A Depository for Integrated Technologies

Oct. 27, 2008
Engage Technologies Secures a Corporate

From its beginning, MacDill Federal Credit Union (MFCU) implemented high levels of security management, going beyond what is required by industry regulatory bodies. Established in 1955, MacDill Federal Credit Union is recognized as one of the leading credit unions in the nation, with $1.6 billion in assets and over 173,000 members. In addition to its military affiliation, membership is now open to the employees of over 1,100 affiliated companies in the Tampa Bay area. Always at the forefront of security measures, MFCU ensured it implemented the latest and most state-of-the-art security technologies when designing its new international corporate headquarters, which was completed in the summer of 2005.

Costing approximately $25 million dollars, the five-story complex is located in Tampa , FL and encompasses 140,000 square feet on 25 acres of land. Amenities include a three-story parking garage, a fitness center and an employee lounge. Currently, 240 employees work at the facility.

A Comprehensive Security Plan

Joel Pecoraro, director of property administration for MFCU, says that with the ever-increasing possibilities of threats to today's financial institutions, MFCU devised a comprehensive security program to ensure its new corporate headquarters was protected at every point of entry. To do this, Pecoraro, in cooperation with the credit union's executive building committee, looked at several options when shopping for the company's security system. After an extensive selection process, MFCU chose to partner with Engage Technologies.

“In designing the MFCU headquarters we set out to make this complex as secure as any major corporation in the country,” states Pecoraro. “We chose to work with Engage Technologies because we were very impressed with the security systems the company already installed at several of our branch locations.”

Based in Tampa , FL , Engage Technologies is a specialty systems contractor, expert in the field of designing and building sophisticated, fully integrated access control and security electronics. From biometrics and ID card access control to video surveillance systems, ATM machine installations and parking/traffic controls, Engage designs solutions to control, monitor and record the continual flow of people, vehicles and goods that move in and out of a facility or property.

Currently more than 25,000 Engage Technologies systems are in operation throughout the United States . Clients range from master plan developers, financial institutions and government buildings to theme parks, military bases, medical facilities, airports, parking facilities, schools, assisted living/retirement centers and power plants.

“Most importantly,” says Pecoraro, “Engage possesses a sophisti cated level of understanding of our industry, as well as their own.”

The Master Scheme

For MFCU, Engage Technologies designed and installed a fully integrated master security systems plan for its new headquarters, including complete access control with proximity card readers, video surveillance with digital recording and CCTV, door monitoring, and intrusion detection systems. Engage also handled security systems for the facility's three-story parking garage and gate and fence systems.

The impressive array of equipment integrated by Engage Technologies includes, but is not limited to: an IP addressable access control system with 119 proximity card readers controlling various doors; elevators and gates; 63 color closed circuit television cameras; six IP addressable digital video recorders; four slide gate and barrier gate systems to secure the three-story parking garage; three emergency help telephones; a burglar alarm system with 120 monitoring points; one server computer; one communications server; a complete badging station for photo imaging and card issuance; one work station computer; a four-terabyte video storage server; one portable service laptop; and five 17 inch flat panel monitors. Engage Technologies also designed, fabricated and installed the property's decorative ornamental aluminum fencing and gates.

To monitor all these systems in place, Engage Technologies created an onsite control center to serve as a central command station. From this station, MFCU can modify door schedules, view and acknowledge alarms, open and close controlled doors and gates, add/delete cardholder records, and enable/disable personnel access. MFCU can also instantaneously create and disable the 240 plus badges for its permanent and temporary staff, as well as grant or limit access to secured sections of the building.

Pecoraro feels that the beauty of the MFCU system is that it is completely scalable. “With our growth strategies for the future, we can easily add to the existing system as we expand our office space and add new towers,” he comments.

This level of control was extremely important to Pecoraro. “With the advanced integrated security systems we have in place, I feel confident that this building and the sensitive information we protect is secure. With just the click of a mouse we can monitor and track what's going on anywhere inside the building or the parking garage, and around the perimeter,” he adds.

Keeping Control of the Job

According to Pecoraro, another significant factor in selecting Engage is that the company uses only its own employees during installation–not outside sub-contractors. “This was certainly a huge selling point in our selection process,” he admits.

Terry Anderson, president and founder of Engage Technologies, further notes that maintaining complete control of integrated access and security systems is of critical importance. For this reason, Engage Technologies limits the use of sub-contractors in construction and installation to only high voltage wiring and conduits. All installation and auditing work is performed by trained Engage technicians and sales engineers to ensure that the security systems are not compromised.

“ Introducing outside sub-contractors to the inner workings of a client's security system architecture, wiring configuration, PC network security, IP addresses, passwords and operations can leave a system vulnerable. The use of sub-contractors in security systems installations simply contradicts logic,” advises Anderson .

“The advanced security systems in place at the new MFCU corporate headquarters protect employees, patrons, confidential information and materials ,24/7; yet it remains almost invisible,” explains Pecoraro. “This is exactly what we were looking to achieve. This building is as secure as it can possibly be, and the systems are constructed in such a way that they are unobtrusive.”

Since moving into the new headquarters location, MFCU has partnered with Engage Technologies to develop a security consortium. MFCU and Engage officials meet regularly to discuss security issues and developments in the access control and security electronics industry that can be implemented at its headquarters and branch levels.