Access control cards/ tags/ fobs - Expert commentary

How are new management systems innovating the hospitality industry?
How are new management systems innovating the hospitality industry?

Technology has certainly become an intrinsic part of our day-to-day lives, from the retail industry, to food and beverage outlets, and even within the health and fitness industry. It’s all around us, in varying formats, making processes more efficient. It has refined some of our older approaches, and in the hospitality industry, this is certainly true. Technological advances are leading the way forward for the future of hotels, and with the sector now free from COVID-19 restrictions, venues are looking for ways to improve the guest experience with technology. A staggering recent statistic has suggested that 75 percent of activities in hospitality could one day become automated — so where exactly are we heading on this journey into the future of hotels? Join Cairn Collection, owner of The Stirling Highland, and explore a whole host of innovations that are changing the face of hotel management systems. The 21st-century check-in desk The breadth of technology that is slowly becoming more widely available is transforming the hospitality industry The digital age is constantly finding new ways to innovate and prove its value and worth for modern consumers, and the breadth of technology that is slowly becoming more widely available is transforming the hospitality industry. In the past, connotations of a check-in desk were long queues and excessive pieces of paper — from room service menus to a mini catalogue of highlights of the local area. Technological innovations such as face recognition are one of the major ways that this process is changing. Using artificial intelligence A handful of hotels have already trialled or introduced artificial intelligence (AI) into their daily running, and it looks set to become far more mainstream by 2025. From paying the bill by using biometrics to allowing hotel managers to handle data more efficiently, AI looks set to be welcomed with the potential for it to reduce costs by 13 percent. The entire hotel check-in process could become automated, making one of the most established parts of the hotel experience redundant — but staff could be freed up to engage with customers, allowing them to get into their rooms quicker in the meantime. Many venues have even gone fully paperless when it comes to checking in, choosing instead to upload the process to cloud computing systems where information can be stored and viewed by connected devices. Convenience is the key More hotels operate their room unlocking facilities through mobile phone-connected technology, NFC After having checked in to a hotel, guests will want to explore the room that they’ve booked. Doing so has never been easier, and the classic magstripe locks which were once the most commonly used method of accessing hotel rooms are being progressively phased out. More and more hotels now operate their room unlocking facilities through mobile phone-connected technology, near-field communication (NFC).  This technology allows for data transfer at up to 424 kb per second, and it is enabled when connected devices come into contact with each other. Mobile key systems Most mobile key systems require guests to download and activate a key through the hotel’s digital app, and upon arrival, they can use the activated key to unlock the door to their hotel room. Combined with online/digital check-in services, guests can use the e-key to check in early or at a time that suits them best, knowing that they don’t have to wait around to pick up a physical key. Small touches like this build a sense of brand familiarity for customers, as well as streamline their hotel experience, and this distinguishes them from competitors. Hotel management systems Hotel management systems need to account for the experience that guests have while staying at the venue Of course, hotel management systems also need to account for the experience that guests have while staying at the venue and technology can do a lot to enhance this. Hotels have to innovate the spaces that they are presenting to their customers and technology has become a valuable asset to help enhance customer satisfaction, as the hotel room is certainly not simply a place for rest anymore. Voice-enabled devices Voice-enabled devices are becoming common features in rooms, with popular models such as Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon Echo providing guests with information on the local area — if you’re looking for the perfect backdrop to the business dinner you’re attending, just ask Alexa! Hotels could even record and distribute their personalised voice messaging to help reinforce the brand presence into the technology. Technology can help you attract and retain customers by offering services above and beyond what they’d usually receive A room and then some As the generational switch to millennials and Gen Z continues, the need for an experience has grown and, through a mixture of technology, hotels can cater to these revised consumer needs. From setting up messaging platforms to providing a remote control that monitors absolutely everything in the room — from atmospheric mood lighting to music streaming services and more, a hotel room can be whatever the user wants, and the experience is therefore generated by the customer. Technology doesn’t stop advancing, and there are constantly new, refined approaches to hotel management systems that have marked a stark departure from ways of the past. With guests returning after over a year of COVID-19 restrictions, competition for their business is even tougher. Technology can help you attract and retain customers by offering services above and beyond what they’d usually receive.

