The security industry has undergone tremendous changes, especially in the field of access control.“In the early days, commercial building owners with multiple tenants relied mainly on security guards. They felt that having a person there was more of a deterrent than electronics,” says Gil Ledesma, sales manager, JMG Security Systems Inc., Fountain Valley, CA, a security system integrator. As electronics became more affordable, facility managers gravitated towards these technologies, such as card access and closed-circuit television, because of price. Security departments also wanted technologies where they could remotely monitor or maintain their system via the Internet and that could offer building owners a return on their investment without personnel hassles, according to Ledesma. “Our goal is to ask good questions and understand and consult on the proper systems based on the clients’ needs,” says Ledesma. For example, at the corporate office and training center for a national restaurant chain, the company’s facility management department wanted to control a newly constructed building’s security system from the existing facility. With JMG’s assistance and Readykey PRO from Fairport, NY-based Bosch, the company was able to achieve its goals. Another challenge with the project was that the organization only wanted to use one card. Since the new and older technology did not talk to each other, Readykey PRO allowed the management to put in a cardreader that reads a proximity card patch. The patch can be attached to any identity card.Readykey PRO, an intelligent card access system that is Microsoft-certified, was designed to work and live on a client’s server. It allows the human resources (HR) department, security director, and the loss prevention department to share information on the network. For instance, with this system when the HR department inputs data on a new employee, information can automatically populate the card access system so it only has to be inserted one time.Because of technology innovations, security has evolved. “It has shifted to networks and servers and IP addresses and gateways. Multiple people now make the decisions instead of only facility managers,” says Ledesma.In the future, facilities managers will increasingly be able to monitor their facilities from anywhere, even home. “Security will continue to refine, and more products that we offer will be networkable. People will have the control they need when they need it,” says Ledesma.Regina Raiford Babcock ([email protected]) is senior editor at Buildings magazine.