Tech Support’s Perseverance Powers the Customer Solution

The customer called into Tech Support to find out how to migrate their DNA Server to Windows 10. It was a seemingly easy request with standard steps to follow. However, it was soon discovered the customer was using an older, unsupported operating system, Windows XP, and did not have a backup of their database. To make matters worse, they also only had corrupted data files. This was time for Open Options to get creative, pool all their knowledge and use what many deem as Tech Support’s “superpowers” to solve this complex customer issue.

“Without a backup of the database, the customer would have had to rebuild the entire system all over,” said Nic Robran, Technical Support Manager, at Open Options, which, like always, became determined to save the customer the hassle.

The first step was for Open Options to truly understand what was happening.  While a tech from Open Options was accessing the customer’s network remotely to get the new DNA Server installed and set up, a critical discovery was made: the files were corrupted. 

“In order to assist, our Tech Support professional recommended that they get with their IT department to get us remoted into the Windows XP machine, so we could attempt to retrieve the files without corrupting them,” explained Nic.  “When our team was able to remote into the XP machine, we discovered they’re running SQL Server 2000, which was beyond end of life.”

This big challenge would intimidate most other access control solution providers, but not Open Options.  The expertise of the senior technicians Lane and Ted was needed to assist in getting the customer’s data restored, making this another example of Lane and Ted’s excellent adventure to solve a complex problem. 

First, the team had to find an older version of SQL Server Management Studio, so they could get in and fix the data files. Lane and Ted both assisted with creating and running scripts to fix their database and allow us to extract the data and get it restored on their new server.

“Our brilliant senior techs were able to parse through multiple errors and edit multiple SQL scripts to finally get a usable backup to restore on their new Windows 10 DNA Server,” said Nic. 

“Without Lane and Ted, we would not have been able to assist the customer with getting their system online.  Considering the customer was using two Microsoft products that were no longer supported, Open Options was the only avenue for them to get their data restored.”

In the end, the customer did not have to go through the lengthy process of rebuilding the entire database to get DNA Fusion fully operational and their building secure. They were back online.

Open Options Supports New Security Education Lab for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

Open Options’ commitment to support the security industry as a whole drove the efforts to help power the Security Lab that was recently opened at the Dayton, Ohio Joint Apprentice Training Center (JATC). 

The new hands-on security education lab provides trade education for the International brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 82. IBEW is a big, influential and strong organization, especially in the northern part of the United States.

To equip the security lab with best-in-class equipment and capabilities, Open Options provided both hardware and software. IBEW trusts Open Options. 

“I was fortunate to have attended the Open House of the new Security Lab at the Joint Apprentice Training Center on July 11th,” said Dennis Severance, President of Chapel-Romanoff Technologies. “Ultimately, the lab exceeded all expectations due to industry support from Open Options and others.”

This Security Lab at JATC Local 82 is similar to the lab that Open Options partnered with IBEW Local 58 (Detroit) to open two years ago. The Security Lab was envisioned by an Open Options certified installer, Kenny Smith, who developed and presented cost justification and needs analysis to multiple committees before receiving approval to proceed. 

“This state of the art, hands-on education facility enables the ability to provide familiarization and industry standard education to field personnel, ensuring set-up, programming and deployment training of many of our industries technologies, including equipment, software, communication and documentation, among other things,” added Severance. Through the Security Lab, a whole new generation of apprentice technicians and electricians will be exposed to the power and benefits of DNA Fusion. 

Training Heats Up with Custom System User Classes

Training comes in many different flavors, sizes and locations, including online.

Professional Services Supports Largest Installation of DNA Fusion and Isonas Devices

Allegion/Isonas introduced Open Options to a prospective customer in Louisiana that decided to deploy approximately 5,000 Isonas devices to secure over 150 schools. The end user wanted to do a pilot program first in two schools before the full deployment.  However, prior to Open Options getting involved, an issue arose that threatened to disrupt the whole project.

Isonas's cloud-based platform was supposed to control the devices, but after the end user outlined his expectations and evaluated the functionality of the platform, it was determined that a different platform was needed.  Subsequently, Open Options presented a solution that was more in line with what the end user customer was expecting.  DNA Fusion was chosen, and the installation was supported by Open Options’ Professional Services team.

The challenges to this project were just beginning, however. The timeline was tight for delivering proof of concept on required functionality at pilot sites. It was the end user’s first-ever access control system, so everything was new for him. Both system integrators were brand new and unfamiliar with Open Options’ DNA Fusion and the Allegion/Isonas solution. In addition, every device was an IP-based security device running on Power over Ethernet (PoE), which required the school district to deploy new networking equipment to support it.

“The summer break was fast approaching, and the system owner expected a functional pilot program for the two schools before the start of the next school year,” said William Murphey, Professional Services & Engineering Manager, at Open Options. “To provide a high-level of assurance that the deployment would go smoothly, our Professional Services team was tasked with assisting Southern Electronics Supply and Patriot Government Services to deploy the end user’s first access control system, with the Isonas hardware integrated into DNA Fusion.”

Murphey did the type of work that the Professional Services team does regularly to serve customers: going on site as well as working remotely with integrators for weeks to best represent the interests of the end user; working closely with the install technicians to explain how the devices and system work; providing tips for troubleshooting the hardware installation; and demonstrating the system to the end user customer to build confidence. 

Murphey worked to commission the first school, which consisted of 196 Isonas devices. In fact, this first school was designated as the proofing site the end user customer would evaluate. It was decision time!  Happily, the end user was pleased with the functionality and capabilities of the DNA Fusion solution and made the decision to move forward with the remaining 5,000-door deployment. Once complete, this will be the largest DNA Fusion and Isonas deployment.

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