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Card offices benefit from local, on-site service and integration

By Tom Stiles, Identification Systems Group

Your campus card program is not just one system from one vendor. It is an ecosystem of cards, systems and databases that all need to work together. And when it comes to maintaining that ecosystem, service is paramount.

While there is discussion of which service model is best for your campus – on-site from regional dealer, depot service, or a hybrid mix – you need to consider your overall campus card system to best guarantee service for your various solutions from different vendors. These can include everything from one-card and ID badging to door access and housing solutions. You need to evaluate and determine which components are best supported remotely and which are better served by on-site attention.

If you have a problem, it often is not the card printer! For the ID system alone, the issue may be a cable, camera, printer ribbon, cardstock, or even a database connection to name a few. What if the cards are not operating correctly in a certain campus system? Is it the card, the reader, the software or the database at fault? You need a local card management expert to visit and help diagnose where the problem lies. The local technician can help with testing of the cards, confirming database connectivity and many other possible issues. This independent set of eyes can also help reduce potential finger pointing from various component vendors.

The purpose of the regional dealer is to support their local customers. A glimpse into their office shows shelves full of card printers, software, ribbons, plastic cards, replacement parts and more. Regional dealers also house an office with a full staff, a service and training department, diagnostic equipment, and decades of experience.

Beyond local service, local consulting

While the benefits of local service may be evident, there is a range of integration support that local service through the ISG and its family of dealers can deliver. We’re available to our customers to consult on a range of topics including:

Smart card, EMV card, and mobile expertise

ISG dealers work closely with colleges and universities on integration projects that require expertise in data connectivity, smart cards and smart phones.

Database connectivity

Often, a customer needs to connect an ID system to a central database like Banner or PeopleSoft. In other cases, schools want to populate the photo field in the central database or share cardholder data with other systems like door access control, housing or food service so that cards are immediately activated or de-activated.

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