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Sears Tower
Security is paramount at the tallest building in the United States, the Sears Tower. Keith Kambic, CPP, contacted Infrasafe when he became Director of Security and Life Safety at the Tower, where protection of the facility was a critical responsibility.
Kambic had previously worked with Infrasafe to protect Chicago's Aon Center, the second tallest building in the city, and had been pleased with the results. At the Sears Tower, "we were looking for an integration of access control and visitor management” says Kambic, "and Infrasafe was the only company we looked at who could do it."
Infrasafe's iVisitor is the unique solution to the Sears Tower's needs. The system provides a comprehensive means of tracking and controlling visitors to the building's tenants.Building tenants pre-register anticipated visitors, dynamically updating the expected visitor information at the security station and guests registration areas by simply utilizing a standard web browser. When guests arrive, building guards verify the identity of the visitor through the iVisitor system. Once verified, a real-time notification of the visitor's arrival is sent to the host and the guests badge is automatically printed, enabling guests access into the building. The system also allows tenants to place individuals on a "barred list," preventing a person from being approved for entry into the building.
"Prior to instituting the visitor management system, the Sears Tower had 1,600 guests on a daily basis," explains Kambic. "After the implementation of iVisitor, that number dropped to 1200. What that tells me, as a Security Director, is that there were probably a lot of unwanted guests." With iVisitor, if an unauthorized person tries to enter the building or an employee tries to register a guests on the barred list, the system issues a flag and the tenant is notified.
In addition to controlling the visitor aspect of Sears Tower, Kambic was also concerned with the security vulnerabilities inherent in the building's loading dock. To address this concern, Infrasafe also developed a system to track deliveries and register approved delivery companies.
Kambic says he is impressed with Infrasafe's willingness to adapt their systems for the Tower's needs. "Most companies aren't going to do that for you, and if they are they'll charge you a lot of money. Infrasafe is very open to hearing ideas on their products. They listen to their customers and they will adjust accordingly," says Kambic.
When the tenants of the Sears Tower were first introduced to the new visitor management system, Kambic reports that iVisitor “ease-of-use and unique capabilities quickly won them over”. The first week that IVisitor was operational, tenant participation was at 85 percent; by the second week, participation had reached 98 percent.
Tenants of the Sears Tower have given "lots of praise for the system," according to Kambic. "They love the real-time feature. They love that once guests check in the tenant gets an email saying the guests has arrived. They love the barred feature. And they love that they can go back and search since the system has been implemented and see how many times someone has been a visitor to them," Kambic reports.
Due to the fact that the iVisitor system is web-based, it did not come with some of the problems Kambic had previously faced with other competing systems. "The iVisitor system is hosted around the clock by Infrasafe; that is critical," says Kambic. "Other systems are in-house. You buy the system and it is here. The Director of Security doesn't need to be messing with servers. I just want the system running." iVisitor is a hosted system with high levels of security and availability. Kambic does not have to worry about the system crashing or losing valuable information.
iVisitor is a "very efficient system," says Kambic, "It has to say something if the first and second tallest buildings in Chicago both rely on Infrasafe."
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