Why is key management so important?
Why is key management so important?

More and more business security practices are going digital. Mechanical keys are still the backbone of most corporate security plans, and it can be very expensive for companies to switch to electronic access control on a large scale. Therefore, enterprises need to choose the most suitable access control system. What is key management? Key management is the process of protecting, tracking, and scheduling mechanical keys. Why is this important? Because the key carries access to sensitive locations and assets within the organisation, when you increase the security of the key, you can enhance the security of these valuable resources. The key management system also controls the cost of using physical keys. The system reduces the overhead caused by key loss or security breaches. Some smaller companies may be able to adopt a paper-and-pencil key management protocol. Larger companies, or those who want to better understand and control keys, usually choose to use an electronic key management system. Key management systems can store and assign keys securely and increase the efficiency of organisation Why use a key management system? The key management system can become the cornerstone of your key control process. At the most basic level, key management systems can accomplish two things that paper and pen systems cannot: they store and assign keys securely, and they increase the efficiency of your organisation's use of keys through automation and analysis. What can key management systems do? 1) Improve access control By better protecting the keys, you can improve the access control to the spaces and devices unlocked by these keys. You can use your key management to simplify the process of providing temporary employees with one-time-key access. In addition, the system can record all their key access records, so that everyone's behavior can be traced. 2) Enhanced accountability traceability The software is a good key management system that can generate reports on key usage, user access requests, access exceptions, and loss. In addition, you can track and audit key usage in real-time. Combined with a comprehensive key control strategy, you will implement better accountability for key use to meet any industry or risk management compliance standards. 3) Reduce costs and prevent losses When an employee loses a key, you will incur direct costs for a replacement key or relocking it when it is lost When an employee loses a key, you will incur direct costs, including purchasing a replacement key or relocking it when it is lost. However, the indirect cost of key loss is usually more significant. This is because employees first spend time looking for the lost key and then process the replacement request, all of which time is not spent on production work. 4) Improve workflow As we discussed, keys are often used in important workflows. The key management system allows you to better control these workflows. A passive electronic lock system, also known as a key-centric access control system, has outstanding advantages in key management. Compared with the electronic access control system, the passive electronic lock system's "passive" characteristics have reduced the update cost for many enterprises.

Smart Offices: How is mobile ID changing the way we access the office?
Smart Offices: How is mobile ID changing the way we access the office?

