Commercial Buildings Cover the Night Shift
As operating costs such as fuel and electricity continue to increase, owners of commercial buildings are exploring options to reduce operating overhead.
Scott Grossinger Etess of Excel Global Security has witnessed this first-hand. “On average we receive two to three calls a week from commercial property managers or owners. They want suggestions on how to reduce their costs and continue to provide tenants with a safe environment,” said Etess.
A recent trend in
the metropolitan marketplace has been to reduce operating costs by installing
building-wide access control systems on what Etess refers to as Excel’s
“strategic security partner” model.
“It’s an easy way to ensure minimal impact on the building’s long-term bottom line by reducing recurring operating costs,” said Etess. “This model allows a building to eliminate the cost of staffing the lobby with a uniformed security officer overnight and replacing him/her with an effective access control system.”
At the heart of the fully integrated platform sits the Pinnacle access control system from Sielox. This software provides total control of the entire access control network, plus the ability to upgrade or reconfigure controllers, readers, proximity cards and other hardware remotely. It incorporates agile methodology for software development. The company also offers backward-compatible technology to support its legacy products.
The systems incorporating such software technologies are installed at numerous midtown office buildings. After standard business hours, the exterior doors to the facility are locked, with the locking controlled remotely at the command center. Tenants who desire to gain access to the premises after standard business hours (the hours when a security officer is no longer on-site) must be equipped with an access control card and the appropriate access level (as determined by their employer in conjunction with building management). On presenting an access card with the proper authorization or configuration to a proximity reader at the building’s exterior, those authorized are granted entry to the facility.
THE STRATEGIC SECURITY PARTNER MODEL
however, does not stop there. Once inside the facility, the authorized
cardholder enters the elevator. Only upon presenting their card to a proximity
reader in the elevator cab itself can the tenant access their authorized floor
or floors. If desired, the system can be extended to authorize access to only
specified doors within the tenant’s space.
“New York City is a very complex market with regard to its security needs,” explained Etess. “What sets apart from other cities is the fact that most buildings are home to multiple tenants. This plays an integral role in designing an appropriate security system. It is not as simple as adding access to the exterior entry doors to the facility.”
SAVING WITH CABLE/DSL
The system offers
the capability of communicating with and monitoring all of its remote buildings
through cable or DSL lines, eliminating the use of telephone lines for its
multiplicity of applications. It also provides real-time remote event
management and control functionality.
Partition databases are another benefit. Although Excel is the master controller of the security system, the software can be set up to allow multiple databases for tenants. Unique configuration and control functions to suit individual tenant requirements are available, with no chance of confusion or conflict because each is treated separately. There is no limit to the number of tenants that can be set up in their own unique partitions.
THE PLATFORM IN ACTION
The fully integrated
platform is in action at the company’s Security and
. On entering
Excel’s facility, a visitor will see an array of 42-inch flat-panel video
monitors. The monitors display live feeds from security cameras installed at
commercial facilities around New York
City and the Tri-State area. At the many workstations,
highly trained professionals administer and monitor access systems. System
monitoring combined with live video feeds allows the
staff to receive alarm signals, verify their accuracy and determine the
appropriate response. Additionally, Excel maintains multiple response teams,
who respond to alarm conditions. When they are not responding to alarm
conditions, response teams travel from site to site to ensure each facility is
safe and secure.
As a result, the need for overnight guard service has been eliminated at some facilities. Of course the model does not fit all buildings, but those capable of utilizing such a system reap the rewards immediately. “Hourly rates associated with guard service can add up. The access system and the monthly fees associated with monitoring and administration are significantly less, thereby making access control an attractive alternative to some,” Etess said.
About the Sources
Scott Grossinger Etess is director of sales and marketing for Excel Global Security. Also contributing is Dave Taylor, a security manager at Excel.