Trust Your Integrator
Consumer brands company turns to respected security firm
- By Joe Arayas
- May 01, 2009
When you think of the most trusted and well respected consumer brands, names like Pampers, Tide, Always, Gillette, Bounty, Charmin, Downy, IAMS and Crest quickly come to mind. As the parent company for these and other brands, Procter & Gamble sets the standard for excellence in numerous areas. Much of what P&G does behind the scenes reflects its commitment to excellence as well.
Take for example the way the company manages its security needs. P&G has a global security infrastructure that heavily relies on Software House C·CURE® 800/8000 security management systems and American Dynamics Intellex digital video management systems, both from Tyco International's Access Control and Video Systems. This fully integrated security system has empowered P&G's security staff to manage security across the globe, including its cameras, physical access control and visitor management. This yields numerous benefits, such as lower operating costs, ease of maintenance and stronger security controls across hundreds of P&G facilities.
A True Partner
P&G chose Software House and American Dynamics brands because they stood out for their integration capability, intuitive interfaces, reputation and proactive approach to supporting P&G's IT roadmap. P&G recognizes that future solutions must serve applications such as cashless vending to employees.
"We want to work with a strategic provider who can be our business partner versus a company just pushing a product," said Patty Kilburn, global security manager of OneKey PAC Services for P&G.
P&G uses a WAN-based solution that includes more than 3,700 proximity card readers, 450 iSTAR door controllers, 37 Intellex IP systems, and a range of IP and CCTV cameras. With this sophisticated infrastructure in place, more than 600 P&G sites around the world can connect to a central enterprise system.
P&G security officials have great confidence in their ability to protect staff and company assets. This is achieved through multiple facets of the security system.
Stringent access controls. One of the most critical aspects of a security system is controlling access to certain facilities. However, maintaining accurate, updated records of personnel is a challenge, particularly in large organizations.
"When you have multiple access systems, it can be difficult to maintain stringent controls over who is authorized to enter the facilities," said Dave Flavin, associate director of global security operations for P&G. "Several of our sites were experiencing control issues in terms of maintaining accurate data. There were many different processes for enrolling and removing employees from the system. People who left the company months ago were still showing up in the database."
The synchronization of software allows the company to automatically grant basic site access based on an individual's company profile and, more importantly, instantly deactivate security access for anyone who has left the company.
"This integration of access control with human resources allows us to automatically activate and deactivate a badge to prevent unauthorized access and get new employees online sooner," Flavin said. "We've eliminated the tedious work of adding and updating profiles. It's a major benefit that saves us tremendous time and money when you think about the number of employees we manage every day."
Strong visitor management. P&G's visitor management software is integrated so the allocation of visitor badges is tied with standard physical access controls. "Connecting our visitor management system allows us to manage temporary visitor cards so there are uniform processes across sites," Kilburn said.
Standardizing physical access control. The company continues its physical access control standardization process on a global basis. For example, its OneKey PAC program will ensure more stringent oversight of the provisioning and revocation of access to multiple P&G facilities. This also will give traveling staff the ability to use one badge for multiple locations.
"Historically, each site had independent control over its access system, resulting in many different proximity and magnetic stripe card readers and badge designs," Flavin said. "Now, we have a single global badge with a standard look."
Real-time access. If an incident occurs at any P&G site, security staff can immediately view video footage from that location to assess the situation and respond appropriately. With the Intellex system, security officers have real-time access to video monitoring and recorded images.
"In the past, we had no technology standards and no connection between sites," said Jim Dixon, senior watch officer of the Global Security Communications Center at P&G. "As a result, we couldn't pull video back to a central location. With the Intellex system, we can now access archived footage within a matter of minutes at our central communications centers. This also reduces maintenance issues by eliminating the need to change video tapes."
Leveraging network infrastructure. Using Intellex IP devices, P&G is saving considerable infrastructure costs by leveraging their existing network. Unlike analog devices, which require expensive coaxial cables, Intellex IP transmits video over the network. Intellex can be programmed to only record camera images based on certain criteria, such as when it detects motion in restricted areas. This allows P&G to intelligently concentrate its resources on cameras with suspicious activity while preserving costly bandwidth.
The new WAN-based physical access control security system empowers P&G to support future consolidation that will reduce operating costs.
"Our long-term vision is to begin centralizing our security processes," Dixon said. "Sites with higher security requirements needing greater oversight can continue to keep their own onsite security monitoring. At the same time, others have the option of integrating with global or regional communications centers so that site monitoring and access control can be handled remotely as a cost-saving measure."
To date, 116 P&G sites have completed implementation, and another 12 sites are expected to come online in the 2009. So far, more than 115,000 employee badges have been issued. The company anticipates gaining considerable productivity and cost advantages as the enterprise system continues to be rolled out at P&G sites around the world.
This article originally appeared in the May 2009 issue of Security Today.