Feature Focus


Feature Focus

Spotlight on key features of the Cogito system and the value they provide to customers.

Secure a facility instantly with Lockdown feature

The lockdown feature enables access points to be temporarily locked even to users with valid credentials during a schedule when they would normally have access. It is designed to be used in emergency situations where it is vital to keep individuals in their current location.

Cogito enables a physical switch or button, such as the one pictured, to be used to initiate the lockdown. Therefore the person initiating the lockdown does not require access to the Cogito application. This switch is connected to the input of a panel or a controller. However, the lockdown can be initiated manually through the Cogito interface or automatically in response to any other input such as an alarm being activated, denied entry or attempted forced entry of specific doors, passback attempt etc.

Setting up the lockdown switch and defining what door(s) it locks is a simple 3-part process.

  1. Select the input point
  2. Create an event rule
  3. Create a lockdown command

Select the input point:

Start by configuring the lockdown switch. This is set up as an input on the controller or panel. The switch will generate an input alarm when activated.

Create an event rule:

Select the input alarm event type and then select the device that will initiate the alarm event, in this case the lockdown switch.

Two types of command can be set up – server commands and device commands. A Server command requires, as the name suggests, access to the server in order for the lockdown to execute. A device command works directly and independent of the server so connectivity is not required. However a device command limits the lockdown to only the access points connected to the controller to which the lockdown switch is connected, whereas a server command can be used to lock any doors managed by Cogito.

Create the lockdown command:

Now the lockdown command can be set up under the event rule. From a list of available command options select “Lockdown” and then select the access points that will be locked from a list of those available. The access points that can be managed will depend on whether is configured as a device command or a server command.

Resetting after the lockdown:

Once the emergency is over, the system is easily reset to normal operations. Each access point can be viewed through the interface and unlocked with a mouse click.

Lockdown rules are easily set up within Cogito and a lockdown can be initiated through the software or through a dedicated switch or button. To learn more about this feature and how easy it is to configure and operate, please contact us.

Simplify processes and save time with Command Macros

A command macro is a predefined set of commands that execute as if they were a single command. They can be activated via Cogito’s quick tasks menu or scheduled to run at a predetermined date and time.

A command macro has a number of uses, including when you need to override normal access control operations for a specific situation.

For example, if a special event was being organized in the office outside normal business hours it would be important to ensure all invited attendees had access to the event, but not to other parts of the building.

In Cogito a command macro can be created to unlock certain doors, but lock others, or perhaps grant access to persons with access cards who would not normally be able to enter that area of the building. Any combination of commands can be included in a macro so, for example, it can include allowing elevator access to that specific floor and disabling door held open alarms among many other options.

These commands are set up in advance by following a series of simple steps to create the macro. The macro can then be executed from Cogito’s quick task menu. Alternatively, an added benefit is that a macro can be assigned a schedule, meaning it will run at a certain date and time.  So in our example above, all the commands to prepare for the special event could be set up and tested well in advance. The security staff can then “set it and forget it” knowing the command macro will run automatically in advance of the event. Of course another macro can be set to run later to restore access to normal conditions.

Command macros can also be used for more mundane tasks. The commands can be run on access points, controllers, as well as in the Cogito application itself to automate tasks.

If you have a time consuming process that you would like your access control system to automate, please contact us for a demo and how this feature can work for your situation.

Managing employee vacations and absences

A cardholder’s access is tied to the Access Group of which they are a member. The access group defines where they can and cannot enter and the times of day – and days of week – that access is authorized.

However, when a cardholder is on vacation of some other form of leave, they should not be accessing the customer site at all.

Cogito’s Absence management feature enables this temporary lockout easily within the application.

A typical user’s profile includes an “Absences” tab. This can be used to add the start and end date of any scheduled absences and during this period the user would be denied access when presenting their card or other credentials. Several absences periods can be set up and these can be subsequently edited or removed.

Obviously managing an entire company’s vacation schedule within the security management system is not efficient. But using Cogito’s robust and comprehensive software development kit (SDK) it is straightforward to construct a customized and secure connection between Cogito and the company’s human resources management system (HRMS) that can automatically export vacation schedules directly to Cogito based on Active Directory or an identifier such as employee number.

Customizing User Profiles

Cogito comes with a comprehensive set of identification criteria for each user’s access control profile.

These include the standard name and title, address, employee number, title, department and so on. However, several customers have needed to add additional data to a cardholder’s profile. One major corporate client recently added 40 “custom fields” to their company's user database such as:

  • Driver’s License number
  • Whether they had any special accessibility needs
  • Mother’s maiden name (to prove identity)
  • Vehicle license plate, make, model and color
  • Date of hiring
  • Serial numbers of equipment issued (laptop and phone)
  • Additional details of their office location

All these were easily added through the Cogito’s Custom Field Editor. The Custom Field Editor enables fields to be created, edited and moved around the interface. Fields can be created in a number of formats:

  • Text
  • Time & Date
  • Check Box
  • Combo Box (drop down menu)
  • Number

Further features enable the content of a field to be made non-editable once it has been entered.

A typical user profile appears on a number of tabs including:

  • General (name and other identifying info)
  • Credentials (information regarding cards, PIN access etc.)
  • Pictures of user and their signature
  • Absences schedule

Fields can be added to an existing tab, or a new tab can be created. There is no limit to the number of tabs or the number of fields.

Additionally, through our software development kit (SDK) we were able to link the Cogito integrated security system with other corporate systems such as the human resources management system which contained much of the identifying information for the users; and asset tracking for details on laptops and phones.

Please contact us for more information on how we can create fully customized user profiles for your customer.

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