Access control is a critical element of building security. It is vital in so many ways, not only from an anti-intruder or theft perspective but also in terms of health and safety. In almost every building – whether that’s an office block, a school, a hospital or a shopping centre – many people enter, exit and move around the premises. It is crucial therefore that access into and around buildings, where people are granted or denied entry to certain zones at different times, is managed effectively.
What’s also imperative is how a building’s access control management system can work alongside other safety and security measures, such as CCTV systems and smart alarms. Every building is different and presents its own challenges. It is therefore important to find a flexible access control system which can be adapted to that particular building to meet a customer’s requirements. For example, the Videx Portal Plus range is used in many applications across the private and public sector and is scalable from simple one entrance systems through to multiple entrances with local or remote management facilities.
The main reason why it’s a preferred choice for installers and end users cross-sector is because of the flexibility and customisation it provides. As a networkable access control system that supports proximity, keypads and bio access readers, it also looks the part too, and all key, fob, card or fingerprint readers are fully integrated into the management software to simplify the adding and editing of users. The system is fully scalable from a single entrance through to large installation with multiple controlled entrance points and multiple operators using the software either locally or remotely.
Because of its flexibility, it can create a bespoke access control system which many organisations and businesses are now looking for. The Portal Plus range has continued to develop over recent years based on what customers are asking for – they want a complete system that’s tailored to their specific entry needs, that can integrate seamlessly with other systems they have in place to provide a sophisticated security solution. For example, Portal Plus can be integrated with Milestone’s XProtect platform or other third-party systems using the SDK (Software Development Kit) available. Milestone is a leading provider of video surveillance management systems which allows video capture of those entering and exiting the building and control of the Portal Plus system from within the video management software.
This provides great benefits as it makes installation easier and more cost effective and, for the end user, it provides a better and more comprehensive security system, including CCTV and access control management in one seamless provision that the user has complete control over. It’s done by a plugin which enables users to view live video of controlled doors and respond to access control requests at the push of a button – granting or denying access and opening and closing doors, for instance. The plugin also notifies users, through an alarm message, if the door is forced or blocked. By integrating both technologies the user can view and observe live access control events and data, and capture camera footage from an access control event. What’s more, Portal Plus secured doors can also be viewed alongside relevant video and access requests both in real time and during investigations and users can print access control reports including images from camera events, times, doors and card holders. It’s an innovative integration, that also provides a bespoke experience and service for users.
Systems are constantly being developed so it’s important to keep abreast of the latest offerings. Ultimately, the best advice I can give in choosing the right system is that you need to first understand the client’s needs and any specifications they’ve requested. An out-of-box solution isn’t always available, or indeed the most appropriate choice, therefore it’s always best to talk to the manufacturer or the installer who will be able to listen to your requirements. Using their knowledge of access control systems, they can then help you find the one that best suits your requirements and, critically, meets the client’s needs.