Boston-based biotechnology company, Genzyme is an organization dedicated to the research of rare genetic-related diseases. Acquired by French global healthcare giant Sanofi in 2011, Genzyme has made the security of its physical and intellectual assets a priority since the 1990s, and was among the first companies to define security as a process that encompasses enterprise risk, supply chain, insurance and liability, IT and physical security, and competitive technical information. After Sanofi’s acquisition of Genzyme, the Boston subsidiary’s security leadership became a model for the organization and therefore, was tasked with implementing security integration throughout the global enterprise.
The Challenge: Sanofi, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, decided to tackle one of the most common problems still facing a large number or organizations around the world today — how to go about integrating and streamlining a multitude of different security systems and sensors into one, easy -to-use interface. After careful consideration, Sanofi opted to implement SureView Systems’ Immix Command Center software platform as a way to not only easily incorporate information from a multitude of physical locations into their global security command center, but also provide an enhanced form of monitoring that would make the jobs of operators much more manageable.
According to Bhavesh Patel, Senior Director of Security Operations and Technology at Sanofi, the company had as many as 32 disparate access control and video systems in North America. Following the deployment of the Immix platform, however, the security team at Sanofi worked to consolidate these and other physical security systems in use at the company’s numerous facilities, which include office buildings, laboratories and manufacturing plants. Sanofi actively monitors more than 150 locations from their Security Service Center, which range from buildings that house as few as three employees to office complexes where nearly 4,000 people work each day.
Given the company’s large geographic footprint, Sanofi also has a myriad of security technologies in place including surveillance cameras and even more access control points that had been integrated into Honeywell’s Pro-Watch software. Additionally, Sanofi leverages NC4’s real-time threat alerting system, as well as tracking technology from FreightWatch. Rather than launch headfirst into trying to bring all of these various systems into the Immix platform at one time, Patel said that the company has taken “baby steps” in rolling each of them out so as not to overwhelm their Security Service Center (SSC) Analyst.
The Solution: Perhaps the most beneficial feature of Immix that Sanofi and its security personnel have seen the biggest return-on-investment (ROI) from is the auto-handling capabilities. Whereas in the past an email alert would come into an operator and they would have to open it to gauge its potential impact to the organization, email alerts are now filtered through Immix to enable users to quickly determine which emails need immediate attention and which do not. If something does require attention, Immix will automatically pull up any relevant security systems in the area of the alarm, such as surveillance cameras, and provide the operator with directions about what steps to take next.
“Without Immix you would receive an email, you have to make sure you have your email client open, then you have to look at it and process whether it has an impact or not. If there is an impact, you have to pull up video or anything else you need to look at, versus now where everything is done automatically,” explained Patel. “Immix, based on the rules we’ve set, says you don’t need to look at this email because you set this for auto-forward, but the one you need to look at is here and I’m going to show you the email, where it is on the map and then I’m going to pull up the video for you. This allowed us to reduce approximately 20 percent of the alarms and 5 to 10 minutes from one of our systems.”
In addition, Immix has helped Sanofi reduce the amount of time it takes to train operators in their command center because they are using a single, unified interface as opposed to managing multiple interfaces for all of the systems they monitor. The ability to add predetermined steps for operators to follow during various security events has also enabled operators to become more efficient in performing their duties.
“Obviously, if you are able to process steps across individual alarms, it reduces the training time and also allows you to provide consistent service,” added Patel. “We have seen a reduction in the time it takes to manage alarms because the integrated components are pulled together in the same interface. With these disparate systems, we spent a lot of time training people to make sure they were managed correctly.” On average, Genzyme has reduced the amount of time it takes to train their security operators from 16 to 24 hours overall because the company only has to
train on one system.
Patel said that they have also received a significant amount of positive feedback from their operators since the Immix platform was deployed. Mostly, this is because of the fact that Immix has simplified the management of its entire security technology network and subsequently eliminated the need to learn and become proficient with multiple platforms.
“Things that were not setup procedurally before, now they are setup in Immix and it is consistent. Immix allows us to manage our cascading security environment,” said Patel. “If an alarm does not get resolved at a site level, it automatically gets forwarded to our global Security Service Center so we do not have to have multiple procedures for the same alarm. The training around response has become much easier; so from an operator’s perspective, Immix has been a great asset.”
The Future: According to Patel, what differentiates Immix from a traditional physical security information management (PSIM) system is that it provides end users with more than just a hodgepodge of converged data. Because of all of its moving parts, a PSIM platform is nearly impossible to implement to its full potential; however, Immix brings multiple areas of a security program together into one solution not only to provide information but to actually help the end user take action.
“With Immix, there are multiple integration points coming into the system, as well as numerous sensors to help you make a decision as soon as you get that information,” explained Patel. “Immix is more of an enhanced monitoring tool than just a physical information system.”
According to Patel, Sanofi has already integrated security systems at all of its North American facilities into Immix and are they are currently looking to expand it to all of their international sites as well.
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