Keys to the Kingdom
Morse Watchmans continues to evolve its line of key control and security systems for the gaming industry
Morse Watchmans has existed since 1882, originally selling guard tour products. In the early 1990s, the company recognized the need for organizations to control and track their keys. This was the impetus for the development of the KeyWatcher, the first key stand-alone key management system that electronically released keys to authorized users. Today Morse Watchmans has a global footprint, with advanced key control solutions that deliver business intelligence via integration with other networked systems.
Joe Granitto, chief operating officer for Morse Watchmans, recently took some time to answer questions submitted by Casino JournalEditor Paul Doocey. What follows are some excerpts from his answers.
What industries does Morse Watchmans cover? How big a segment is the gaming industry for the company?
GRANITTO: Morse Watchmans is in virtually every industry, as keys are still in use in every type of organization. A few of the leading verticals for Morse Watchmans include corrections, hospitality, airports, government and gaming. Our key control solutions are essential for gaming as they address a number of compliance regulations and enable casinos to maintain their adherence while also safeguarding large amounts of cash and chips.
What product lines does the company offer gaming operators? Which is more popular and why?
GRANITTO: The KeyWatcher Touch protects the keys to the counting rooms and drop boxes of most of the casinos in Las Vegas and many around the world. Many gaming regulations require notation of key access—when a key was removed and by whom, and that drop procedure was properly followed. Our key control software can be set up to generate reports required for compliance audits. We have purpose-designed gaming software that can be configured with customized rules to meet the three-man regulation for sensitive or restricted key sets. The system can be configured to recognize these sets of keys, and only allow access to them if the three required logins are completed. Additionally, notifications can be set up to alert security personnel via text and email if these keys are being requested, to keep management apprised of when certain keys have been removed or replaced.
AssetWatcher, our RFID-enabled locker system, is used to secure and track two-way communication devices, tablets and other devices used in casinos. And KeyWatcher Fleet provides control and intelligence for vehicle fleets used by gaming establishments.
How much does Morse Watchmans spend on R&D? What are some recent enhancements to its various product lines?
GRANITTO: Morse Watchmans has a team of seasoned engineers working out of their Oxford, Conn. office who are always exploring new product ideas, integrations, features and improvements to existing products. Enhancement considerations are often brought to us by our field sales team and partner integrators. This insight helps us keep our products on the cutting edge and keep our customers coming back. Our recent introduction of KeyWatcher Fleet has broadened our product portfolio and applies our proven technologies outside of the traditional security realm.
Please explain the SmartKey and KeyAnywhere technologies in the company’s KeyWatcher Touch management system and how this helps set the product apart from the competition…
GRANITTO: SmartKeys turn each physical key into a data point. Each one has an ID microchip and a steel locking ring to securely hold one or more keys locked in place until an authorized user is granted access. When a SmartKey is inserted into or removed from a key slot in a key control cabinet, usage data is logged and associated with the user’s identity. SmartKeys have proven to be durable over the last 25 years with millions of pieces in use today.
The KeyAnywhere feature was built into KeyWatcher from the beginning from the ground up. Included in all KeyWatcher Touch products, it enables the user to return a key to any unit in the system, enterprise-wide.
How does AssetWatcher fit into the Morse Watchmans’ line of products and what advantages does the technology offer the gaming operator?
GRANITTO: AssetWatcher RFID-enabled locker systems allow gaming operators to secure valuable assets, supporting many thousands of users on a single system. Users can control who has authority to remove each asset in the system, and can track when assets are removed and replaced—and by whom. RFID technology provides data on whether a specific asset is in the system, and if so, which locker it has been placed in. AssetWatcher software is built on the same technology as Morse Watchmans key control systems, delivering business intelligence along with robust data regarding usage.
What applications does Morse Watchmans’ KeyWatcher Fleet offer gaming operators?
GRANITTO: KeyWatcher Fleet delivers significant ROI to gaming operators by putting them in command of their vehicle distribution and utilization, helping ensure the fleet is not too large or small for optimum usage, and much more. Users can view vehicle use, bookings summary, status and a range of charts on a convenient dashboard. Quick reports can be generated using a wide range of parameters to gain actionable insights on fleet utilization and overall operations.
Morse Watchmans Smarts lets users create policies to enable automatic allocation of vehicle for each driver. Users can configure settings by lowest mileage, most fuel, priority, first in/first out and more. Each driver need only enter their code and the key for their allocated vehicle will be released to them. In the event a specific vehicle will not be available for its booking, drivers can be notified automatically via email or text.
KeyWatcher Fleet can also be used to manage valet services offered by casinos—allowing operators to monitor when keys are added and removed, and protects against abuse of vehicles or lost keys.
What new products and technologies will Morse Watchmans emphasize at Global Gaming Expo (G2E)?
GRANITTO: We’ll have our entire line on display at G2E, including KeyWatcher Touch, AssetWatcher, and our latest introduction—KeyWatcher Fleet. Our solutions address regulatory and security requirements faced by the gaming industry across the country. Attendees can stop by our booth—2436—to get a personal demo of any of our products.
Morse Watchmans Incorporated is an Oxford, Conn.-based provider of market-proven products and technologies