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Genesis Distributing, LLC

Innovators | Terry Quinn, Darren Owsley, Clifford Clark 

Getting a foot in the door at major universities across the country just got a whole lot easier.

Terry Quinn, systems manager in the University of Idaho’s Information Technology Services department, recently licensed a web based product that reduces time, money and headaches for granting and denying access to doors on campus. Dubbed, “Secure Access Management (SAM) online,” the seven-year-old pet project will soon debut on campuses across the nation.

“When I first saw the program I thought, ‘Oh my God, this is terrific!’” says Bill Terry, president and CEO of Genesis Security Design, who bought the rights to license the program. “There has to be a market out there for this.”

SAM online specifically integrates with universities using Banner and CS Gold, though Quinn hopes eventually to make it universally functional. According to Terry, 43 universities use this combination of student database management and campus ID card system, and initial interest in SAM online has been sky high.

The benefit of the program is clear. It is estimated that SAM online can reduce overhead costs in time and money for door security management 95 percent by streamlining access requests into a one-stop online portal.

A typical university campus has thousands of locked doors, many of them on separate access control systems with different people requesting access to be granted or denied. In one building alone, the front door may require a card swipe controlled by one system, an elevator controlled by a different system and a lab door lock that must be manually programmed. To make things more complex, each door might have a multiple people responsible for managing access.

Rather than having to remember to contact three different people to grant a new graduate student access to the laboratory, a person with the proper authority can make one request to SAM online, which then filters that request to the appropriate people.

Some doors are even managed remotely, so that access is granted immediately without anyone lifting another finger. The program even provides automatic door logs – a record of who has come in and out of the door and when – which used to be a large part of an administrator’s job.

“A single gatekeeper may have to control dozens of doors,” says Quinn, who built the program with fellow Information Technology Services employees Cliff Clark and Darren Owsley out of a recognized need to simplify the system. “Multiply that by 150 gatekeepers on campus and turn them over every two to four years, and it can get pretty complicated. SAM online saves a lot of time and aggravation.”