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University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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"We needed a way for students to reserve rooms and get access without a phone call, without having to carry a second student ID card and without having to manage another account, while also integrating with multiple campus systems."

RAMSEY VALENTINE, DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY

When it came time for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to upgrade its 50-year-old business school building, school officials knew they wanted it to be the ultimate technology center. When it was complete, the James A. Haslam II Business Building had 75 offices, 34 classrooms, 35 team rooms, four conference rooms, four special event spaces, a collaboration center, and an investment learning center. Presentation rooms were decked out with LCD screens and HD video capabilities—an ideal environment for a respected, competitive business school.

The Challenge

The new business school building exceeded everyone’s expectations, but reserving a room was another issue entirely. Its current system made it difficult to ensure student and building security—UT Knoxville needed more than a database system.

“We needed a way for students to reserve rooms and get access without a phone call, without having to carry a second student ID card and without having to manage another account, while also integrating with multiple campus systems,” said Ramsey Valentine, Director of Technology “We didn’t want access to the rooms to be a logistical nightmare.”

Whatever scheduling system UT Knoxville chose had to user-friendly, whether accessed via the Internet, existing student IDs, passwords, or known campus ID cards.

The Solution

Valentine discovered AsureSpace™ Meeting Room Manager and was immediately attracted to its reasonable price and advanced customization features. Valentine tested the system in the Executive Education Center, where it more than satisfied scheduling needs.

The next step was integrating Meeting Room Manager for Web and door access—which required customization. Coactive Systems developed a database framework using middleware, to integrate two SQL systems into one for the new building.

“The whole idea of putting the scheduling system and disparate pieces together was looking challenging,” recalls Valentine. “But Steve Hicks, an engineer with West, Welche, Reed Engineers in Knoxville had worked with Gallagher Security Management Systems, and Gallagher had worked with Coactive Systems, a custom software company. It was serendipity that it all came together.”

The Results

The new scheduling and security system provided UT Knoxville with 42 sleek, modern scheduling kiosks featuring the university’s logo. Students and staff could finally schedule in advance and reserve on-the-fly.

“This truly integrated system combines complementing technologies into a unique solution for the college, encompassing far more than the access control,” said Guerry Bruner, regional manager for Gallagher Security Management Systems. “It isn’t just another approach to security—it’s a solution to a business need for the university.”

University of Tennessee, Knoxville Website

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