Best in Show 2014: SV3 Examined

By Brian Rhodes, Published Apr 10, 2014, 12:00am EDT

ISC West 2014's top new product prize went to relative unknown Building Intelligence's SV3 Entry Management platform. A software offering, SV3 lacks the straightforward appeal of a video camera, door lock, or (apparently) a bullet proof bookshelf, and instead ties existing 3rd party systems and processes together into a single system.

In this note, we unravel the company's flagship offering, including pricing and positioning, examining its best and worst fits.

Platform Overview

The 'SV3' moniker identifies the three areas of focus of the platform: Visitors, Vendors, and Vehicles, tieing inputs from all three into a central database that tracks where transients have been and need to be in a facility. The platform allows roving guards, checkpoint staff, and visitor sponsors to coordinate the details of a visit, checking permissions, vehicle registration, and even scheduled delivery times against an approved plan. With SV3, unannounced visits, unknown delivery vehicles, or blacklisted vendors can be rejected at the outside gate before they enter a site.

In the section below, we examine each of the three pieces of the platform:

Visitors: As noted in our Visitor Management tutorial, establishing identity, reason for business, and sponsorship on site are the central goals. Rather than requiring proprietary credentials, the platform integrates out-of-box with common Driver's License or ID card readers from Intellicheck [link no longer available] and MorphoTrak. However, the company will develop other integrations for a fee.

The other two modules are not found in other visitor management platforms, and their addition is what makes SV3 different:

Vendors: The Vendor Management module allows both user and participating vendor to update records like employee status, purchase order details, delivery/service schedules, licenses, or certificates of insurance. This is made possible via a public-facing vendor portal that automates the routine administrative interactions between all parties:

Vehicles: The platform also integrates with ALPR systems and uses plate information to validate service, keep tabs on where vehicles travel within a facility, and potentially turn back unconfirmed vehicles that contain unknown cargo. The plate logs are cross referenced against the other records gathered by the system to expand access management to vehicles.

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Cloud Based: While not unique to SV3, the platform is typically 'cloud based' to aid remote access. Guards and users can use mobile devices and internet connections to access the platform in the field. 

Example Workflow

The three sets of data coincide to maintain control of a traditionally loose, manual aspect of access control: subcontractor access and routine service.

A sample scenario would be a site logging service vehicle and driver identity at the front gate, checking entrance privileges with vendor management records, pushing notifications to responsible parties, and even alarming if the expected time onsite exceeds estimates. If service vehicles or personnel are questioned onsite about nature of business, guards can verify details with the platform remotely.

Manned Response is Critical

SV3 essentially is a database that is only useful where manned guardstaff is already operating, responsive, and diligent. Not only must they enter data into the system, they must respond to alerts or alarms. Because of this, SV3 has limited passive use and will not prevent unauthorized entry to a site in the way a locked door or gate turns back intruders.

Costs

SV3 is sold as a yearly service, with most users buying the cloud service rather than installing the platform onsite. Exact costs vary based on the types of integrations needed and mix of hardware onsite, and pricing below only represents software subscription costs:

  • Workstation: ~$2,500 per year, per computer or mobile device
  • Vehicle Gate Locations:  ~$15,000 per year, for a workstation integrated with a ALPR system

However, volume discount apply after a single workstation, and any custom integrations are an additional fee. 

Building Intelligence SV3 vs HID Easy Lobby

Direct comparisons with other platforms are not straightforward, since SV3 uncommonly integrates three typically unrelated systems. While both platforms are a visitor management platform, SV3 incorporates vehicle plate logging and vendor management features not available in HID's EasyLobby:

Applications

If visitor management is a niche, SV3 appeals to a niche of the niche. Only large, highly trafficked, high security sites such as military bases or large industrial customers likely have the manpower in place to make use of the system, much less afford it. Unless manned guardstaff is onsite and feeding information into the system, any outputs will not be useful.

However, for sites or buildings that do see high volumes of transient access, SV3 can organize data about visitors in a way that alerts or responses can be coordinated sooner compared to multiple fragmented systems. Keeping tabs of vehicles, vendors, and vehicles in one application means cross-checking details about deliveries or site visits takes seconds rather than making multiple phonecalls or looking details up in multiple databases.

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