30 May 2018

Building a Safer Campus Through Meaningful Collaboration

K-12 schools and higher education campuses face a number of challenges, not the least of which is the basic principle of safeguarding students, staff and faculty from emerging threats. They must strive to strike a balance between building a safe and secure environment and maintaining a welcoming one. A combination of policies and procedures for stakeholders to follow can be instrumental in achieving these goals, but it’s not enough to simply lay down strategies. Manufacturers and integrators must work diligently to meet the needs of educational facilities by embracing convergence and unification.

One way to do this is to build technology solutions that are easy to use and install, and those that efficiently integrate with the security solutions already in place to maximize capital investments that budget-concious schools have made. When designing a system, the unique needs of the organization must be identified. Are streamlined management and situational awareness the goal? If so, a close integration between various systems is critical to the success of the implementation.

For example, in access control, when two systems are integrated, the simple act of swiping a card can communicate to the building management system to turn on lights in a specific area, ensuring savings on energy costs while also enhancing security by allowing personnel to control access to certain areas that require more protection. Today’s access control systems are doing more than simply granting and restricting access: they’re adding more value to capital investments by incorporating information from student and building management platforms in an effort to build more intelligent solutions.

One example of this collaboration is the use of Vanderbilt’s Security Management System (SMS) with a network-based reservation system. The event management software works with the access control software to communicate in real-time; a single reservation system enables students to reserve a meeting space or classroom without having to be physically let in the room every time. This also allows security officials to readily identify responsible parties in the event of a security incident and saves security teams the added expense of having an on-duty person manually granting and restricting access.

SMS can also be used in a more holistic approach to strengthen campus safety by bringing multiple systems together in an easy-to-manage and Web-based platform. This includes a facility’s access control technologies, digital video and alarm monitoring systems. SMS is scalable and ideal for large, multi-site or global organizations, like educational campuses, and supports an unlimited number of cardholders and readers. From a single interface, security leaders are able to manage alarms, photo ID badging, visitor management, elevator control, offline and online locks, advanced reporting and more. Lockdown capabilities are also critical for educational facilities, and SMS enables this with the push of a button or the swipe of a card.

Vanderbilt will highlight its solutions ideal for the education market at the upcoming Jenzabar Jam 2018 Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., USA, May 30 to June 2. The meeting presents Jenzabar users with the opportunity to share ideas and learn more about Jenzabar systems and the solutions that seamlessly integrate with the company’s offerings, including Vanderbilt SMS. Visit Vanderbilt at booth 13 or click here to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the team during the show.