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Gallagher Aids University Security

Last updated: Thursday, January 10, 2019 - Save & Share

Students and staff at a university in the heart of London are being kept safe by smart software that monitors and controls a million door movements a month.
King’s College London (KCL) has evolved its security capabilities over the past decade since adopting the Gallagher Command Centre system across the entire college in place of a variety of access control products.
Nick O’Donnell, KCL’s value creating real estate & facilities executive, says: “Gallagher’s system improves service to our facility users, especially our students, and reduces the college’s reputational risk by removing technical barriers to comprehensive security management.”
KCL is divided into nine academic schools spread across four Thames-side campuses with another in Denmark Hill, south London.
It is one of the largest centres for graduate and post-graduate medical teaching and biomedical research in Europe – home to six Medical Research Council centres.
The university attracts 29,600 students, including more than 11,700 postgraduates, from 150 countries and employs more than 8,000 staff.
In addition, a variety of visiting lecturers and academics, scientists, members of the public, contractors and corporate users sometimes need to visit its numerous buildings, from laboratories to classrooms, auditoriums, offices, social space and catering areas and accommodation blocks.
That amounts to roughly a million movements per month through 3,600 doors in more than 100 buildings across a combined campus area of 411,004 sq m.
Gallagher’s technology had already been successfully deployed as isolated systems at the university’s Guy’s and Strand campuses.
O’Donnell says that back in 2005 it was key for KCL to introduce a standardised system that could operate college-wide and be scaled to include new builds.
“The streamlining of individual campus’ differing security systems to management across the board has had many additional advantages. By introducing a standardised system college-wide, KCL has considerably reduced its costs for training, special projects and operator skills.”
Gallagher installed its access control products and swiftly integrated them with KCL’s existing systems including staff and student databases and sources for cardholder information.
It integrated the technology with the college’s enterprise identity management system, called FIM, which provides daily updates on joiners, movers and leavers to allow for accurate decision-making by the security team.
Additionally, Gallagher products work alongside SITS, KCL’s student management system, to provide rapid updates of new students so that individual ID cards can be issued once the registration process is complete.
KCL is a growing educational establishment, with numerous building projects in the pipeline. The Gallagher system will evolve as the university’s requirements change.
For instance, the security system has been continually updated when the threat of terrorism has grown as attacks have taken place very near to KCL buildings.
The latest security features have been adopted to protect the thousands of students and employees, in particular in student accommodation, high security labs and research facilities.
KCL has invested in the new Gallagher Mobile Connect app to allow mobile phones to be used instead as readers. This will allow students and staff to control lighting and visitor permissions as well as accessing designated areas.
The overall benefits of the Gallagher security solution deployed at KCL have proved significant.
KCL reports fewer system failures with better decision-making between its numerous estates and libraries, while multi-site students, staff and visitors have experienced easier card management.
Card holders are registered on one system, allowing the tighter management of passes and the university’s security services can consult a single system and react quickly.
A reduction in alarms was a major gain for KCL. O’Donnell explains: “This would not have been possible without the reporting abilities of a single system.
“Gallagher has enabled us to report information from across King’s in a single source and use that information to highlight maintenance, operator, staff and student user issues.”

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