Our Editor talked with Angelo Faenza, General Manager – PERSONA Vice President, Campus Electronic Access Control at ASSA ABLOY. The following was excerpted from their conversation.
E. Hey, Ang! How you doin’?
A. Groovy, Baby!
E. I have a question for you. If you bought a sweatshirt in the bookstore of every college campus you’ve visited, how many sweatshirts would you have?
A. (Laughs!) Great question! There would be more than I could count! Part of the fun of doing what I do is getting to visit so many college and university campuses; large and small, private and public, thriving and struggling. They’re mini-cities, and parents entrust the campus administrators to keep their kids safe, and to provide an exceptional learning environment. I love being a part of that.
E. So I bet you’ve collected a lot of great campus intel, and a lot of fleece! But you’re not visiting those campuses to buy sweatshirts, are you? You’re talking about requirements for electro-mechanical access control (EAC) and PERSONA Campus Solutions. Who have you talked to and what have you learned?
A. We generally talk to the “EAC Committee” or to the “Keyless Committee.” Many campuses have, or will have, committees that study and plan their migration from a traditional metal key system, to a card credential system. For example, when we visited The Ohio State University, we learned that they wanted to move to a deeper deployment of access control, but that costs to implement a traditional EAC solution would be high. Our WiFi solution, which required no additional infrastructure, was a great and affordable way for OSU to add more access to the campus. We're also learning a lot about the importance of sustainability, energy efficiency and aesthetics in campus environments. I’ll be honest with you. The aesthetic appeal of doors, frames and hardware in campus environments hasn’t historically been a huge consideration. But that’s really changing, particularly when it comes to assembly spaces, student unions and student housing.
The appearance of the campus environment can afford a very real competitive advantage.
With colleges and universities competing fiercely for the next class of freshmen, the appearance of the campus environment can afford a very real competitive advantage. To the extent that the budget isn’t sacrificed, that is. So administrators are interested in our decorative wood and hollow metal doors and frames. And our decorative lever program… how many different ones do you have right now? 48?! Wow... anyway, it’s meeting a need. The levers look great, they hold up in a campus environment, and they can be ordered on the ASSA ABLOY EAC solutions at no additional cost.
E. Great stuff, Ang. I’m an Ohio State Buckeye, did you know that?
A. How could I not?! You and Jim Primovic (ASSA ABLOY Regional EAC Campus Manager) are proud Buckeyes, and Terri Sopko (Persona Project Manager and EAC Campus Manager) is another proud Ohioan!
E. You’re a Merrimack Warrior, right?
A. I sure am. Small school in North Andover, Massachusetts, only about 2,200 students. I really did like it there.
E. So hypothetically, if your Merrimack Warriors met my Ohio State Buckeyes on the line of scrimmage, do you think they’d beat the Bucks?
A. I think your Buckeye freshman team would humiliate my Warrior senior team. The year I graduated was the first year we went Division One in Hockey.
E. So back to PERSONA Campus Solutions. Life safety and security are arguably jobs one and two for access control systems on college campuses. Ease of installation and maintenance must matter, too. But if I understand the real benefit of PERSONA, it’s that it offers those things and integrates seamlessly with all of the other attributes of an existing campus card key system. Fair statement?
A. Yes. Fair statement, Sandy. A campus security solution comprises three things: security software; locks to run off the security software; and, a credential. PERSONA security
software utilizes Corbin Russwin, Sargent and VingCard locking devices, with virtually any credential, and can operate on off-line, WiFi, Power over Ethernet (PoE), or traditional hard powered technology. A campus can mix and match technologies as needed, and as they grow.
E. Very, very cool. So, break it down for me, Ang. If I’m the Housing Director on a college campus, how does the PERSONA Campus Solution come together for me?
A. As the Campus Housing Director, you’re probably running some form of housing data software. You need to protect and secure your tenants, and manage data flow. PERSONA access control software has been designed to literally plug into your existing campus workflow and to blend into your established operating environment. Seamless integration, no learning curve.
E. Got it. If I was a Campus Housing Director, I’d use PERSONA for access control, and I’d give you a sweatshirt. Anything else we should talk about?
A. I think we should talk more about combining great aesthetics with great EAC locking solutions! I can’t thank you enough for leading the charge and keeping ASSA ABLOY on the cutting edge of Good Design, Sandy!
E. It takes a village, Ang. Thanks for all you’re doing out there. Safe travels. And GO, BUCKS!
A. GO, WARRIORS!