Blog

30
May

Blacktown City Council relies on KeyWatcher Touch to control its keys

Blacktown City Council is nestled in the heart of the bustling Western Suburbs of Sydney and consists of 48 residential suburbs and is home to 340,000 people making it the second largest city by population in NSW. The council is home to some famous attractions such as Featherdale Wildlife Park, the Blacktown International Sport Park which was used during the 2000 Olympics and a huge Aquatic and Tennis Centre

KeyWatcher units holding keys for Blacktown City Council

A row of KeyWatcher cabinets located at one of Blacktown City Councils offices.

With the responsibility of managing so many people comes the responsibility for managing a lot of utilities, plant and property. The Councils main works depot situated at Rooty Hill houses a multitude of various work machinery and vehicles which is used daily by hundreds of council workers to provide the support that these utilities and properties require.

Managing so many staff and so many vehicles can pose a problem of not knowing were specific keys are at any given time throughout a business day. With the introduction of the KeyWatcher Touch product the Council now has no problem allocating where a key is. In fact, the KeyWatcher can advise which cabinet the key is in or if it’s out and about it can advise who had last signed it out. This essentially allows for a complete audit tail on the movement of every key on site.

Blacktown City Council control keys via a PC

Interface with the KeyWatcher system is easy via a PC or laptop. Screenshot at Blacktown City Council.

The KeyWatcher Touch may also restrict access to certain vehicles or facilities keys to specific staff. Without the appropriate credentials a council staff member may only acquire access to the keys that he or she has been entitled to. This has allowed better control of keys restricting access to users who shouldn’t have access to certain plant / machinery.

The management of the KeyWatcher Touch product is all performed through a high level interface with the sites ‘Integriti’ access control platform supplied by Inner Range. All access to who can have which keys is assigned through the Integriti User Interface. All alarms and events that occur at the KeyWatcher Touch are sent back to the ‘Integriti’ User Interface through a TCP/IP connection.

There are multiple KeyWatchers at the works depot and each one belongs to a different department where they are all either managed centrally or managed by the department managers. Users use their staff swipe card to identify themselves at the KeyWatcher and in some cases a four-six digit PIN is required over and above for added security.

In short, the efficiency of key management has been delivered through using the KeyWatcher Touch product.

20
Mar

Mercedes Benz Dealership Looks to Keybank Touch To Secure Their Keys

 

Let’s face it, first impressions count a lot. And, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. And, at Mercedes-Benz in Alexandria, NSW, management makes every effort to ensure the first impression is a good one. From the luxurious showroom to the state of the art service bays, every detail throughout the three-story dealership is optimized for customer satisfaction in keeping with the brand identity.

Mercedes Benz dealership uses KeyBankTouch to protect its keys

Managing and securing keys in a car dealership is pretty complicated. This Mercedes benz dealership uses KeyBank Touch to simplify this effort.

To safeguard this quality and level of service, management relies on a number of technology innovations including the Morse Watchmans KeyBank Touch key management system. The system features aesthetically attractive cabinets that are used for storing and tracking vehicle keys. They are located throughout the facility and are connected on the internal network. Every time a key cabinet is accessed to remove or return a vehicle key, the activity is automatically recorded including the name of the individual and the time and date of the activity. Only authorised users can access the cabinets and they can only take keys they have been pre-programmed to access.

“Key control is vital in an automobile dealership and our KeyBank Touch system more than meets our needs,” said Keith McArdle, General Sales Manager, Mercedes-Benz Sydney. “From its ease of use to the money saved in eliminating lost keys, it hits on all cylinders.”

KeyBank Touch cabinets for keys belonging to new and used car are located in the showroom and service department, while high volume KeyBank cabinets are installed in the warehouse and storage center. Keys are logged into the system upon vehicle arrival at the dealership and are then attached to a locking device with a unique identification chip and secured in the key cabinet.  As the vehicle is moved about the facility, the system of its location and, at all times, management knows the location of every key registered in the system, who has which keys out and when they are to be returned. They can check the information in real time on their PC as well as receiving an email alert when a specific key – such as one for a high value automobile – has been accessed or returned.

