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Though many office workers across the globe have found themselves working remotely for the past year, we are seeing a bit of a silver lining, as vaccine rollouts hint at a return to some pre-pandemic sense of normalcy. However, while some of us might opt for a fully-remote work life, others are anticipating a hybrid solution. Even before the pandemic, offices were taking a new, more open layout approach—moving past the days of cubicles and small office configurations. Going forward, offices and other workspaces will be tasked with supporting a hybrid work solution, as well as increasing hygiene measures. Video intercom solution This is where an IP video intercom solution can assist. Below are four ways they can help usher in a smarter, safer work environment: Video intercoms assist in creating a more hygienic work environment - The outbreak of COVID-19 has raised awareness of germs and just how easily a virus can be transmitted by face-to-face contact. Germ barriers are popping up in many aspects of our daily lives, where we were not likely to see them before Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach As such, we’re becoming accustomed to seeing plexiglass barriers at restaurants, grocery stores, and even coffee shops. However, many don’t realize that one of the best germ barriers is a simple door. Unfortunately, the door is also the easiest of these germ barriers to breach. All it takes is a knock or a doorbell ring to make us open our germ barrier and be face-to-face with whomever is on the other side. Increasing hygiene safety A simple step to increase hygiene safety and visitor security in commercial buildings and workspaces is an IP video intercom. Installing a video intercom will allow staff to see and speak with visitors without breaching that all-important germ barrier. A video intercom system provides a first line of defense, enabling the user to visually confirm the identity of the person on the other side of the door first before granting access. It can also be used to make sure proper procedures are being followed before a person is allowed to enter, such as using hand sanitizer, wearing a mask, and following social distancing guidelines. Basic security needs A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities Video intercoms for occupancy management and basic security - A major topic of conversation the past year has been how to manage occupancy in all facilities—ranging from grocery stores and retail shops to restaurants and commercial buildings. Workspaces and offices are no exception. A video intercom provides a quick and convenient method of seeing who, or what, is on the unsecure side of the door before opening. For basic security needs, if a business has a door opening into an alley, a video intercom would be used to ensure no one is waiting outside to force their way in when the door is opened. Personal protection equipment Such solutions can also be used to ensure a person is carrying proper credentials, or wearing proper personal protection equipment (PPE), before entering a sensitive area. For example, if a lab has a room which can only be accessed by two persons at a time wearing specific protective gear, a video intercom could ensure each person is properly equipped, before allowing access that particular room. Additionally, for office or workspaces that have shared common areas, such as a cafeteria, gym or even conference rooms, managing access to these spaces will remain a priority, especially with post-pandemic restrictions in place. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace Deliveries of packages, work-related materials, or even food are common in any office or workspace. Video intercoms can assist in facilitating safe deliveries by visually and audibly confirming the identity of the individual. The visitor could be your next big client, your lunch delivery, a fellow employee with a faulty access card, or your mail. Video intercoms are a comprehensive safety and security tool for any workspace. Visitor management systems Video intercoms provide a cost-effective solution in small to mid-sized office facilities - One significant advantage of video intercom systems is the variety of applications available. Systems range from simple one-to-one video intercoms, to buzz-in systems, to full-fledged visitor management systems in mixed-use buildings. While they might lack the resources and manpower many enterprises have, small-to medium-sized offices can also take steps to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Like any business, controlling who comes into the building is a primary way of maintaining safety. Video intercoms work in conjunction with access control systems to provide an identifying view of visitors or employees with lost or missing credentials. They allow staff to both see and hear those on the unsecured side of the door to determine intent before granting access. Most quality video intercoms will provide a clear enough image to allow an identification card to be read by holding it close to the lens, adding another opportunity to verify identity. Touchless intercom activation One major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation Video intercoms provide a touchless option - Even prior to COVID-19, one major trend is the option of providing a touchless door activation or touchless intercom activation of a video intercom for those without proper credentials. Though touchless isn’t a new solution to the access control market, the pandemic introduced a renewed focus on these types of solutions to provide hygienic access to visitors. For offices and other workspaces looking to make investments into post-pandemic solutions to assist in reopening, touchless can support these efforts. When it comes to smart, secure workspaces, many people think instantly of cameras or monitors, access control, and alarm systems. Proper access credentials However, video intercoms are often the missing piece of a building’s security puzzle. A video intercom provides an identifying view that is not always available from a camera covering a large area. They allow those without proper access credentials a method of requesting entry, and just like cameras, they can be activated by alarms to allow staff to clearly see and communicate. If a workspace or office is important enough to be secure, it’s important enough to be sure of who is there before the door is opened. In 2021, it’s not enough to ensure the physical security of your staff and visitors, but also to ensure they are accessing a hygienic environment. Video intercoms provide that security and peace of mind.