If you’re a security or facilities manager, you may already be aware of the quiet revolution that’s taking place across businesses and organisations up and down the country. By the end of 2020, 20% of all ID and access control systems featured mobile capability, and this is set to increase by a further 34% over the next three years. There’s no doubt that using a smartphone or mobile device in place of traditional credential and access control is a growing trend that’s only been sped up by the pandemic. It’s true that many businesses are still very much focused on remote working, although many are now starting to implement new-and-improved strategies that are better suited to protect the workforce moving forward. Mobile ID systems As the next normal becomes clearer, businesses will be reviewing procedures such as access control, occupancy monitoring, reducing touch points and tracking visitors. Mobile ID systems are ideally suited to this task. But what are the key reasons for considering such a setup in 2021? But why is this new technology so well-suited to future-proof your physical access system, and why is it becoming so popular? Eradicating outdated legacy credentials Have you seen just how vulnerable outdated Proximity card technology can be? Low-frequency 125kHz cards can be cloned in a matter of seconds with the use of cheap, readily available tools. Despite their weaknesses, they are still used by a huge majority of businesses – big and small. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential Replacing such a system with a mobile-enabled system is one of the best ways to increase security ten-fold. Thanks to a cloud-based infrastructure, mobile ID offers best-in-class security and cryptography. All smartphones include two industry-standard features that make them perfect for operating a secure, contactless credential. Bluetooth Smart and NFC (Near Field Communication) make them the best product to operate such a credential via a secure app. If you’re looking for best-in-class security in 2021, mobile access is most definitely the way forward. Removing touch points across the business Reducing touch points and the adoption of touchless facilities has become a key priority for businesses in the wake of COVID-19. Even as businesses start to return to the office and operate a home/office split, it will be imperative that unnecessary contact is kept to an absolute minimum between staff. The traditional issuance of identification and access control credentials can pose problems in this regard. Facility and security managers who are responsible for onboarding and processing ID have done the process face to face. Mobile access makes it possible to carry this process out without people coming into direct content. First, the security manager has access to a secure portal, allowing them to create, manage and edit credentials anywhere. They can upload and remotely transfer mobile ID and access control credentials directly to users’ smartphones over the air. Via the secure app, users can view and see their credentials and immediately begin using it for ID and access control by simply placing their smartphone over card readers. Enabling a more flexible way of working The way in which we work has changed for good. Even as people more people return to the office in 2021, a majority of businesses will be operating a home/office split indefinitely. This once again reinforces the need for a smarter, more adaptable onboarding system. Implementing mobile ID is the perfect way of doing this: over-the-air delivery of credentials and security data is now a given, helping businesses create the perfect balance between the home and the office. No longer do people have to come into the office for the onboarding process. Increasing convenience and user experience More often businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security Ok, so mobile ID is the perfect way of increasing security and adapting workplaces to a post-COVID way of working. And we’ve not even touched on the most obvious advantage yet: Convenience. How many times have you forgotten your ID card? We’re sure it’s more times than you forget your smartphone. These powerful processors have become intertwined with the way we carry out tasks on a daily basis. They’re so vital that people will soon notice if they’ve forgotten it. From an employee’s perspective, mobile ID and access control is simple, convenient and extremely user-friendly. More and more businesses are realising the value mobile ID can have for enhancing the work experience as well as security. From the employer’s perspective, mobile ID means it’s easier for administrators to manage access and credentials. Future-proofing access control now will ensure that in the longer term, mobile ID is well worth the investment. The annual expenditure of printing ID cards and purchasing credentials can be vast, while reissuance costs can also quickly add up for larger organisations. These issues are a thing of the past for businesses using mobile ID. Mobile ID perfect tool for 2021 and beyond Until mobile ID, new and improved credentials’ main focus was on increasing security. Mobile ID not only delivers that, but it also provides a more convenient way of accessing the office in a way that’s perfectly suited to returning to the office in 2021. If there was ever a time to upgrade, now is the time. Summing up, mobile access is changing the way we access the office by: Eliminating weak links in security systems such as outdated legacy card technologies Eradicating the need for touch points across multiple areas of the workplace Enabling a smarter, more flexible approach to onboarding Increasing convenience – for both employers and employees.

Latest CEM Systems Ltd news

Johnson Controls deploys its integrated security solution to safeguard Otopeni Henri Airport – Bucharest Nord Railway Link
Johnson Controls deploys its integrated security solution to safeguard Otopeni Henri Airport – Bucharest Nord Railway Link

