23.09.2020 — 7 min read

Services to support back-to-work initiatives

COVID-19 return to office. Safety first.

Sarah Gulich from Germany

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the world, there is mounting evidence that the social distancing measures that public entities, private enterprises, and individuals have embraced, are having an effect on flattening the curve. However, there is still much to learn and do, yet at the same time, we still need to better protect frontline staff within essential service industries such as healthcare, food services and yes, data centers.

The data center industry has always required the highest levels of security on multiple fronts to keep customers’ equipment, and ultimately their businesses, operating without interruption. It is imperative to mitigate all types of risk and this is often achieved through the combination of people, technology and integrated processes to keep data centers safe and secure. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we must also make data centers healthier environments to protect employees and to reduce the spread of the disease. Ultimately, we want to share these ideas, findings and solutions with other essential service businesses.

At the NTT Technology Experience Lab in Frankfurt, long known as an innovation platform for running Proof of Concepts in conjunction with technology partners, we are now showcasing our enhanced visitor management solution. essentry has provided a self-registration visitor kiosk that utilizes passport control level ID verification and facial matching. In addition to secure registration features, we have incorporated healthtech components that can measure all visitors’ temperature. The objective is to identify, in real-time, potential carriers of COVID-19 or other flu-like viruses. essentry also asks visitors if they have been in contact with infected people or if they have recently returned from a COVID-19 hotspot. When a user, whether a visiting guest or full-time employee, passes both criteria satisfactorily, he or she is allowed further access within a building.

We do realize that there are some limitations in that the kiosk cannot flag all infected visitors because of:

  1. asymptomatic people who do not show any signs of a fever and/or;
  2. people who knowingly or unknowingly answer the COVID-19 related questions inaccurately.

But we are just at the beginning and have a promising start to better identify a percentage of infected users in order to protect a larger population group. Toan Nguyen, who heads up the Technology Experience Lab, added that the enhanced kiosk “is the first step in the process to make our work areas safer. We are testing the kiosk in the TEL lab today and plan to roll it out to the main entrance of the Frankurt 1 Data Center where security personnel, technicians and other essential workers will be using it. Our hope is to be able to add additional healthtech features that can then be used across various industries as we all work together to combat COVID-19.”

We will continue to provide updates on kiosk developments within the Technology Experience Lab. If there are any questions, comments or inquiries on how this product could be further tested, enhanced and made available elsewhere, please do no hesitate to contact us at sales@essentry.com. Thank you and stay safe and healthy.