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Biometric time-keeping at U of GA

Biometric time-keeping at U of GA

U of GA foodservice employees use biometrics scanners to clock in and out.

Biometrics pioneers since 1972, the University of Georgia recently updated its time-keeping technology to include biometrics scanners that dining services employees use to clock in and out each day.

"We've used biometrics technology to manage meal plan participation in the dining facility for many years," says Mike Floyd, director of food services at U of GA. "With this new system, we are able to use the concept to help manage our employee payroll."

Updated from an automated system, the Kronos system U of GA installed has 18 finger scanners located around campus where there is foodservice staff. The new scanners eliminate "buddy punching" and, because they operate in real time, work well as a management tool.

Similar to the system used at Akron Public-Schools (see: "iMeal @ Akron Schools" July 2005), the technology does not store fingerprints. Rather the software chooses certain points on the finger, which it then translates to a numerical code that is referenced when a finger is scanned. The actual fingerprint image is discarded.

"Time-attendance is now a management tool and the potential follow-along projects, like building access with biometrics, really excite us," says Chris Wilkins, Information Technology Manager, U of GA. "It has limitless possibilities."

Introducing new technology to any business is never a seamless endeavor. One of U of GA's biggest challenges, according to Floyd, was paving the way for the new system. U of GA was required to involve the state of Georgia. The department developed in-depth explanations and justifications for the technology for the state's informational purposes. Now, because of the state and university collaboration, any state agency can put a similar biometrics time-keeping system in place.

"This was the next logical step for us," says Floyd. "When you introduce technology to the customer, you also want to do it for your employees.We've been a long time leader in this area and want to stay ahead of the pack.

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