Wintec (The Waikato Institute of Technology), established in 1924 is a major New Zealand Government-funded tertiary institution, which has three Hamilton campuses; a city site overlooking the central business district, Avalon campus on the northern outskirts of the city, and a horticultural campus at Hamilton Gardens. In addition, it has regional operations at Te Kuiti and Thames and also an office in Beijing.
The Avalon campus, a ten-minute drive from the city, is home to specialist trades training facilities, a state-of the-art sport and exercise complex and custom designed facilities for the School of International Tourism, Hospitality and Events. The third Hamilton campus, the Horticultural Education Centre, is situated amidst the 58 hectares of Hamilton Gardens.
On-line distance education
Wintec’s programmes and qualifications are nationally and internationally recognised
Wintec is one of the largest institutes of technology in New Zealand, and has more than 35,000 full-time and part-time students, more than 500 full and part time staff and eleven schools within its academic faculty. International enrolments exceed 1000 from 47 countries. A range of student services provide its domestic and international students with a high level of support so they enjoy a positive, safe and secure study experience.
Wintec’s programmes and qualifications are nationally and internationally recognised and its degrees have equal status to those from universities. The degree programmes include Media Arts, Midwifery, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Early Childhood Education, Business Studies, Engineering, Technology, Information Technology, and Sport and Exercise Science and a wide range of full and part time courses for those already in the workforce. Wintec is also recognised nationally in the delivery of on-line distance education for those unable to attend regular classes for reasons of geographical access or other constraints.
Electronically controlled doors
Wintec strives for a balance of unobtrusive yet robust control of site activity, essential for maintaining an open campus environment. Shane Goodall, Security Manager at Wintec, describes the approach to security as highly proactive and collaborative: “by focusing on preventing issues arising, we now have a minimal policing role and the crime resolution rate is high”.
This environment is underpinned by Gallagher’s security system, a core access control, intruder alarms and integration platform. Wintec first installed the Gallagher system (formerly Cardax FT) in 1999 and has since migrated this legacy system to Gallagher’s latest security technology platform. Security for the entire organisation, including satellite sites, is managed and monitored centrally from Wintec’s single Gallagher security system. Since initial installation, Wintec’s Gallagher access control system has grown from 7 to 240 electronically controlled doors in 2009, with another 40 planned - testimony to the scalability and flexibility of the system.
Network friendly system communications
The organisation first installed 6 cameras in 2004 which has increased to 7 DVRs and 85 cameras
Wintec has integrated its imaging system to the Gallagher system delivering a visual record which can be matched to the audit trail of events in Gallagher Command Centre software. The organisation first installed 6 cameras in 2004 which has increased to 7 DVRs and 85 cameras (both analogue and IP). Another compelling aspect of the system for Wintec is the scalability and TCP/IP network friendly system communications. As well as monitoring and controlling staff and student access, equipment including computers, TVs, printers, audio visual resources at Wintec are also monitored through the Gallagher system.
The ‘Gallagher Hub’, a new computer laboratory offering comprehensive IT resources is open 24 hours. The Hub contains 125 workstations, and there are plans to extend that number. Active monitoring of equipment though the Gallagher system has significantly reduced theft. Students and staff have scheduled access to shared IT resources, classrooms and lecture theatres.
Manage cardholder data
‘Cardholder Import’, an XML Interface, supports the importation of cardholder data including course enrolments from their student record system to Gallagher Command Centre. Shane comments, “Student card issuing is an automated process which is enrolment-driven – a student’s access privileges are assigned according to their enrolled courses.”
“To implement this, we defined a rules-based allocation of access groups in the Gallagher system using the XML interface. The interface is ‘live’ so that changes in the student enrolments database are immediately reflected in the Gallagher system. The student’s updated access privileges come into effect without delay.” Staff that interact directly with students are now empowered to manage cardholder data enabling the security team to focus on security.
Students and staff utilise Mifare SmartCard functionality extensively, embracing them as an integral multiapplication tool in their modern educational environment – SmartCards are used to issue resources from the library and as pre-stored value cards enabling prepaid printing and photocopying. In the near future they will also be used in Wintec’s Pay and Display car-park and potentially as passes onto city council buses.
Electronic access control
At Wintec, security is not viewed as a discrete functional activity relegated to security staff only
Stewart Brougham, Director of Internationalisation at Wintec, says students have given very positive feedback about their ID cards. In particular, the ability to verify the identity of staff members from their ID access cards provides peace of mind for students. The end result is a people-friendly campus. Future enhancements of Wintec’s security may include the utilisation of the CommCard solution from Gallagher to manage and monitor access to student accommodation. CommCard is a unique high level integration between the Gallagher Command Centre software and Salto off-line readers, delivering offline, non-monitored electronic access control for lower security doors.
An overriding philosophy of collaboration has seen Wintec take a lateral approach to security, the value of which many organisations have yet to realise. At Wintec, security is not viewed as a discrete functional activity relegated to security staff only. The ongoing management of security is a joint effort between the security services team and the information services team.
Increasing operational security
The security services team manages the Gallagher system while IT looks after back end functions such as installation on the network and backup. Wintec has leveraged the convergence of security (access control) and other operational business functions recognising the tremendous potential for reducing risk and increasing operational security, safety, performance and efficiency.
Looking beyond simply controlling and monitoring who goes where and when on site, Wintec is harnessing the reporting capabilities of Gallagher Command Centre to meet regulatory requirements. The Gallagher system enables the institution to report on actual space utilisation (not just space booking). Decisions are made for best use, and also to substantiate funding, based on these reports. “The key to space utilisation reporting are the frequency of reporting and the integrity and reliability of information,” states Stewart Brougham. It’s a national issue for educational institutes in New Zealand.
Extending external partnerships
“For Wintec, reporting is about ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements and is also a staff time management issue – reducing the administration load on lecturers, who would otherwise have to track student attendance manually.” Brian Fleming, Director of Gallagher Channel Partner, Concord Technologies, sites this lateral application of a security system as key to maximising the value of Gallagher to Wintec.
Wintec has a strong relationship with Gallagher in the ongoing development of its technologies
This collaborative philosophy extends to proactive external partnerships with their Gallagher Channel Partner, Concord Technologies, for the installation and maintenance of the Gallagher system, and with system designer and manufacturer, Gallagher. Having signed an agreement to continue in the capacity of a Gallagher field test site, Wintec has a strong relationship with Gallagher in the ongoing development of its technologies. Wintec’s success, in the last 5 years, as a test site reflects the competence of both its IT and security staff and the institute’s commitment to edge student services. Minimal training has been required.
Software maintenance agreement
There is open communication and information sharing between all internal and external parties involved, which means any issues that arise can be quickly addressed. Wintec has committed to a site maintenance plan with their security partner, Concord Technologies. The plan incorporates both software and hardware maintenance to ensure the system is maintained on the latest operating platforms within a known cost structure.
A Software Maintenance Agreement also ensures enhanced ongoing system performance and reliability of the Gallagher system. Acknowledgements Gallagher would like to acknowledge the support of Wintec and security partner, Concord, with the development of this in-site study. Gallagher would also like to particularly acknowledge and thank Shane Goodall for the pivotal role he plays in championing the collaboration of these parties and for his outstanding support of the Northern Region Cardax User Group (NZ) in the capacity of Chairman of the group.