Socomec is a French manufacturing group, specialising in secure low-voltage power supplies for the industrial and service sectors. With a €310M turnover in 2009, Socomec employs 2,600 people globally, where nearly half of the staff works in the Strasbourg headquarters in France.

A solution for secure and convenient access to PCs

As a leader, Socomec always puts innovation, quality and security at the forefront to ensure a secure environment for its employees. In 2009, Socomec wanted to find a solution to provide its production staff secure and convenient access to a PC while ensuring low maintenance for the IT department.

“There are several people working in this factory who did not have access to PCs since their work is focused on the production line”, says Daniel Wendling, Socomec’s IT Manager. By not having access to the company’s intranet, the production staff was not aware of the internal communications distributed by the management team and the fact that they were not located in the main building, where all administrative functions are, was leading to the issue of isolated staff.

Staff access to Internet

Additionally, the worker’s union suggested that all staff members should have access to PCs, not only to gain access to relevant internal information, but also to have access to the Internet during their breaks at work. As a first attempt, Socomec provided its employees with a few shared PCs within the factory’s facility. The IT team created some generic shared accounts but the challenge was the secure management of all the workstations with multiple users’ passwords. It became a big administration problem for the IT department and definitely was not a viable solution.

"We needed a system that was sustainable, cost-effective and easy to use"

“We needed a system that was sustainable, cost-effective and easy to use, so that users could log on to their own accounts easily and securely and my team could maintain their accounts with minimum time and effort”, Wendling explained.

HID physical access control

ISLOG, a proactive customer of HID Global, who recommended that Socomec deployed HID on the Desktop™ solution to leverage its physical access control installed five years ago, is a French company specialising in RFID tools and information security operating across Europe.

Lionel Moerel, ISLOG’s Managing Director, states that “when Socomec explained the issues they were experiencing, I immediately suggested HID on the Desktop as the most convenient solution to solve their IT account management problems. Having physical access control already implemented allowed the company to leverage in an easy and quick manner the deployment of HID on the Desktop solution”.

The installation of HID on the Desktop, consisting of the existing HID Prox cards, OMNIKEY 5325 CL USB Prox contactless desktop readers and naviGO credential management software, was carried out in December 2009. Moerel reaffirmed that there was a full agreement between Socomec’s Security Manager and the IT department during this process: “The installation in the workstations and the compatibility with the existing cards was carried out smoothly and quickly. Now each employee has access to workstations with their own personal card and a simple four digit PIN number.”

HID on the Desktop has also reduced the management of the workstations in a more organised and secure manner
Socomec employees also use their ID cards for other applications, such as time and attendance management and cashless payment

Cost savings and time reductions

HID on the Desktop has led to significant additional cost savings and time reductions on some manual administrative tasks such as the online access of pay slips via the intranet. Employees can now also have access to the company’s regular internal communications and the global directory. This possibility for online access has facilitated a more agile and effective flow of communication within the organisation.

“More importantly for us, our production employees feel more integrated and part of the team, which is a big improvement in staff motivation”, stated Wendling.

HID on the Desktop has also reduced the management of the workstations in a more organised and secure manner. “It has dramatically reduced the number of queries to the IT helpdesk team. Now my team can remotely track any anomaly, which allows a more organised and easy management”, explained Wendling.

Convergence and multiple uses for cards

Socomec is a great example of convergence and multiple uses of cards. Not only has the company deployed the physical and logical access control, but Socomec employees also use their ID cards for other applications, such as time and attendance management at their production sites and cashless payment at the staff restaurant.

The convergence of physical and logical access and other applications, and the easy deployment of extending the existing card population have helped Socomec implement cost-effective and time-saving procedures, allowing an improved and more secure working environment. “We are very satisfied with the final result and we may consider a potential roll-out plan for the rest of our production facilities across the world in a near future”, stated Wendling.

Why Socomec chose HID Global solutions

  • Easy and cost-effective deployment of logical access control by leveraging the existing HID Prox cards from previously installed HID physical access control.
  • Time-saving solution for Socomec’s IT department to manage multiple accounts in shared PC workstations.
  • To enable more convenient and secure online access to employees at Socomec’s production site.
  • Leverage HID technology and credentials by using multiple applications such as time and attendance and cashless payment
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