A systems approach to physical security offers many benefits to the user, including solutions that offer greater functionality, improved cost effectiveness and added modularity. For example, the integration of video surveillance with access control systems is fast becoming an industry norm and this kind of collaboration has helped to establish a de facto standard for integration implementations. Vendors, system integrators and end users have learned that by opening protocols to a wide range of integration partners, it is possible to implement connectivity across systems on any level.
The integration of key management and control systems with access control systems is another area in which the interoperability of two disparate but related systems has been successful. The transparency of the integration allows for the functioning of each of the separate processes while simultaneously and seamlessly merging the related functions. Using a common front-end database, the area of movement for staff with keys can be defined by the parameters within the building that are controlled by various access-controlled doors. An example of this would be a user who has taken a specific key and then is denied egress from the facility until the key is returned. Additionally, selected management can be alerted via email if a key has not been returned on time. The parameters can be applied to users, keys, groups of keys, time restraints, reservations and so on.
Optimizing key management and access control technology within a facility through system integration pays obvious rewards in terms of ROI (return on investment) by allowing best-in-breed security solutions to be maintained without the need to overhaul or replace costly installations. And by collecting and analyzing access information with key control software, the integration can also pay dividends in terms of added safety and security policies and/or procedures or compliance with government regulations. The collected information can be rolled into standardized databases and spreadsheets for easy manipulation.
Today’s key control and management systems are designed to fulfill standalone needs or to be integrated into a physical security strategy. The trend is definitely toward integration but it’s nice to know there is a choice.