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London's CityPoint Modernizes Building Security

An NFC solution automates access control for contractors, facilitates guard patrol and gives property managers insight into operations.
By Jill Gambon
Aug 14, 2016

At CityPoint, an iconic 34-story glass and steel tower in London's financial district, providing state-of-the-art amenities and secure, well-managed services is crucial for business. The building's tenants, many of them international law firms, demand nothing less.

To meet the expectations of its high-end clients, CityPoint's property-management team is always looking for ways to up the ante when it comes to amenities and services, says Lee Murray, CityPoint's building manager. Last year, Murray and his team identified three areas within building operations for improvement: management of keys, record-keeping related to onsite contractors and security-patrol operations. The goal was to replace outdated processes with a highly secure, automated system.

CityPoint chose an NFC platform because it addressed the three areas targeted for improvement and leveraged the building's existing Wi-Fi infrastructure. (Photo: CityPoint)
Every day, property managers relied on a paper-based process to issue hundreds of keys to contractors, including mechanical and maintenance crews, IT workers and window washers. The process was time-consuming and riddled with inefficiencies. Once keys were signed out, it was impossible to keep track of them, and many were lost or stolen. In addition, manually tracking attendance and billable hours for all those workers resulted in inaccurate records.

CityPoint's security officers patrol the interior and the grounds of the 706,000-square-foot building, which includes an underground parking garage and retail shops and restaurants on the ground floor, 24 hours a day. The guards' duties include making sure doors are locked and checking for water leaks. The patrol routes are lengthy, each equivalent to several miles, and officers couldn't report incidents in real time—they used a handheld wand to collect a digital time stamp at each of the 300 checkpoints, and the time-stamped data was downloaded to a computer at the end of their rounds. Incident reports were handwritten.

"We were looking for a product that would allow us to work smarter," Murray says. In January, CityPoint implemented a Near Field Communication (NFC) solution that combined security- management software from MyTag.io, HID Global's Trusted Tag Services platform for authentication and proof of presence, and hundreds of NFC tags, including key fobs, inlays and transponders, from HID Global.

The NFC solution has fulfilled all of CityPoint's goals, according to Murray. "My team is really impressed with this," he says.

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