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Bi-Direction Wireless Locking For Far East Serviced Office Company

Salto Systems : 25 May, 2010  (Application Story)
Compass Offices is using XS4 wireless locking from Salto Systems to enable flexible and scalable access control across the company's serviced office locations in Hong Kong and Singapore
Bi-Direction Wireless Locking For Far East Serviced Office Company
Secure wireless technology is boosting security for one of Asia Pacific's providers of innovative workplace solutions and serviced office services.

Compass Offices, which operates fully furnished high quality business centres with serviced office space, meeting rooms and virtual office facilities from 4 locations in Hong Kong and 2 locations in Singapore, is making use of innovative wireless access control technology from Salto Systems to improve the security of its properties.

In Hong Kong the company has just installed a 56 door XS4-E9451 Mifare on-line wireless solution into its 21/F The Centre location, with a further 38 doors being equipped with the same system in their 16/F Man Yee premises.

A Hong Kong landmark, The Centre is one of Hong Kong's tallest structures and is a prestigious address located within the central business district. It is situated amongst major government, finance and banking headquarters and has access to three of the city's major MTR (underground rail) stations and links the business hub of Central with the dining district of SOHO.

Man Yee Building is also located in the heart of Central, and provides an all-weather thoroughfare to the district's main arteries of Des Voeux Rd and Queens Rd. It also gives easy access to Central MTR station, Hong Kong Airport Express Station and the ferry terminus.

Compass Offices are used by a variety of customers looking for centrally-located office spaces and best-in-class service. Such tenants include business professionals who travel frequently and require occasional or permanent office space, and small home-based businesses that need a respected address to create the right impression for their customers. In all instances a serviced office space can be rented on a monthly basis with access available on a 24 hour, 7 days a week basis.

While this is great for the client it creates potential security issues for Compass Offices. As both locations are brand new buildings the simplest solution would have been to provide clients with mechanical keys but right from the start this was recognised as a wholly unsatisfactory solution. The keys, inevitably, would have been lost or stolen or clients on short term rents would simply have left and taken their keys with them - compromising security and necessitating the replacement of locks and the issue of new keys to clients - causing both disruption to the smooth running of the business and unwanted and unnecessary expense.

The answer to this therefore was to install a more advanced method of access control, one which removed the need for keys but did not involve the disruption of fitting a networked cabled solution which would have been both intrusive and expensive.

With the help of Barwin Metal, the Salto country distributor for Hong Kong, a flexible and cost effective access control solution was devised.

Ever adept at creating smart solutions to make installation easy, a Salto wireless system using slim, flat XS4 escutcheons was selected as it could be used to secure all doors on both sites quickly and easily, without hard wiring and without the need to drill unnecessary holes in the doors. This meant that installation costs would be minimal making it the perfect solution for the serviced office layouts in both buildings.

Alfred Wai, Sales Manager for Barwin Metal, says: "The Salto wireless access control solution particularly appealed to Compass Offices as the number of users and doors the system can manage is unlimited. With the business expanding and an increasing number of staff and clients on site every day, this scalable solution was exactly what Compass needed.

Before the new Salto system was installed, we carried out a complete RF (radio frequency) survey of both sites evaluating transmission strengths from any microwaves, wi-fi, bluetooth devices, cordless telephones etc as well as checking wiring, cabling and infrastructure to ensure the fabric of both buildings was suitable for the installation of a wireless system.

With positive results from the survey, WRM 9001 wall readers were installed at main entrance doors at both sites and the wireless escutcheons fitted for individual office entry. These were joined by a gateway (which acts as the wired link between the PC and the wireless network) and repeaters that operate as a bridge between the gateway and other repeaters or locks, where the distance to the lock or where the number of locks that must be linked to the gateway exceeds what is possible with a single gateway. One gateway was required at each building, with 5 repeaters installed at 21/F The Centre and 3 repeaters at the 16/F Man Yee Building."

"The unique bi-directional system of the Salto wireless solution combines the advantages of both on-line and off-line solutions" says David Rees, Asia Pacific Regional Manager for Salto Systems SL.

"Any number of doors can be wirelessly connected to the system thanks to its IEEE 802.15.4 at 2.4 GHz technology. The gateways and repeaters act as antennas, collecting and sending information from the PC via Salto NPADEP RW Pro Access Department Operator SQL software, to the stand alone wireless locks (which use AES 128 encryption) and one gateway can manage several repeaters and electronic locks, minimizing infrastructure costs and maximizing flexibility.

With a single click users can configure or make changes to the network in real time. They can monitor the network, download audit trail information from the locks, delete users remotely and securely, collect battery status of the RF locks for maintenance and much more all from a single Control Centre and all in real-time. And thanks to its self-healing capabilities, if a lock should lose RF connection at any time it will automatically scan for a new connection to an alternative gateway or repeater, restoring communication and maintaining security" Rees concludes.

An effective and robust access control system is a key requirement of any building with multiple tenants. Its objectives should be to control and restrict access to authorized personnel and areas, prevent and prohibit all likely security threats from occurring and aim to reduce the degree of vulnerability of critical assets to theft.

"The decision to use Salto was easy" said Lachlan Sloan Group Director at Compass Offices. "They offer a very strong platform that has given us a reliable and highly secure access management solution. Of huge value to us is its wireless versatility, its auto unlocking capability, its full audit trail monitoring and its simplicity and ease of use. The sum of these features combined means we do not have the worry or expense of replacing lost keys or changing locks as we would with a mechanical product. Instead we now have 'keyless' buildings and a security system perfectly tailored to our specific needs."
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