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Technological solutions for buildings and its occupants

Industry experts discussed policies and best practices for implementing a coordinated security vision within a multi-stakeholder property management model


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On June 10, Genetec, BOMA Canada and Related Companies joined together for a webinar called “Back to Work: How technology can keep your occupants and your building safe”.

In the one-hour webinar, industry experts discussed policies and best practices for implementing a coordinated and unified security vision within a multi-stakeholder property management model.

Moderated by BOMA Canada president and CEO Benjamin Shinewald, other panelists on the webinar included:

  • Nada Ebeid, Genetec Canada’s business development property management
  • Ed Seaman, Related Companies’ director of physical security technology
  • Ty Miller, Genetec USA’s Business Development

“Technology can really enable us all to work smarter and more efficiently,” Ebeid said in her presentation. “Look at how technology can help you manage the flow within your building your lobbies your open spaces, how it can help you manage the access control process and the approvals for tenants and visitors and provide you the music with touch as possible.

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Ebeid reiterated: “Technology is cool, but we also want to be safe.”

Seaman, who has 17 years of experience working for various technology firms, believes that one of the most crucial components of property management are site entry and access control operations.

“The use of access control to assist in occupancy management is a technology tool that is always overlooked and underutilized,” Seaman goes on to explain. “By enforcing access control to ensure the employees, visitors, tenants comply with our standard operating procedures with their safety being the utmost important is one of the features that we are using at related properties.”

Seaman went on to say that if property managers creating clearances for staggering shifts, or receiving emails of occupancy reports to ensure that property managements are complying with phase one in the city is the best way to ensure safety for building occupants.

The webinar also focused on the issue of cybersecurity, as there are concerns for data privacy and the fear that sensitive information could fall into the wrong hands.

Seaman said that Related Companies’ properties are being secured through their centralized security operation centre, and that the data is on-site and owned by them.

“Chain of custody and privacy is always a huge concern for all organizations,” Seaman said. “One of the ways we are combating sensitive information at Hudson Yards through digital evidence management. We also disabled video recordings to be exploited locally.

“There’s a lot of people that get to view the videos, but not everybody can export it or play it back, but only our security personnel have the option to doing that, and logging digital evidence.”

Ebeid emphasized the importance of occupancy management and safe accessibility, noting that occupancy management has been talked about for quite some time but few have implemented it.

“Occupancy management promises organizations the potential to better manage their buildings with smart buildings,” Ebeid said. “It is now taking a greater role in our back to work procedures and playing a huge role with safe buildings. As such we expect to see a much faster adoption.”

Ebeid went on to explain that by leveraging it as a trigger to actually automate the continuous flows, and decisions and actions that will follow.

In the long run, this will actually lead to cost reduction for property managers while serving more urgently when back at work, Ebeid added.

“One important shortfall we have noticed is how the manual approach in managing access requests and approvals is not only daunting, extremely time consuming, but also poses a greater risk for businesses when not managed appropriately.”

Seaman, Ebeid and Miller all agreed that with the many different types of technologies being pitched to property managers, it is up to the managers to be diligent and source reputable vendors to avoid being compromising the safety of occupants and their building.