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Access Control Breakthrough: Security and Operations Converge
September 21, 2015
As technologies evolve, they may integrate with other technologies to deliver greater capabilities at the same cost and often in a smaller form factor. The evolution of cell phones from a single-purpose device to today’s multi-function smartphone is an excellent example. We call, message, network, take photos, videoconference, read, and so much more on these devices. That’s what’s happening today with biometrics and core business systems—the technologies that manage security and operations are converging to streamline enterprise workflows.
It’s a straightforward premise. If someone’s biometrics can open a door or raise a gate, why can’t it also instantly connect them to other business management tools? Given the value of merging technologies, why can’t biometrics do both on the same device? This doesn’t mean using an iris scan to replace a card reader—simply swapping what you have with who you are. That’s just an alternative access control method. Rather, it means bringing access and operations systems into a tight and seamless convergence, one that stretches across the enterprise—from calendars to inventory, from time and attendance to logistics.
Smartphones and tablets provide the platform to achieve this. That is why SRI International has taken our proven biometric technology and embedded it into an Android® tablet, opening the door (so to speak) to broad consolidation, increased functionality and streamlined operations. Now, the same device that authenticates you for access can deliver real-time information and communications, trigger rule-based automation processes, and open up two-way communications across departments and tasks. The result: greater efficiency, tighter security, lower costs and improved productivity.
SRI’s biometric-embedded tablet can be mounted at critical locations within buildings and campuses. These enterprise terminals can connect to application infrastructure, utilize tiered access controls, and run any Android app.
Consider the efficiency and productivity gains for a workforce. In hourly and shift-based businesses such as retail, hospitality and manufacturing, time and attendance becomes more accurate (no more “buddy punching”). It also becomes more convenient, eliminating all the extra steps between punching in, recording hours, processing payroll and performing analytics. In an office setting, as someone gains access via the tablet, they’ll be presented with quick notifications: a change in meeting location, issues that need urgent attention, an alert to a staff absence, etc. What was traditionally done with disparate systems can be handled from a single device.
Imagine this biometric computing platform in a warehouse scenario. Warehouse access—as well as any secure areas or cages within—can be controlled by the same device that interfaces with the inventory management system. Picked items could be instantly recorded for a precise audit trail that limits theft. Usually this is done with a combination of cards or PINs, handheld devices, remotely managed systems and even paper pick lists. With the integration of security and business processes, you know exactly who is at the location and exactly what they’re doing while they’re there.
We’re really talking about security in general. Biometric-embedded tablets can make guard tours easier to track and monitor, and enhance data communications instantly in both directions. Iris recognition guarantees that the person checking in is the right person at each station. With the tablet, they can access real-time surveillance video or other information as they respond to an incident. For routine maintenance reporting, a broken pipe or burned-out bulb can be recorded on the spot—automatically triggering maintenance processes. These activities are typically conducted, with no authentication, through handheld data loggers and other devices for future download. Performing these functions on one tablet eliminates multiple steps and increases accuracy.
I’ve shared just three examples—but they make the point that a biometric-embedded computing platform can eliminate silos, steps and complexity. It lowers the cost of secure entry. It aligns security and operations, and creates a stronger audit trail as a result. Above all, it’s a scalable platform that can grow with business requirements, using customized Android apps you buy or build.
We invite you to experience the benefits firsthand. If you’re attending ASIS 2015, see the biometric enterprise tablet—a 2015 ASIS Accolades winner—in action at SRI’s booth 757. Contact us to schedule a demo or discuss your ideas for using this cost-effective and versatile security platform.