Cutting-edge technology was top of mind when GardaWorld, one of the largest privately-owned integrated physical security, cash management, and risk management companies in the world, decided to build a new headquarters in Montreal.
“We wanted this building to be high tech and show high tech,” says Frederic Kustcher, Electronic Security System Administrator and Technician for GardaWorld. Aiming for a seamless experience for staff and visitors, the idea was to incorporate security technologies into the foundational design of the building.
But to do so, GardaWorld had to find a security partner capable of integrating with the leading technologies of the day – and the unimagined ones of tomorrow.
Tasked with finding that partner, Frederic says: “That’s when I turned to Gallagher.”
Effortless access thanks to biometrics
“Facial recognition was at the top of our list,” Frederic explains. “First, because it looks nice and it’s pretty impressive, but also because it’s a smoother, more fluid experience for the many people coming and going each day.”
Gallagher’s integration with IDEMIA’s VisionPass helped GardaWorld achieve that goal. “With other solutions, you need separate systems and separate integrations - but now VisionPass is all run within Gallagher, so it’s much easier.”
With a complete suite of biometric integrations, including IDEMIA’s Vision Pass and Morpho Wave, GardaWorld’s staff are free to move about their new headquarters with a look or wave of the hand. This removes the hassle and security risk of lost ID cards.
The building’s parking site also posed a challenge requiring a hassle and hands- free access solution.
“The entrance to our underground garage has a steep slope which makes it difficult for cars to stop and use a card reader for access,” says Frederic. “Gallagher’s integration with Nedap enabled us to provide access stickers that affix to vehicles so people didn’t have to fumble on the slope,” creating smoother – and safer – access to their garage.
Smoothing out the visitor experience
But GardaWorld wasn’t just after the flashiest technologies – at their core, they needed a security solution that could adapt to their building’s varying functions.
“Our headquarters serves multiple purposes and has a lot of people coming through, so we needed flexible access control,” Frederic explains.
Nowhere was this more evident than in GardaWorld’s training center, which sees hundreds of future security guards pass through their headquarters each year.
“Because our training school is in the same building as our main office, we needed to ensure that classrooms are tightly controlled, but we didn’t want to have to issue access cards to every group of students coming through because they’re only here for four days and then they’re gone.”
Gallagher’s visitor management tools provided an easy solution.
“When a new group of students comes in, we’re able to restrict their access to the just the classroom for the four days they’ll be here, and only during training hours,” says Frederic, ensuring the rest of the building remains safely off limits while simplifying entry for their temporary visitors.
World-class delivery and support
Not long after construction on GardaWorld’s new headquarters began, global supply chain disruptions threatened to stall the forward momentum of the project.
“There’s a lot of back orders on everything across the market in security,” Frederic points out. “Having a company that produces all their own parts and was able to deliver on time was critical for us to meet construction timelines. Even now that construction is finished, when I need something, I receive my order within a few days. It’s a nice feature of working with Gallagher.”
GardaWorld also benefitted from having a dedicated Gallagher partner with them every step of the way during construction.
“I was amazed by the support I’ve got from Gallagher,” Frederic says. “Throughout the entire process, from the very beginning through implementation, design – everything, they were there 100%. I’d make a call and they’d answer right away. I’ve never had support like that before, honestly.”
Continuity into the future
GardaWorld’s Montreal headquarters opened in September 2022, but with 425 offices across 45 countries, growth is always on the horizon.
“Part of the reason we were interested in Gallagher is so we can do everything under one system when we expand. When we need perimeter, access control, and flexibility for our sites, it's just easier to do under one big system,” Frederic says.
And with a scalable security solution and a dedicated partner by their side, they’ll be able to replicate the seamless security experience of their headquarters across multiple sites.
“I’m going to continue going with Gallagher,” Frederic concludes. “The system is smooth – flawless even – and when I have an issue, it’s corrected right away. What more could we ask for?”
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