets them in, and it also gives them an automatic one-hour reservation on the room,” observes Wydner.
“Multi-tech locks are future-proof and access panels can handle up to 16 locks,” points out Murphy, who believes the project took system integration capabilities to new and innovative heights.
There are other tech trends embedded in such an approach, according to Mitchell Kane, president, Vanderbilt. As compared to security video, it may seem that advances in electronic access control emerge and evolve more slowly. From a hardware perspective, technology moves at a snail’s pace, says Kane. What is more innovatively important is the trend of interoperability with other systems and big data. Until recently, most data integration with access management was through HR or IT databases. Kane sees a trend toward integration with workflow applications, working with data on an automated level, based on logic and analytics.
The multifunctional ability can be viewed as innovative.
That’s the bottom line for Guy Grace, manager of security and emergency planning for the Littleton, Colorado, Public Schools, and who is installing a network-based communication and security system (the IX Series from Aiphone) featuring video entry security, internal communication, emergency stations, and paging. All units and apps in the systems can unlock doors remotely on a network, assist onsite visitors from an offsite location, broadcast emergency announcements and communicate using Power over Ethernet (PoE).
Among the “cool things we get from the technology is the intercom’s ability to record audio and video of visitors on our network digital video recorders or NDVRs. So now we have an extra camera, the ability to record all the transactions at the door in voice and video, the ability to talk to the door from the school and the security office miles away. And also these now can be used as a call for help stations 24/7,” says Grace.
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