By CS Staff · April 13, 2017
AMAG Technology’s Symmetry SR Solution was recently adopted by the University of Nevada Reno.
The partnership began when the university’s existing access control system was deemed end of life and officials realized they needed an upgrade.
UNR Housing Security Director Charles Stricker contacted AMAG Technology and his integrator, RFI Communications and Security Systems, to consider AMAG’s Symmetry SR Retrofit solution.
Stricker decided AMAG’s solution would save him time and money, but moving forward and securing funding took time.
UNR’s security program is split into two sections: the Main Campus and Housing. The Main Campus was unable to get funding right away, so the Housing Department took a proactive approach and became a beta site for AMAG’s Symmetry SR Solution.
UNR was able to reuse its existing wiring, card readers and cards, so the university’s installing integrator simply unplugged the old controllers and swapped in the new control panels.
“We reused every piece of wire in every wall along with our readers and cards,” Stricker says.
For the beta test, White Pine Hall, a small residence hall with one main entrance, was converted and AMAG’s solution was tested for a year.
Eventually, the Main Campus obtained funding and RFI started installing in the academic buildings.
The Main Campus and Housing departments had different requirements. For the Main Campus, not all students required access to dorms, whereas students living in dorms needed access control around the clock. Students are also not allowed in academic buildings after hours, so UNR installed two servers and two Symmetry SR Retrofit systems.
AMAG Creates Housing Management Software Integration
All students receive a Wolf Card, which serves as a student ID and can be used for purchasing meals, checking out library books, banking, entrance to sports venues and as an access control card.
The Housing Department uses the Odyssey Housing Management System to assign rooms, view histories and track students. AMAG’s Professional Services team worked with the Housing Department to create an interface to the Symmetry access control software, so as students are added or removed from Odyssey, access rights according to building and wing are assigned or removed automatically from the system.
“The kids love using a single card and we run through 3,000-4,000 cards a year,” said Stricker.
AMAG Delivers Blackboard Integration
UNR uses the Blackboard Learning Management System for its student and faculty database, and AMAG’s Professional Services team wrote a second interface to the Blackboard system. Symmetry pulls data from Blackboard on a schedule to populate cardholder data. If a faculty member has been terminated, their access will be automatically removed.
The Wolf Card is issued through the Blackboard system and contains proximity technology for access control and for magstripe tracks to purchase food, check out library books, etc.
“Symmetry looks at the Blackboard database to see what access is needed,” said RFI Senior Account Executive Hyong Cho. “If there is a new student, Symmetry will grab the information and populate into the Symmetry database and assign access. If someone is removed, the card is automatically deactivated.”
Perimeter doors are secured on all buildings. Department heads within each operational building must request and fund any additional readers to secure internal or lab doors.
“Pre-planning and having IT support was instrumental to the success of this SR retrofit upgrade,” said Cho.
AMAG Helps Comply with Data Requirements
Two separate BioSafety Labs, one operated by UNR’s Medical School and the other, the State of Nevada, conduct research and testing related to respiratory infections.
AMAG helps UNR meet strict compliance requirements mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by keeping a record of who came and went by inserting the date and time in a database field.
The University of Nevada-Reno will continue to expand AMAG’s Symmetry system as projects are granted funding.