Management can quickly audit the status or history of any vehicle and custom reports provide insight into model popularity, employee performance and vehicle use. Key usage information can also be analyzed for sales and marketing effectiveness, further adding to its operational value. Sales staff can reserve a demo car with the system or, with the KeyFind feature, quickly check to see which automobiles are in and available for a demonstration or sale. A group release function lets management sequentially distribute keys for demo vehicles so they get equal use.

“Convenience and feature-rich capabilities are paramount to the success of KeyBank Touch at the dealership,” notes Fernando Pires, VP Sales and Marketing, Morse Watchmans. “Together they increase the security and efficiency of the organization.”

We, at Australian Security Techonology Pty Ltd (ASTPL) are proud to offer Morse Watchmans products to the Australian market, as official sole distributors of their products, which includes the supply and installation of the KeyBank Touch systems used by Mercedez Benz at their Alexandria dealership.

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This story is an example of many solutions provided to the motor vehicle retail industry throughout Australia and many other countries. Contact us to discuss your requirements.

For copy of this story, please click here.

9
Mar

KeyShield tracks keys and prevents removal from designated area

It’s been a pretty exciting start to 2017. In our last blog post, we introduced our new Integration Partner, ICT—which allows users of ICT Protege GX to connect seamlessly with our KeyWatcher Touch. And, in the excitement of this and other activities of early 2017, we forgot to mention the official release of a home-grown product, KeyShield.

Let’s face it, our mainstay and lead-in product is KeyWatcher, one for which we are well known for in the industry. This product changed the key management and security landscape when first introduced in 1993. And, it continues to lead the market in this segment.

Two components that make up KeyShield : fob, with keys attached; scanner which communicates to the fob.

Two components that make up KeyShield : fob, with keys attached; scanner which communicates to the fob.

The KeyWatcher product allows the user to control the issuing of keys and lets the user know which employee or contractor has what key at any given time, with alarms as to when keys have not been returned and so on. However, sometimes user requirements include actual tracking of keys and even preventing their unauthorised removal from a particular site. So, to protect physical loss of keys, and prevent unauthorised removal, we now offer you, KeyShield.

Designed, developed and manufactured in Australia, this complementary product to KeyWatcher uses high end wireless technology to track key locations and prevent their removal from site. KeyShield uses leading edge communication protocols which is more stable and more reliable than conventional RFID communication.

KeyShield is able to track key movements and overlay key location and movement in a physical space. The user can actually watch key movements in real time. And, most importantly, the user can prevent removal from a site, with the ability to lock exit doors or raise alarms when said keys are being taken out of a particular proscribed location.

KeyShield uses a field scanner and key tag (fob) as physical parts of the system. KeyShield can be augmented by using more than one field scanner.

And, where key tracking in a particular site/area, KeyShield is paramount. This new product is ideal for use in security-centric applications like Casino and Gaming use, Prisons and so on.

For more information, please contact us now.

7
Mar

KeyWatcher® now integrates with ICT’s Protege GX

KeyWatcher touch integration with ICT Protege GX

One of KeyWatcher’s versatility is its ability to integrate with many high end Building Management and Automation Systems, which for the end user makes the daily management of the KeyWatcher seamless and easy. In the pursuit of giving more users this functionality, we are proud to announce that the KeyWatcher Touch now has an interface with ICT’s Protege GX platform.

ICT is a world leading manufacturer of unified and intelligent electronic access control and security solutions that enable organizations to protect their people, operations and information.

Based in Auckland, New Zealand, ICT have a global presence and an international reach. ICT have offices located in Denver (Colorado USA), Amersham (United Kingdom), and Sydney (Australia) that provide full local sales, support and service to ICT’s clients and partners around the world.

ICT recognises that their partners play an integral role in their sales and support network, providing the expertise and experience to help ICT’s clients plan, deploy, integrate and manage their ICT solution.

Part of the suite of offerings from ICT is Protege GX. This product is an enterprise level integrated access control, intrusion detection, and building automation solution with a feature set that is easy to operate, simple to integrate, and effortless to extend.

Designed with the end user in mind, Protege GX offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface with graphical floor plans and highly customisable status pages for controlling and monitoring the system. Customisable alarm and event filters enable you to sort and categorize the event and alarm data that is shown.

Integration with a wide range of third party systems enables the user to maximise the infrastructure and IT investments that he/she already has available on site while adding value to existing technology. ICT’s open Automation and Control protocol allows third party developers to create custom integrations that communicate directly with the Protege GX Controller.

