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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Evaluating automated biometric attendace systems

There are many automated systems available in the market which an organization can consider. Following parameters can be used for evaluating an automated attendance system especially the biometric systems which use fingerprints as the identity key for a person.

1. Ability to set up multiple companies/departments – This is important if your organization has employees from multiple departments/multiple legal entities in the same premises and attendance tracking is required at the department/entity level from compliance perspective

2. Quality and robustness of hardware – It is important to check the operating conditions the device can withstand. This is particularly required to be checked when the device is going to be installed outside the office premises, some kind of protective box/case around the device will help to increase the life of the machine

3. The richness of features offered by the software like handling of shifts, shift grace time, temporary shifts, overtime, flag late arrivals/ early departures, outdoor duty, tour tracking etc.

4. Ease of application software – The software are custom built in application languages like VB/.Net/Java, In case a proprietary software is used by the vendor, it is recommended to confirm that software licenses are also included in the price of the system.

5. Amount of fingerprints that can be stored on the device – Typically ranging from 500 to 3000, higher capacity devices are also available.

6. Transaction capacity (Transaction is a record of user having interaction with the device thru fingerprint scanning) – Typical transaction capacities are 60K , 100 K etc. however devices having higher transaction storage capacity are also available

7. Back up option like password – This would be useful in case the scanner stops working or starts malfunctioning, in that case the device can be used to capture the attendance (time in/time out) record based on user entered passwords (Note – This would also need registering the passwords when users are created in the system very first time)

8. Verification time for fingerprints – This would be typically less than a second and in milliseconds

9. Power supply and Battery backup – If the device is going to be operated in open places where power supply is not readily available, it is recommended to consider a battery backup which will cost extra

10. The out of the box reports available in the software and different formats supported like XLS, PDF, text etc.

11. Device communication mechanism with computers – This could be via LAN cable or some advanced devices also offer USB interface

12. Ability to correct back dated transactions – This feature might be useful in special circumstances however the software should have ability to flag the “manual” transactions compared to the “automated” transactions to prevent any wrong doings

13. Future integration needs of the organization – If organization has visibility to future security policies e.g. door should open only after the successful verification of the employee, those requirements should be considered as well

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