Compania Naţională de Căi Ferate ‘CFR’ - SA, the state railway carrier of Romania, has invested in an integrated security and safety solution from Johnson Controls, to protect passengers travelling on a new railway link, connecting the Otopeni Henri Coandă International Airport to Bucharest Nord main railway station, in Bucharest, Romania. Securing Bucharest’s new rail link The 2.95 km rail link, which was planned to facilitate the large number of fans travelling from the international airport to attend the Bucharest-hosted EURO 2020 football matches and was completed in just 14 months, from the design stage, at a cost of approximately 120 million Euros, is now being increasingly used by business travellers and tourists, who wish to visit the city of Bucharest. The contract to design and execute the entire project was won, as part of a competitiveness tender process, by the Arcada – ISPCF – DB Engineering consortium. Alfred Net, a systems integrator that specialises in designing and implementing turnkey security, telecommunications and network solutions, was subsequently tasked to provide the new railway terminal’s safety and security systems, as well as the passenger communications and information systems. Need for a sophisticated security solution We were very pleased to have the opportunity to use our experience of providing sophisticated solutions" “We were very pleased to have the opportunity to use our experience of providing sophisticated solutions for complex and mission critical applications, in order to contribute to the success of this important project,” said Alex Vladutoiu, the Managing Director & Solutions Architect at Alfred Net. Alex Vladutoiu said, “With the new link terminating within the airport, we immediately realised that any security and safety solution that we recommended to the consortium would need to meet the demanding requirements of airport security, as well as railway- related EU regulations and directives.” Deep integration of security components He adds, “This meant that as well as being robust, ultra-reliable and cyber secure, the various component parts of the solution would need to be deeply integrated with each other, so as to provide control room operators with a high level of situational awareness, which would enable them to react quickly and effectively to any incidents.” Alex Vladutoiu further said, “With this in mind, our previous experience led us to recommend that all the security and safety products should be single sourced from the Johnson Controls’ access control, fire, intrusion and video surveillance brands, which come under its Tyco umbrella. Simply put, we knew these various brands could collectively provide us with everything needed to put together an effective solution for this project.” He adds, “Importantly, we were confident that the various products, which to a large extent are ‘plug & play’, could be easily integrated without the time-consuming process of developing new drivers and interfaces.” Tyco victor security management platform The Alfred Net design team specified the Tyco victor security management platform  The Alfred Net design team specified the Tyco victor security management platform, to be at the heart of the safety and security solution. In addition to helping control room operators manage and monitor the images, captured by Tyco Illustra high-definition IP network cameras, victor’s graphical user interface (GUI) alerts operators in real time, as to any fire or intrusion events, as well as any access control activity. The design of the security and safety solution was based on a rigorous Risk Assessment Report, which took into account the worst case scenarios, in terms of the threat to the safety of passengers, disruption and the protection of assets. Unified security solution “By providing a unified solution, which can manage the combined data captured by the intrusion detection, access control, fire detection and video surveillance systems, victor offers authorised users with all the information they need, to monitor and strictly control the movement of passengers.” The products include: Video Surveillance & AI Analytics: In addition to the Tyco Illustra cameras and VideoEdge video recorders, which have been deployed to monitor the railway terminal proximity, mission critical machinery, platforms and areas open to the public, control room operators are also able to take advantage of video analytics, in order to help them quickly detect any suspicious activity or danger. Tripwire detection, for example, can generate an alert, if a passenger oversteps a platform’s safety line, while people counting analytics can alert security personnel to overcrowding. It can also be used by operations personnel to help them make best use of human resources, by having a greater understanding of which parts of the station are busy, at different times of the day. Access Control: A CEM Systems AC2000 access control software platform, together with eDCM350 OSDP protocol IP door controllers, are supporting smart card readers and encrypted cards, to limit access to sensitive areas throughout the railway station, such as communications, signalling, staff and locker rooms. As a highly scalable solution, AC2000 enabled Alfred Net to implement access control throughout expansive areas of the railway. By utilising RS485 serial communications with strong AES 128 encryption between the eDCM 350 intelligent door controllers, the OSDP readers and the smart cards, the railways is protected against the threat of controller signal cloning, as well as the threat of personnel card cloning. Fire Detection: Zettler Profile Flexible addressable panels, flame detectors and smoke sensors have been installed throughout the station terminal, to ensure mandatory compliance with EU fire regulations. Integration with the station’s PAVA system means that pre-recorded announcements are automatically broadcast, when a fire-related event occurs. Intrusion Detection: A DSC PowerSeries Neo intrusion system is providing protection for areas, which may be left unattended, such as cash handling areas, with integrated panic buttons to ensure there is a rapid reaction to any intrusion alarm. Johnson Controls and Alfred Net partnership Alfred Net worked closely with the Johnson Controls’ pre-sales team, in order to ensure the best products were specified for each location and application, and the comprehensive security and safety solution was installed, alongside the station’s iPIS communications and information software. Alex Vladutoiu said, “This was without doubt the most complex project that the client has been involved with and reflects its determination to invest in the latest technology, to ensure maximum operational efficiency and to protect its passengers and assets.” Video analytics and flame detection This has resulted in diverse solutions, such as video analytics and flame detection" He adds, “This has resulted in diverse solutions, such as video analytics and flame detection, based on video technology interacting with laser detection, RGB LED displays, digital signage, Text-to-Speech and many other state-of-the-art technologies, to deliver a highly effective total solution.” Since December 2020, when the new rail link became operational, the highly complex and integrated security and safety solution from Johnson Controls has been playing a key role, in ensuring the smooth operation of the train station and the running of 72 trains per day, (36 pairs), which arrive and depart every 20 minutes, both from and to the airport. Tyco suite of security products Alex Vladutoiu, Managing Director and Solutions Architect at Alfred Net, concludes “As a solution architect, Tyco is indeed my preferred security provider for integrated projects. As a unified solution, the Tyco suite of products are almost ‘plug and play’ and give you everything you need to build-up an integrated system, without spending additional time or money on developing other interfaces. He concludes, “We were delighted to have designed and implemented the new Otopeni Airport Railway Terminal project in less than one year and we look forward to our continued partnership with Tyco.”

