Griffith University

Griffith University lifts its access control system to a world-class critical business solution with Gallagher.

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With a relationship spanning over 20 years, Griffith University and Gallagher Security's mutual goal of working towards an innovative and future-focused approach to security has enabled them to develop a powerful integrated security system personalised to Griffith's specific needs.

Established in 1975, Griffith University has six campuses (five physical and one digital campus) across Southeast Queensland. Across all campuses, there are 55,000 students, 4,000 staff, and 8000 contractors moving between numerous facilities.

Griffith needed a robust security solution that would manage many systems at once – such as car parks; CCTV; human resources; competencies; key management; accommodation, and bookable resources - while also providing the flexibility to scale and grow its security capability in the future.

Access control made easy

Controlling access across the multiple campuses was a core focus in the solution development as the university has several high-risk and restricted areas - such as its glycomics, criminology, and research laboratories - which have legislative requirements to meet regarding who has access to these facilities.

At the heart of Griffith's security solution is Gallagher's Command Centre, a centralised platform that provides unparalleled control of every aspect of a site.

"Command Centre allows Griffith to have peace of mind that we are delivering the highest level of security possible. We have the confidence that people have the right access, to the right areas," explains Security Operations Supervisor for Griffiths University, Deb Behrens.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the flexibility of Griffith's new system in responding quickly to increased security needs.

Command Centre enabled security staff to easily lock down all facilities and restrict access to those deemed essential workers or those working on critical research on campus.

"It was great that our department was able to truly provide reassurance to students and staff around security and access to the campus. We could report on, and help other stakeholders understand, how many people were on site, what the building occupancy was, and if there were any hot spots," says Deb.

Innovation through integration

Key to the new security solution's success has been the ease of access control thanks to the streamlining of processes through the integration of multiple systems.

Integrating the Syllabus Plus resource management software solution with the secure operational power of Command Centre has enabled automation in the scheduling and booking of resources.

Griffith has seen huge time savings and efficiencies from the Command Centre integration with class timetables, being able to manage room resources and automatically unlock doors on rooms that are access controlled.

This has also resulted in a reduction in the number of booking errors, saving hours of guard time per day and reducing the required number of guards that need to be staffed on campus.

"The bookable resource integration via Syllabus Plus has been such a time-saver and it ensures our facilities are managed efficiently," says Griffith University's Support Services Officer, Mitch Howard.

"We have seen significant time savings with our guards, they aren’t getting as many call-outs due to timetable changes where they're needed to unlock a door. Some of our sites are quite large so it was a considerable time commitment getting around the campus, especially if there were multiple requests."

“The Gallagher system is such an essential part of Griffith University’s security. The flexibility to configure the system to our site and our specific needs, allows us to provide complete campus control from one central management system. We can deliver a seamless experience for our staff and students.”

Deb Behrens, Security Operations Supervisor, Griffiths University

Employing the latest security technology

Griffith has been a longstanding member of the Command Centre Insider Program, which provides the opportunity to deploy new security features and functionality updates across their sites before they are generally available.

The integration of these new features and updates is directly supported by a team of in-market Gallagher Technical representatives and head office engineers.  The Insider Program provides a win-win for both organisations, as Griffith can contribute feedback that assists the product team in designing future solutions, ensuring security is taken to the next level.

"The ability to provide feedback direct to local Gallagher representatives and the R&D team has been great," says Deb. "It makes us feel like we’re getting real value and enhancing our system, plus they’re quick to respond if anything goes wrong."

Going through the Security Health Check with their Gallagher representatives has helped the team at Griffith identify system improvements during the process to ensure their security is as cyber-secure as possible.

Already employing Command Centre Web, Griffith was one of the first to deploy the Controller Upgrade Tool.

"The Controller Upgrade Tool has meant that tasks that would take me two to three hours, and would need to be done after hours, can now be scheduled and completed in two minutes," said Deb.

Griffith is also able to stay ahead of the game with the free online training that Gallagher provides as part of Griffith's Care Plan package. This has meant that their 450 operators and 66 guards have a consistent level of training across the board.

It makes the operation of their security system more coherent, with everyone using the correct terminology, and ensures it's easier to support and empower users.

Visible security presence ensures campuses feel safer

The Command Centre mobile solution has been instrumental in helping Griffith's campuses feel safer for students and faculty.

Before using the mobile solution, if guards received a call out, they would have to go back to the control room to open a door, or physically go to where the call was made from. Now they can action requests from their mobile phone which doesn't interrupt their patrol; they can respond quickly and keep patrolling.

The mobile solution saves guards a lot of time and creates more assurance for everyone as they can perform spot checks in an area to ensure anyone there actually has permission to access that location.

These system efficiencies and ease-of-use of the solution mean guards have more time to be out talking to students and maintaining a visible presence, which contributes to an overall feeling of a safe, secure campus.

A leader in campus security

With its commitment to innovation, while keeping its most important assets safe, Griffith is now a leading example of world-class campus security. Going beyond traditional security boundaries, Griffith plans to continue to expand its security integrations, and Gallagher's solution ensures this process will be not only possible but efficient.

"The Gallagher system is such an essential part of Griffith University's security," says Deb "The flexibility to configure the system to our site and our specific needs, allows us to provide complete campus control from one central management system. We can deliver a seamless experience for our staff and students."

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