New Security Industry Association (SIA) member Traction Guest is the developer of a leading cloud-based visitor management system (VMS) that creates an intuitive visitor sign-in experience that delivers top security for companies with multiple entry points. Traction Guest is used by global brands such as Netflix, DocuSign and VICE Media. The company is headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, and works with companies around the world.
SIA spoke with Carolin Wolf, Traction Guest’s product marketing manager, about the company, the security industry and working with SIA.
SIA: Tell us the story of your company.
Carolin Wolf: Traction Guest began with the identification of a gap: businesses didn’t know their visitors. Recognizing that this presented great risk, we developed a cloud-based VMS that provides an intuitive, highly-customizable visitor sign-in process that delivers unparalleled security to organizations with multiple entry points.
We soon moved beyond replacing every office’s lobby log book, expanding our VMS into a platform that provides facilities managers, security officials and operations managers with a suite of tools that improve and integrate an organization’s security, customer service and data analytics. Investors took notice, including Salesforce Ventures, which has made us one of their portfolio companies. Since 2015, cloud-based VMS has grown quickly, and Traction Guest, a perennial VMS Category Leader on G2Crowd, is now serving global enterprise clients based all around the world.
What solutions/services does your business offer in the security industry? And what makes your offerings/company unique?
CW: Traction Guest helps organizations know their visitors, allowing them to ensure their data and people are protected across multiple locations worldwide.
Each guest is screened against a combination of third-party and custom-made watch lists. If a threat is detected, security personnel are notified immediately. Approved visitors sign nondisclosure agreements, waivers and other documents, view safety briefings or watch instructional videos while the system pushes instant notifications to the host. A customized security badge states each visitor’s clearance level. During an emergency, security personnel can send guests instant messages with warnings, instructions and directions to muster points.
Traction Guest also integrates with business and security software to help organizations meet their compliance requirements, making them audit-ready in real time. Traction Guest unifies all those security objectives within one automated and fully-integrated system, giving security professionals unprecedented control and effectiveness.
What’s something we might not know about your company – or something new you’re doing in security?
CW: When it comes to enterprises, security protocols can be complicated, slow-moving and disjointed. We are addressing this by preparing to move beyond the lobby to help security personnel monitor and control visitor traffic at every point of entry across multiple buildings and locations. By checking in visitors at one of several convenient points – whether that means a parking lot gate, a secondary entrance or the front lobby – our platform will get visitors signed in faster and more reliably. The result is stronger security, which, in turn, delivers a better host/visitor experience and a more efficient, fully-connected system.
SIA: What is your company’s vision, and what are your goals for the security industry?
CW: Our vision is to empower organizations to create a visitor experience that leaves guests feeling remembered, valued and protected while providing enhanced security, data analytics and efficiency.
Our goal for the security industry is to seamlessly connect every aspect of on-site security, putting flexibility and power into the hands of security professionals. We strive to be the only platform security professionals choose to protect their organizations’ people, facilities and data.
SIA: What do you think are the biggest opportunities in the security industry right now?
CW: As the Internet of Things opens up, huge opportunities are arising in terms of connecting things that used to be isolated. For us, this means bringing the worlds of ID verification, watch list screening, legal documentation and visitor navigation together into one seamless experience.
Essentially, technology is allowing us to build bridges and fill gaps, achieving levels of security that would be unimaginable or logistically prohibitive just a short time ago. The fact that these levels of security can be achieved with processes that also makes things run more quickly and efficiently makes it even better.
SIA: What are your predictions for the security industry in the short and long terms?
CW: We believe that security will become more and more entwined with other aspects of facility management in that the processes that cover tasks like hospitality and customer data analysis will naturally overlap with security. It will become cumbersome to try to effectively provide any of these services in isolation from the others, which means organizations will be looking for services that effectively integrate all those elements.
SIA: What are the biggest challenges facing your company and/or others in the security industry?
CW: In a space – visitor management – that is crowded with more and more options, we have to work hard to show new buyers that these options are not all created equal. We offer levels of security – thanks to our SOC 2-compliant data security and service procedures, our ability to verify government-issued ID and instantly screen visitors against third-party watchlists and our integrations that allow us to send instant safety notifications to guests wherever they are – that other VMS platforms do not.
We need to show them that replacing the lobby book is just the first step and that quality VMS is really about fully-integrated visitor management. We want them to see that most of what we do happens seamlessly, behind the scenes, adding value in all kinds of ways that may take a few minutes to explain.
SIA: What do you enjoy most about being at your company – and in the security industry?
CW: Everyone we work with is truly passionate about keeping the people in their facilities safe. Because of this, it’s incredibly rewarding to help organizations make sure that everyone who crosses one of their thresholds is safe from threats and natural disasters.
SIA: What does SIA offer that is most important to you/your company? And what do you most hope to get out of your membership?
CW: We are constantly evolving, dreaming up new features and better solutions to serve companies worldwide. SIA offers us a broad network of security professionals with invaluable experience and perspective that will help us grow as an organization. In turn, we believe that other SIA members will find our ideas helpful as they seek to make the world safer. We’re looking forward to sharing our thoughts and ideas in SIA Technology Insights and connecting with clients and other security professionals at events so we can learn more about how to build systems that give organizations seamless, fully-integrated security solutions that work.