The 2014 Annual AUCSO Conference will take place 8-10 April at the University of Roehampton, London (for more information, see the link at the end of this article.)
Tanveer Choudhry, Global Marketing Manager at Traka, spoke to SecurityNewsDesk about the company’s ongoing support of AUCSO and why the education sector is such an important market for Traka.
He told us, “The AUCSO conference is the perfect platform for industry leaders to network with existing customers and develop new relationships, as well as showcasing the latest technology. Every year the event grows and offers something new for delegates, and we are very proud to support this important event and help it succeed.”
The event is attended by a broad range of senior security managers from a variety of universities and schools. Choudhry explained that as Traka currently provides solutions for over 60 universities and more than 30 colleges, being able to meet with so many existing customers in one place is hugely beneficial, both for Traka and its clients.
Many of the company’s solutions are ideal for the particular needs of education facilities. Choudhry said, “We produce several sophisticated solutions for key and device management that education facilities benefit from greatly. So an event like AUCSO that allows us to showcase these products and services directly to key buyers and influencers is perfect.”
Traka products are designed to either stand alone or integrate with other solutions, and two of the company’s three core offerings are exactly what the education sector needs.
Choudhry said, “Most universities are like small towns or cities, often having more than one campus, even campuses in more than one city. So, as you can imagine, key and access management on such a massive scale is a large and expensive challenge. Key control is especially tricky – just how do you keep track of all the keys for over potentially tens of locations? This is where Traka’s offering comes into its own, allowing effective tracking and management of every key.”
Traka’s services greatly improve the efficiency of key management, says Choudhry, by making intelligent use of hardware and software technologies to simplify the automatic vending of all facility keys.
“As an example, say an external contractor such as an electrician needs to access a specific location in a facility,” Choudhry explained. “Using the Traka system, the security team can pre assign the contractor access credentials to allow access to the Traka cabinet,. The credentials, when entered into the system, will only release the key(s) the contractor can take. Once removed from the cabinet, the system records who has the key and the security team can even set a curfew for when it should be returned. Should the curfew be missed, the system will alert security personnel to investigate.”
This system is also of great use with relation to master keys. In halls of residence, for example, according to Choudhry, security teams often have many copies of the master keys to facilitate operating efficiency.. However if one master key is lost, all locks in the building must be replaced, incurring large costs. Choudhry explains that the Traka system reduces these costs.
“Rather than having over many sets of master keys, the Traka solution means only the optimum number of master keys are required and keys are much better managed and accounted for. Our clients have reported significant return on investment as a result of implementing our technology.”
Many universities and colleges, particularly in their libraries, now offer students the use of mobile devices such as iPads and laptops. Monitoring the lending, return and maintenance of these devices is a new challenge the sector has to face. However, Traka’s intelligent management system has a solution for this, too.
“We have a number of clients, such as the University of Portsmouth, making use of our intelligent lockers. By implementing RFID tagging on mobile devices, our lockers can monitor and manage who is using a device, when it is due to be returned, whether the device is broken or in need of repair and charging the device for the next user,” said Choudhry.
This system can automatically detect whether a device is not charged enough and will not release it for use until it is. In addition, if a device is damaged, the system will notify the system manager so appropriate action can be taken. Traka intelligent lockers even have an extra feature that is particularly compatible with Apple products.
Choudhry explains, “Our lockers can automatically reset an Apple device so that it returns to a neutral set up, reloading the basic system ready for the next user.”
Looking closely at these advanced offerings from Traka, it becomes clear why the partnership with AUCSO is so successful and has lasted so long. The higher and further education sector has a genuine need for the solutions Traka can provide, and it’s obvious how important the company’s ongoing support is in the conference’s continued success.