Accela Delivers Online Permitting Solution for Turnkey Management of Security for Critical Infrastructure
Company hosts live demonstration with security leader ActivIdentity at Esri Middle East Partner Conference
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 16, 2012 – Accela, Inc., the U.S.-based market leader of cloud, web and mobile software for e-government, has announced the availability of new Security Permitting functionality, built into the Arabic version of the company’s flagship Accela Automation® enterprise software and developed specifically for the needs of organizations in the Middle East. The capability provides users with a turnkey approach to efficiently manage external requests for access to their facilities; to disseminate information about approved personnel, vehicles or equipment to all affected locations; and also to share appropriate information about the sites to be visited. The Accela Security Permitting solution was jointly demonstrated by Accela and security leader ActivIdentity during plenary sessions at Esri’s Middle East & Africa Partner Conference, held in Dubai last month.
Enterprise security management in highly sensitive organizations—including those managing critical infrastructure such as the oil and gas fields or refineries and desalinization plants that are ubiquitous across the Middle East—presents a challenge that is difficult to address using traditional security access control and gate-permit pass systems. Many such organizations must accommodate regular access by internal employees, as well as temporary access to a large number of visitors and suppliers on a daily basis. In cases where visitor access must be provided to particularly sensitive or restricted areas, there can be further complications in securing timely clearance from governments and law enforcement agencies. Accela partnered with ActivIdentity, part of HID Global, to offer an integrated and automated solution to address all of these needs, and more.
“Accela and ActivIdentity are collaborating because we recognize that a new and holistic approach is needed to address enterprise security—particularly the management of external access to critical facilities,” said Khaled W. Jaouni, managing director of Accela’s Middle East and North Africa operations. “While technologies currently exist to individually manage many phases of the application and clearance process, combining all into a seamless approach can be a lengthy and highly complex undertaking for most organizations. Accela’s Security Permitting solution provides online security pass application via a web portal, facilitates internal approvals, and can connect directly with relevant government authorities for external clearance through the built-in dynamic workflows of Accela Automation software.”
“We are pleased to be working with Accela on a smart card technology solution that lends itself to other application areas including location-based awareness and tracking, and mobile identification for event and disaster response,” said Louis Beringer, sales director Southern EMEA, for ActivIdentity, part of HID Global. “The combination of our solutions adds value to assisting government, military and law enforcement agencies in the Middle East issuing security permits based on this technology. The overall solution offering has the potential to greatly enhance the ability of organizations to efficiently and securely manage access to critical sites.”
Demonstration Illustrates Comprehensive, One-Stop Process
At the Esri conference, Accela and ActivIdentity showcased an end-to-end online process of applying for a security permit and visitor pass to a critical government facility using the Accela Citizen Access™ solution (which enables businesses and residents to apply, pay for and track permits online from their home, office or mobile devices). The demonstration showed an application going through internal and external approvals via Accela Automation and geospatial restrictions being defined using Accela Automation’s advanced GIS capabilities. An electronic permit was issued and passed along to the ActivIdentity ActivID Card Management System (CMS), which then imprinted the permit and all its information onto a smart card with wireless radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking.
By leveraging Accela Automation’s dynamic workflow, applications can be processed in a very short time and electronic authorization requests can be automatically generated to external government entities for clearance before final authorization is given. Accela Automation’s tight integration with Esri’s ArcGIS software helps manage access to specific geographic locations, such as security permits limited to a certain section or building within a facility, which can be enforced both indoors and out.
“Our Middle East & Africa Partner Conference is designed to showcase the region’s growing importance as a market for the innovative use of GIS,” said Sohail El Abd, General Manager, Middle East & Africa, at Esri. “We’re excited by the way GIS has been incorporated as a vital front-end component of Accela’s new Security Permitting solution, and we’re proud to have spotlighted it at our Conference.”
The Engine Behind the Solution
Accela Automation is used by governments to automate critical tasks associated with permitting, licensing, code enforcement, community development and planning, inspections and investigations, infrastructure asset management, emergency response, and more. Accela Automation applications can manage the core business activities of a government department or work as an enterprise solution to manage the activities of an entire jurisdiction. Accela Automation provides governments with a solution to integrate with their GIS systems, empower their mobile workers, and offer 24/7 access to services via the web or interactive voice response. The software’s completely localized Arabic version supports regional norms for date formats, currency symbols, and text layout.