Visitor Management Systems (The Other VMS)

Visitor Management Systems (as opposed to Video Surveillance Systems, which should be VSS, not VMS), what do not people use or recommend these days. There's the old players of Easy Lobby and STOPWare, but a lot of cloud based startups, too. Do you use different products depending on if it is residential or a business? Or based if it has integration with your Access Control System?

Visitor management seems to be a logical extension of access control, but it amazes me no access control developer has a real and robust visitor orientated system that I know of.


We have just implemented Lobby Track at one of our facilities this month. so far so good after a few glitches and overcoming the learning curve. Works enterprise wide, and we will be adding additional sites gradually. so far I am pleased with it. We are not using the cloud version, but it interfaces with several AC systems, none of which we use.

Thanks, Und 1. Is this replacing an existing VMS, or the old pad and paper method?

Replacing Scanshell.net

Well, I guess that was at least one step up from pad and pen.... :)

Scanshell was an inherited system for one facility, it worked pretty well, but it didn't provide all of the features we needed for all of our sites. We needed something to handle over 40 offices nationwide. LobbyTrack provided online registration, email and calendar support, evacuation lists, and the auditing features we needed.

LobbyWorks by Honeywell works extremely well for us. It does require an email server that does not use authentication which is rare, but if you can supply that, it works really well. Plenty of ability to customize the messages, actually a pretty flexible system.

Mark, do you use it primarily for business or does it fit for both business and residential/multi-tenant uses?

Do you find visitor management to be a growing client request?

Business only so far Luis. Our vertical of Multi-tenant has no interest in visitor management tracking, just visitor management prevention and control. They seen to be content and even prefer the visitor contacting the tenant and the tenant controlling the access.

In terms of access integration, examples of custom modules built into systems are out there:

But like you point out, in many cases, an access platform will claim integration with a specific 3rd party offering. You named HID's EasyLobby, but here are some others:

A good access dealer should be able to make quick work of telling you the options that work with their platform. 3rd party choices may be limited for factory integrations.

Thanks, Brian! I did not know about those particular access solutions having their own. So some do, at least, while others leave it to integrating with other solutions.

I believe Genetec has their own VMS as well.

Thanks, Jim. Have you ever seen it in action or compared it to other solutions out there?

I am not sure if this really fits into this discussion, but a product that I use quite often, and out of necessity because it fits a niche market very well is Dwelling Live. Their system excels at visitor management, and is fully cloud based, the kiosk software keeps a local and limited copy of the database so that service can continue during a network outage. On the CON side, they integrate only with HID VERTX access panels. Another huge issue that I have with them is that they insist on having the end user purchase credentials directly from then (in app style), if the end user (community,manager)chooses to purchase credential outside of the app, they charge $0.99 per credential (credit) or the credential can not be programmed. I typically discount my credentials, and offer a $0.99 buy down discount so that I can sell the credentials. But with that said for multi community administration they have the cloud interface down pat, from a single sign on I can manage any of my communities. and monitor access control hardware status, (they do nave email notification for panel offline-very handy/Kiosk Offline). I do not work in Office, or multi tenant buildings that would require a VMS, but they do have a Lobby system as well. So other than their doing everything possible to limit the amount of money made by their dealers, and try to squeeze every penny from your client,it is a solid system and worth a look.

Good info, Mark. So you say it is cloud based and works with HID access panels. So do the panels talk back to Dwelling Live waiting for commands and info, or do you need to configure firewall rules for Dwelling talk down to the panels?

Luis,

Cloud based, in that all administration, credential management,rules etc, it all performed in the cloud. All credentials,rules,schedules etc. are synced to the HID panel. The HID Vertx is an interesting panel as it is made specifically for integration with other products, and so far from my experience has been a very stable platform. Inside of the HID panel there is a configuration for the server that it communicates to, in this case the Dwelling Live server. The panels are dhcp and on startup communicate with the server in a call home fashion, and sets up a NAT bi directional communication. This allows the panel to be installed in a plug n play fashion and works through complex firewalls ( I think all traffic port 80) with no additional configuration. readers and such are then added through the cloud interface.

These are some of the pro column items that were missing from my first post,

I hope that answers your questions

Mark, it surely does, thanks. As a side note, it truly amazed me how few access control solutions that have edge panels that "call home" versus waiting to be polled by the main server. But that is a whole other discussion.

TI Entrypoint?

Rodney, couldn't find info on TI Entrypoint, do you have a link to info about it? Is it what you use or have seen used?

Much to my dismay, we're about to roll out LobbyGuard (upgrading from pen and paper). We tried the cloud solution first and were repeatedly subject to unannounced updates that broke everything. They were ready to get kicked to the curb, and all of a sudden an on-prem version became available, so we're using that now. Same issue. They were remoting in with no notice and performing updates, again breaking everything. Since we removed their access entirely, our issues have down to a mostly manageable level, but the whole system is still very shaky.

LobbyConnect from EventBoard, on the other hand, was deployable in about 15 minutes. It's still very new for them, so they're adding features as they go, but not having to babysit these systems is worth their weight in gold. I just wish the CTO saw it the same way.

Hi Jason,

Any update you can provide on the LobbyGuard system? Any feedback you can provide would be very much appreciated.

Brian

Can you give us some sense of the cost involved; both initial and ongoing? Also what was the setting (School, business, etc)

LobbyTrack is about $5k for one workstation license and all the peripherals, supplies, annual support contract is about $320, and installation support sessions etc. This does not include the workstation itself which we supplied. We are using v6 which also has an enterprise level one time pre-registration module which is about $2k. V7 is cloud based and I do not have numbers for that. We are beta testing for enterprise wide roll out for many of our nationwide offices and data centers. The LobbyTrack support team has been very prompt and responsive to our needs.

Thanks, Und 1. Will Lobby Track be integrating with any of your current systems, or is that not needed or important?

All of our visitors and contractors must be escorted at all times within the facility. No access control integration is required.