The Evolution of Visitor Management Systems

If you own or manage a building, a visitor management system (VMS) is an essential way to track and record information about all visitors and employees, enabling authorized individuals and disallowing others. Knowledge is power – if you don’t know who’s in your building, you could be vulnerable to risks like theft, vandalism, onsite data breaches, or violence, plus have incomplete information if an evacuation is necessary.

Fortunately, visitor management systems have become both more efficient and more effective – allowing organizations to easily keep track of a steady stream of traffic.

Cloud-based visitor management systems increase efficiency 

In the last few years, the biggest change in visitor management technology is the transition from traditional, server-based systems to cloud (browser)-based systems. While server-based systems often require you to have physical copies of software, more complex hardware, and that you store all information on your own hard drives, cloud-based systems store everything online. That typically means less work for your security and IT employees and less money spent on infrastructure.

Another key benefit is VMS integration with an online portal that not only allows building personnel to access it anywhere,but also allows guests to pre-register and obtain authorization to visit. 

Cloud-based visitor management systems also excel when it comes to IT support 

One of the biggest issues with traditional, server-based visitor management is the fact that the hardware and software must be manually updated and patched – and when something goes wrong, it can be difficult for on-site staff to diagnose the issue. Plus, many server-based visitor management providers charge for software support, so you might have to pay extra to get the assistance you need.

It’s much easier to try a cloud-based software solution before committing to it. Unlike a server-based system, which might require proprietary hardware and installation, many cloud-based management systems basically allow you to login and start work immediately.

In contrast, many cloud-based VMS providers work as SaaS companies – meaning that they provide comprehensive customer support along with the use of their software as a monthly or annual subscription which can be easily modified or canceled. SaaS companies keep their software constantly updated, obviating the need for manual patches and updates that otherwise might fail to be implemented.

Newer, cloud-based systems allow for remote setup and are easier to try before you buy

Many server-based systems require a tie-in to a primary account for each piece of hardware added to the system. Cloud-based visitor management systems often allow for easy remote setup. As long as you have access to the software (and the right hardware), you can set up access on different devices, across a building or across an entire company, with only a few clicks.

Plus, it’s much easier to try a cloud-based software solution before committing to it. Unlike a server-based system, which might require proprietary hardware and installation, many cloud-based management systems basically allow you to login and start work immediately.

Today’s visitor management systems provide email and SMS notifications, with some also providing access via smartphone

In addition to being able to log in to visitor management systems from anywhere in the world, many of them also provide email and SMS notifications. That can be a great way to coordinate with other members of your team during fire drills or actual emergencies that require a building evacuation, as well as helping inform team members of suspicious individuals attempting to gain access to the building.

Plus, some companies have also made their visitor management software available for smartphone apps so you can check visitor lists and confirm data on the go.

Visitor management systems interface directly with access control systems 

Tracking who is allowed into and has entered your building are vital functions of visitor management, but actually keeping unauthorized people out relies on access control. With the digital features and flexibility of a modern VMS, these functions can be fully integrated. If an individual lacks credentials or has been specifically denied access to the premises, the VMS instantly communicates this information to an access control system; similarly, if a guest obtains authorization, access control will let them in.

While more VMS are moving toward the cloud, server-based systems can replicate many of their features, and some organizations still opt to build and manage an on-site VMS. Regardless of the setup, a modern system should be remotely accessible, adaptable to an organization’s needs, and integrate with access control.

If your current visitor management system lacks these features, it could be time for an update. A modern VMS supports a flexible security strategy that deters potential threats, increases efficiency, and enables real-time communication between your team members.

About POM Technologies

Since 2002, Peace of Mind Technologies has delivered over 2000 security solutions across six industries in the greater New Yok Metropolitan area. We’re specialists who work with you to provide comprehensive site-specific security from implementation to post-installation support. To discuss your needs, please call (212) 688-2767, email at, or complete this contact form.