Canadian Mall Takes On Major Access Control Upgrade With Synergis

Genetec has announced that the West Edmonton Mall (WEM), in Alberta, Canada, has selected and installed Synergis for a major access control system upgrade. With the completion of the initial phase of the upgrade, the security staff at WEM use Synergis to protect more than  70 doors in North America's largest shopping and entertainment centre, with plans to continue expanding the system in the near future.

Previous to implementing Synergis, WEM had two disparate access control solutions in place which required several different access control cards, creating an administrative nightmare and taking up valuable resources in both the security and human resource (HR) departments. With the help of Contava, an Alberta-based security reseller and integrator, the new upgrade to Genetec's Synergis access control solution proved to be extremely beneficial as it provided WEM with the tools to be more efficient and expeditious in response to critical situations.

"One of the main benefits we experienced with Synergis is the ability to integrate it with our Windows Active Directory," said Joseph Schuldhaus, VP of Information Technology at Triple Five Group of Companies. Triple Five is the owner and manager of West Edmonton Mall and Mall of America with offices throughout the world. "When we onboard an employee using Synergis, the same tool that creates an employee record and badge, will at the same time update the active directory structure."

The Active Directory integration in Synergis has taken a lot of the day-to-day administration work away from HR personnel who no longer have to wait for Security to issue or activate a badge.

With Omnicast, Genetec's video surveillance solution, already managing more than 800 cameras at various Triple Five Group owned and managed properties, the seamless integration of two solutions from a single provider has been another key benefit at WEM. In real-time, dispatch can see video of a door being opened along with the credentials of the employee who is accessing the door. The intrinsic compatibility of both solutions also has allowed WEM to build and successfully implement an innovative application for remote door release.

More so, choosing Synergis meant that WEM would benefit from the same level of service and support they had come to rely on with Omnicast.

"Genetec has been a superior provider of technology, services and support," Schuldhaus said. "We have great respect for the company and it has worked out well for us."

Although WEM is only beginning to scratch the surface of Synergis' capabilities, they look forward to taking advantage of some additional benefits such as fully integrating the mall floor plan into Synergis, so that communications officers can have a better view of where the doors are situated.

"WEM and the Triple Five Group have been extremely pro-active in their quest to be the best multi-entertainment facility in Canada, and they did not forgo security in the process," said John Joyce, Director of Business Development for Synergis at Genetec. "The recent Synergis integration with Omnicast at WEM will enhance security and ultimately offer their customers and tenants an even better experience at the mall."

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