Kossi Adzo, Editor/Researcher at Startup.info interviewed Paul Stanborough, managing director at Aditech Limited, about the use of technology to enhance safety and security, as part of a recent “Innovators vs COVID 19” feature.
Startup.Info is the leading entrepreneurs and innovation magazine devoted to shed light on the booming startup ecosystem worldwide.
This is a summary of what Paul had to say…
How did the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Paul Stanborough: The COVID situation had been a challenge and an opportunity for Aditech. Obviously, the economic downturn affected the business as a whole, plus having to take the necessary precautions as per the government guidelines placed an additional burden on the day-to-day operation.
However, it also created significant opportunities for Aditech and the technology we specialize in. As coronavirus is transmitted by aerosol, physical contact, and contaminated surfaces, the need to use PPE has become commonplace. In the physical security and time & attendance sector, PPE has become a major obstacle in effective access management. There has been a government requirement that members of staff in many environments are required to register as they enter and leave their place of work, but traditional methods: keypads, fingerprint readers, card-readers, or even facial recognition biometric techniques can’t cope with PPE (masks, gloves, goggles, etc.,).
Enter Iris Recognition Technology! Although the concept has been around for several years and hence tried and tested, applying a PPE compatible contact-free solution in the era of COVID 19 has proved invaluable across many environments. Iris scanners recognize the unique patterns of the iris and, via some extremely complex algorithms, match with a database (GDRP compliant) of pre-enrolled individuals. Not only does this technology secure the premises from unauthorized entry, but it also manages ingress and exit for COVID compliance.
Over the past year, the volume of inquiries and deployments of Iris recognition-based access and time/attendance systems has rocketed – in fact, in a recent survey by FindBiometrics in the States, Iris recognition has overtaken fingerprint recognition, for the first time, as the biometric of choice – for obvious reasons.
How does Aditech Limited innovate?
Paul Stanborough: Physical Security and Access Management solutions are some of the most innovative across many applications and environments. The development of biometric technology has been at the forefront of both maintaining the security and safety of the workplace but also provides a unique suite of business management tools. The maturity of the scanner technology ensures reliability, resilience, and effectiveness of the solutions, and with the growth of Artificial Intelligence and the need for secure data management, further innovation in the future is assured. Our partners in the USA are continuously looking to enhance current hardware and software solutions and introduce new and exciting products into the market.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Paul Stanborough: The key to exploiting the benefits of Iris Recognition was educating the marketplace as to the opportunity to employ this technology within their business, integrating with existing access management systems, and provide COVID compliance. The decision was made to embark on a high-speed, high-quality, and targeted educational marketing strategy.
This included engaging an award-winning marketing communications partner (Saltway Communications) and invest in a multi-channel promotional campaign including the Aditech.co.uk website, eMail marketing, social media, and press coverage. Employing a CRM system enhanced our ability to respond to prospects and maintain client relationships, and the creation of vertical market/application-focused collateral supported the proposition.
The results increased brand awareness, knowledge transfer with potential customers, a greater level of website activity and client engagement, and most importantly, a higher volume of inquiries and sales.
One unexpected spin-off from the Aditech marketing activity was the receipt of two prestigious awards, namely the SME News, Best Biometric Solutions Provider 2020 Enterprise Award, and recently the Corporate LiveWire, Innovation & Excellence Award 2021
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Paul Stanborough: The employment of an appropriate Digital Marketing platform was key. Combine this with the use of the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system Insightly significantly increases the ability to respond and react.
Your final thoughts?
Paul Stanborough: COVID has had a terrible effect on us all, and the importance of keeping people safe and secure has never been greater. At Aditech, we believe that we have contributed to ensuring the balance of individuals’ safety and the security of the economy during this devastating pandemic. Who knows what the post-covid era will look like and what “the new normal” will be like in reality, but rest assured, Aditech and our team of Iris Recognition specialists will be here to help!