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Polish bank access

Based in Poland, Bank Pekao is one of the largest financial institutions in central and eastern Europe. The bank has chosen Vanderbilt’s access control across a large part of its estate. The bank operates almost 1,000 branches, the second largest network in the country.

The company belongs to one of the world’s biggest financial groups, UniCredit, which operates in 17 European countries with a network of 9600 branches and around 145,000 employees.

Ryszard Pichnicki, Operational Director at Bank Pekao Physical Security Office, said: ‘Efficient security is vital, so we have a programme of continually upgrading our infrastructure to make it as reliable as possible. As part of this initiative we wanted to move towards an Internet protocol (IP) based solution that could centrally monitor, maintain and control different branch offices around Poland to allow more efficient management. This would mean that any issues could be identified immediately and remedial action taken when necessary.’

Pichnicki contacted Siedlce based intruder alarm installer, Cel-Tronics, for its suggestions. Bogdan Jędrych, the company’s Managing Director, said: ‘We have worked with Bank Pekao for many years and are pre-approved as a technical partner. After gaining an understanding of what was required, we suggested a solution based around Vanderbilt’s cutting edge technology, including the robust Vectis video recording devices, SPC control panels and the SiPass integrated access control system. Ryszard Pichnicki made it clear that he wanted to implement products from a company that could guarantee availability without any restrictions to installers, and therefore working with Vanderbilt made complete sense.’

SiPass integrated is an access control system. Krzysztof Krasowski, Vanderbilt’s Sales Manager for Poland, Baltics and Ukraine, said that SiPass integrated is a part of Bank Pekao’s system that restricts movement within each branch and, thanks to its diverse range of modes, can provide ultimate protection. Bank Pekao also required full interoperability between the SPC panels and access control systems for operations such as arm/disarm area, alarms notifications, input/outputs status reading. ‘This is something that we are used to providing, so we had no problem meeting the brief.’

This high-end operability means that the system is run over a single network that can be centrally managed, allowing it to work smoothly for all bank branches. Furthermore, this approach was cost effective, as it eliminated the need for more than one cabling infrastructure.

It also provides an open interface for any third party software, offering the possibility to integrate access control with other systems – therefore creating one intelligent building management system that can check the status of doors, prompt the Vectis iX video recorders to activate, and provide a full audit trail. Vectis iX is based on the ONVIF open communication protocol, which allows these devices to be used alongside third party camera vendors. This has proven to be beneficial, especially where cameras were already installed and needed to be integrated into the new system.

The project is being rolled out in stages; because SiPass is open to readers that can communicate with other controllers, it is helping to provide a smooth migration path. As it’s replacing a Vanderbilt Sintony based system, some of the in-situ infrastructure is being reused, for further cost savings and reducing waste, in line with Bank Pekao’s environmental and sustainability policy.

Cel-Tronics has installed the new technology in many of the Bank’s branches so far, and are planning more over the next few years. Bogdan Jędrych said: ‘We prepare configuration files beforehand based on existing installations, adjusting them to local requirements. In future we will change the set-up via the central network and apply this to the additional controllers. This will give the flexibility to add/delete cards remotely, download reports and perform other operational tasks.’

At Bank Pekao, Ryszard Pichnicki said: ‘We take the issue of security very seriously and need to know that we have a system in place that can protect people, property and assets as effectively as possible. I’m confident that, thanks to Cel-Tronics and Vanderbilt, we have the best means of achieving this important objective.’

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