Guarding Valuables

Guarding Valuables

Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music finds a way to protect audio equipment

BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC IS HOME TO A LOT OF TALENTED MUSICIANS, BUT ALSO TO A VARIETY OF EXPENSIVE AUDIO EQUIPMENT. RELATIVELY SMALL MICROPHONES WORTH MORE THAN $50,000 EACH, FOR EXAMPLE, ARE NOT UNCOMMON. TO PUT AN END TO THEFT AND OTHER ISSUES THAT CAME ALONG WITH STORING EQUIPMENT IN TRADITIONAL CABINETS WITH LOCKS AND KEYS, THE COLLEGE RECENTLY DEPLOYED HES K100 WIRELESS CABINET LOCKS WITH APERIO TECHNOLOGY.

Nick Costa, technical operations manager at Berklee, said that the search for a new solution began after cabinets with traditional locks and keys were broken into numerous times.

“We knew it wasn’t a good long-term solution,” Costa said. “So we began researching wireless solutions that would allow us to track access to the cabinets where we stored valuable school equipment.”

After searching the market, the HES K100 emerged as the clear choice. The four initial HES locks Berklee purchased are installed in music studios and used on cabinets that store microphones, headsets and other expensive equipment. Rather than issuing keys at the beginning of each term, access rights are programmed onto cards that store data regarding which students have access to which cabinets during which terms. When the terms end, the access does as well.

“The ability to control access at a very specific level is critical for a school like ours,” Costa said. “We don’t have a ton of space, being in a city setting, so classrooms get used for multiple purposes. Having students use the same room but different equipment is a common occurrence.”

The initial deployment of the HES K100 cabinet locks with Aperio technology at Berklee brought together the IT department, locksmiths, faculty and staff, all of whom have seen the importance, and benefits, of the project.

“They are all big supporters of the initiative,” Costa said. “Since we deployed the cabinet locks, we have had zero property loss in the areas where we’ve installed the locks.”

Costa expects the success of the initial deployment to help keep the long-range plan moving forward. The goal is to completely phase out keys for faculty by installing HES locks in every classroom. Since it will eliminate the cumbersome process of keeping track of all the keys issued to adjunct faculty, he expects the conversion to be as beneficial as the initial deployment. “Overall, our decision to move to electronic access control with Aperio technology has been a great investment for our campus,” Costa said.

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Wendy Bowman is the director of marketing communications at Securitron/ASSA ABLOY.

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