Deciding Whether to Change The Old Key Fob System?

By Bernhard Mehl
October 25, 2018

When signing a new lease and moving into a new office space, you will often find relics from the company that previously used the office space. Sometimes, the previous company may have inhabited the work space for decades. Often enough, these office space would come equipped with office solutions such as their old security hardware and their outdated access control technology. Key fob replacement is one of the jobs that comes with moving in a new office.

It is the 21st Century. The modern era where enterprises and startups are fast adopting innovative technologies in their office spaces and having to find these outdated office technology in the work space is rather disappointing. Not exactly the best case and scenario for you, office managers and IT managers, with your forward vision of creating an intelligent office for the Generation Y workforce to be confronted with.

No fears, forward looking padawans. We are as curious and keen as you are in finding office solutions (and in avoiding unnecessary hassles and risks) to such scenarios.

We did some research and collected the four most commonly found pieces of security hardware that might have been left at your space. And we came up with an evaluation method for you to decide if you should keep or replace the existing access control technologies and parts.

In coming up with this solution and evaluation method, we realized from speaking with our readers and clients that they often consider switching  their entire security solution (as part of their bigger office renovation) to a new one. This may not be exactly cost-efficient for smaller offices and businesses as budgeting is tricky for smaller businesses, where they often have to tread the fine line between saving a few bucks or going full on with a new office access system.

First thing to note: Often car keys are also called key fobs – which are tools to remote unlock the car from a distance. This post is sadly not about car key fobs but about key fobs carried on the keychain in order to access the office by holding your key fob to a reader.

What Are The 4 Commonly Found Access Control Hardware Pieces?

1. Leftover key fobs or access badges

We’ve all been there. Your office manager sits at the front desk and you find a couple of reserved, pre-programmed key fobs in the drawer. They are lost key fob replacement. Why are they pre-programmed? Key fobs basically just store a number and if you are not intending to change your entire access control infrastructure, you might be able to keep them because they can be re-programmed.


2. Reader on the wall

You need to check: Is the reader wired back to the server room or IT closet or is it wired to a power source as a standalone ? If it’s the former, you might be able to keep the reader. If your office set up falls into the latter, you need to look up on the instructions to fix or reset the key fob system. Key fob replacement is easier said than done

The reader is the intelligent part of the key fob system. At the most minimal case, the reader has to be reset otherwise ALL key fobs that have been handed out by the past company would still work for your space. Scary if you think about the security implications and risks it might pose on your space.


3. Key fob replacement system (access control panel) in the server room

If ADT did a nice job for the old inhabitant, you would see an access control panel installed in your server room. Aside from it looking functional and “Don’t remove me” intimidating, it is most likely not the most updated access system ADT has to offer. Plus to have it working, you would need a software running on a hosted windows machine.

At this point, when you see this: Don’t even waste your time – it is time for a new access control panel. There are several good panels that are sold by LenelKeyscanGenetecKantechsoftwarehouse C-Cure. Consult your local security vendor, where they could tell you more options on what are the best access control panel for your office needs.

4. Electronic locks at the door e.g. door strikes

And the bonus? Most of the old door strikes and electronic locks versions are a lot more robust and massive than newer versions. So you have no need to swap them out! Simply said: If your keyfob still works, the buzzer will still works. Just keep it in there and tell your security integrator that you would rather not change anything at the door frame.

Bonus fifth advice: eBay is not the world’s best security re-seller

In the Modern Age of Internet, it is easy to fall prey to the idea that “I can purchase a security equipment easily on the Web.”. Well the consensus is that you can but don’t expect it to be of any decent quality and of utmost security standard.

So please don’t buy your security equipment on ebay. We have had many cases when a stressed office or IT manager just went on ebay and ordered parts on a budget. (Don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

Moved Into A New Office? Save Office Relocation Expense Budget With 4 Tips from KISI.

While often you might be tempted to save the money, you should consider upgrading the intelligent parts of the hardware (Whenever people talk about intelligent office, they are actually referring to these parts of the hardware) for security reasons . However you don’t need to go as far as to install consumer grade wifi door locks to upgrade them to intelligent keys. Whatever hardware that you need for your new office, you can talk to your home depot or local security dealer. They might be able to sell it to you. If you really need to use ebay to buy these security equipments, at the very least look for branded bargains rather than the absolute lowest price.

At Kisi, we pride ourselves in building a commercial access control system, with the intelligence of the apps you are already familiar in your home. Also, Kisi is compatible with any of your existing fob system or keycard system.

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.

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