The modular design and scalable licensing model makes Protege GX suitable for everyone – from small single door systems right through to large multi-national corporations. Modular expansion allows the system to grow and to accomodate the user’s expanding needs.

The server-based architecture makes Protege GX a truly global system, enabling the system to securely manage, control and monitor an unlimited number of users, doors, areas, and other devices, in real time regardless of geographical location. A centralised database improves efficiency and keeps valuable sensitive data secure – not tucked away on a laptop in the back of a company vehicle.

With no limit on the number of Controllers that can be added to a Protege GX system, scalability is a key focus. Modular expansion allows each Controller to be extended up to 64 doors and 1000+ inputs and outputs. This flexibility makes both centrally located, home run control, and at the edge intelligence models to be mixed and matched to best fit the application.

6
Feb

Upgraded KeyWatcher Touch is now faster and has more security features

With IT systems constantly improving and evolving, we announce the release of the KeyWatcher Touch, with Gen2 CPU, first exhibited at Intersec 2017 held in January this year. At the heart of the system, the Gen2 CPU features the Freescale IMX6 – 1Ghz Single Core processor which provides faster user interface and sync times — by a factor of 7 -10 times, compared to the previous Gen1 system.

And, memory has also been increased from 32MB DRAM and 32MB Flash  to 256MB DDR3 and 4GB Flash. Ethernet is now 10/100/1000 compared to the previous 10/100. Thus, the system Fully supports gigabit networks that are now commonplace.

But, the improvements don’t stop there. The focus on security has not been neglected, but specially enhanced.

Fernando Pires from Morse Watchmans (our principals) puts it this way, “We have bolstered the security features of our KeyWatcher Touch to meet the demands of the market, especially in resorts and casinos, which required a continually greater degree of component security to ensure system integrity. This allows users to be more confident in implementing the system throughout the enterprise.”

The KeyWatcher Touch has new generations CPU and many new features

The KeyWatcher Touch has been upgraded with new generation CPU and many added features.

New security features protect the system from cyber breaches via the network. With the firewall enabled, all incoming traffic is ignored unless it is on the specific ports the system requires for network and server communication. The data between the KeyWatcher Touch and the KeyWatcher Touch Server can now be encrypted with AES256 technology, with a pre-shared key that is definable on a site-by-site basis.

The Upgraded KeyWatcher Touch has more a responsive touchscreen and UI. More memory means support for many more users and keys, without any slowdown. As well, more KWTouch systems can be connected to a KWTServer instance, since the propagation time of new/modified/deleted user data will be greatly reduced.

The KWTouch Gen2 CPU Upgrade will offer the following advantages to customers who have a Gen1 system: Customers utilising encrypted communications will see less impact on sync times due to the encrypting and decrypting of data being faster

Users with dual Touchscreen display systems can have the remote box now placed further away from the system than ever, making it easier to run the cabling. No more difficult “Y” cables – just a single dedicated display cable is now required.

We note that Gen1 CPU supported up to 25ft of cable length, while Gen2 CPU now supports up to 40ft.

New security features protect the system from cyber breaches via the network. With the firewall enabled, all incoming traffic is ignored unless it is on the specific ports the system requires for network and server communication. The data between the KeyWatcher Touch and the KeyWatcher Touch Server can now be encrypted with AES256 technology with a pre-shared key that is definable on a site-by-site basis.

The KeyWatcher Touch Server service can now run under a domain user account. As well, Windows authentication is supported for SQL, while server logins eliminate the need for the IT department to add SQL users to the SQL Server for the purpose of authentication. The KeyPro III software import utility has been improved to make it easier to use. Imports can now be performed as needed, rather than having to complete them all up front.

What’s more, day-to-day user amenities have been upgraded, including the ability to replace keys from TrueTouch key tracking software using the SmartKey reader. A new notification that allows for users to be notified when an overdue key has been returned is also included, as well as notifications for dual and triple user removals/returns. All reports in TrueTouch now support being saved/viewed as a PDF, or saved as a CSV file.

For more information, please contact us now.

30
Jul

KeyWatcher Case Study: University of Wollongong

Here we present the first in a series of case studies on our KeyWatcher range of products, to show you how users decided on, implemented and setup their KeyWatchers.

