In an interview with CIO Applications, Whitaker- Barnett shares more insights on how the scope of visitor management has widened over the years, and how his company’s go-to-market strategy and solution evolve with enterprises’ needs.
How has the visitor management landscape evolved in the recent past?
During the 2010s, enterprises across the globe— the majority of whom relied on manual, paper-based processes— were looking for capabilities to not only capture visitor information but to also manage and report them effectively. With health and safety and privacy laws becoming more stringent over time, facility managers needed means to secure the information that was being collected. In parallel, questions evolved on how to not only integrate visitors’ data but also that of contractors as well as employees to give organizations a comprehensive view on what was going on inside their premises.
They were looking for means to retrieve personnel information in a timely and automated manner to answer questions such as: Who was present on a site at a particular point in time? Is our building nearing its engineered maximum occupancy? Is this person known to us? But the traditional solutions merely focused on improving the productivity of the receptionist. Their purpose was restricted to visitor badge issuance and notifying the employee host of their visitor’s arrival.
Today’s enterprises want more, including customized integration as fast as possible to access control systems, building management systems, and smart devices (IoT), and WhosOnLocation strives to meet this need. “Through the implementation of webhooks and API integrations, our clients can leverage data captured through the movements of people to create “smart facilities”.
Through the implementation of webhooks and API integrations, our clients can leverage data captured through the movements of people to create “smart facilities”
Who are your typical clients, and how can they get up and running with your solution?
Although we cater to corporates and a wide range of customer facilities in every sector, we focus more on the manufacturing and utilities space as these verticals have complex needs related to GRC, especially on the personnel safety front. Geographically, WhosOnLocation has gained more traction in the US, Australasia, and Europe.
Organizations can sign-up for a 30 day free trial via our website. If they have simple visitor management needs, they can begin working with the solution on the very same day. Alternatively, for large clients who need a solution that’s more integrated with their backend systems like Active Directory, or Single Sign-On (SSO); or if they want to take advantage of the hundreds of customizable options available with their accounts like triggers, notifications, contractor or employee presence management or mustering automation then we, or our channel partners, can guide them through a series of personalized training and account configuration sessions. From the implementation standpoint, even the most complex, multi-location deployments take two weeks at most.
Could you elaborate more on the unique functionalities and features of your solution, especially from an end user’s standpoint?
Although used by thousands of small and medium-sized organizations, WhosOnLocation is designed to meet the needs of enterprise client’s. Clients can standardize visitor policy workflows across all facilities in the enterprise, or alternately customize workflows at the group or individual facility level to accommodate different cultural, operational, and legal requirements. Employees can pre-register visitors via their Outlook or Google Calendar, giving your receptionists visibility of who is due on-site. Pre-registered visitors are sent an electronic pass, much like an eBoarding flight ticket, which they present on their mobile phone to the receptionist or scan at a kiosk, streamlining visitor arrivals and improving the overall experience for the visitor and your users.
However; visitor management is only the tip of the feature list. Clients can define separate workflows for managing the arrival of contractors, including automating the checking of a contractor’s qualifications, insurances, and other ‘risk related statuses,’ which may affect their’ rights’ to access facilities that day. Clients can also manage access to specific areas or zones within a facility delivering powerful alerting notifications for remote worker safety, secure area access, worker overdue, and more.
Not only can our clients manage the presence of visitors and contractors, but they can also manage the presence of employees within their facilities. This gives our users comprehensive insight into all people on-site. The ability for our users to leverage this data to make better decisions about facilities use, evacuation management, security, and employee safety is the compelling reason why enterprise customers love WhosOnLocation.
From a safety standpoint, WhosOnLocation is one of the few solutions that has a purpose-built mobile solution for mustering and roll-calls post an evacuation. Importantly it accounts for employees, contractors, and visitors in a single app; an increasingly sought-after tool to ensure clients can account for and verify the safety of people in their duty of care.
What does the roadmap look like for WhosOnLocation?
Since we have mastered the process of leveraging visitor data in all the right ways, we will continue to experiment with innovative uses cases that would invoke a lot of IoT involvement. The possibilities are limitless.