IT Brief NZ - Vodafone staff use smartphones, in place of access cards

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Vodafone staff use smartphones, in place of access cards

Vodafone has entered an exclusive partnership with HID Global to pilot the company’s emerging mobile access solution, allowing employees to physically access the workplace, using just their smartphone.

HID Global’s mobile access innovation is secure and cost-effective, and lets employees open doors with a simple wave of their smartphone.

Using contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) or Bluetooth Smart, the company’s app functions as a swipe card. Once installed and activated, the app allows employees to access secure areas of the workplace.

Vodafone’s Head of Enterprise, Grant Hopkins says thirty employees have tested the app at Vodafone’s Viaduct office in Auckland, and enjoy being able to open doors with style.

“Mobile access is an easy and secure way for Vodafone to manage staff access in the workplace, and delivers a new level of convenience for employees," he says.

"People are much less likely to forget their mobile phone, and ultimately this reduces the costs around access cards – many of which are lost and can be expensive to replace.

“This forward-looking technology allows remote provision access for third-party contractors, meaning they don’t need a swipe card and we can disable access when it’s no longer required.

"The user needs to know the phone has access capability, the phone’s passcode and know how to activate the key – so physical security is better than a traditional swipe card.

“This is a further advance in the industry mobile wallet project – transferring the contents of your wallet and handbag to your smartphone.”

The trial follows Vodafone’s pre-commercial launch of mobile payments application, SmartPass, earlier this year, allowing customers to make purchases using their smartphone.

“We are shifting towards a more innovative workplace standard – as seen by the $50 million investment in our new South Island headquarters in the Christchurch Innovation Precinct," Hopkins adds.

"Vodafone staff embrace these trials, which offer them a glimpse of the workplace of the future."

HID Global Strategic Alliances, Vice President Debra Spitler, says this is quickly-evolving technology.

“Our latest mobile access innovation is based on open standards, allowing it to evolve with the mobile industry in response to future trends and user habits," she adds.

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