The University of Wollongong  (UOW) was founded in 1951 and is considered a young educational institution. Despite its relatively young age, the university has already developed a reputation as a highly reputable place of learning, especially because of its strong emphasis on research and the learning environment provided to its students, across a large number of disciplines.

While the main campus is located in Wollongong, the University has six regional campuses around New South Wales, which includes the UOW Sydney Business School.  Other campuses are in Southern Sydney, Bega, Batemans Bay, Shoalhaven and the Southern Highlands. In 2014, total student enrollment reached 31,464.

As well as providing teaching overseas with a university (University of Wollongong in Dubai) in the United Arab Emirates, the University has a strong presence in Asia. This is through partnerships with international education providers, viz., INTI Laureate, IRI.HK, PSB Academy (Singapore) and the Singapore Institute of Management.

In 2009, the University’s Facilities Management Division (FMD) decided to improve the issue of keys in their different campuses. At that time, keys were issued manually.

“In fact, it was just physically impossible to track the keys,” notes Kalyana Cherukuri from UOW, FMD. Loss of keys was an important issue, considering the cost of replacement could come to many hundreds of dollars. Keys are issued to a large number of people, cleaners, as well as security and facilities personnel and contractors.

New Slide

Key watcher

Morse Watchmans

KeyWatcher cabinets help the University of Wollongong control the issue of keys around its seven campuses

Rob Owen, locksmith at the University of Wollongong with one of the 20 KeyWatchers used in their seven campuses.

Looking around for a solution to their quandary, the University considered various alternatives. During the evaluation they took a shine to KeyWatcher from Morse Watchmans. Discussions with users of the product allowed the University to appreciate how KeyWatcher solved problems that they encountered. And, they were impressed at the user experience.

It’s worth noting that another consideration was the ability of the KeyWatcher to seamlessly integrate with the University’s access control platform, Gallagher. This allowed user management of all KeyWatcher units through the access control platform.

Starting with seven units in 2010, the University of Wollongong initial deployment was carefully planned with everyone concerned given an early heads up prior to commissioning. While commissioning day was pretty hectic, there were hardly any glitches of note. Keytags, with tag number, building name/number and specific key user were initially printed to aid in the transition to electronic issue of keys.

After a couple of months, the KeyWatchers were pretty much bedded down and working smoothly with the access control platform.

Through the following years, 20 KeyWatchers are installed throughout the various campuses, with 13 units held in the Wollongong Campus.  The KeyWatcher cabinets ranged in size from small units holding 16 keys all the way to larger units of 96 keys.

Explains AST’s David Ishak, Gallagher’s interface with KeyWatcher is best explained in the following statement lifted off the Gallagher website:

The KeyPro Plus interface automatically extracts users details, card information and access group assignments and automatically uploads this information to KeyWatcher hardware. KeyWatcher hardware can send all the event transactions and alarms in real time back to the Gallagher software. With the integration Cardholders can be assigned access to either a single key or groups of keys, with Cardax Levels, the same way they are assigned access to doors. All KeyWatcher Events/Alarms transfer across into Alarm Monitoring. KeyWatcher also supports Anti-Passback and can require a key be taken or returned before access is granted to selected doors/access levels.

Kalyana Cherukuri also notes that “KeyWatcher has allowed us to save time. We like the reports generated and especially the report of keys not returned after seven hours of issue. It’s great that we know who has access at any given time.”

Finally, according to Kalyana, at this point in time, the coverage of their KeyWatcher systems is at optimum. “This does, however, not mean that there is no scope of expansion, as new facilities come up, we plan to use more KeyWatchers. After all, we’ve found our experience to be excellent and are only too happy to recommend KeyWatcher to potential users looking for a good key management system.”

It’s a great endorsement from a user going back to 2010 that AST looks forward to continue to respect and deserve.

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You can download this case study, by clicking here: AST Case Study-UOW_FNL

10
Jul

ASTPL to exhibit at 2016 ASIAL exhibition: Stand B42

We’ve put a bit of effort into this exhibition and went for a larger stand. So, please come and drop by for a visit. We will be at stand B42.

You can have a look at our specially-developed kiosk, which will show off our KeyWatcher Touch. As the name implies, this unit provides one touch key control to the KeyWatcher, one of our industry-leading key control cabinets.

