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As Australian businesses prepare for their staff to return, touch-free building access will be the key to safely bringing people back into the office and adapting to the 'new normal'.

Check-in kiosks and physical guest passes have been the cornerstone of traditional visitor access management for many years but, in the age of COVID-19, the thought of every visitor touching the same screen and then being handed a re-used lanyard to hang around their neck is rather unnerving.

As businesses develop a COVID-safe plan for their return to work, touchless solutions are one key way to reduce physical contact and face-to face-interactions.

Taking a hands-off approach to building access management helps mitigate the risk of infection to staff and visitors, along with the risk of further business closures, according to Wayne Spencer – CEO of Australian owned Integrated Asset Management Technology company AccessIn.

"When visitors start returning to your office, do you really want the first thing they see to be a grubby touchscreen at reception?" Spencer said.

"The post-COVID smart building needs to be smarter than that, which is where touchless visitor access management can play an important role in helping Australians stay safe and get back to work."

Counting Optus and Nokia among its Australian customers, AccessIn's touchless visitor access management is one aspect of its smart building platform which brings digital transformation into the physical world.

AccessIn supports more than 6,500 employees and up to 500 visitors per day accessing the Optus Centre at Macquarie Park, with the system set to play a vital role in enabling a safe return to the workplace.

Meanwhile, Nokia leverages AccessIn's asset intelligence platform to manage its mobile field service, with hundreds of field engineers and offshore personnel maintaining thousands of mobile tower sites across Australia.

The platform offers field engineers, service desk and management a single view of issues, impact and severity – which plays a critical role during disaster management, such as incorporating real-time NSW RFS data.

When it comes to combating COVID-19, AccessIn's touchless visitor access management allows staff to securely authorise guests and permit building access without leaving their desk, thanks to a smartphone app which takes advantage of QR codes, Bluetooth sensors and geofencing.

An end-to-end solution, AccessIn integrates with car park access, facial recognition, turnstiles and smart locks.

When it comes to protecting staff, AccessIn allows businesses to meet their COVID-safe social distancing obligation, such as enforcing maximum capacity levels, supporting hotdesk bookings and identifying congregation hotspots.

The next-generation building management solution offers the ability for legacy systems to report through to one central data source. Along with visitor access management, it can track the location of people and moving assets, monitor airconditioning and other utilities, control doors and lights, and help make security decisions.

It also supports incident/job management and auditing, along with maintenance reporting and ticketing. Tight integration with all these systems, spread across an organisation, allows AccessIn to offer a smart, holistic "single source of truth" without the need to rip and replace heritage systems, Spencer said.

"People talk about the 'Internet of Things' when it comes to building management but there's little business value if it merely leaves you drowning in data," he said.

"The key is to create value from asset automation, as your data has a story to tell but it can be lost in the noise.

"AccesssIn is focused on the 'Intelligence of Things' – turning that wealth of IoT data into actionable insight for making data-driven decisions – which can help extend your business' digital transformation into the physical world."

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