AMAG and G4S Unite with Bake Off and Craft Sale to Benefit BBC Children in Need

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The judges: Jason Dudley, Chef, Howard Johnson, COO, AMAG, and Duncan Short, HR Director, G4S 

Friday, November 18 was sweeter than any normal Friday as the Tewkesbury, UK office held their annual bake off challenge in aid of BBC Children in Need.

Employees across the AMAG and UK G4S business units came together to raise £578.83 ($721.44) for the children’s charity. There were three competitions in the bake off with the judges Jason Dudley (Chef), Howard Johnson (COO, AMAG) and Duncan Short (HR Director, G4S) having the rather envious job of selecting the winners. It was a tough job, but the three men stepped up and ate a lot of cake, all for a good cause! Portions, however, were limited as the remaining cake was sold to employees.

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Winner of the Technical Challenge  Chocolate Cherry Bakewell, Carol Edwards.

The winner of the Technical challenge to create a Chocolate Cherry Bakewell was AMAG’s own Carol Edwards (Executive Administrator). Best decorated cake went to Edwina Mansell (Validations Administrator, G4S UK) for her beautiful Pudsey Bears picnic and the star baker award was won by Kath Gunston (AMAG Software Engineer) for her wonderful spotty Pudsey bear creation. Special mention also went to Terry Engram  (AMAG Technician) whose cake resembled designer footwear spilling out handmade chocolate truffles.

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Best decorated cake winner, Edwina Mansell.

 

Getting Crafty

Once all the cake was gone, the Tewkesbury crafty creators, Gillian Devereux (AMAG HR Manager), Jayne Wright (Head of Business Support, G4S UK), Edwina Mansell, Jacky Devine (AMAG Senior Administrator) and Jana Bridger ( AMAG Customer Services Representative) took their turn and sold their creations. A beautiful display of all their handmade goods including jewelry, cards, Christmas decorations and knitted items were for sale throughout the afternoon. A percentage of the profits from all sales went to Children in Need.

BBC Children in Need provides grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. Projects funded help children facing poverty, victims of abuse or neglect and disabled young people. For more information please visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/corporate2/childreninneed.

A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the baking, crafting and of course – the eating!

Project Unite Enhances Customer Experience

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AMAG Technology’s Customer Relationship Team: Stephanie Kovacs, Claudia Gualotuna, Ronnie Relosa, Darlene Mitchell (front), Pamela Taylor (back), and Yalanda Thomas.

To improve customer service and provide a better experience for all AMAG Technology customers around the world, the Torrance, California customer service department launched Project Unite.

During Phase One, completed this year, all Torrance based customer service representatives have been cross trained to handle all aspects of customer service for our US customers: customer calls, return merchandise authorizations, new orders and status inquiries.  In the past, individual customer service representatives handled specific job duties. Separation of duties has been eliminated, creating a more cohesive team and positive customer experience.

The Torrance team members are now known as Customer Relationship Representatives (CRR), with Claudia Gualotuña leading the team as Customer Relationship Manager-US.

“With our business continuing to grow, I wanted to ensure we focus on our customers’ needs and continue to build a positive relationship with our customers,” said Claudia. “I’m excited to unite the customer service and RMA group to help enhance the experience for our customers!”

The next phase of Project Unite, to be rolled out in 2017, will include Alison Foote, Customer Relationship Manager-UK, and the Tewkesbury, UK customer service department. The focus will be the unification of the Torrance and Tewkesbury teams.  When complete, Project Unite will ensure either team has the tools to provide an exceptional customer experience, regardless of the customer’s geographic location.

Helping Customers Operationalize Security

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AMAG Technology’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Kurt Takahashi speaks live from the ASIS 2016 show floor in Orlando, Florida about AMAG’s mission.

AMAG provides innovative solutions to help operationalize security. AMAG is here to help our customers mitigate risk, maintain compliance in an efficient way and more importantly, help them save money overall.

Want to learn more? Click here to watch the short video!

Security Guy Radio’s Chuck Harold Interviews AMAG’s VP-Product Marketing, Dave Ella

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Dave Ella, Vice President of Product Marketing for AMAG Technology speaks from the floor of ASIS 2016 with Security Guy Radio about AMAG’s latest products and services.

AMAG released its Symmetry Bluetooth Reader last week at the show.  The reader combines Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) with card reading capabilities to deliver integrated access control.

Watch the interview here!