What differentiates this KeyWatcher is the 7” touch screen which provides you an easier-to-use interface. Our KeyAnywhere feature enables you to return a key to any KeyWatcher in your facility. You can also locate which KeyWatcher a specific key is in, or determine who has it out, using the new KeyFind feature.

And, importantly, the KeyWatcher Touch has improved integration capabilities, along with many other convenient features. We will be exhibiting our key cabinet with an Integritti HLI.

Having the ability to interface the Keywatcher to a high level Access Control platform allows for all daily management of the KeyWatcher(s) through the ‘the Access Control platform instead of having to refer to a ‘key cabinet specific’ application for database changes and reports.

We will have a working integrated system for you to look at and test out. So, drop by for a visit.

UPDATE: We’ve good responses and great visits from those wanting more information on KeyWatcher. We’ve included a couple of photos below.

KeyWatcher Touch

A close up of our KeyWatcher Touch cabinet, with Integritti command centre console on the right

A wide view of our stand.

A wide view of our stand.

9
Mar

Flexibility and Ability to Configure Product: Key Requirements For Key Management Systems

Looking for the right security product, especially a key management one, requires many considerations. For the purpose of this article let’s look at product flexibility. We also consider as part of that feature, the ability of the product to be configured comes to the fore.

This considerations help determine how well the product can conform to the user’s current needs and specifications, as well as its ability to adapt to requirements that may evolve over time and in unanticipated ways when first looked at.

Let’s face it, the purchaser may not be sure as to what is available or how to actually go about configuring the system. Along with the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced sales representative, configurator tools can be a good place to start. For example, Morse’s Australia’s Configurator offers a quick and easy way to set up a KeyWatcher system.

KeyWatcher is based on a modular, scalable design with a selection of cabinet types and modules for protecting keys, access/credit cards or other small valuable items.

To use the configurator, one need simply choose a system/cabinet type, then drag and drop in the modules needed. In addition to these selections, there are numerous reader options available including proximity readers, bar code readers and magstripe readers. A fingerprint reader option is also available for KeyWatcher Touch. Once finished, the system configuration can be printed out or submitted to Morse Australia for a representative to follow up.

Key management systems’ flexibility and configurability for changing needs help organizations meet their project and budget requirements; but most importantly, they serve the purpose of enhancing physical security by controlling and protecting facility keys.

8
Mar

Key Control Saves Money, Here Are 10 Ways

Let’s face it, often we are led to believe that implementing a technology solution to improve physical security is going to be expensive. However, if we take a closer look, the opposite is actually true, as we can save money. For instance, by implementing key management system like KeyWatcher Touch, there are at least 10 ways an organization can save money.

  1. Security – Automatic tracking of key access provides management with information as to when keys were removed and by whom. This also helps prevent lost or overdue return of keys and eliminates expensive re-keying of facility doors, an unnecessary expense, given better management of keys.
  2. Productivity – Pre-authorised users can access keys quickly and easily, reducing time conventionally spent signing keys in and out. So, one saves time and the cost of time wasted unnecessarily.
  3. Personnel – There is no need for dedicated personnel to oversee manual logging of key access. The system can be remotely accessed, for key release, negating the need for on-site personnel.
  4. Insurance – Insurance rates may be decreased in multi-family residences when duplicate keys for the resident’s units are secured in an automated key control system.
  5. Safety – Asset lockers, which can be configured in a key control cabinet, can be used to secure laptops, tablets and other valuables against theft when not in use.
  6. Compliance – Vertical markets such as gaming have various forms of requirements regarding key access. Today’s key control systems can be easily programmed to meet these requirements.
  7. Integration – Systems can be more effective in preventing theft or mitigating risk when they are tied together. Open architecture of key control systems allows integration with access control, video surveillance, alarm systems and so on.
  8. Reports – Analysis of data generated by the key control system can provide valuable information as to key usage, trends, etc. which can then be acted upon to potentially reduce costs.
  9. Notifications – Automatic email and/or text alerts to management when keys are overdue can reduce risk vulnerability, again saving unnecessary expense.
  10. Upgrades – Software-driven technology can often be upgraded with new features and functionality, reducing or eliminating the need and cost to replace systems with new ones.