Johnson Controls launches CEM Systems AC2000 v10.2 security management system with enhanced Time & Attendance app
Johnson Controls launches CEM Systems AC2000 v10.2 security management system with enhanced Time & Attendance app

Johnson Controls has announced  the release of CEM Systems AC2000 v10.2, which offers new features such as an enhanced Time & Attendance application, improved Pass Design, advanced room booking with access control and additional features that increase the performance and scope of the access control system suite. AC2000 v10.2 Time Hub CEM Systems’ AC2000 Time Hub is an enhanced Time & Attendance workstation client and web application CEM Systems’ AC2000 Time Hub is an enhanced Time & Attendance workstation client and web application. It helps AC2000 customer maximise their existing security infrastructure by going beyond access control, without the need for an additional Time & Attendance system. AC2000 Time Hub utilises the existing AC2000 system to provide reliable timekeeping, an improved user experience and helps to avoid costly payroll errors, under or overstaffing and inefficient time recording.  Integrated into the AC2000 system, Time Hub is a reporting method for the office manager/administrator who requires statistics on the entering and exiting of staff. The improved Pass Design application is another feature of AC2000 v10.2 that provides a more intuitive user interface, more control of badge designs and features which reduce the configuration time for passes. Security management system The Advanced Room Booking feature in AC2000 v10.2 improves resource management, ensuring that only the meeting organiser and invitees can access a meeting room, booked via Outlook, at the time required. The AC2000 Security Hub command and control application has been enhanced with enterprise map support, a new dashboard to display system metrics and a new Rooms tab for improved operational resource management. Building on the range of video, perimeter detection and lift interface integrations, AC2000 now offers new interfaces to Samsung CCTV, Southwest Microwave perimeter detection and KONE Destination.

Johnson Controls announces opening of new Dublin showroom and training facility in Ireland
Johnson Controls announces opening of new Dublin showroom and training facility in Ireland

Tyco, the security products division of Johnson Controls, has announced the opening of its new state-of-the-art interactive showroom and training facility in Ireland. ACVS solutions Located in the Ballymount area of Dublin, the new showroom facility provides the opportunity for system integrators and their end-user clients to see live demonstrations of the innovative features and groundbreaking technology built-into the latest generation of Access Control and Video Surveillance (ACVS) solutions supplied under the Tyco umbrella. “In addition to in-depth demonstrations of specific products or software, we are now also able to show how easy it is for users to benefit from a totally integrated security solution via an interactive operational system,” said Colm O’Brien, Tyco’s ACVS Business Manager in Ireland. Unified video management He adds, “As an example, we are able to demonstrate the full capabilities of victor, our Unified Video Management application, which seamlessly synchronises video surveillance with access control, fire, BMS, Drone Detection and mitigation, Radar, Gate Automation, intrusion and other systems, into one powerful, intuitive interface.” The new facility also has a fully equipped training room with hands-on workstations to enable system integrators to learn how to offer their end-user clients maximum value from a wide range of solutions, including American Dynamics Victor & VideoEdge Video platforms, Exacq Video Management Software, Illustra cameras, Software House CCure Access Control, CEM Access Control Systems and Kantech Access Control platforms.

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