April 19, 2022
The recent pandemic has changed the definition of workplace safety. Beyond the issue of screening the health status of visitors, there are new challenges around enabling visitor access while also managing a frequently remote workforce that is dependent upon cloud-based, mobile computing. In this new, more flexible in-office scheduling environment, staff will need to arrange for on-site visitor access themselves even while they are working outside the office. There may not even be an office administrator to process visitors when they arrive anymore.
In this world, security administrators want to know who comes and goes from their workplace even when they are not physically present there—they need to see all access data in one place, not merely compare visitor check-in times in one system versus employee access history in another. They want to review all access activity of everyone, in one place to save time and improve accuracy. This can only happen if visitor management and access control are integrated, so that visitor presence, timing, and location are recorded alongside employees, not merely a record of their arrival as with many visitor management systems.
Enter Kastle Systems.
Kastle access control technology is robust enough to provide an integrated view of identity presence data over time for either an employee (permanently) or a visitor (temporarily). While KastlePresence® syncs with a business’s active directory for employees, there is also a KastleVisitor® component that enables flexible visitor management.
KastleVisitor is a cloud-based solution that enables employees to access the visitor management system from the office or remotely, to schedule a future site visit by a guest in either Outlook or Google calendar. The system will email the visitor a QR code for a specific, limited timeframe granting access privileges on the day of the visit. A visitor can use the code to check in upon arrival even when there is no receptionist, merely by scanning the barcode at the iPad kiosk and having a connected printer that produces a visitor badge.
The key here is that everything happens remotely, is managed by the participants only, and all the access data is tracked and managed on one system. “It’s a secure, streamlined way to smoothly schedule, register, sign in, and track a visitor’s access history in one system, doing it all virtually. It’s a highly conducive system for today’s remote workforce,” mentions Kastle CEO, Haniel Lynn.
While most visitor management providers offer scheduling and check-in management as their singular primary service, Kastle Systems goes beyond merely managing and recording a visitor lobby arrival to also managing, monitoring, and maintaining an entire integrated, company-wide access control system. Additionally, the company can record the visitor identity, when they arrived, where they went, and when they left. It’s combining two processes, managing staff access, and visitor processing as well as access. “We are an integrated workplace solution, not just another one-off product that a business has to manage as an ad-hoc addition to a bundle of other separate services,” states Mr. Lynn.
He further mentions that Kastle has pushed its innovation during the pandemic to even develop “touchless” remote visitor management for some of the clients in metro Washington DC. “Clients requested us to help them manage unregistered walk-up visitors touchlessly even when the receptionist was working from home,” says Lynn. “We configured an iPad kiosk to make use of its standard rear-facing camera since the front-facing camera was already in use for processing registered visitors and their QR codes.”
For an unregistered visitor who does not have a QR code upon arrival, he/she is instructed on the iPad screen to pull out their driver’s license and scan it into this rear-facing camera, which prompts the system to present a new QR code on the iPad front-facing screen. The visitor is prompted to scan the code with their smartphone, which then triggers a mobile website to appear on the visitor’s phone that prompts them to register there without ever touching a shared surface. It’s an innovative and flexible way to re-configure existing technology to the job.
Having carved a unique niche with this innovative and flexible approach to problem solving, Kastle has pursued an open-standard technology so they can integrate their operation agnostically across platforms. This enables them to grow by leveraging open interoperability to seamlessly serve more enterprise businesses and real estate portfolios with multi-location operations without concern for the legacy systems they must “plug into” at each site.
Furthermore, the growth of smart buildings, IoT-based systems, and a more mobile workforce, will make the company’s open interface and cloud-based solution an easy, integrated plug-in anywhere for visitor management, access control, and even overall building management. “We are well-positioned to expand our service footprint beyond the 12 major U.S. cities we currently serve,” concludes Lynn.
Want to learn more about how your access control and visitor management can work together seamlessly? Click here to discuss your needs with a Kastle representative.