Access Visitor Management Systems Guide

By Brian Rhodes, Published Jul 22, 2020, 10:36am EDT (Info+)

"Who are you, and why are you here?" Facilities that implement Visitor Management Systems hope they never need to ask that question to anyone, ever.

IPVM Image

While access control goes to great lengths to make sure only approved personnel are able to enter controlled areas, they hardly ever handle 'temporary access' well.

For that, Visitor Management fills a niche and claims to do a better job than the old, proven clipboard sign-in sheets.

In this note, we examine visitor management systems, their common features, and how they are best deployed.

Three *****

*** ***** ******* ********** ******, ***** are ***** ***** ***** *** *** system:

  • **************:** *** ** ******* ** ***** the **** ******* ***** ******* **. This ********** **** ** ************ ****** is ********* ****** * *********** ********* or ********* ****, *** ** **** matches **** ******* **** * ******** sponsor, ********* * ********* ********. **** makes **** **** *** *******'* ******** is ******** **** ** * ********** task *** ***** ******* ** * fully ******** ***** ***** ******, ********** site ********.
  • **********:******* ****** *** ****** *********** *** only ** ****** ** ********* *********, most ******* ********** ******* ******* ********* badging, **** *** ******** *********** ****** worn *** * *** ***** **** make ** ***** ******* ** ****** a '*******'. ** ******* ** ******** onsite **** *** ******* * ********* ID *** ********* ******* ***** *********, they **** ******* *** ** ********** by ***** ***** ** ********* *********.
  • *********:***** ********** *** ** ***** **** handling ********, **** *********, ** ******** per ****. ********** *** ****-******** ********** like ******** ***** ** ******** ************** sites, ******* ********** ***** ***** ******* of ******** ** ********* *** ****** visits ******* ******* *****, *** ******* tight *********** *****.

************, **** ******* ********** ******* **** logs ** ******* ******** *** *** scope ** *** **** *****.

Body *********** ********

** *** **** ** ***********, ******** visitor ************ *** **** ***** ** many **********. *** ****, ******* *******, handheld **** ****, *** **** *********** tablets **** **** *** ***** *** face ***** *** ****** ******** ** allowing ******** ******.

******* ** *** ****** ******** ** this **** ** ******* ********** *********, most ******* ** *** ******* *** step ** *** ********** ******* *** it ** ***** ***** ** *** user.

**** **** ***-******** ***** *** ****, instructions ** ******** ***** **** ** be **** ******** ** ******** **** errors. *** ***** ***** **** ***** **** ******* ** **** *** Tested****** ***** *** ******* ******* *** visitors/users ** ******** * **** ****** close *********:

*******, ** *** ******* *****, *** value ** ********* ******** ** ************ especially ***** *** ***** ** ********* that ********, **********, *** **** ***** themselves ********* **** ********. *** ************ ** ***+ ***** ****** **** Reports *********** **** ** ***/***** ************ *** checked, **** **** **** *********** *** true ******** ** **.

Self-Service ** ***

* ****** ****** ** ******* ********** systems ** **** **** *** ******** to ** **** ** ******** **** only ***** *********** **** *********. ******** are ***** **** ******** ** ****** basic ******* ***** **********, **** *** integrated ****** ******* ****** *** ****** to ******* ****** ******* ********, ****** other ***** ** ********/******, *** ********* log *** ******** ** *** ******* access ******.

******** *** ***** ***** ** ***** details **********, ******* ************ ** **** of ***** ********* ** ****** *** process:

IPVM Image

******* ** ****, * ******* ** other *******, ********* ******** ****** *******, accounting, *** ****** ***********, *** ** integrated.

Common **********

***** *** ***** *** ** ******** and ******** ****** *** *** ****** vary, **** ******* *** ***** ***** components:

IPVM Image

**** ** ** ******** ** **** one:

Workstation & ****** ********

*** ******* ******** ** **, ******, or ***** *****, ***** ********* ** an ****** ******* ********** ******, *** most ********** ******** ****** ****** *** data ***** ***********.

**** **** *****, ******** *** '********' into *** ******, *** ***** *********** access *********** ******* ******** ******** ** into ********** *****. **** **** ******* is ***** *** *** ********* *********** are *********, ** ******** ***** ***** their **** ** **** ******** ***** for ******** **** ** ******* ********** they *** ******.

ID "*******" ******

* ****** ******** * ****** ****** of * *******, *** **** ***** badge ****** ********* ******* * ***** black *** ***** ******** ** *** credentialed *******. **** ********* *** *******-***** 'ID *******', ***** ***** ******* *** common ******* ** **** ************ ******* to ******* ******* ******.

Paper ***** *******

*** *** ****** ** * ********* credential ******* ** * ***** ******. (See ******* *****.) *** *********** ** the ***** ***** *** ******'* ******** as ******* *****, *** *** ******* barcodes *** *********** *******/******** ****** *** include *** ****** ****.

*** '*********' ***** ***** ******* ****** often ******** *** ******* *****:

IPVM Image

Barcode *******

** *** ******* ******* ** ******* badges **** ** ** ******** ** other *******, *** ********** ******* ******** a ****** ** **** *** ***** into *********** ** ***** ******** ******* giving *** ****** *********** ********** ** use ****** ********* *******.