AMAG Presented with New Product of the Year Award at ASIS for Symmetry GUEST

AMAG Technology, Vice President of Client Services, Jeff LeBlanc proudly accepted the Security Products, New Product of the Year Award from Publisher, Kevin O’Grady at the ASIS International Seminar and Exhibits in Orlanda, Florida last week. Symmetry GUEST won the new product of the year award in the visitor management category.

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The AMAG team attended ASIS and highlighted Symmetry GUEST, a new product that brings a fresh approach to Visitor Management by taking advantage of the latest advances in handheld technology. Unlike traditional visitor management systems, Symmetry GUEST is focused on improving the visitor experience, streamlining the journey through the reception area and reducing the cost of visitor services.

For more information about Symmetry GUEST, visit http://www.amag.com/en-US/Products/Symmetry%20GUEST/.

A Day of Service and Reflection

By: Ryan Kaltenbaugh, Vice President, Government Solutions at AMAG Technology

untitledAs AMAG starts our week on Sunday, September 11th with our FOCUS event kicking off at ASIS International in Orlando, Florida, we deeply reflect on that day 15 years ago.

For me it was an early and chilly morning near the beach in Huntington Beach, California when I first heard of the events in New York.  Like many of you, I distinctively remember watching the second plane hit the tower – an image that will live with all of us.

The people of New York and organizations around the US stepped up and helped those in need that day and for weeks and months after 9-11.

This event changed my life in early 2002. I was quickly recruited to leave California where I was working in the fire protection market to move to Virginia to start my career in security.

Days after 9-11, I immediately joined the American Red Cross in California as a Public Information Officer where I took that role to Virginia. Today, I continue to volunteer my time. This has taken me all over the US to our largest disasters since 9-11; Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, fires, tornadoes and more.  I’ve seen firsthand how important volunteering is and the impact it has on those who need you the most.

The security industry is full of great people – ethical, patriotic and passionate.  While our work is important, service to our country and our communities is nearly as critical in our life path.

If you are not already, I encourage you – volunteer.  Volunteer your time, your skills, your wallet to a non-profit organization you are passionate about.  Our country is strong because of our people. Make a difference today.

For a great site to get started, go to www.VolunteerMatch.org to find an opportunity near you.

 

 

AMAG Technology’s Symmetry™ GUEST Wins Security Products 2016 New Product of the Year

SymmetryGUESTAMAG Technology is pleased to announce that Symmetry™ GUEST, the web-based visitor management software platform released earlier this year, won Security Products 2016 New Product of the Year in the Visitor Management product category.

The Security Products New Product of the Year Award honors the outstanding product development achievements of security equipment manufacturers whose products are considered noteworthy in their ability to improve security. AMAG will be recognized at ASIS International in Orlando, Florida, Sept. 12-14, featured in securitytoday.com and highlighted in the December 2016 issue of Security Products magazine.

Security Products magazine, editor-in-chief, Ralph Jensen said, “The New Products of the Year contest gives us a terrific sampling of security solutions available now.”

Symmetry GUEST offers a highly secure, yet easy-to-use solution to vet and manage visitors. It speeds the flow of visitors while helping organizations enforce security policies, reduce costs and improve the overall visitor experience. Symmetry GUEST was released in January, and will be used at the upcoming industry trade show, ASIS, to check-in all booth guests at both the AMAG and G4S booths.

See all 2016 winners: https://securitytoday.com/pages/npoy.aspx

Applying a Data Centric Approach to the Future

By AMAG Technology, Senior Vice President of Sales, Kurt TakahashiKurt Takahashi_photo

According to Gartner, the Cyber Security market will reach over $100B by 2018. According to IDC, growth will occur: 10% Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), 10% Threat Intelligence, 18% Mobile Security and 50% in Cloud Security.  As the security industry  continues trending towards  managed and cloud services, how will  companies stay ahead of the constant barrage of  Cyber and physical security threats?

The vastly untapped data compiled by physical security systems, like access control, video surveillance, incident management and burglar alarm systems have a story to tell about any  individual’s usual behavior. Certain deviations from those norms should be of absolute concern for security professionals.  For example, why is one person entering a restricted area several times a day or at strange hours?  Is the person just having a busy day? Or is there something else going on? When correlating someone’s physical  behavior patterns with their logical activities, one can change how we interpret an individual’s intentions. We can suddenly see threats that are easily overlooked in separate cyber and physical worlds as valid concerns when they are viewed together.

