Medibank Place integrates security system with business process

    Walls of greenery, circadian lighting and workspaces specially designed to accommodate activity-based working are just some of the features of Medibank’s new Docklands headquarters in Melbourne.

    Occupied since October 2014, the 16-floor building encourages flexibility, creativity, interaction and staff wellbeing and is also on track to become one of Australia’s most energy and waste efficient buildings, targeting a six-star Green Star rating and five-star NABERS rating.

    But a better end-user experience has not been limited to just the work spaces, with early engagement between landlord, building management, architects, technology, facilities management and security teams resulting in an impressively integrated and highly adaptable security system.

    Medibank’s Head of Workplace Operations Craig Maroney said that staff experience was the company’s primary driver when developing the new building’s security infrastructure:

    “We now have a single security card for each staff member that allows them to do everything, from accessing Medibank’s buildings and carparks, using destination lift systems through to accessing storage cabinets, workspace and exercise lockers and printing from any printer,” Mr Maroney said.

    Mr Maroney said Medibank hoped the integrated system would also be rolled out across multiple sites.

    “With many Medibank personnel travelling frequently between offices, we wanted a system that would enable predetermined access to other sites, rather than having to waste time in manually signing people in and guiding them through individual building and office processes,” Mr Maroney said.

    Medibank decided on HID CRESCENDO iCLASS MIFARE, a card that allows up to 12 different technology systems to be encrypted on to the one card, meaning Medibank’s printers, lockers, storage, technology, lift and building access systems across multiple sites are all accessible.

    A collaborative approach between facilities management, IT and suppliers from the outset made the project possible, plus has resulted in business and cost efficiencies, a much higher standard of basic security as well as useful data collection.

    “Having established a base security system that works for us we are able to specify to greater detail what we want from new technology, requesting that all equipment and systems be compatible with this one card,” Mr Maroney said.

    The access card has many back-of-house advantages, including more efficient staff on and off boarding processes that can be managed nationally from a central location. It also has RFID technology that supports a third party heat mapping tool, providing facilities management and security teams with quick and easy access to data showing the number of people in each building and on each floor at any one time.

    Though the system was initially more expensive than traditional systems, Mr Maroney said Medibank had already started to see some immediate financial savings with other non-financial benefits also being realised.

    “The increased level of security has resulted in a reduced risk profile, leading to reduced insurance costs, while having the printer system connected to the card has resulted in an 80 per cent reduction in paper use through forgotten printing,” Mr Maroney said.

    Integrated security solutions expert Michael Brookes from Honeywell Security Group said that approaches to security systems, such as that adopted by Medibank, were becoming increasingly popular as businesses look to use one access tool across several business systems to improve business processes.

    “Integration is expanding from being solely about security technology. Customers not only want business efficiency, but also want to be able to glean as much useful business information as possible, particularly for larger sites,” Mr Brookes said.

    “For example, cameras installed for security purposes can reveal a lot about crowd flow through a facility and effectively work as a sensor for the business to help decide things like where to place advertising, vending machines or ATMs and ultimately link to a potential revenue stream.”

    Honeywell Security Group will return to the Security Exhibition and Conference with its Honeywell House exhibit, showcasing the latest in residential and commercial integrated security systems, including the launch of MAXPRO Cloud video appliance and an updated version of its Tuxedo product.

    You can register to attend this free event by visiting