Facility management made easy with cloud-based access control

Facility management made easy with cloud-based access control

With remote, centralised key handling, managing facilities becomes a whole lot easier.

Managing access to residential buildings, offices or other shared workspaces can be a stressful and time-consuming task. Hours are spent crossing town to meet new tenants and hand over keys, rescuing tenants who’ve lost their keys or waiting for handymen to show up, not to mention the hassle of keeping track of multiple keys to different parts of buildings.

Any residential building, office or shared workspace with an electronic lock system can now add on a cloud-based software service that enables the provision of virtual keys. Such a service is easy to implement and works wherever there is mobile phone or wi-fi reception.

With remote, centralised key handling, managing facilities becomes a whole lot easier. You no longer need to meet tenants face-to-face to handover new or take back old keys or access cards. You can grant access rights remotely to any building or part of a building for a specific time period. And you can say goodbye to late-night, emergency call-outs. If someone gets locked out, it’s easy to issue them with a new virtual key on the spot. What’s more, you will never again have to change the locks just because one careless tenant has lost or forgotten to give back their key.

If you already have an electronic lock system, you’re halfway there. Provided you choose a vendor agnostic service, access control software can be integrated with most major brands of electronic locks, enabling a uniform interface across your operations. If you don’t have an electronic lock system yet, maybe it’s time for an upgrade?

Cloud-based access management is deceptively simple. To send a virtual key, you log into a web interface and select the place, the time period and the person to whom access should be granted. Then, with a single click, you send access rights over the air to that person’s smartphone for touch-transfer to a card or connected wearable device. The whole process takes a few seconds from start to finish.

However, to ensure security, access rights must be sent between the administrator and the receiver via an encrypted channel. NFC (near-field communication) and BLE (Bluetooth low energy) technologies can then be used for communication between the user’s device and card or wearable.

How to scale up and zoom in with a cloud-based access solution

Life can be complicated when you’re responsible for multiple sites and buildings. And as the number of locations increases, so do the access management headaches. There are more tenants to keep track of, more local staff to direct and more lock vendors to manage.

Adding a further layer of complexity, within each building there are always multiple areas – e.g. mailboxes, garbage rooms, plant rooms and meeting rooms – to which different people require access.

What’s more, different brands and types of locks are ‘standard’ in different places and require replacing or updating at different times. Standardisation makes life easier, but it’s expensive, and therefore a big decision for most property owners.

The good news is, all these issues can be resolved with a cloud-based access management service. Offering secure, centralised key handling, such a service can be implemented step-wise, starting small and gradually scaling up to handle as many buildings and tenants as you want, anywhere in the world – all from a single location. And the same system can be used to zoom in to specific parts of buildings and grant time-limited, personalised virtual keys to mailboxes or plant rooms etc, as needed.

Choose a vendor agnostic service and you also solve the standardisation issue. You get a single software solution that’s compatible with numerous different electronic lock systems - providing a common interface without the need to purchase new hardware.

Using a web interface, your administrator selects a place, time period and person to whom they wish to grant access. Access rights are then sent over the air to that person’s smartphone for touch-transfer to a card or connected wearable device and can be used right away. It is also possible to set up groups of people and/or locks on the web interface and distribute access rights to multiple users simultaneously. And as tenants and service providers change, your administrator can easily update, revoke or prolong users’ keys in real time.

Grant limited access to service organisations without compromising on security

Every day, multiple service organisations need to access residential and office buildings – to deliver parcels, food orders, laundry, cleaning services and more. With so many people coming and going, how can you guarantee your buildings are secure?

Unfortunately, most traditional security systems unable to deliver the pinpoint accuracy this requires. Their most obvious weakness is that they offer only two options. Users either have access or they don’t. In order to minimize visits to make to the admin office, access is generally granted 24/7 and 365 days/year.

A cloud-based system enables a much more accurate and finely tuned approach. It lets facility owners grant access over the air to some people, some of the time, to selected parts of their building. The following three factors all contribute to keeping your people and property safe from harm.

Ensuring security:
  • Access rights cannot be intercepted or fall into the wrong hands since they are sent between the administrator and the receiver via an encrypted channel.
  • Nobody can access a building or specific area within it unless they’ve been expressly granted personal access rights. These rights come in the form of virtual keys which are sent to the users’ mobile phone. They are only valid for a specific place and period of time and, once they expire, the key simply stops working.
  • The system creates a historic log of who has had access to a given area. This acts as a powerful deterrent, since facility managers can quickly figure out who is responsible in the case of theft or damages.

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