High Tech



5 min reading time

Algolia use case
  • Before Kisi

  • Lost or unused office keys were common

  • Doors left open undermined security

  • Complicated granting access to new employees

  • After

  • Easy onboarding process for new employees

  • Increased security and transparency in the office

  • Better flexibility for visiting employees from multiple locations

How many users do you have?

We have over 100 users now. Our group has continued to grow since we rolled out the system in San Francisco last summer. Now, we’re not only adding new employees, but also visiting employees from our other offices.

How do employees at Algolia like Kisi?

Everyone loves it. It’s great for visiting employees, because often they arrive at the office very early in the morning. We recently had two engineers from the Paris office visit. We enrolled them in KISI here, and sent their KISI invitation emails to them before they left Paris. Once they arrived, I helped them test their Kisi access at the readers in our entrance, only to have one of them exclaim, “Oh la la, it is like the future!”

Our team in Paris has an effective card key system, but in my opinion, KISI is definitely better. The first time anyone tries the app, they freak out — they think it’s so cool! Kisi is a game changer for us. Before we installed it here in our new SF office, everyone was given an office key, but many did not carry it with them. Employees would often prop the door open in the morning so no one had to play doorman for everyone else.

How many doors are using Kisi?

It’s set up on four doors, covering both sides of our entrance from the elevators, as well as at our freight elevator. The last one is for our data closet.

How many access levels do you have?

We set up four access levels to distinguish between the needs of our full-time employees, visitors, suppliers, and contractors.

Integrations: We use Okta, so we’re very interested in Kisi’s impending SSO integration.

What other systems were you thinking about before going with Kisi?

I looked at several American security groups and found many of them lacking. I worked through a detailed case analysis with a rep from a well-known security company who debriefed me for an hour, took down all my information, and promised to have a plan all mapped out for us “by next week.” And then I never heard from him again.

During our move into our current space, we had a security analyst onsite, and I had a chance to walk him through the Kisi setup. He was thoroughly intrigued by it and thought our installation was amazing.

What was your onboarding process plan with Kisi?

During the first few weeks, as employees arrived at our new space, we configured Kisi cards for each one. I had a lot of help from Tomas, one of my very talented teammates from Paris. We camped out on our new couches (after a few days of sitting on bare concrete floors!) and processed all of the info, and then assigned each user their individual Kisi card. Later, my manager assigned app access to a visiting director from Paris. He then requested that I configure my app as well, so we could test it before planning any additional rollout to our users. When my SF colleagues saw that I was using my phone on the Kisi reader they all said, “Why can’t we use it, too?”

Soon, I was running low on Kisi cards. People were losing them, or told me, ‘I don’t carry it with me” in the hopes they’d get phone app access.

I rolled out the mobile access slowly, at first only to new hires. I wanted to see how it would work with a subset of people who had never used the Kisi card. We did that through the whole last quarter of 2018. But we also have employees who don’t want to use their phone, so now we have about a 50-50 split between people who use Kisi cards and mobile phones.

Because so many people were interested in using Kisi’s mobile app, and late winter doldrums had set in, I had an idea to do something fun for Valentine’s Day in an effort to boost morale. I sent a message on Slack to everyone in our SF office, offering them a one-day only offer: if they wanted Kisi’s mobile app access they would need to go to our online Helpdesk and enter “‘Why I love Algolia’ in the subject line of their request. Once they did that, I set them up with Kisi phone app access. I had about 10 people who responded in the first hour, and they were all really excited to have such a fun new toy to play with on their phones!

Why is Kisi important to you, with your background in IT?

We have to keep our space secure. We didn’t always have someone at the reception desk to receive guests or deliveries. When we had a legacy key system the doors were often left propped open. Now, it’s not only secure, but we can also control access in new and much more effective ways.

Keys can be copied, and then end up in the wrong hands. With Kisi cards and mobile credentials I have trackability — I can see who’s on-site, and also check it against corresponding info from our network and existing security in place. Another huge factor is the ease of deploying access. I’ve assigned it to remote employees who often show up early in the morning before anyone else, and it has worked each and every time for them.

Join Algolia in Using Kisi

With Kisi, Algolia is able to control access to their busy office in more creative and effective ways.

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