Visitor Management Becomes Sophisticated

Vaibhav Jain, Co-Founder & VP - Product & Operations, Veris Vaibhav stands at the forefront of the engineering team at Digicred Technologies. He has been driving the product vision, strategy and growth at Veris since its inception.

We all have had countless frustrating experiences around professional meetings; ones that may strike our minds when asked - may it be a government complex, wherein we are made to bypass many strange looks, dusty paper-filled corridors and sleepy intermediaries to reach the officer that we intend to meet, or a multitenant facility with a never-ending search for a parking slot. Few buildings are rather tough to find, and in others the security officials expects you to gothrough a rather tedious process of entering visitor logs, validation phone calls to the host, meeting room finalization, and of course, a long tiring wait time!

In my last stint, I happened to have one such experience. One that I am thankful for though! My first boss, once told me that frustration is a good state of mind. It incubates innovation, facilitates change & inspires passion! I was following the regular, mundane ritual of entering an office and waiting- bored & irritated. With the mindset I was in, the meeting was already doomed. Sitting in front of the hassled receptionist, I had so many questions in my mind. Was this really the space age? Wasn’t there a simple answer to this impediment faced by millions of visitors across industries everyday around the world? Wasn’t this outdated process offsetting the warmth of human interactions even before the meeting started? Wasn’t this unvalidated legacy approach of information documentation making these establishments vulnerable to security threats? It was after that experience that I spent countless hours with technology innovators and industry mentors. That’s when Veris was born with the only hope to make visitor management a safe & smooth process. It was more of a struggle for me and my partners in the beginning. The market was not open to change in this sphere of operational activity. The legacy paper-based approach seemed to be working fine for the authorities, so why change? Some early adopters of Veris gave us the confidence to reach business
alchemy. Insightful feedback, constant efforts around product improvement, extremely responsive service levels in spite of being bootstrapped helped us grow phenomenally in just a matter of 12 months. We kept a close eye on market needs and adapted to the gap as quickly as we could. In the meantime, facility management industry also started embracing the SaaS world helping us reach a product/market fit.

Today, it is a different picture all together. Visitor Management is a well-established need within new-age offices. Facilities designed keeping the young workforce in mind, are mindful of the millennial expectation and their need for frictionless automated processes. Touch-screens & minimal human interaction is native to them. Their priorities are straight & they prefer not to waste their energy in mundanities of the legacy approach. The market is now open to any technology that simplifies. As per my industry understanding & recent research, few defining factors that have supported this industry wide shift are outlined below.

Computer-based visitor management legacy softwares are a step forward, but their inability to integrate with a facility’s existing security management system or with government databases for validation still leave them with potential security gaps

• Workplace violence & industrial espionage threaten the security of personnel & property.It is imperative for authorities to keep a hawk’s eye view of visitors & employees at all times. The facility’s lobby being its first line of defence!

• Digital trumps paper when it comes to security & data management.
• A good visitor management system offers benefits beyond security: enhanced efficiency & sophisticated impression.
• It offers change to millennials, engaging them as soon as they walk through the door.
• Visitor Management as a technological approach has already been adopted by many giant trend-setting companies across the world. It establishes the fact that this shift is here to stay!
• The cloud, IoT & digitization are driving the evolution of Identity & Access Management across the world.

Gartner says that 20 percent of organizations will use smartphones in place of traditional physical access cards by 2020. A research point that seals the upcoming shift!

Companies reliant on paper heavy visitor management system are prone to miss vital steps with a sudden influx of visitors. Paper filing is a historically time consuming, costly, and error prone approach, potentially compromising security. Computer-based visitor management legacy softwares are a step forward, but their inability to integrate with a facility’s existing security management system or with government databases for validation still leave them with potential security gaps.

Today, the market is ripe for cloud based visitor management applications that allow Visitors to be pre-authorised for parking access, then navigated to the correct elevator, upon self-check in at the lobby; the host is automatically intimated, wifi-access is granted and they are again navigated to the meeting room to find their host waiting. Isn’t that what we all deserve a seamless & smart solution?