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Serious incidents in Nigeria, China, and most recently Pakistan, have left painful reminders of the threats facing the school environment. If market reports can offer any reprieve, it's that more schools and countries seem to be implementing increasingly robust security measures on campus.

A report from market research firm TechNavio, suggests that such acts of violence are motivating a number of countries to adopt precautionary measures to avoid similar incidents in the future. This need to prevent further violence has also piled pressure onto the education sector as a whole to provide comprehensive safety and security to students and teachers alike. Now, the market for security solutions in the education sector seems set for significant growth over the coming five years.

TechNavio's analysts predict the global school security market to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3% between now and 2018. The report analyzes the present state of security and the growth prospects of the global security market in schools during this period.

TechNavio's report, entitled "Global Security Market in Schools 2014-2018," has been compiled using in-depth market analysis with input from industry experts. The report covers the Americas, APAC and EMEA regions. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

The report cites specific instances in Nigeria and China, which involved schools that were particularly vulnerable to attack. A terrorist attack in Yobe State, Nigeria, in 2013 resulted in several deaths, while recent stabbings in China have killed and seriously injured a number of students and teachers. Violent incidents like those in Nigeria and China, and other terrorist attacks have been a major reason for market growth in school security.

Companies like Cisco, Schneider Electric, Secom and Supercircuits remain some of the major vendors in the school security market. In 2013, the Americas led the market, with the United States acting as the primary contributor. The EMEA region was the second largest contributor, followed by the APAC region.

Other vendors examined in the report include:

Despite the clear need for school security, there remains the challenge of high-cost security solutions. Per the report, the equipment required to deliver increased security comes with a hefty price tag, which can prevent some schools from investing.

The security solutions such as surveillance cameras, alarms, and access control units are highly priced. Further, the investment required in creating advanced-level security solutions such as metal detectors and biometric access control systems is also high. Most school managements do not have high budgets for the installation of security devices on their premises. Further, the cost of maintenance of these systems also requires expertise, which adds a further financial burden for school management.

As a result of increasingly expensive solutions, many schools turn to more cost-effective options -- often at the expense of security. These cheaper alternatives include enforcement of strict dress codes, displaying of ID badges, deploying security guards, and locking gates during school hours. However, such alternatives are only precautionary measures and cannot comprehensively safeguard a campus from violent attacks.

Heartland Payments Solutions made news this summer when it acquired TouchNet, an integrated commerce solutions provider to higher-education institutions. The move marked a clear intent on the part of Heartland to expand its portfolio in the higher-ed space, offering a completely integrated commerce platform.

In a recent post on the Heartland Campus Solutions blog, the company's vice president of OneCard sales, Fred Emery explains why the TouchNet acquisition is an exciting one for for the company's OneCard solution.

"TouchNet offers innovative solutions to campuses that allow them to better manage payments and unify campus commerce," says Emery. "It makes sense for TouchNet to become a part of Heartland Payment Systems to give higher education institutions access to even more resources and services."

Branded "TouchNet + Heartland," Emery expects the $375 million acquisition to have a significant impact on the campus card community, particularly as campus cards are one of the most frequently used payment methods by students.

Campus cards are used to make a wide variety of purchases including meals, laundry, vending, books, as well as events and other campus services. It's common for universities and colleges to process millions of dollars each year through their campus card program, and until now the campus card transactions have been separated from the overall view of financial transactions on campus, explains Emery.

Herein lies the advantage of the TouchNet acquisition. "Campuses can now realize one partner for all transactions - both payment and privilege based - in every department including the campus card," says Emery. "Through TouchNet + Heartland, campuses will be able to bring the Heartland OneCard onto the TouchNet platform, which will provide great benefits to universities."

Through planned development and integration, universities who leverage TouchNet + Heartland will be able to offer the following services to their staff and students:

Another vital piece to the puzzle is TouchNet's U.Commerce platform, a financial technology platform that supports the array of business relationships that exists within a campus structure. This system is designed to integrate the various payment utilities on campus and simplify them for the user, and Emery believes that Heartland's OneCard solution is ideally placed to aid in the integration. "By integrating OneCard transactions into TouchNet's suite of services, campuses will realize enhanced visibility on their campus card transactions, easier reconciliation, and more efficient campus card management," adds Emery.

 

ID solution developer, BadgePass, acquired the assets of Jackson, Miss.-based Software Data Systems. At the heart of the acquisition is Software Data Systems’ TotalCard solution – a cloud- or customer-hosted campus card system.

