New in SA, cloud-based security management system

May 2015 Security Services & Risk Management, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure, Products

Dirk Jones, previously the MD of Servest SA, has launched Trackforce in South Africa. Trackforce is an international provider of security management technology, with a 10-year track record of delivering integrated security solutions to its partners and customers.

Setting itself apart from the traditional guard management systems, Trackforce has developed a system that is managed from a Web-based console that is connected via the Internet to mobile devices that perform the full onsite management function. A security officer can sign on and off duty on the device using a NFC tag, and all site instructions can be loaded onto the device.

The software offers full reporting customisability that allows it to be configured to report on security related incidents, building maintenance issues, health and safety or security risk surveys. The system automatically places the photos or videos taken on site into the reports. The devices can be used to gather any data as simple as an employee’s leave form or as complex as ISO report. All activities are booked in the online OB. The software also tracks security officers in real time using GPS or NFC tagging technology. Lastly the device can replace the current two-way communications platform.

Explaining the system, Jones says a single supervisor with an Internet browser can manage multiple guards in real time. The management system works on exceptions, so it only raises an alarm when something goes wrong or when something that should have been done within a certain time is left undone. Furthermore, the supervisor has full insight over guards’ movements and activities from the management console, and can assign tasks or download checklists for employees to follow.

On the guards’ side, each guard is equipped with a ruggedised Android cellular phone or a standard Samsung phone with NFC – both can be used by Trackforce, but the client is not limited to only these devices. Using NFC technology, the guard logs into the phone with a smartcard at the start of the shift. The phone’s GPS allows the management software to track the guard’s movements in real time, meaning the supervisor is always aware of all guards’ movements. As can be expected from an online solution, all information is instantly transferred to the management console and stored centrally.

Real-time task management

Since the system allows instructions to be downloaded to the phone, a guard’s can be kept up to date with the latest site instructions or patrol times. In addition, by placing tags at various points along the route, guards can use their phone to confirm he is at the assigned point of his route. The management console can provide timeframes in which the guard has to move between points and alert the supervisor if he is late.

More importantly, says Jones, when the guard tags in at a point, the system can present him with a list of tasks to perform. This can include checking gates and windows are closed, or anything else the customer requires. The guard confirms that all tasks are completed via simple yes/no questions on the device before moving to the next location.

This facility can also be used for other purposes, such as visitor management, ticking off tasks for an ISO inspections or even checking fire hydrants are in working order and have had their regular inspections. The customer can add in almost any task-based operations and set them to pop up on the officer’s device. For example, if it is after 7pm and the officer has not started his scheduled patrol, the system will automatically notify the supervisor on the management console.

The same procedure can be used to manage HR practices, allowing staff to apply for leave, for example. The company’s leave form can be captured on the system, allowing employees to enter the appropriate dates and sign the form on the screen. The form will then automatically be sent to a supervisor who can approve or deny the request – also signing on the screen if required. All the information will be captured and stored in the cloud for easy access at a later stage.

Real-time response

In a country with a high crime rate, a panic alarm is a necessity for guards on patrol. Trackforce has added one to the mobile interface and an alarm will be raised when it is activated. The difference between traditional panic alarms is that the guard can deactivate the alarm in his Trackforce app, but the alarm on the management console will not be deactivated until the supervisor has checked the situation and deactivated it, along with the appropriate notes on the alarm.

For late night patrols, the device can also be set to make a noise at regular intervals to ensure the guard does not fall asleep. There is also a drop or shake function which sets off an alarm if the device is manhandled. For companies that wish to save money on cellular calls, the system also allows the phones to be used as radios for two-way communication.

Naturally, to ensure the system meets the needs of the customer and the guarding company, the system can generate Web-based reports on any information captured. Customised reports are emailed to the relevant people at set periods of time to keep everyone apprised of the status of the service provided – as well as any non-guarding task undertaken.

In summary, the Trackforce security management software can book officers on duty, deliver real-time reporting with photos and videos, track patrols with GPS and NFC tags in real-time, provide a live online OB tracking of all activities and can be used as a two-way radio.

Moreover, since the system is Web based, the customer does not need to worry about managing an IT system or updating the software, as this is done by Trackforce. The management system is provided at a fee of R500 per month, and the mobile software costs R300 per month per licence.

For more information, contact Dirk Jones, +27 (0)82 440 7251, djones@trackforce.com




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