CyrusOne is an enterprise data center provider for the world’s largest companies. With more than 30 data centers across the US, Europe and Asia it provides 3 million square feet of rentable space for colocation. Worldwide, the business provides services to nearly 900 customers. It has demonstrated strong growth over the past 15 years which continues, and it is now the third largest data center provider in the United States.
Steve Aichelmann, Director, Project Management at CyrusOne is based in Houston, Texas. “Physical security across our facilities is a major concern for us. We need continual visibility of who is expected, who is with us and who has checked out of every facility.”
Steve says, “Around 18 months ago we reviewed our approach to security and how we booked visitors in and recorded their details. We were using a manual, paper-based process. But this came with some challenges. A typical one might revolve around identifying when a company or an individual last visited a facility.”
“There were also other documents that might need to be referenced. For example, did the visitor accept the NDA? The local reception or security team would have to look through multiple forms and paper logs to find the required information. It was a difficult process to structure and it was labour intensive. Our policy was information needed to be on paper, that hard copy was available for reference. The mindset was very much if it is on paper then it’s got to be legitimate, it can’t be altered,” says Steve.
“We took a decision to build our own RapidEntry system as an internal development project, integrating identity scanning with visitor management. Proxyclick was selected after a competitive review alongside another visitor management system. It is a better choice for us because of a number of factors. Proxyclick provides the ability for us to customize the environment with our branding and graphics, it has an overall lower cost, and finally we get outstanding customer support.”
“Proxyclick provided the technical expertise to assist our developers on their side of the solution. Once the ID scanning system validates visitor identity, Proxyclick handles the rest.
A pilot project on one site produced great results and allowed the implementation to be debugged. Proxyclick is now deployed across 26 sites in the US and lets us take an integrated approach to meeting the robust security compliance requirements we have in place,” says Steve.
Steve continues: “Visitors can be pre-registered through our own system or directly in Proxyclick. Proxyclick has a fully featured API which enables us to control how data is exchanged with the ID scanning and other systems. Proxyclick lets us send email invitations with all the details needed to enable visitors to find the right facility and reminds them with SMS text messages. On arrival, ID scanning verifies their identity and Proxyclick takes over to check them in.”
There are some key visitor types or profiles covering a variety of visitor roles. Steve says, “Sales and marketing is for new business visitors. Construction and technology contractors and customers also come through frequently. With over 400 employees across the business, non-local employees are managed through the system too. For security purposes we identify visitors as either escorted or unescorted.”
“At each facility we have three iPads available to let visitors check in. We present them with the information that is appropriate to their role, including their agreement to the terms and conditions of our NDA. The system notifies the host of the visitor’s arrival and lets the host acknowledge with an email response to reception,” says Steve.
CyrusOne has first-hand experience of the high quality support Proxyclick provides to all customers. What does this look like?
Steve says: “Well, during the integration we had problems getting things to work right. There were data inconsistencies between Proxyclick and the customer portal. Our databases were sanitised to help avoid conflicts, but little things like upper and lower case characters and company names spelled in different ways caused delays. Proxyclick provided all the help our development team needed to make the integration through the API, and the system is being continually tweaked with ongoing development wherever we see room for improvement.”
“For us, reporting is the key benefit and this reaches into a lot of areas. Managing the visitors, and having full, real time visibility of the situation on demand is important. All the way up to the CEO we understand how many, who and when visitors are arriving. It gives us a heads up so we can say “Hello” to anyone that may be of interest” says Steve.
He continues: “The solution gives us clear and consistent data. It is error free and details are always complete, with no misspelled companies or names, and there is no need to decipher hand written ‘hieroglyphics’. Any query on a visitor, a company or a specific date or time period can simply be answered with a search of the system.”
“Key visitor management data is pulled to our board of executive KPIs. The visitor feedback statistics gathered at checkout after managing a total of over 57,000 visits are positive 25.2%, negative 0.3%, and no response 74.5%. The negative responses tend to be related to users that are unfamiliar with touchscreen tech, or where we have had a timeout issue such as a screen advancing before the visitor has had time to read it,” says Steve.
“We also provide customers with access to information on the activity of their own employees or contractors that have visited, are onsite or are scheduled to visit through their private account portals. Overall, Proxyclick supports our security policies by fitting in very well with the other elements that safeguard our facilities like ID scanning and video systems,” Steve Aichelmann says.
CyrusOne key solution facts
- Enterprise data centre provider for the world’s largest companies and now the third-largest in the US
- Used a manual, paper-based process that brought many challenges
- Opted for an internal project to develop a RapidEntry system, integrating ID scanning with visitor management
- Deployed across 26 sites in the US with further deployment planned as company expands
- Supported internal development team to make the integration with other systems
- Clear and consistent data, error-free with visitor details always complete
- Fits in very well with the other elements that ensure security of data centre facilities