If you are considering the installation of an access control system to protect your facility, you will find that there are many different types of systems available. You will find everything from manual keypads that control regular locks all the way up to card readers connected to database-driven systems run from servers.
So, what features are most important when considering a new system? Here they are:
Reporting and Audit Trail – A true access control system will keep a log of card use and store it in a database for future reporting. So, when you need to determine who was the last person to use a card at a particular door, you would have the ability to run a report that would show you.
Flexibility – You will want to use a system with flexible software. With a flexible system, you can make changes to cardholder records and add and delete information fields as needed.
Ease of Use – We have seen some access control systems that are very difficult to use. We recommend Honeywell access systems as we find them to be very easy to use yet powerful enough to handle just about every access control scenario.
Scheduled Backups – With whatever access software package you choose, you will want the ability to schedule backups of the access database. We have seen many customers who failed to backup up their databases and then have to call us to rebuild them from scratch when their servers crash.
Integration – Some access control systems can be integrated with intrusion alarm systems and with video systems so that everything can be managed from one user interface (one software package). This makes it easy to manage all three and reduces complexity.
If you are contemplating the purchase of an access control system, spend some time test driving the management software before you buy. There is a lot of variety in what is available and you should make sure you are comfortable with the features before you finalize your purchase.
As always, email me at scotth@remote-protection with any questions.
-Scott Hightower, Verified Security