D/L ** ** ******

** **** *******, ** ******* ** magstripe ****** **** *** **** ******* ID ******, **** ******'* ******** (*/*) ** ********** ****** ****** ***** (CAC) ******* ****** **** *** ** pulled **** *** ******* ********** ******.

IPVM Image

** **** *****, *** *********** ********* by ***** *******/******** ** ***'* ** otherwise ************** *********** ** * ********* visitor **********.

System *****

** *******, *** **** ** * visitor ********** ****** ******** ********, ********, and ****** ***** **** ****** *** ink. ** **** *****, ******* ********** may ** * ******* (****) ******* of ** ****** ******, ** ***** cases, ** *** ** ******* ** an ***** ******, ** ** *** be * *** ***** ***.

*** ****** ***** **** ** *** exact ************* *** ***** ** *********** with ***** *******, *** ******** ***** range ***** ~$*,*** - $**** *** enrollment ******* ********* *** ********, ********, and ***********/********. **** ****** ********* *******:

  • ***'* *********:*** **** ******** **** ******, *** cost ****** **** ~$****-$**** *** ******* (typically *** *** ********). *** ***** depends ** *** ***** ** *********** with ****** *******, ***** *******, *** asset ********** ******** (******* *****, ********) or ******** ******** ******* **** ****** control.
  • ***** ************ '**********': **** ******-**** *****-***** options ******* ~$***/*****, ** ** '**********' multisite ******* ******-***** ******** ******* $*,*** Jolly's *** ********** **** **** ****** control ******* ********* ****, *****, ***, Kantech, *****, ** ********, *** ******** House *-****.

***** ******* *** ********* ** ********** or ******* ** *** ** ************* Management *******, *** *** ****** ***** components *** *** ****.

************

*** ******** ***** * ******* ********** system. **** ********** **** ********** ****** control *** *** **** ** ********* visitor ********** ****** * ****-******* ********* system. *******, *** ********* **** ***** to ******* **** **** ******* ********** include:

  • ***** ******* ******: ***** ******* ******** ******* ******** labor ***** ** *** ****, * Visitor ********** ****** *** **** **********. With ********** **** *****, ******** ***** 'pre-check-in' *********, *** ****** ****** ******, sites *** ************* ***** ** *** process ** ******* ******** ****** ******* without ************ ***** ******** ********.
  • **** ********: ******** **** ****** * ******* on ******* *** ********/******** ** ***** individual ****** ***** *** ******* ********** to **** ************** ** *** ****** easier, *** *** *** ********* ** badges ** ****** *** **** ** credentialing ***** ****.
  • **** *********: **** ***** ******* ********* *********. Furthermore, *** ******* ****** *** **** to **** ***** ** ********* ** be ******** ****** ** ** ******* by ******** ********. ******* ********** ******* or ******* ***** *******.
  • ****** ********: ** **** *****, ******** *** frequent ******. ****** **** ******** **** every ***** ******** ******** ********** ***********, visitor ********** ******* *** *********** *** can **** ********* ******** *** **** to ******* ***** ******** **** ***********.

[****: **** ***** *** ********** ******* in ****, *** ************* ******* ** 2020.]

Comments (21)

Just want to chime in regarding HID's Easy Lobby. The software is very outdated and difficult to install/maintain with peripheral devices. There is also a yearly license fee for getting firmware/software releases for it. I have deployed it at two buildings and it was a pain at both. The good news is support is generally responsive and helpful and knowledgeable on the many nuances of the software. That being said I wouldn't recommend it, and would go with something more lightweight and user/installer friendly.

Agree: 7
Disagree
Informative: 7
Unhelpful
Funny

Good summary Brian.

Standardizing on one platform has been a struggle for us. My goal was to use our access control platform's visitor management licensing because of the enterprise footprint.

Unfortunately, due to certain I.T. restrictions, it was impossible to implement without losing the ability to pre-register. That is a critical requirement. Other restrictions eliminate most every cloud service for us as well.

I'll be shopping again at ISC West in 2021.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 5
Unhelpful
Funny

We use Easy Lobby at a pretty large scale and it is very clunky and outdated. Would love for HID to improve and update a new release.

Agree: 6
Disagree
Informative: 6
Unhelpful
Funny

Agreed 110%.

Easy Lobby has needed a major overhaul for almost a decade.

I have Easy Lobby SVM at two primary locations. Last year, while exploring every possible option, I tested the Easy Lobby kiosk using an iPad. The user interface is so outdated I scrapped the entire idea simply because it looked and felt like it was designed in the 90's. It's very clunky and slow. It would have been an embarrassment as a first impression for our visitors.

Anyone who has ever installed EasyLobby has probably cringed at the AOL style splash screen and the audible "Welcome to Easy Lobby".

I never imagined that something so obvious could make it through HID's quality control for so many years without an update to the user interface.

It's easily the most overrated and outdated products in the industry. I don't think anyone would disagree.

If I remember right, they recently included new web pages in eAdvance but didn't change the software interface. That's just lipstick on a pig in my opinion.

