Mobile employee protection

In recent years, outsourcing to India has meant an exponential increase in job opportunities in the country. This expansion has spurred the creation of corporate regulations to address the demands of Information Technology (IT) industry security. Due to special work schedules needed to serve global businesses, employee safety at IT/Information Technology-Enabled Services (IT/ITES) is a major area of concern. 

Companies now demand intelligent solutions that protect employees, extending beyond the 9-to-5 workday into the commute to and from facility premises, and at any time during the day. 

Faced with this very need, Perot Systems began looking for a security solution to protect its associates. Perot Systems is a global provider of technology-based business solutions that values the safety of both its associates and the important client data with which they work every day. Using an innovative technology implementation to address associate security in corporate vans, the company was the first in India to integrate Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) with Global Positioning System (GPS) & Global System for Mobile (GSM) /General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) solutions. 

Access control and asset tracking

To ensure the associates’ on-site physical security, Perot Systems used HID cards and readers for access control in all its facilities. But Perot Systems’ round-the-clock global work schedules demanded the establishment of a 100-vehicle, 24-hour bus service to transport associates to and from shifts. To address the security needs of this complex global business dynamic, Perot Systems needed a vendor who could provide an end-to-end security solution. 

HID, in technical partnership with AutoPAY Solutions, implemented MARK 1 (mobile attendance and tracking system) at Perot Systems, Chennai, India. Integrating RFID with GPS & GSM/GPRS technology, the solution delivered highly mobile security for Perot Systems’ employees, offering detailed vehicle movement updates, emergency contact information and ID card scanning on pick ups and drop offs. 

Four GPS satellites determine the location and speed of the GPS-equipped vehicle. Next, the controller on the vehicle sends the data to the central server using GPRS/GSM technology. 

Since the implementation, transport contractors/drivers are more alert, responsible and accountable. Perot Systems reports that the monitored drivers are punctual, and drive more efficiently and safely

Using this technology, administrative personnel at Perot Systems’ headquarters keep track of a number of transportation variables. These include communication with the van driver and monitoring the vehicle’s speed, route, time of pick ups and drop offs, and the name and number of associate passengers. In an emergency, associates onboard can press the emergency button, triggering a customizable “ALERT” SMS to be sent to key personnel. This end-to-end solution accomplishes Perot Systems’ prime objective of protecting employees. 

Perot Systems decided to implement HID readers to take advantage of the installed base of HID access control cards already in use in their facilities. The associates’ HID 125 kHz ProxPoint® Card is a critical component in the solution, presented to the reader whenever they get on or off the vehicle. With this action, Perot Systems’ administrative personnel receive the following key information:

  • Name, time and boarding/disembarkation location of the associate
  • Total number of associates travelling in the vehicle
  • Associates’ arrival time at the office
  • Pick up/drop off points of associates
  • Presence or absence of female associates in the vehicle
  • Link to the route management system

According to Mr. Vardhman Jain, Managing Director of Perot Systems Insurance & Business Process Solutions, India division, “Employee security is top priority in our organisation. Since HID readers are known for high security and authentication, and the Company also has local presence, we were confident in installing the readers on our fleet.” 

Deploying HID ID Cards

Associates present their HID cards to the readers when they board or leave the van. Up to 12 people can scan their ID cards in a sequence. Panic buttons onboard the van alert headquarters administrative personnel to accidents, illness or other incidents, directing them to take necessary action. A built-in voice communication option allows staff at the helpdesk to speak with the driver and the associates while en route. The facility is linked to the internal route management system. 

Perot Systems’ implementation took approximately 45 days, including installation of all the equipment in the entire fleet of vans, hardware and software at the headquarters control unit and a test period. Because the fleet is made up of non-uniform vehicles, each interior installation was unique. Nonetheless, the process was handled efficiently by AutoPAY. 

HID solution benefits

Since the implementation, transport contractors/drivers are more alert, responsible and accountable. Perot Systems reports that the monitored drivers are punctual, and drive more efficiently and safely. The transportation department has better control over its van fleet, able to use real-time tracking (updated every 30 seconds) to locate the vehicles. Enabled by successful transportation, Perot Systems, to date, has added an additional 25 new vehicle units from AutoPAY and intend to continue expanding these capabilities.

Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Smart home access control growth and the future of door security
Smart home access control growth and the future of door security

There’s growing noise around smart homes and smarter security. You’ve probably heard it. But there is a place where access control and more have been smart for decades: the workplace. Home automation and IoT are still playing catch-up with the commercial sector. A new insights report from ASSA ABLOY and IFSEC Global — “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018” — measures just how fast consumer smart technology is running. According to a survey conducted for the report, 61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system. Energy monitors, home CCTV cameras, intruder alarms and smart door locks are the most popular, according to the report. All these functions, of course, have been available to businesses for years.61% of households now claim to own at least one smart home device or system Educating the smart home consumer Paradoxically, report data also questions how much consumers really know about their smarter home. A surprising 42% of those surveyed, for example, were unaware they could control a smart door lock from their phone. In fact, many leading smart door lock models offer this feature, delivered by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and an app. Despite a wealth of features offered by the latest smart door locks — remote and location-based locking/unlocking; voice activation; timed access; emailed entry alerts; and integration with smart camera and lighting systems — most people still have limited knowledge of their capabilities.  Smart technology is increasingly becoming the new norm in terms of home security  Only 14% of survey respondents described themselves as “very familiar” with what a smart lock can do. Even though most of them probably use smart access control solutions at their workplace. Secure homes through smart technology Monitoring and security are not the only drivers for smart home adoption. We humans also love convenience, and modern living presents us with problems that smart home technology can solve. Ironically, given the report’s findings, it takes a smartphone to really unlock the convenient possibilities of smarter living. The device that’s “always to hand” is central to the newest generation of smart door locks.A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out If homeowners wish to remotely manage property access for friends and family, many smart door locks oblige. You let in guests remotely, send them a virtual digital key, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door. It is just as easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore. This is a significant improvement over sharing physical keys — or hiding one under the doormat. We cannot be totally sure where a metal key ends up and have no way to track or cancel it once it’s “out in the wild”. Commercial access control offers such functionality as standard, of course.  In addition, smart door locks offer more than just stand-alone operation and clever functions. In a domestic setting, magic happens when locks work in harmony with a home automation system, connected by protocols like Z-Wave, ZigBee or Wi-Fi. "Smart" security on the move  The smartphone is becoming a remote control for managing a connected life beyond just home (and even workplace) security. According to Accenture, the parcel delivery services market will grow by $343 billion by 2020. Just like home security, convenience is a major driver of change. Homeowners can send guests a virtual digital key to their phones, or provide a temporary or single-use PIN to unlock the door A recent PostNord pilot in Sweden aimed to remove the inconvenience of waiting home for a postal delivery. Selected customers of some major Scandinavian e-retailers could choose to have parcels delivered inside their front door, if it was equipped with a Yale smart door lock.  Home delivery is among potential smart services covered in “The Smart Door Locks Report 2018 ”. When asked whether the ability to receive parcels securely in a porch or lobby would make them more likely to invest in a smart door lock, 79% said it would.It is easy to revoke a digital key, if you don’t want its owner to come around anymore Holiday rentals and smart home tech ASSA ABLOY research published in 2017 forecasts continued growth in the European holiday rentals sector (at 5.8% CAGR). Smart door locks are also making an impact here, at both ends of the market: for service providers — agents and homeowners — and for travellers. A smart door lock is a convenient way for a landlord or agency to offer round-the-clock check-in and check-out, without creating extra work or staff costs. Both Intersoft, in Croatia, and Hoomvip in Spain have built holiday rentals management systems around an app and the ENTR® smart door lock. Agents issue, revoke, track and manage virtual keys for all their guests, saving everyone time and hassle. Travellers use their phones and an app to unlock their apartment. For these visitors the smartphone is already an essential travel accessory. It is a boarding pass, a credit card, a travel guide, and a postcard home... why not a door key, too? And if this key is backed by a trusted home security brand — and a company with vast experience in the mature market for commercial “smart” security — better still.

Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry
Bosch startup SAST addresses need for evolved solutions in security industry

Security and Safety Things GmbH (SAST) is a new company that has announced its vision for an Internet of Things (IoT) platform for the next generation of security cameras. The Bosch startup plans to build a global ecosystem for the development of innovative security camera applications. Based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), SAST provides libraries, an API framework, and codecs for developers to work with. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications. We presented some questions to Nikolas Mangold-Takao, VP Product Management and Marketing, about the new venture, and here are his responses: Q: Why a new company now? What technology innovations have made this a good time to launch this company? The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform"Mangold-Takao: From a technical perspective we see two main drivers: increasing computing power at the edge and increasing internet connectivity, which will enable devices to directly communicate with each other and bring new technologies such as artificial intelligence also to the security and safety industry. At the same time, we see that this industry and its users are hungry for more innovative solutions – addressing new security needs while at the same leveraging the possibility to improve business operations for specific verticals, e.g. retail and transportation. The time is right to bring market needs and technological innovations together on one platform for this industry. Q: Why does SAST need to be a separate entity from Bosch? Mangold-Takao: SAST is setup as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bosch Group. We wanted to make sure that SAST is able to underline its role as an industry standard platform across multiple players. SAST is open to get additional investors and is being setup as a startup in its own offices in Munich to foster the environment where speed and innovation can more easily take place. Having said that, several entities of the Bosch Group are very interesting partners for SAST. The SAST App Store will allow developers to build and market new applications, similar to today’s app stores for smartphone applications Q: Please explain your "value proposition" to the industry. Mangold-Takao: We will bring new innovations and possibilities to the security and safety industry by providing an open, secure and standardised Operating System for video security cameras, to also address pressing issues such as cyber security and data privacy concerns. Devices that run then with the SAST operating system will work with an application marketplace provided and operated by SAST. Integrators and users can then use these apps from this marketplace to deploy additional functionality on these devices. With our platform we will be able to build up a community of app developers, including the ones not yet developing for this industry who have expertise in computer vision and artificial intelligence. Q: It seems what you are doing has parallels with the Apple and Android "app" stores. How is your approach the same (and how is it different) than those approaches? We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process"Mangold-Takao: The approach is similar in the way that we plan to generate revenue by operating the application marketplace and thus participate in the app revenue. The difference is that there is much more needed than apps and cameras to create a complete working solution addressing a user problem in this industry – we need to make sure that our own platform as well as the new applications being created will work as a part of an end-to-end solution. Q: "Critical mass" and wide industry participation seem to be requirements for your success. How will you achieve those goals? Will you involve integrators, consultants, or other parties in addition to manufacturers (to drive awareness)? How? Mangold-Takao: SAST is in close exchange with device manufacturers, integrators and consultants, as well as application developers and large end-users at the moment to ensure that we are building the right platform and ecosystem for this industry. We are setting up SAST as a user-centric company and involve selected users very early on in the process. We will run dedicated programs and hackathons to attract app developers, already active and new to our industry. We will also run selected pilots with end-users throughout 2019 to ensure we have all partners involved early on. SAST sees the industry is hungry for more innovative solutions – with the retail vertical market a target for these solutions Q: What timeline do you foresee in terms of implementing these initiatives? Mangold-Takao: While we start with first app development programs and plan our first pilots already for this year, we are planning our commercial launch for end of 2019. Q: How does your new company relate to the new Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA)? Mangold-Takao: The Open Security and Safety Alliance has been working very closely with SAST over the past year, defining some important concepts and elements required. One of the most important elements is an open and standardised Operating System, specific to this industry, which will then bring forward new innovative technologies and solutions. SAST is actively working on this Operating System, based on Android Open Source Project (ASOP), but is evolved and hardened with industry-specific features. Q: What's the biggest thing you want the security industry to understand about SAST? What is your "message" to the industry? Mangold-Takao: Our message is simple: let’s build better security and safety systems – together! But for real, innovating an industry is a joint effort, we can only bring new innovation to this industry with partners who share our vision and are excited about new technology. At the same time, we strongly believe that our platform allows every partner to bring forward what they do best but also invite new partners to our industry.

What is the value of remotely monitoring a system's health and operation?
What is the value of remotely monitoring a system's health and operation?

When is it too late to learn that a video camera isn’t working properly? As any security professional will tell you, it’s too late when you find that the system has failed to capture critical video. And yet, for many years, system administrators “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” And when they found out, it was too late, and the system failed to perform as intended. Fortunately, in today’s technology-driven networked environment, monitoring a system’s health is much easier, and a variety of systems can be deployed to ensure the integrity of a system’s operation. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can remote monitoring of a security system’s health and operation impact integrators and end users?