In a world forever changed by the coronavirus pandemic, companies worldwide are now expanding their concept of physical security to best safeguard their facilities and employees. Few incidents have had as much of an impact on businesses globally as the COVID-19 pandemic; much of the world is still struggling to contain COVID-19, navigating the lasting effects and exploring what the “new normal” looks like. While some organizations are still engaged primarily in “anywhere operations”, i.e. remote work, many organizations are implementing strategic physical security solutions that better protect everyone through the use of video surveillance technology and advanced intelligence capabilities. As this new normal takes hold within the business environment, security strategies will largely be centered around several key initiatives like access control, people counting, occupancy controls, temperature screening, contact tracing, and reducing office touch points. With the use of a video management system (VMS) in the shadow of COVID-19, occupancy data from a VMS can trigger a lockdown and not permit new entrants until the occupancy drops below a certain threshold; this is significantly useful for organizations that have returned to in-person work. But there’s a caveat: though many legacy security systems are being re-evaluated to allow for touchless or frictionless access control — a move designed to eliminate the need for employees and visitors to physically touch a surface when using an access control system — upgrading the outdated technologies can be cumbersome and expensive, especially for organizations that had not planned for an interruption like the pandemic. Security contractors will be vital So, what is the solution? Security contractors will play a vital role in helping end-users across a range of vertical markets — large and small — to achieve their goals in the new paradigm. For some, this may mean leveraging existing access control and video surveillance systems with upgrades where needed. For others, an entire overhaul is made possible with budget friendly solutions for businesses to migrate to integrated access control through end-to-end security solutions that tie into existing infrastructures without major disruptions (meaning the organization will never be left vulnerable). Cybersecurity is becoming even more intertwined with physical security There is massive transformation occurring in the security industry, most notably the movement to digitise physical access and integrate it with video management systems and surveillance. This shift means that cybersecurity is becoming even more intertwined with physical security, allowing organizations the ability to correlate the metadata of people’s behaviors and activities — a plus point for those looking to remain vigilant against future pandemic-esque business interruptions. Access, video, and audio are converging into consolidated platforms. Due to lower costs and pairings with IP-based, wireless infrastructure, there are infinite solution configurations. IT security requirements are beginning to apply to physical security because of this integrated infrastructure. Multi-factor authentication The security industry is also beginning to see a trend of multi-factor authentication, which is going to dominate in the days to come as it makes solutions more reliable. Most people carry smartphones these days, which have green check communication capabilities that allow easy multi-factor authentication. Costs are going down, and algorithms are getting better, making more people willing to try it. Some new solutions have both the fingerprint reader and a camera for facial biometrics Some new solutions have both the fingerprint reader and a camera for facial biometrics. Cameras and CCD modules cost almost nothing, and they do not have to be super high-end anymore, especially if organizations are doing one-to-one verification. It’s not just about security now; it is security, health, and safety. Access control with video, intelligent readers, and credentials is a perfect platform for next generation solutions.
Access control and door entry is a huge responsibility, and challenge, for local authorities and housing associations UK wide. For councils, they’re accountable for the security and safety of many public facilities such as leisure centers, libraries as well as residential housing developments which are often large scale and home to hundreds of people. Housing associations manage affordable rental housing which also means they’re responsible for the appropriate access control management for each individual house or apartment. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage. For example, with modern intercom and access control systems, remote management and communication is something that offers local authorities and housing associations features that enable them to reduce costs and cut their carbon footprints by managing multiple sites from one place. On the other hand, such technological innovation has meant that local authority and housing association specifiers and consultants now have a wide range of systems and products to choose from which can cause issues in ensuring the right system for a specific building or development is chosen. Choosing an appropritate access control system In choosing an appropriate system, local authorities and housing associations need to opt for a cost effective solution that can be easily maintained with excellent support from the manufacturer and guarantees that the system and system parts will remain supported for the duration of its expected life cycle. It is also important that the chosen system is flexible to cater for the varying needs of the tenants and visitors. Of increasing importance is the reduction of anti-social behavior which new technology can help by providing the use of data loggers which track the use and events of a door entry system, allowing specific evidence to be located by integrating with CCTV. Using technology to our advantage Through advancements in management systems and services, we can gain a much better visual representation of the events and general usage of an intercom entry system and not just its proximity access control. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management. We are now able to modify user rights and access levels on the go from a mobile app which enables a much greater control over service and maintenance engineers, such as making sure they have full access when required via an app, rather than arriving to site with the incorrect keys or access fob. Systems, for example, can now send email alarms or notifications to the administrator or management Dealing with tenant’s lost and stolen keys has never been so easy either. The blocking or deletion of lost fobs and adding a new fob can be carried out in minutes while at the same time removing the cost of sending an engineer to the development to program new fobs. