2010 Security Innovation Award Silver Medalist - Mission Accomplished

Panduit uses multiple technologies to connect the many security and safety devices at its new world headquarters facility


- Lower Operational Costs from Centralized Security Operation: Headquarters security personnel can monitor and control video surveillance cameras and building access controls for all global offices over the WAN. By centralizing security operations and eliminating the need for a full security operation at branch offices, Panduit estimates it is saving $653,000 annually. The investment will pay for itself in 1.5 years.
- Accelerated Event Detection and Response through Automation: Interoperability between Cisco Physical Security solutions and other IP-based solutions accelerates event detection and automates response. As an example, activation of the fire system triggers the IPICS to establish a virtual talk group, including instructing Cisco Unified Communications Manager to make outbound calls; open the gate for fire trucks; and display evacuation instructions on digital signage.
- Increased Operational Efficiency: Rather than separately maintaining a personnel database in the Physical Access Manager, Panduit synchronizes it with the company's Oracle personnel database. IPVision used the Enterprise Database Integration (EDI) Studio in the Physical Access Manager software to quickly integrate with the Oracle database. Now, rather than manually entering changes such as new employees, EDI Studio automatically synchronizes the database several times per day. The integration simplifies provisioning, avoids errors and eliminates lag times in deactivating or activating badges.
- Reliable Access Control Even During Power Outages: In most buildings today, if a door controller goes down because of a power outage, all of the doors it controls either remain locked or must be propped open, creating a vulnerability. In the Panduit world headquarters building, a Cisco Physical Access Gateway (local door controller) that loses its connection to the central Physical Access Manager server continues operating. The controller receives Power over Ethernet (PoE) from a Cisco switch and maintains a local database that is automatically and regularly updated by the central database. In addition, the network, all life safety equipment and the UOC are all backed up by both a UPS system and by power generation.
- Lower Capital Expense: "When companies retrofit their buildings for IP, they typically recoup their investment in time, through operational savings," says James Connor, CEO and principal consultant for N2N Secure. "In the Panduit building, since it was a Greenfield deployment, the cost savings from IP-based physical security were immediate."
- Increased ROI from Physical Access Control System: Panduit increased the return on investment from its investment in the Cisco Physical Access Control solution by also using it for other purposes. The company installed a few badge readers instead of time clocks, and employees swipe their badges to check in and out. IPVision used the Physical Access Manager API to extract access logs and integrate them with Panduit's Oracle time-and-labor application. IPVision added logic to the Physical Access Manager to automatically open doors for employees covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The personnel record associated with the badge indicates whether the employee uses a wheelchair. Finally, when visitors arrive in the lobby, the receptionist can quickly find out if their sponsor is in the building because the visitor management system is integrated with the Physical Access Control system.

The Future

Panduit is adding the same IP-based physical security solutions in other global offices. The company expects the gains in physical security and operational efficiency to be even greater in these offices, which have smaller security staffs than headquarters.
Additional future plans include integrating the Cisco Physical Access Control system with network access controls, so that an employee who has not swiped a badge to enter the building, for example, cannot log on to a PC.

The STE Innovation Award is an annual competition that recognizes the most innovative use of technology and services in the security industry. The competition accepts case study submissions from vendors, integrators and end-users. For more information about the Innovation Awards, visit www.securityinfowatch.com/magazine/ste.