Collaboration and communication – keeping the future safe

By Andy Purvis, Managing Director of NT Security and Simon Davis, Head of Security at Royal Holloway University of London

Communication. It’s the very crux of every successful business relationship. In a world where outsourcing is becoming the norm, it is of the utmost importance. Without being able to discuss important business decisions, then not only are you running the risk of no progress being made, but potentially more catastrophically, the wrong decision being chosen. Conversations need to be open, and both parties need to know that dialogue is encouraged.

 Without this relationship that pushes communication, collaboration is impossible and business relationships will not reach their potential. Kent-based NT Security, a leading electronic security provider, and Royal Holloway University are testament to this approach. With a relationship that stretches back almost 25 years, NT Security have fulfilled hundreds of projects put forward by Royal Holloway: the latest being an unprecedented installation securing over 60 buildings with 800 MIWA electronic locks, and 64 online card and PIN readers. 

With over 80% of the buildings at Royal Holloway being secured by NT Security products, collaboration and communication has been key to growing trust between University and security provider. Being open-minded and flexible is at the very heart of this, partly thanks to the size and complexity of some of the buildings at the University. There is a need to be as flexible and discerning as possible so that the Royal Holloway team trust NT Security to not only complete the job, but do it well, first time.

The University Life

A university campus is a 24-hour operation, requiring a delicate balance between securing areas, providing surveillance and allowing for students and staff to move around the university freely at all times of the day. Royal Holloway is a great example of this, being one of the safest campuses in the UK, working closely with staff and students to make sure it stays that way.

A key part of the security offering at Royal Holloway is access control, with it becoming vital to university life. This is particularly true in such a busy and fast-paced environment. At its most basic level, it allows students to enter the locations they need to be in, but perhaps more importantly, it restricts those who shouldn’t be entering these areas, allowing the University community to feel as safe as possible at all times.

With NT Security providing over 4,000 stand-alone locks to student accommodation and staff areas, and 750 online locks to main entrances, the relationship with Royal Holloway is paramount to the success of the University’s security. With over 25 years’ experience, the security provider is under no illusions when it comes to the needs and demands of the University, and those who use it, as its understanding of what works on a university campus is second to none. 

Looking to the Future

Recently, The Princess Royal opened the new £57m Emily Wilding Davison Building which encompasses a state-of-the-art library. The build itself took 23 months to complete, and in this time every aspect of safety and security was considered, evaluated, and then re-evaluated as the build progressed. NT Security was able to provide a strict access control system which only allows those with the correct card credentials to enter.

Buildings such as this and the spectacular Founder’s Building, home to not only a famous picture gallery and chapel but which also houses a library and provides a home for 500 students, require significant security investment. What is important to remember when approaching such projects is that each of them is unique, requiring different approaches for different problems.  

A building such as Founder’s is a complex building which is also home to the Royal Holloway Security hub. More importantly though, there is a trust from the University that NT Security are ahead of the curve and are ready to adapt to the ever-changing security sector. This is particularly important when managing a 21st-century campus, in a 21st-century world where standing still can be fatal. Communication and collaboration is vital to this continued striving for innovation and improvement. 

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