Have you asked yourself what visitor management system should we adopt? There are numerous companies who have developed visitor software systems and some are very simplistic and some are very complex. So making an informed decision takes a bit more than perusing their websites.
Let’s start with asking a simple question: Will the visitor management system be the foundation of your security program? Or will it be a tool to relieve pressure off of the front desk and let visitors checking themselves? Like at a doctor’s office?
That is two distinctly different use cases. The former is risk mitigation and the latter is efficiency.
If you are looking for a security system then keep reading. Here are a list of features you should require of a visitor management system:
Cloud-based. Critical for organizations that have multiple points of entry or locations and need to integrate their campuses. Cloud-based systems also make it easier to deploy and maintain. Your IT team does not need to do anything when new updates are rolled out. And administrators can access data from anywhere in the world they have internet access.
Background Checks. Most visitor systems have some type of background check. Keep in mind there is no standard definition of a background check and very few visitor management companies understand the complexity of comprehensive background checks and the federal, state and local regulations that dictate disclosures, authorizations, reporting restrictions and handling of adverse information. Background screening and FCRA violations are a growing field of litigation.
Real-Time Background Checks. Background checks are historical documents the minute they are completed. Yes, they are critical to your onboarding process but they have limitations. Would it be important to know that an approved vendor had an employee arrested for rape? Or that one of your drivers was arrested for DUI on Saturday night? Real-time ArrestAlerts are critical.
ID Validation. This is the foundation of a security-focused visitor management system. How do you identify your visitors, volunteers, contractors etc.? Self reporting is not ID validation. Properly identifying frequent visitors is complex and involves parsing government issued ID’s, using biometrics and other investigative integrations to validate.
Regulations. Do you have industry specific regulations and the need to check against international watch-lists or healthcare sanctions lists? Are certain parties excluded from your campuses?
Applications. There is a distinction between a simple data form and a configurable online application that can trigger specific business requirements such as notifying a team member to sponsor and approve an application. Do you need different applications for different classifications of visitors like vendors, volunteers, temporary workers, etc? Not all visitors are the same and you should be able to create different levels of applications, screening and access control.
GeoFencing. Approved, high frequency visitors can use a mobile app that will request entry to approved buildings as they approach the facility and cross the geofence.
Integrations. Is the visitor system trying to be everything for everybody. A complex visitor system understands their expertise and stays with in their lanes. They look to partners who are best in their lanes to integrate with:
Crisis Alert Systems
Student Information Systems
Leaders That Understand Security. Software companies need developers who understand how to code and develop products and services. But it takes visionary leaders who have decades of real-world security experience to develop the road map.
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