Wireless access for visibility and security

Access & Identity Management Handbook 2020 Access Control & Identity Management, Education (Industry)

The Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg has gained full visibility and improved security through the installation of locking technology from SALTO.

The Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg (DSJ) is a German international school in Parktown, Johannesburg. Founded in 1890, the DSJ is one of the oldest schools in the city and one of the largest German schools on the African continent.

The school found that the management of its keys and the replacement of locks was a major problem. Keys were often lost and this results in the regular replacement of locks as well as occasional damage to doors when they had to be forced open. In addition, it had no control over the copying and duplication of keys.

This was a costly problem and could also lead to the disruption of classes (due to lost keys). In addition, the school had no visibility into who entered its various rooms and when.

The school was therefore looking for a cost-effective solution to secure its buildings and provide insights into who used which rooms and at what times. Systems Africa considered the DSJ’s requirements, both now and in the future, and recommended the school move to uPVC doors fitted with SALTO wireless locks.

In the first phase of the project, 150 SALTO SX4 One escutcheons were installed with SALTO’s SVN technology on all the new classroom doors. Existing office and storeroom doors were retrofitted with XS4 One locks with purpose-built cover plates and SALTO mortises.

The next phase saw the installation of a wireless network to put all doors online with SALTO’s latest BLUEnet network of PoE gateways and nodes. All doors can be operated by student and staff cards (MIFARE DESfire cards), or via NFC (near-field communications) or BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) mobile technology. The third phase of the project will see the addition of three turnstiles and five booms to complete the access control refurbishment at the school.

The new solution is non-intrusive and wire-free. Gone are the days of replacing locks when keys are lost and the school now has full visibility of each door with a full audit trail of users and door state via SALTO Pro Access Space. The software is browser based and can be accessed from any network terminal with a secure login credential.

Petra Houart, head of administration at DSJ, says, “I love the product, it looks good and it has eliminated all the hassles associated with keys such as lost keys, lock changes, unauthorised cutting of duplicate keys, etc. Above all, SALTO has improved our security; we can now see if all doors have been locked at the end of a school day due to the door-open sensors in each lock. Teachers can now leave their valuables in their classrooms and know that they are safe as the doors auto lock and a real-time audit trail of each lock is available in the software.”

Furthermore, Houart adds, “Systems Africa, the installer, delivered the solution on time and their recommendations have met all our expectations.”

Systems Africa, with a 30-year history of providing solutions, was referred by the American International School of Johannesburg and was responsible for the full solution architecture and implementation. The solution delivered is scalable and easy to manage, with a host of features that can be added in the future to address other security concerns at the school.


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