Given the tragic events in American schools recently, safety on campus is high on the agenda. There have been lots of questions asked, and with very good reason. Lee Copland, Managing Director of Maxxess EMEA, explains how they can help put minds at rest, and assure the safety of students.
The need for secure schools is at an all-time high…how is Maxxess responding to this ongoing need? How is Maxxess best placed to deliver security across various educational institutions?
Colleges and university campuses are big users of Maxxess technology and this gives us a clear understanding of the challenges facing the sector.
By adopting eFusion, education institutes have been able to take an integrated approach to security without a costly rip-and-replace migration path. Legacy equipment can be easily integrated alongside next generation technology and users only need pay for the functions they want to use.
The eFusion platform supports more than 50 off-the-shelf integrations from leading vendors and this provides total freedom to customize tailor solutions combining surveillance, access control, fire and intruder systems with back-office processes.
However, physical security can only go so far, particularly when it comes to ensuring safety. The challenges are significant. And measures like fixed call points are often out of reach at the exact time students and staff need assistance.
Campus life often goes on 24/7 with students and staff working late, sometimes alone. The demographics can be very mixed and international in character, with cultural and language barriers making it harder for some students to access the emergency services during an incident.
Security departments are being challenged to contribute to improved service-levels by helping to take care of people on campus and across dispersed sites, not just in a remote, general sense but in a very connected, responsive way.
The integration of Ambit into eFusion technology now makes it seamlessly possible to do this within the limited budgets available.
Up until recently it would have been too expensive to equip security control teams with a personal safety and monitoring capability covering all students and staff from a single user interface – it would have required major investment in a proprietary PSIM type solution.
However, with Maxxess’s eFusion and Ambit technology this level of protection is now easy and affordable for all campus and multi-site universities.
What makes Maxxess’ eFusion security management platform with Ambit unique? How significant is its impact on people’s safety?
The significance of the integration of Ambit with eFusion is that it gives you an off-the-shelf solution from a single vendor that you know is going to work.
The ability to communicate individually with students and staff means you are not only securing buildings and assets any more, you are safeguarding people.
You are making your manned guarding more operationally effective, giving them complete situational awareness, allowing security staff to respond faster and smarter – and, yes, you are potentially saving lives, meeting your duty of care obligations and protecting the reputation of your organisation.
Maxxess technology gives planners the freedom to integrate, off the shelf and adapt their security and safety systems exactly to their individual requirements.
The solution is being continually extended and developed too so users have the reassurance of not only meeting their current needs but also being able to adapt to future risks with affordable, simple and future-flexible upgrade paths based on best-in-class technology.
How significant is the addition of the smartphone technology to enhancing safety?
It’s significant because it brings personalised safety monitoring and communications into a person’s pocket by utilising the widespread use of smartphones.
Ambit makes it easy to provide bi-directional communication between individual users (be they students, staff or visitors) and the site control room.
For example it can allow lone-worker monitoring; courtesy communications and remote escorting after-hours; panic alarm features; user-activated IPS location tracking right down to floor and room level; and individualised messaging during incidents.
It can help security teams’ co-ordinate and work more effectively with emergency responders too.With Ambit integrated into the eFusion platform, operators can see exactly where individuals are during any emergency situation, and as a result provide a more rapid, and appropriate response.
Tell me about the ways Maxxess continues to show its commitment to open architecture security management software?
Maxxess is fully committed to open architecture solutions – we are constantly increasing the list of manufacturers and systems that work on the eFusion platform.
Adding new manufacturers in this way means we will continue to give more choice and provide best in class solutions.
This approach also gives our users the ability to scale-up or adapt their solutions, add new services when required.
A great example of how that’s working is with the recent integration with ASSA Abloy Hospitality, which is proving very popular with many of our customers in the hotel and university campus sectors.
How do Maxxess products show consideration for installers, as well as customers?
Quite simply Maxxess makes integration an off-the-shelf, which is simpler and more profitable. It also offers installers the potential for recurring maintenance revenue.
Wherever possible we want setting up our solutions to be quick, easy and intuitive. We are constantly adding more integrations to our offering and listening to installers to understand what their customers really need in terms of control, efficiency and information.
How does Maxxess’ Visitor Point streamline the management of visitors on campuses and in schools?
First visitors, contractors etc. can be pre-registered on the system and then automatically sent a confirmation of the time, date and location of the meeting, along with a unique reference code.
This really makes to process of arrival on site much faster and more efficient. The system can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the level of security checks required and the exact access control policies being practiced at each site.
Once visitors are on site, Visitor Point offers movement trackability, improving safety and security.
In what ways can Maxxess facilitate personalised safety capabilities within control rooms?
Control room operators can see where first responders (such as security team colleagues, first aiders etc.) are. They can initiate a fast and appropriate response to any given situation.
Real-time feedback and support can be given to individual users around the campus or across dispersed sites, so for example concerned individuals can send a ‘help’ request or ask to be monitored after hours. Or they can report events and send photos to the security control room.
Overcoming potential reluctance or language barriers, there’s no need to pick up the phone or try to find the number for the security control room. Now the app puts them in contact instantly.
Every time you make somebody do something difficult, it puts up a barrier – by contrast we are making two-way communication easier, and in effect allowing staff themselves to contribute to safety and security.
What products will Maxxess be exhibiting at IFSEC 2018?
Our complete range of current and up-coming solutions will be on show, making this a great opportunity for integrators, end-users and consultants to talk in detail about what they are looking for – our technical team will be on hand and happy to help with specific project queries.
Maxxess solutions on show will include: eFusion / Ambit security and safety management platform; Visitor Point management system; front of house hotel integration; mobile verification and many new manufacturers integrated to the eFusion platform.