TotalCard provides institutions the ability to manage financial transactions, track events and grant privileges to students and faculty via their student ID card. TotalCard applications include access control, point of sale, visitor management, time and attendance, event tracking, vending and laundry.

A well-kept secret

What makes BadgePass’ acquisition so interesting is that TotalCard has largely existed within the confines of a vacuum. The solution was developed by a Mississippi company, and to this point has rarely wandered beyond state lines.

Richard Tollison has worked closely with Mississippi State’s implementation and growth of TotalCard, beginning with the solution’s inception in the late 80s. Tollison has since retired, but still works part time with the university and remains close to the TotalCard operations.

“Software Data Systems developed the TotalCard solution, and in July of 1989, the solution went live at Mississippi State,” explains Tollison. “MSU was the first to adopt TotalCard, and it remains in place at the university today.”

At the time that TotalCard was being developed, Mississippi State was seeking to replace an existing card system. As Tollison recalls, the maintenance of the old system was manual and tedious, and the opportunity for expanding the system was very limited.

The university selected Software Data Systems to rollout a new point of sale system, and shortly thereafter, jointly added access control. It became clear, however, that a more comprehensive card system was necessary to better meet the needs of the growing campus.

Over time, Software Data Systems added functions, creating a one-card system that has supported the institution’s needs for nearly a quarter century. Today, the system is completely web-based, says Tollison.

TotalCard has since been adopted by Ole Miss for access control, UC Santa Barbara and at a number of community colleges in Mississippi.

Rather than developing proprietary hardware, TotalCard integrates with off-the-shelf hardware, says Tollison. This enables an institution to leverage a variety of point of sale registers, access readers and print/copy stations.

“We are extremely excited to add TotalCard to the BadgePass product line,” says Phillip King, president of BadgePass. “We have consistently promoted the importance of establishing a true credential ecosystem. The acquisition of TotalCard adds more applications to that ecosystem.”

William & Mary’s dining services is launching a new program on campus called “Choose to Reuse,” and the initiative is providing students with reusable carry out containers in the hopes of cutting campus waste.

The program provides reusable containers to students eating in the dining halls and is expected to cut back on the number of disposable containers being used on campus. According to a release on university’s official website, William & Mary students use and throw away 4,000 disposable to-go containers each week.

To participate, a student simply checks out a reusable container from the dining hall cashier, takes their food with them and then returns the dirty container to the dining hall in exchange for a clean one.

The system keeps track of checkouts and returns using student ID cards and numbers. A student can only receive a container once they have swiped in for that meal. The cashier will then swipe the ID card again to record in the system that the student has a container checked out. Finally, the cashier will swipe the student’s card once the container has been returned.

"We consulted with CBORD to create the buttons in our system that allows the check status, check out and check in containers," says Catherine Donatone, marketing manager for William & Mary Dining Services. "This system allows us to track usage and return rates. With that information we can track our numbers of people who choose the reusable containers versus the single-use and determine our impact."

The Choose to Reuse containers are free for students to use, but in the event a student loses a container or fails to return it by the end of the semester, the student will be charged $5. Students can have more than one container checked out, but a $5 fee will be assessed for each additional container beyond the first.

According to Donatone, getting the program up and running required a few considerations to be addressed. "W&M Dining Services first procured the reusable containers, created the marketing and outreach plan to create buzz around the program," she says. "W&M then drew up a Waiver agreement that students were required to sign in order to use the containers, before ultimately staffing the cashiers, dishwashers and other personnel required to market, distribute and wash the containers."

The program has been running smoothly thus far with only minor growing pains.

"We required all students checking out a container for the first time to sign a waiver. This, combined with the added swipes to check out a container, proved to add a small amount of time to the average wait in line during peak meal periods," explains Donatone. "This has actually been relatively minimal, however, and students are excited for the opportunity to have a reliable and easy reusable to-go container system."

The official launch date of the Choose to Reuse program is January 21, 2015, but the university is planning a trial run open to all students until December 17.

ITC Systems has acquired rival print software vendor GoPrint in a move that will extend ITC’s print solution deployment capabilities. The acquisition of GoPrint marks the addition of an established print software solution to ITC’s existing campus card and library offerings.

In its 16-year existence, GoPrint has built a solid and reliable print management technology that continues to be developed for today’s networks and cloud-based systems.

“This is a great opportunity for both companies to leverage the technologies that are native to each and combine those that fit best,” says ITC Systems CEO Campbell Richardson.

GoPrint’s solution is typically installed and hosted in both university and college campus environments to deliver a pay-for-print and print tracking control system. With the acquisition, ITC Systems can deliver a wider range of solutions to all of GoPrint’s customers.