Sorry HID. Even the rep's in your booth at ISC West agreed it is the elephant in the room at HID.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 5
Unhelpful
Funny

I will say something has changed with Easy Lobby. Used to be they would keep up well with the Lenel OnGuard integration. That has been broken since 7.4 and no signs of integrating anytime soon. We had a rep that was typically very responsive and now nothing.

Cloud is definitely the way to go with VM if IT will allow the external connection and you have multiple check-in points.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

SPLAN is a really good VM system. It is pricey though but will do almost anything you want and integrate to almost anything also.

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 4
Unhelpful
Funny

Yikes, thanks for the Easy Lobby feedback (complaints). I'll email HID and ask what plans they have, if any, for updates.

With that said, which platforms do you use?

Shannon D. above mentions SPLAN. Does anyone use one of the cloud varieties like Envoy?

I'll assemble into a list.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

The two platforms I am interested in learning more about are Envoy and the offering from BluB0x. Integration with access control is a key factor to consider.

From a security perspective, you are interested in who a visitor is, what their purpose is for being in the building, what they will need access to and finally where they went. Ideally you would give them an expiring mobile credential; though most sites have vendor/visitor badges that are signed out.

From an end user/operator perspective, you need the ability for visitors to self check in easily, pre-register large groups efficiently, simplified peripherals, and a simple way for visitors to contact the employee they are there to see once they have arrived onsite.

Too often you see a receptionist struggling with peripherals that decide not to work when a board member pops in. Or a visitor sitting in the lobby awkwardly while the receptionist tries the desk phone of the employee who's meeting ran 20 minutes over.

I'd be very interested to see IPVM delve deeper into visitor management to help evaluate the latest and greatest.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

Yes, brutal assessments but Easy Lobby has earned it...

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 2

I have heard of a few large companies in my area that use The Receptionist for iPad - the Original Visitor Management System and are quite happy with them.

I have used the system as a guest and it was pretty smooth but other than that know nothing about the platform.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

After a few years of Envoy not innovating, we recently switched to Traction Guest. They have been very responsive to our needs and have even developed features that we have requested. Traction Guest has many features and abilities that traditional VMS just do not have.

EasyLobby is like a Windows 3.11 piece of software. While it does work it's not worth spending money on something that was developed over 20 years ago and has shown no signs of any investment in improving the product.

Agree: 4
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny

Envoy not innovating? I'd have to disagree with that. We've been using Envoy for about 5 years now and could not be happier with it. They are constantly introducing new features and integrations with other products. Their tech support is top-notch and have even taken my suggestions a couple of times to improve their product.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

what recommendations have of system for residential management of visitor and contractor with automated read of credential(contact less if possible now we corona virus), list of authorized Visitor pre register ? Integrated with milestone preferred!

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Hi

THis is a bit of a rant. Access COnstrol manufacturers need to come out of their last-century mentality.

THe opportunities are there, no doubt but most ACS Software and systems look at the industry in the eyes of RS-485 and multi-door controllers. We should be past that int hse days and time...

According to this: 5.11 billion unique mobile users worldwide in 2019, and 2.71 billion of them use smartphones. I would bet that the definition of a smartphone includes Bluetooth. So why haven't we seen a push toward smartphone, a very personal item BTW, as credentials... Such remains a niche product... Why ? I haven't seen a wealth of solutions for the Integration of Visitor Management with ACS ... Should I think that ACS software vendors have not found a way to integrate their platform with Visitor Management? That, there is no demand for such? SERIOUSLY?

Meanwhile , you have a plethora of start-ups with cloud offerings that can open the skies..., if you were to ask them... A problem with Internet Access and your facilities become in-Access-ible ... Not sure I like the ACS-on-the-cloud model but ... It's advance is inexorable.

We need Innovation in our industry. Solutions are too often lame. In these days and ages, We, the Integrators, should not have to present a blank face to a customer asking to integrate its ACS with visitor Management.

If there are solutions, I'd like to know about these.

Agree
Disagree: 1
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

SO why haven't we seen a push toward smartphone, a very personal item BTW as credentials... usc remains a niche product... Why ?

#4, thanks, we have new statistics and address this topic here - Mobile Access Control Usage Statistics 2020

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Not sure what access control platform you use but the ones we do have VM integrations to many different VM companies. Lenel even has their own. Not very robust but if you want basic VM it works really well. They also integrate to many others.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

In this times of covid-19 pandemics, visitor management is used for people counting, temperature taking and contact tracing.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Badge Printer service could be a nice little Side Business?

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

Hi Thanks, all for the reply,we use Centaur from CDVI and Milestone as VMS integrate, we make some customization to the customer but we are attach to a ID reader( ICAR) is too cost, Customer want something less expensive to read the documents to integrate and also touchless.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

These play an important part when cases such as covid-19 happen. Temperature, number of person access to a premises can be controlled.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

In consideration of ID scanners, some states require a certain level of IT security if storing or copying someone's photo ID such as driver's license or state issued ID. Before implementing, check your local and/or state laws regarding privacy and storage of personal data.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny
Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts reporting, tutorials and software funded by subscriber's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.
Loading Related Reports