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the whole task as fobs can now be sent out via mail to a secure location for collection. Technology has also helped local authorities and housing associations to overcome the issue of not being able to have a concierge or building manager available 24/7 at some developments. Now with internet communication, it’s possible for tenants and visitors to get in touch with someone should they need assistance, whether that’s from within the apartment or from an entrance point. For example, lets take the Videx VX2200 with IP concierge integration. This system is exceptionally flexible, enabling calls to be answered on Videx intercoms and also mobile phones if required. With the integration of the IP concierge each block can be either standalone or networked via the internet back to a central control room. Reduced maintenance costs and carbon footprint We work with a wide range of local authorities and housing associations to help them overcome access control and door entry challenges. One organization we have recently partnered with is The Living Group to help them greatly reduce their maintenance costs and carbon footprint by installing the MiAccess offline proximity system on many of their developments across the North East. Technology developments have enabled better entry systems that are far more secure yet also more convenient and easier to manage By installing an appropriate system, The Living Group has managed to overcome issues caused by the existing system’s limitations and also enabled much more flexibility when it comes to effectively managing the access control system of all their included developments. For those responsible for effective and appropriate access control, the management of the systems are easier, quicker and there’s no delay or on-going costs for needing a specialist program to modify fobs and access rights as this can now all carried out in-house. Improved security legislation Further advancements in programmes such as Secured by Design (SBD), a police initiative that improves the security of buildings and their immediate surroundings to provide safe places to live, work and visit, means that there’s more security legislation being implemented that’s making intercoms and access control more secure, without affecting ease and convenience. Videx holds an SBD accreditation and we know, from first-hand experience, how it’s making a difference in keeping tenants safe. When you combine the safety features promoted by an SBD member company like ourselves with the likes of the Videx event logging, image capture and ability to modify access users on the go, for example, we can help to create a very safe and secure environment. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation Technology has completely transformed the way local authorities and housing association are able to choose, install and manage door entry and access control systems for tenants and visitors alike. Personally, I think there needs to be a greater emphasis on the role of security legislation such as Secured by Design to ensure all councils and housing association consultants are up to date with what constitutes a robust and secure system that’s also cost effective too. In my role, I see weaknesses in systems and constant ongoing costs that could easily be avoided. For instance, features such as timed remote entry means local authority and housing association management no longer need to worry about keys being lost, the wrong keys being supplied or locks needing to be changed. With new systems such as the Videx MiAccess and Videx WS4 range, we can help to massively reduce a housing association’s or council’s carbon footprint and engineer costs by allowing them the access to management and control from an offsite location. Crime prevention We can also use live and logged events to help prevent crime in different ways, from antisocial behavior growing around a tenant being called or visited much more regularly than others, to knowing a tenant is currently still living at a property but isn’t paying rent or answering to any correspondence. Technology enables local authorities and housing associations to receive detailed data and therefore behavioral insights on the people under their management and care. If consultants and specifiers are advised on the most appropriate systems that meet their specific entry needs, they can ensure greater, safer and more convenient access control that meets the requirements of both the end user and the those responsible for its effective management.
SALTO Systems, a manufacturer of wire-free smart electronic locking solutions, and Livly, a Chicago-based developer of operating systems for multifamily rentals, have partnered to deliver SALTO’s robust electronic access control features from within Livly’s multifamily management platform and resident app. “SALTO continues to be an innovative company and Livly has developed an impressive multifamily property management tool. By adding SALTO electronic lock management to the Livly platform, it will provide residents the convenience of using their mobile device to manage property access via the Livly mobile app. For management, it will give them the power to better manage and control full building access,” said SALTO Sales Strategy North America, Colin DePree. Electronic locking solutions SALTO provides electronic locking solutions that offer easy-to-use applications for multifamily residential owners, developers, property managers, and residents. Time and money-saving solutions provide real-time, wireless access control for all building, department, and resident doors in an apartment, condominium, or luxury high rise. The key to unlocking tremendous value in real estate will come from smart access control" “Touchless technology is the future. The key to unlocking tremendous value in real estate will come from smart access control and we’re excited to be working together with SALTO, pushing the needle in what multifamily real estate technology can be,” said Alex Samoylovich, Founder and Co-CEO, Livly. Managing property access Livly delivers multifamily residents a single platform to manage tasks like rent payments, package deliveries, and on-demand services. For property managers, Livly focuses on unlocking new revenue streams by monetizing physical and digital transactions within the property ecosystem. The new Livly- SALTO integration incorporates electronic locking into Livly’s Guest Management service, providing residents a convenient way to manage property access via the Livly app, and equipping management with 24/7, real-time control over access.
