Visitor Management in the Cloud

Sept. 9, 2014
Emerging intelligent, subscription-based systems will provide RMR opportunities

Controlling visitor access is a vital aspect of providing the highest level of security for facilities of all types. Knowing who is walking the halls of a business, school, hospital or any other location is critical to protecting people, property and assets. However, not all visitor management solutions are created equal, so it’s important to understand the importance of recommending the best possible solution for your customers — one that will provide the most cost-efficient and effective means for implementing a secure visitor management program.

A Range of Choices

There are many visitor management solutions in the market today, from wristbands and labeling machines to a host of software solutions. Further confusing the concept are the variety and combinations of features and functions that these solutions offer. When comparing the available options, there are a number of factors to consider to ensure your customer is getting the greatest value from an intelligent visitor management system.

The most advanced of these technologies provide identity management across the entire enterprise, allowing visitors to be linked to specific employees to create greater accountability around those who enter a facility or building.

Open architecture visitor management solutions are designed to integrate with existing internal core operations systems within an organization, including those used for human resources, compliance, parking and others related to physical assets. These advanced visitor and identity management systems can be used as a policy-based back-end solution that ensures organizations remain compliant throughout automated processes for visitor management. They also deliver complete auditability and accountability to set up policies and procedures and to track visitor activities in real time. Based on their badge type, visitors’ access is limited to the proper predetermined areas, and when they leave, their badge privileges are automatically revoked according to the organization’s policy.

These are a few of the many advanced benefits available to end-users, and it is up to security dealers and integrators to familiarize themselves with the available options in order to educate their customers and identify the visitor management solution that will be the best fit for their specific application.

The Cloud Brings RMR

In addition to providing the right solution for the right situation, intelligent visitor management solutions also present security dealers and integrators with opportunities to generate recurring revenue to help grow their bottom line. One source of potential RMR lies in the relatively new and emerging cloud-based visitor management solutions market.

These solutions offer a number of benefits in addition to the general benefits of an intelligent visitor management solution. For starters, there is no need to rely on IT departments and staff to implement them. IT staff are constantly immersed in projects, and getting the necessary blade units configured, installed and allocated in an organization’s data center takes time. As a result, the task of laying this groundwork to deploy cloud-based visitor management may be just one of many projects the IT department is juggling. Worse yet, it may not be viewed as a high-priority task, putting the deployment at the mercy of IT’s schedule and potentially causing significant delays.

Cloud solutions do not require physical hardware to be allocated. There is some level of integration that needs to be completed — such as ensuring the proper data calls and port settings are in place — but these are much simpler and more streamlined processes for IT. A cloud-based model also enables your customers to take advantage of a “pay as you go” pricing model, making it a more attractive option for those who cannot afford a high upfront cost. The recurring revenue for dealers and integrators comes from offering these cloud-based services on a subscription basis, ensuring a steady revenue stream well into the future.

In addition to the ongoing subscription fees that increase dealers’ and integrators’ profits, cloud-based solutions also indirectly impact revenue in a positive way. Because there is very little equipment to install with these types of systems, deployment and maintenance are simpler and less time-consuming. For example, a global multi-site corporation could quickly and easily ensure that each of its locations is using the same intelligent visitor management solution and that these systems are integrated with one another. With less time required for these jobs, technicians are able to tackle more jobs in less time, generating additional revenue.

The Cloud’s Benefits to Customers

Once a visitor management solution is based in the cloud, end-users have an enterprise-based system that can be accessed at any time from virtually anywhere in the world. New sites can be brought online more quickly and efficiently, and when  using a leading cloud services provider such as Amazon or Microsoft, the accessibility of the visitor management system’s servers becomes more widespread — speeding the process of retrieving information from the cloud.

Because these providers have extremely robust infrastructures and built-in redundancy, they offer exceptional availability with a high level of reliability and minimal downtime, as well as the highest level of data encryption for superior security. Best of all, these providers guarantee all these through their service level agreements.

Streamlined visitor registration is another benefit of putting an organization’s visitor identity management system into the cloud. Visitors can be provided with a link that is easily accessed outside of the organization’s network, which will enable them to pre-register for their visit to a location. Upon arrival, visitors’ credentials can be ready and waiting for them, complete with the appropriate level of access permissions and information about who in the organization is responsible for that particular visitor. This eliminates potential bottlenecks associated with manually inputting visitor information into the system when they arrive. Any required non-disclosure agreements or other background information can also be embedded into the credential, further strengthening its effectiveness. 

When coupled with a mobile solution, cloud-based visitor management systems become even more powerful and provide yet another avenue for dealers and integrators to generate additional revenue. Using a mobile solution, end-users can request access to specific areas during the pre-registration process. Visitors can also use this capability to check in using tablets at kiosks in the lobby, staff can use their smartphone or tablet to review a visitor’s information and check them in and out, as well as check in a group of visitors together rather than one by one. Mobile also simplifies the reporting process for visitors, visits and host activities, for example. All of this is made possible using the cloud.

By seeking out the most intelligent solutions, security dealers and integrators can provide their customers with robust visitor management that simultaneously streamlines the visitor registration process and increases security at a facility. Deploying these systems in the cloud is a new solution to make visitor management more cost-manageable and therefore more attractive to end-users, while also generating a steady stream of recurring revenue.

Ajay Jain is President and CEO of Quantum Secure. To request more info about the company, visit

About the Author

Ajay Jain

Ajay Jain is president and CEO of identity management solutions provider Quantum Secure.