Grant Thornton Deploys KastlePresence; Improves Office Experience and Enjoys Unexpected Benefits.
As a leading U.S. professional-services firm, Grant Thornton LLP has a heavily mobile workforce of more than 570 partners and over 8,500 personnel across 60 offices nationwide. This means sizeable numbers of local and traveling workers who need frequent access to the firm’s flagship headquarters in downtown Chicago.
The Solution: KastlePresence, a hands-free approach to office security enabling “bring your own device” (BYOD) credentialing. The system allows Grant Thornton professionals to use the Bluetooth technology in their smartphones instead of using plastic RFID badges.
Grant Thornton – which provides audit, consulting and tax services – installed KastlePresence when it opened its new Chicago headquarters about a year ago. “We didn’t want to build our office for 2015, we wanted to build it for 2025,” said Vince Tomkinson, Grant Thornton’s Managing Partner for the Chicago office.
The system has made life more convenient for Grant Thornton professionals. “If people are going in and out of doors they can have a truly hands-free experience,” said Chicago Office Manager Maya Teleki. “It also simplifies people’s lives. A badge can be easily forgotten or lost, but it is rare that anyone leaves their smartphone behind.”
Similarly, KastlePresence has made life easier for Grant Thornton’s office administrators too. “Now we can grant access to visiting employees remotely from anywhere in the world through the Internet,” said Teleki. “Previously, I was getting calls on the weekend or after hours from out-of-town employees who were trying to get into the building. There was no way to quickly help them. Now I can just open the door from my phone.”
But the most unexpected benefit is perhaps the most fun: It has meant a cleaner office. “Before we installed KastlePresence, professionals who kept their RFID badges in their bags would inadvertently rub against the reader and walls in an attempt to be ‘hands free’ – leaving unsightly scuff marks,” said Teleki. “With KastlePresence, our entrances and exits have remained like new.”
Moving forward, Grant Thornton will consider deploying KastlePresence in its other offices. It will also be evaluating whether to activate system functionality allowing it to see who is using specific workspaces and how. “Our auditors and consultants like to work in conference rooms together. If we were able to see that there are certain areas of the office that are not getting used, we could repurpose those,” said Teleki.