Integration With Access Control
Dealers and integrators must also consider the integration of any security system with other systems and how they operate in concert. That’s where a professional visitor management system comes into play.
The integration of visitor management with electronic access control allows a lobby attendant to easily and safely provide temporary proximity credentials to visitors rather than doing so through the access control system. This simplifies the process and allows someone unfamiliar with the access system to provide temporary card privileges to visitors.
Access control and visitor management integration allows appropriate visitors to move freely through facilities without the need of an employee escort. For example, it might be necessary to provide contractors doing work on the facility with a proximity card. Visitors who do not need to be escorted may also be given free access.
The information entered into the visitor management system during visitor check-in is seamlessly passed to the access control system. A proximity card for the visitor is activated in the access system using the information entered into the visitor software.
When a visitor with an access card leaves a facility, they will be checked out by the visitor lobby system and that card automatically deactivated. The facility is secure even if the visitor mistakenly takes the card with them because the visitor software passes the expiration date and time to the access system. The access card will no longer be valid after the date and time. If the card was stolen, it would not be able to open anything.
Integrating visitor management with access control eliminates the problems associated with having a stack of live cards left at a reception desk to hand to those visitors, contractors or employees who have forgotten their employee badge. The visitor system also has a record of all visitors who were provided an access card, so there is a complete audit trail. Administrators can review the records of exactly who was provided with a card and what dates and times the card was active.
Watch Lists and Alerts
Screening unwanted visitors from a facility is also one of the functions of a visitor management system. By creating watch lists in the visitor software, a lobby attendant or security officer will be alerted within seconds when someone on the list tries to enter the facility at a visitor check-in station.
This feature can be used to screen against known malicious individuals, disgruntled ex-employees, dubious contractors, or any other people who are not wanted in the building. External databases can also be used in conjunction with internal watch lists to guard against individuals on each state’s sex offender database or the government denied parties database.
A variety of alerts can be used to allow an organization to manage visitors more precisely. For example, say the organization wants all contractors to take a safety test after their second visit to a facility. The visitor software will alert the lobby attendant when a contractor arrives for their second visit, allowing the lobby attendant to inform the contractor of the requirement and direct them to the proper person.
A number of other visitor system alerts that organizations might find helpful when managing visitors can include:
Visitor check-in alert — Notifies the employee that someone is in the lobby waiting for them.
Maximum visitor alert — Informs the lobby attendant that the maximum number of visitors to a particular location or person has been reached. This is particularly helpful in hospital visitor management to limit the number of visitors to a particular patient.
Frequent visitor alert — Flags selected individuals who return a certain number of times or within a specified time.
New visitor alert — Highlights when someone is checking in for the first time.
New package alert — Notifies a tenant or employee that a package has arrived.
Expired badge alert — Alerts the security staff that a visitor badge has expired but that visitor has not yet checked out.
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