Redwood Shores, California-based Oracle Corp. is about as high-tech as they come. A leading supplier of software for enterprise information management offering its products in more than 145 countries around the world with revenues exceeding $8 billion annually, Oracle has spearheaded the Internet computing model for using enterprise software across its entire product line.
Trouble with multiple access cards
Speed is everything for a technology-based business such as Oracle that competes both in the Silicon Valley and abroad. Ironic, then, that employees travelling from one facility to the next couldn’t get through the front door. One card wouldn’t do the trick. “You’re walking around with three or four cards to get into two buildings that are right next door to each other, just within the same block. You compound that to 75 U.S. offices, if you’re a traveling sales consultant. Some of those people were easily carrying six to 10 cards in their briefcase to get in somewhere,” explains Robert W. Bastida, director of security at Oracle.
Matters were further complicated by the fact that not all Oracle cards looked alike. This slowed access into various facilities, and worse: “There’s a security issue there where you don’t know really who is coming into your facility, even if they say that they’re an employee [but] they have a strange card you’ve never seen before,” he says.
“We grant different accesses for different groups based on what their managers authorize them to have, and that’s all done here in Redwood Shores, CA. If we have a group that’s working on a special project, for instance, and they’re going to be working 16 hours a night, we can set clearances for them to go through certain areas of our buildings freely without setting alarms and such,” Bastida added.
All these problems were a far cry from the sleek, high-tech, efficient images that Oracle projects, not to mention causing potential security problems and lost productivity.
ISOProx card and ProxPro reader
As Oracle grew and the problems could magnify if something was not done, security system administrators began to specify the ISOProx card and ProxPro reader access control system by Irvine, CA-based HID Corp. David Stoller, systems administrator of security operations at Oracle’s headquarters, explains: “We upgraded, but we still had to keep a system that worked with the older HID proximity readers we had been using for years and the new ProxPros. We redesigned our entire access control system for the headquarters facility and are in the process of upgrading all o f our domestic offices to the same system.”
Such efficiency aids productivity, vital for any business but especially a high-tech company such as Oracle® for which speed in getting products to market is everything
Oracle also implemented HID’s Corporate 1000 Format, which is available to large organizations that use the company’s access control readers and cards. This 35-bit format is owned and controlled by the end-user, but HID tracks card numbers to make sure card duplication never occurs.
“It’s very good because we know that no one’s going to be trying to get cards matching any of our facilities. As we grow and as our systems grow, in the United States and out of the United States, we could use that same format and know that it’s going to work everywhere,” says Stoller.
Single card, multiple access
When employees travel, they can now use a single card to access most Oracle buildings in the United States. Our goal is for employees to use one card for any facility throughout the world. “To get into all of our offices during business hours to conduct business and have that culture of openness Oracle strives to achieve for all employees. Simply put, when they present their badge, they go through the reader, and they’re granted access.” Bastida continues. “Such efficiency aids productivity, vital for any business but especially a high-tech company such as Oracle for which speed i n getting products to market is everything. The new security system is really versatile. You can really do a lot of different things: close doors, shut doors, allow access, no access, weekends, holidays, special projects, and special groups, allow them access to certain areas for a limited amount of time or an extended amount of time.”
The centralized system has also brought efficiency and better security. Now there is also one standardised corporate employee identification/security card. No longer does one Oracle card look different from the cardholder database managed at Oracle’s headquarters. An image list gives security officers in the field the ability to pull up a picture and compare it to the person presenting the card. In addition, terminated employees can be instantly removed from the system.
While the process of integrating security over so many facilities has been a challenge, the hard work is paying off. Employees, facilities and everything in between are safer and more manageable. The security team is now setting its sights on its Latin American offices and integrating them in to the system. Subsequently, Oracle’s business can progress as fast as the market takes it.