When the outsider threats are blocked, the next step is to find an insider to achieve results.  Analysis of cyber security and physical security will allow companies to identify early warning signs of internal and external threats.  

How do you do that?

The only true way to address risk is to manage people and the systems they use. Organizations must analyze their data not only to better secure their business, but to make better business decisions and manage business requirements.

An organization must determine what systems and data should be analyzed.  It could be an access control system, computer log-in system, HR system, or building system. Or all of them!

Funneling that data to a single dashboard will provide a data centric approach that will help identify behaviors and manage risk to create a safer environment.  A dashboard will streamline business operations showing all relevant data in one place, narrowing the gap between physical and cyber security and help predict behavior and patterns.

End users who can predict behavior via a data centric approach based on analysis from system intelligence will better mitigate risk, save money and improve their bottom line.

Exceeding Customer Expectations and Teamwork Wins Retrofit Upgrade

IMG_2663What do you get when you learn your access control system has reached end of life and your security manufacturer doesn’t return your calls?  One ticked off customer.

That’s how the University of Nevada – Reno, Housing Security Director, Charles Stricker felt when he finally learned he was going to be forced down an expensive upgrade path if he stayed with his current manufacturer.   Stricker did his homework, and when he learned about AMAG’s Symmetry SR Retrofit solution, he took action and never looked back.

“After being ignored for a year, I finally learned my upgrade options and it was bad,” said Stricker.  “A year later, I met with AMAG.  My current manufacturer reacted poorly and AMAG answered my questions and got me pricing.”

Stricker got creative and became a beta tester for AMAG.  This way he could try out the system before committing and decide for himself if the upgrade was going to be as easy as AMAG said it was and if it would be affordable.

The result? They rolled out the first building in four hours.  The upgrade process was easy. They used the system for a year.  It worked well.

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University of Nevada – Reno, Housing Security Director, Charles Stricker selected AMAG’s Symmetry SR Retrofit system to replace its legacy access control system.

UNR’s long-time integrator, RFI Communications & Security Systems, worked closely with Stricker and the Housing Department and AMAG to develop a roll-out plan, and they started converting the remaining dormitories.

“The Symmetry SR Retrofit system saved us SO MUCH money,” said Stricker.

The Symmetry SR Retrofit system used UNR’s existing wiring, readers and cards, saving them tens of thousands of dollars in labor and upgrade costs.  The installation was quick, taking literally minutes to swap out an old board and replace with an SR Micro5 panel .

Both the Housing Department and Main Campus migrated to the Symmetry SR Retrofit solution,   installing two separate systems.

To improve system efficiency, AMAG Professional Services wrote custom integration scripts for each of the systems.  For the Housing Department, Symmetry integrated with Odessey HMS.  Changes made in Odessey, such as room changes or deletions, automatically filtered to Symmetry, creating a safer environment for student.

For the Main Campus, Symmetry integrated with Blackboard Learning Management System.  If a student was added or deleted in Blackboard, the changes were routed to Symmetry, so the security management system was always up to date.

“We’ve been up and running since November 2015, and Symmetry saved us $3-5 million in infrastructure costs along with way,” said Stricker.  “This is the smartest upgrade solution I’ve ever seen.”

 

By AMAG Technology, Public Relations Manager, Kim Rahfaldt

 

Optimize Symmetry to Improve Security

Cyrus Nelson

Cyrus Nelson is the Director of Professional Services for AMAG Technology.

By AMAG Technology, Director of Professional Services, Cyrus Nelson

The number of options available within the Symmetry security system is vast and can be overwhelming to any organization.  Whether the organization has been using Symmetry for decades, or if they are a new Symmetry user, every organization wants to ensure they are getting the most out of their security system budget and working as effectively as they can.  While there are very few “wrong” ways to use Symmetry, there are certainly best practices.  Symmetry Professional Services can assist your organization with finding the most cost-effective and efficient way to use Symmetry in any environment.

By conducting a System Assessment that includes access control hardware, server, client, as well as an operational look at the Symmetry system installed, Professional Services can compare usage with other customers of the same size and with similar operation requirements.  Our team can assist with finding shortcuts and new uses for existing tools, point out features that operators may have overlooked, and can assist with creating your organizational templates for doing day to day tasks.  By ensuring that your team is getting the most out of Symmetry, your team can stay under budget and be ready to expect the unexpected.

To schedule your system assessment, contact Symmetry Professional Services today at proservices@amag.com.