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October 2012 Access Control & Identity Management, Cyber Security, IT infrastructure, Education (Industry)

Somerset College is a school with boys and girls boarding houses. All students and staff are loaded on to the Windows Active Directory and it was important for the efficient functioning of the school to have a single, accurate database to control users. It was important to the school that if a user’s Active Directory login details were no longer valid, then access to the computer laboratory, as well as the residences, should be simultaneously disabled.

For these reasons, the client chose the Impronet with Windows Active Directory integration to control the database of active users. Further, physical access control was provided by Morpho biometric readers, which replaced the previously used proximity tags.

The benefit of using this system is that all of the hard work has already been done in Windows Active Directory. A grouping for the students and for the residences was already set up so there was no duplication in implementation. Additional consideration was needed for cleaners and contractors in terms of access control. User groups had to be added for those people who were not already loaded onto the Active Directory.

A specification was drawn up and, on approval, the application was designed and implemented. The client set milestones, which were readily achieved by service providers Integratek and Powell Tronics, resulting in the speedy implementation of the solution.

The aim of the solution, besides controlling access, was to eliminate issuing keys to staff, as replacements were quite costly. Using biometrics was therefore an obvious option.

The client admits that timing of the implementation was of the utmost importance as one had to consider that, although all student and staff information was integrated into the Impronet database, enrolment of fingerprint templates still had to be undertaken. This proved to be time consuming.

Biometric access control using the Morpho readers at the computer laboratory provided the client with a good overview of the seamless nature of the integration implementation. The installation has exceeded the client’s expectations of the proposed solution.

For more information contact Powell Tronics, +27 (0)11 234 6990,


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