University of Birmingham

A central system for increased security

Connecting people with the right facilities in a safe and managed environment has always been a challenging task. Balancing the blend between open access, the security of the building, and the service user requirements can be a conundrum, as it may need to be dynamic yet highly protected and available for audit.

One such university has always enjoyed a primary city centre location, and the benefits of a central campus. As the estate and expansion of services continues to grow the university began to review how to manage the users of these facilities, and the resources required to comply with the security of the buildings. The university had already seen the individual benefits of intelligent key management through the operation of separate systems in both their security and maintenance departments. The decision was taken to see how it could benefit the forthcoming projects for student accommodation and the building of a new multi-function sports centre. Additional consideration had to be given to public access, third party usage and the distance from central security resources. Meetings took place with members of the universities security, estates and IT departments along with the sales team at deister electronic. At which it was decided to centralise the management software as a network utility which would automate the reporting, and deploy features within the software for key usage and control. Doing so meant that the university was able to experience from a mulitude of new features.

  • Secure availability of keys at point of use.
  • Mixed methods of authentication and access.
  • The ability to individually profile external users, staff and students.
  • Centralised management.
  • Anytime, anywhere, any device management via web based software.
  • Automated alerts and periodic reports, emailed directly to individual users or departments.
  • The ability to control buildings, rooms and access to equipment.
  • Single SQL database for management of all keys and associated users.
  • Secure manual over-ride, and instant authorised remote release of keys.
  • A management system to which other deister security products could be added.
  • Open source web services integration for third party software or in house apps.
  • Low management costs, as a centralised platform which can cater for multiple products.

Networking the software has meant that each university department can manage their own keys independently, whilst following a central university security policy and receiving direct guidance and support from deister. This has enabled the security team to be a support function to key management, as opposed to a front line service. Automated administration of the system has meant that third party coaches and sports teams within the community, can access the multi-function sports centre at a pre-booked time without the need to be escorted or keys manually recorded. The estate management team and central IT support have been impressed with the operability of the software, and can see there being extended benefit by building on this management system for the deployment of other access solutions such as digital door locks and controlled car parking.


“We can see the increased possibilities the software provides for managing mixed use facilities across a broad estate, whilst proving a platform to deploy and integrate a range of additional security hardware.”

Project objective
Installing an overall system to control public access and third party usage as well the new student accommodation and new multi-function sports centre buildings.

Managing users of different facilities as well as open access while maintaining a high level of security.

Utiltising the management software as a network utility to control access and manage key usage, which can be managed by the university independently.

Low management costs due to a central software which can configure the access to buildings for each user individually.

Commander Software

With the CommanderConnect software, all deister systems can be centrally managed and configured. Information is collected centrally and can be called up at any time. The output of individually configured reports takes the form of e-mail, print file or export in different file formats. The assignment of user rights and application related functions can be done with just a few mouse clicks. The client-server architecture allows site dependent operation via the web browser and minimizes hardware requirements and costs. The connection to third party systems is made via web services or customer specific interfaces, which allows CommanderConnect to be optimally integrated.