SALTO access control hardware has achieved a huge milestone in having its SPACE readers and controllers certified to EN 60839 standard. This important standard provides guidelines for those responsible for establishing and planning an electronic access control system (EACS) both in terms of levels of protection and levels of performance necessary to provide the degree of physical access (entry and exit) access control and protection considered appropriate for an installation. Products certified Driven by SALTO’s factory-based Certification Department, the XS4 2.0 reader and XS4 2.0 control unit products – specifically the CU4000 series, CU4000 expansion board, Panel reader and Mullion reader have achieved grade two level EN 60839-11-1 for alarm and electronic security systems (electronic access control systems) and EN 50131-3 alarm systems (intrusion and hold-up systems). Standards must be met Ramesh Gurdev, Managing Director SALTO Systems UK, says “Standards play an ever increasingly important part in the specification and construction process framework. From carbon status to quality management and sustainability to the Internet of Things, standards must be met to ensure businesses remain regulatory aligned and competitive.” “The EN 60839 standard is becoming requested more frequently and in some cases is mandatory in tenders where the access control platform must be installed together with the alarm system, so it is excellent news for potential SALTO customers that our SPACE readers and controllers are now certified to this standard.”
Eagle Eye Networks, a global company in cloud video surveillance announced an official partnership with Co-Liv, a non-profit association of coliving professionals. As the global co-living movement continues to gain momentum, technology companies such as Eagle Eye Networks for video surveillance and Salto for Access Control will be crucial in providing tech solutions that allow coliving operators to scale faster and more efficiently than they would on their own. Advantages of cloud surveillance Using a cloud solution, the video is accessible to integrate with other applications Storing surveillance video data in the cloud comes with many advantages, especially for residential buildings, such as hotels, urban apartments, and coliving developments. Traditionally, video surveillance footage is only accessible if something bad happens – typically a security breach, such as a robbery. Therefore, the video is rarely used and the high price tag of the camera and data storage equipment remains just a “cost of doing business,” yielding no financial returns or useful insights. Using a cloud solution, the video is accessible to integrate with other applications and can deliver powerful insights that allow businesses to improve their people, product, and processes. Video surveillance technology “We are excited to join the Co-Liv organization as technology partner alongside Salto. As the Coliving movement is growing, we want to support this with our video surveillance technology that both ensures the safety of the residents and provides relevant business insights for coliving operators." "As Eagle Eye Networks is fully integrated with Salto’s state-of-the-art Access Control systems, we provide a full solution for coliving operators,” says Rishi Lodhia, Managing Director Eagle Eye Networks. Building tech ecosystem Using artificial intelligence to analyze the video, operators can also discover how people interact in those spaces and use these insights to improve their communities, enhance their reputation as being secure and resident-focused, and make informed spatial design decisions in future developments. Eagle Eye also integrates with other technology solutions, such as SALTO’s access solutions, so the entire tech ecosystem of a building can work together to provide the best living experience possible. Seamless security Christian Schmitz, from Salto Systems, adds, “We have been a long-standing partner of the Co-Liv Organization as we do believe a seamless access control system helps coliving operators to create peace of mind about the safety of the property." "Adding Eagle Eye Networks means we can provide a seamless overall security solution without adding complexities with different systems that are not connected to each other.” Advantages of coliving Eagle Eye’s cloud video surveillance captures video for security purposes and provides unlimited access to artificial intelligence The advantages for the coliving industry can be best summed up with a quote from European coliving operator BaseCamp: “BaseCamp Student operates seven student housing facilities in Denmark, Germany, and Poland, with more locations coming soon. We are continuously striving to build and operate a global community focused on enhancing the student journey." "So, when we set out to find a security partner, we sought one that was willing – and able – to be as creative as our students and our spaces. We found this in Eagle Eye Networks. Its video surveillance solution captures video for security purposes, but because the video is stored in the cloud, it opens up unlimited access to valuable artificial intelligence – information that helps us and our residents make better decisions.” Benefits of video surveillance “For example, management can use data to understand which amenities are used most often, informing future designs and builds. And students can engage with the system, as well. They may want to check the laundry room in real-time to determine if machines are available." "Or pull data regarding gym occupancy before heading to work out. By using our video surveillance system creatively, we’re enhancing the spaces where our residents live, learn, work, and connect – now and in the future,” says Daniel Doherr, Managing Director for BaseCamp Student Operations. Emerging partnerships “As coliving operators around the world continue to experiment with different communal living models, the ones that are able to use technology to more efficiently achieve their goals will be at a distinct advantage when compared to their peers,” concludes Connor Moore. “At Co-Liv we believe technology providers, such as Eagle Eye Networks, are excellent partners for innovative and tech-savvy coliving companies.”
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