case apr13_000_Benchmark_dec12 27/02/2013 18:22 Page 2
On the cards hen the concept of ‘smart cards’ was first touted in the UK, many years ago, there was something a negative feeling about the technology. Fears surrounding personal data were widespread, and the general feeling was that the technology wasn’t welcomed. The slow acceptance of the benefits on offer does go some way to underline the fact that perceptions are harder to disprove and dislodge than realities! Of course, over the years the technology has grown, and is used increasingly in a diverse range of industries. The term ‘smart card’ has slipped from use, and today those utilising the technology are more aware of the benefits on offer. One significant benefit of the technology exists in applications were multiple applications require the use of a credential. Being able to control various elements via one solution makes increasing sense, especially if the data from the various elements can be used to create a smoother and more effective experience for the user. Additionally, the resultant data can also be utilised to assist in the creation of enhanced management policies. Reduced credential management also can deliver true cost efficiencies!
A ‘One Card’ option The University of Salford introduced its ‘One Card’ project in 2011, following the development of its high tech digital learning and research campus at MediaCityUK. The site, flagged as a centre for digital and creative industries, is home to the BBC, ITV and SIS, as well as the digital and creative faculty of the University. The site houses around 1,500 students, and boasts radio and television studios, post-production facilities and digital media suites. The One Card project is designed to allow students and staff access to facilities, buildings and services throughout the campus. When a student enrols, specific details of their course and learning requirements are uploaded to the system where an access profile is created and linked to their student profile. This then authorises them for access to their distinct learning areas, as well as to other services and general
Given the numerous applications that chip-based cards can deliver, it is not surprising that many are looking towards a single credential-based solution for a wide number of applications. Indeed, access control is now just one of many benefits such solutions deliver. areas. In addition, the access control element of the system is complemented by a room management system. This enables staff and students to book available rooms for study or project-based work via the central system. This approach allows the access profiles of staff or students to be adapted to meet needs as they arise, without a need to reconfigure general settings through the core system software. The heart of the system – which manages vending and purchasing functions, management of facility bookings, printing rights, library management and parking control, as well as access to buildings and www.benchmarkmagazine.com