Changing the Rules in Visitor Management Systems

Sept. 13, 2005
Top trends: Database searches to block sexual predators, plus cross-platform integration between visitor management systems and access control

Visitor management isn't what it used to be. That seems to be a major theme on the show floor of ASIS 2005.

On Tuesday morning, while at press conference sponsored by the folks at Avery Photo ID, heard from Rafael Moshe, former president of Edgelinx, whose company and software (Lobby Works) is now a part of the Honeywell offerings.

Moshe stressed how the theory of visitor management in today's world is not one of limiting access or turning back people, but of facilitating the visit of people who should be at your facilities.

"At the end of the day, visitor management is about visitor convenience," said Moshe. "You have to make sure you have a physical package for the user to interact with that is easy to use, fast and which can authorize them right there on the spot."

Indeed that immediate authorization and authentication is something we heard elsewhere on the show floor.

Over at the STOPware/Temtec booth, Dana Milkie, general manager of Temtec (now a co-company with STOPware under the Brady Corporation's family of companies), explained that he's seeing more and more integrations of visitor management systems with government watch lists and prohibited persons lists.

"A couple of years ago," says Milkie, "companies would never have wanted to scan driver's licenses. They were too afraid of the privacy issues. Now they are having to insist on that."

He explained that he's seeing a great deal of interest in visitor management partnering with fast-turnaround background checking operations, so that the visitor management database tests against government watch lists and sexual offenders lists aren't the only things companies can do to check who is coming into their facilities.

Indeed, the same perspective is shared over at GE, where a system has been set up to screen sexual predators based on their driver's licenses.

On the technology implementation side, there's been more and more developments in terms of integration. AccessID has been showcasing its high-end security printing options of holograms and micro-printing on badges, and Avery Photo ID is touting its alliances with access control/visitor management systems from AMAG, EasyLobby, GE, Hirsch Electronics, Honeywell, Lenel, SISCO's Fast-Pass, STOPware's Passage Point and more.

Newer systems are now talking with Outlook to check appointments, further enabling the ease of the "authorization" process in your lobby. More and more kiosk-based systems are being established to use the driver's license data to authenticate visitors, freeing up desk staff for other tasks, and allowing the acceptance or denial of visitors to be a faster and more secure process for all involved.

Moshe explained that the integration is happening faster than ever because visitor management is no longer just a function of corporate office parks, but has now moved steadily into arenas like hospitals, schools and our nation's ports.