Visitor Management Choices Expand

Visitor Management Choices Expand

New offerings in visitor management — from third-party to embedded — continue to give security integrators and their customers more options to fit a range of needs

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The access control industry is seeing growth in the deployment of visitor management systems due to increased awareness of the risk of data breaches and organizational theft, as well as increased regulations. Photo courtesy of AMAG Technology


 In today’s world, the “open campus” — whether an office complex, school or other type of business — is increasingly a thing of the past. Mass tragedies such as the Parkland school shooting are an extreme example of why it is more important than ever to make sure you know exactly who is visiting your facility and why, but other issues have driven the market forward over the years as well, from business espionage to theft. But for facilities that already incorporate an access control system, adding visitor management sometimes presents complications for the security integrator.

Do you go with a third-party option and integrate it with the access control and HR database, or a stand-alone product? Do the visitor management features in the existing access control platform provide all that the customer needs? What about newer technologies such as cloud?

“Traditionally visitor management [was] a separate third-party product sporadically synchronized with an access control platform that required integrators to become experts on multiple systems for both installation and maintenance purposes,” says Jeffrey Barkley, senior product manager, security products, building technologies and solutions, Johnson Controls, Westford, Mass. “This can be challenging for those integrators for whom visitor management isn’t a day-to-day installation.”

Visitor management is becoming increasingly important to users, Barkley adds. This has led several prominent access control manufacturers to beef up their visitor management offerings, which were sometimes referred to as “visitor management lite” in the past.

“Access control systems seek to control which identities have access to various secure areas within an organization, and a visitor management system is an essential part of any access control program,” says Jonathan Moore, senior director of enterprise solutions, AMAG Technology, Torrance, Calif. “The access control industry is seeing growth in the deployment of visitor management systems due to factors such as an increased awareness of the risk of data breaches and organizational theft, increased regulations requiring visitor data to be tracked and stored, and also due to new technology such as mobile tablets and devices providing additional options and functionality that enhance the visitor experience.”

Third-party manufacturers of visitor management platforms and software are also noting these trends, and offer a wider range of integrations with access control manufacturers. “The trend in security has been for more advanced end-to-end security solutions,” says Phil Mantia, senior account manager, STOPware Inc., Pleasanton, Calif. “[Our] comprehensive visitor management system integrates with over 30 major access control systems.” This allows security integrators to provide a complete solution that meets all security, compliance and regulatory requirements, as well as interfacing with other systems to allow the management of all systems from one machine, he adds.

“Visitor management and other similar add-ons offer up an opportunity to sell more than just door hardware and installation services to clients,” adds Evan Tree, CEO, ProdataKey, Salt Lake City, Utah. “It provides a method for integrators to secure more recurring revenue, expand penetration with the organization beyond safety and security, and provide more overall value to the end users.”

From cloud-based offerings to integrations, native offerings and more, featured on these pages are some of the latest visitor management products from access control manufacturers as well as third-party providers.

STOPware Updates PassagePoint Global for Hospitals’ Unique Security Challenges

STOPware Inc. now includes features to manage outpatients and hospital visitors via a kiosk. PassagePoint integrates with a hospital’s HL7 system to automatically create pre-registration visits for outpatient visits. The outpatients can follow a simple procedure at the kiosk:

  • After scanning their government-issued identification, the outpatient can see all their scheduled visits display on the kiosk screen.
  • The outpatient chooses the current visit and an RFID-encoded visitor badge is printed that integrates with the hospital’s access control system.
  • The RFID badge contains an integrated circuit and an antenna, which are used to transmit data to the RFID reader. The readers receive the information from the RFID tag and the doors automatically open to areas where the outpatient has access.

This kiosk/RFID configuration also works for visitors to inpatient areas, hospital employees and the cafeteria. The visitor simply chooses their category from the kiosk welcome screen and is presented with the appropriate screens for scanning their ID, choosing a patient or location to visit, and receives a printed RFID badge.

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