- Simplicity of biometric enrollment
- Ease of system management
- System reliability
Nestled between the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, Buncombe County has transformed itself from a rural farm community to a dynamic location frequently appearing on “Top ten places to live” lists. The county has approximately 1,400 employees including firemen, sheriff deputies, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, librarians, emergency medical workers, permit and inspections staff, landfill workers, agriculture extension agents, naturalists, lifeguards, planners, tax assessors and administrators.
The county’s existing biometric access control system consisted of approximately 150 readers. did not allow for seamless biometric integration with their current access control management system. They were also looking to upgrade the system and use a small 6-reader pilot to test new technology for a county-wide deployment.
“They helped us dramatically reduce systems complexity and the difficulties traditionally associated with onboarding users. The BioConnect identity management platform ensured the devices operated consistently on an enterprise level for faster biometric recognition.
The integrated biometric system deployed for Buncombe County consisted of Suprema BioEntry W biometric readers, BioConnect identity management platform and Software House’s C•CURE 9000 security and event management system.
SimplexGrinnell, the main security provider and integrator for Buncombe County, recommended Suprema and BioConnect to the county. They oversaw deployment, working with BioConnect’s technical support to get everything online.
“We recommended Suprema and BioConnect because it enables us to provide customers with a biometric integration system that works effortlessly with Software House’s C•CURE 9000 security and event management system,” said Tim Peatmen, Project Manager at Tyco SimplexGrinnell. “They helped us dramatically reduce systems complexity and the difficulties traditionally associated with onboarding users. The BioConnect identity management platform ensured the devices operated consistently on an enterprise level for faster biometric recognition.
After piloting the small deployment of six Suprema BioEntry W biometric readers, the county found that the solution worked well and met their requirements for simple enrollment, easy system management, biometric integration and reliability.
Simple enrollment: They only had to enroll users once in the integrated system through BioConnect, eliminating the need to manage the dual data entry traditionally required in stand-alone biometric solutions.
Easy system management: They especially liked that the biometric integration made it easier to manage biometrics and access control on a daily basis from within the platform. They went from having a completely segmented setup where they had to manage two separate systems (one for access control and another for biometrics) to one simple workflow through BioConnect.
Reliability: They were pleased that they could count on the integrated system, noting its operational consistency and its ability to verify users quickly and efficiency. The quality of the readers was also a significant improvement from the previous system… Incredibly accurate, fast and low error rate.
After the initial pilot with six biometric readers, Buncombe County decided to deploy the integrated system across the entire county, which involved installing approximately 200 devices and enrolling 3,000 users in finger-only, card-only and finger-plus-card options.
Biometric experts from BioConnect worked alongside Tyco SimplexGrinnell to deliver professional services to the county to ensure the new system was a success. BioConnect was on hand during installation and enrollment to train system administrators, help deploy software and facilitate user enrollments.
“When we work with a technology partner, it is essential that we leverage their technical expertise to ensure customer success,” said Peatmen. “BioConnect were extremely knowledgeable, hands-on and easy to work with.”
Device Deployment: About 200 Suprema BioEntry W biometric readers have been deployed across the county for both indoor and outdoor applications at IT buildings, court buildings, penitentiaries and social services departments.
User Enrollment: With a total of 3,000 users, including 1,700 using fingerprint access, it was essential that the onboarding experience be fast and easy. Users were apprehensive that enrollment would be time-consuming and take 30 minutes, but most were pleasantly surprised that it generally took under a minute.
Users enrolled included Buncombe County civil servants, judges, district attorneys, medical services personnel including doctors and nurses, and emergency response teams including fire, police and paramedic personnel.
The majority of enrollments were done over two days using BioConnect and Suprema BioMini enrollment devices. One enrollment session for each user ensured that fingerprint credentials were live immediately throughout the integrated system, with no need to copy the biometric template to each individual device. By using BioConnect, the county tripled enrollment speeds.
What’s next? The county continues to deploy in additional locations. Just recently, they replaced 16 areas that had card readers with new biometrics. For them, the deployment flexibility of the system is critical; being able to deploy finger-only at some facilities while switching to finger-plus-card deployment at others is a significant factor in their decision to go with the BioConnect system.
About Buncombe County
Named for Col. Edward Buncombe, a Revolutionary War hero, Buncombe County is a serene spot in beautiful North Carolina. It is home to parks, lakes, streams, and other outdoor attractions, as well as culturally rich towns and communities. The county has 1,400 employees including firemen, sheriff deputies, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, librarians, emergency medical workers, permits and inspections, landfill workers, agriculture extension agents, naturalists, lifeguards, planners, tax assessors and administrators. For more information, visit www.buncombecounty.org.