Keeping it confidential

November 2007 Access Control & Identity Management

Motivation

Sizwe Ntsaluba Chartered Accountants (Siswe), founded in 1985 primarily as a business consultancy, has developed over the years into a well-established South African firm of accountants, auditors and business advisors.

The growth driving the company's development eventually created a situation where larger facilities were required to accommodate the company's employees.

Rieckus Huysamen at Siswe comments, "Over the years the consultancy has attracted a number of blue chip clients whose affairs needed to be treated confidentially. When we were considering our options for larger premises, we felt that the benefits of developing new premises to our own specification outweighed the simpler solution of just moving into a larger space."

Reward

After due consideration, Siswe took a strategic decision to develop its own office park. This solution would not only meet the expanded accommodation requirements but also create a revenue stream from tenants, which the company could choose with a view to adding value and services to Siswe's existing operations.

"When we decided to develop the office park, we took the opportunity to specify high levels of security with a particular focus on access control," Rieckus comments.

The site for the Siswe Ntsaluba Office Park was chosen in Woodmead, adjacent to the N1 Rivonia off-ramp. The R80m development was designed by architects Boogertman Urban Edge and built by Group 5. The office park consists of two buildings: a 4000 m² facility occupied by Siswe and a 4500 m² office space let to tenants. Both buildings have basement parking areas.

The risk management specifications for the Siswe's new premises included catering for over 350 professionals and ensuring that only authorised personnel gain entry.

Implementation

Mfundo Jako from PD Naidoo awarded the mandate for the security implementation to IDtek after quotes were carefully studied and because IDtek had proven its abilities on many previous installations. Julian Thorrold, electronic risk management specialist at IDtek, adds: "We have worked for many years with large professional service consultancies and have built up good relations because of our excellent track record for delivering on time and within budget.

"IDtek met with Siswe's IT personnel a number of times to understand the human movement considerations and to identify sensitive areas.

"IDtek is finding that clients are much more informed about the options now available in security solutions. They are beginning to specifically request the additional security offered by Sagem's fingerprint biometrics and are even insisting on integration with other risk management technologies such as Internet Protocol-based CCTV and intruder detection," says Thorrold.

The solution chosen by Siswe consists of 13 Sagem fingerprint biometric readers, seven of which are located outdoors, combined with analogue video surveillance of the entire facility.

Challenges

IDtek even went to the length of pre-loading the database to allow for smooth tenant occupation. "IDtek is committed to superior customer service. We therefore prefer to do the initial task of enrolling tenants before the system goes 'live' to ensure that there are no delays or confusion on the actual day," adds Thorrold.

Review

"Provided you have adequate communications, new building solutions are often much easier to implement than working with existing buildings. Thorough groundwork is the key to smooth and easy implementation. Because we consulted both with the main contractor, Group 5, and with Siswe's IT personnel, the implementation was a success from the first day the tenant took occupation. The more you know before you begin, the less likely you are to experience surprises at a later date," Thorrold explains.

Rieckus concludes: "Siswe required a superior level of access control for the entire office park and that is what IDtek has delivered. We find the system easy to operate and have full confidence that we are in control of who goes where in our office park.


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