“Combining with a print management company that is industry-proven provides ITC Systems with a larger market share given the technology that we are able to merge together,” says Richardson. “Having an office with qualified sales and support staff in California now allows us the ability to deliver a full-range of reliable and scalable options with the added benefit of being able to service customers across all time zones in North America.”

Current GoPrint customers will now be able to leverage ITC Systems’ campus one card solution, embedded print/copy technology, mobile apps, online photo submission, computer reservation and UPOS and POS terminals – all of which will available to GoPrint’s full customer base going forward.

“As print management infrastructures become more mature and more widely adopted, today’s news marks a big step in the evolution of bringing a merged approach to the offering of more than just print at a school or library,” says Steve Haber, President of GoPrint. “By joining forces with ITC Systems, we are giving an innovative solution more scale, with greater solution selection, that will improve the campus and library experience.”

As for universities already using GoPrint solutions through another vendor, the acquisition will not affect existing implementations. “When it comes to print software we are agnostic to the backend and will continue to maintain the software code so that these customers have the continued support that they have become used to with GoPrint,” says Richardson.

For the foreseeable future, business for GoPrint and GoPrint’s employees will continue unchanged, with the location and brand remaining in place for now.

At Ball State, university officials have decided to update the student ID card, starting with housing and residence life installing a new security system at an on-campus dorm.

The new security system will require residents to obtain new IDs with prox technology, and if successful, other residence halls will follow suit.

As reported by Ball State Daily, the new IDs will be a departure from the previous mag stripe reads and will leverage prox technology. The new prox readers will be installed and trialed at the perimeter entrances of one of the university's residence halls, with plans to expand the system in the near future.

According to university officials, students will still be able to swipe their card as before or hold their ID card up to the reader to unlock the door, suggesting that the university has opted for multi-class readers.

The new IDs are being issued to incoming freshmen, while a collaborative effort between Ball State’s registrar’s office and campus housing is ensuring that upperclassmen living in the residence hall will be able to exchange their old IDs for the new ones free of charge.

The new equipment is being installed on select dorms now, but the university hopes to have a campus wide system running for the coming spring semester.

Heartland Campus Solutions recently hosted its 2014 OneCard User Group Conference in Clearwater, FL to honor Heartland clients who displayed card system excellence and innovation.

In addition to the Annual Client Awards ceremony, which recognizes individuals and campuses that have contributed to the advancement of the Campus OneCard System and Heartland Campus Solutions, the conference provides an environment for university administrators to interact with one another and with Heartland directly.

In a blog post on the company’s website, vice president of sales Fred Emery recalls past User Group conferences and the benefits of attending the event. A former card system user himself, Emery hails the opportunity to discover new and upcoming products, as well as the ability to speak with other campus administrators about their operations and practices.

As Emery explains, the OneCard User Group Conference gives the company an opportunity to meet with universities and colleges, to hear their ideas and receive feedback about Heartland solutions.

The John Cunningham Award recognizes an individual for their contribution toward improving the Campus OneCard System. The award is a memorial to one of Heartland’s long-standing clients, Mr. John Cunningham from the University of Waterloo, who passed away unexpectedly in 2012. The award for 2014 was presented to Tom Watkins, Director of EmoryCard Technology Services at Emory University.

Watkins has provided regular feedback and ideas to improve OneCard, many of which have become standard features our clients use on an everyday basis. Watkins also played a large role in the development of OneCard CheckIN, a mobile application used to track attendance and privilege verification.

Emory University needed an application for tracking doctors and medical students on their Grand Rounds at the hospital, but wanted a self-serve method that used a mobile application. Watkins assisted Heartland with the design and beta testing of CheckIN.

The Kathi Kaminski Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the enhancement of Heartland and the campus card industry as a whole. The award is named after Kathi Kaminski of St. Norbert College, a past campus card administrator who lost her battle with cancer in 2006.

The 2014 award was presented to Mohawk College who has exemplified Heartland’s principles of partnership this past year. As Emery explains, Mohawk has consistently volunteered to beta test new offerings, work to find new integrated solutions to other campus systems, and improve awareness about the benefits of campus card technology to other institutions.

The 2015 Heartland Annual OneCard User Group Conference will be held in Chattanooga, TN in November 2015.

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The only publication dedicated to the use of campus cards, mobile credentials, identity and security technology in the education market. CampusIDNews – formerly CR80News – has served more than 6,500 subscribers for more than two decades.
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