Important Update- Time and Date Reporting on Leap Year

*Update* you can view our fix here on our knowledge base. You must be logged in to the webiste in order to open technical bulletin. Dont have a login? Register here.

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:

To All Open Options Partners,

The Mercury product notice presented to the market last week requires an update.

We continue to test the firmware recently supplied by Mercury in our Tech Support lab. In addition to doing so, we have written a Tech Bulletin walking you through to installation of the error-correcting version of Mercury firmware that will be available with the update.

Our testing will continue throughout the week with a targeted release date of January 27, 2020. This schedule provides you 6 weeks to download the issue resolving firmware to each of your clients using the devices listed in the excerpt of Mercury’s Tech bulletin below dated January 13, 2020.

Notice for Mercury OEM, Integrator and Consultant Customers

DATE AND TIME ASSOCIATED FUNCTIONALITY WILL BE SEVERELY IMPACTED ON ALL LP INTELLIGENT CONTROLLERS STARTING MARCH 1ST, 2020

This is an important notice for deployments of LP1501, LP1502, LP2500, LP4502 Intelligent Controllers.

ISSUE LP intelligent controllers will not properly handle leap year time calculations.  After February 29th, 2020, Leap Day, the intelligent controller will report time and date incorrectly.  This will have unknown effects on the functionality of the access control system.

EXCEPTIONS LP intelligent controllers that are deployed in “legacy” mode are not affected.  Additionally, EP series controllers, bridge products (M5, MS, and MI) and legacy controllers such as the SCP series are not impacted by this issue.  

Thank you for your attention to this matter and patience while we thoroughly test the firmware provided.

Best,

-Steven J Wagner

President

Open Options Kicks off 2020 with National Sales Meeting

Earlier this week, Open Options employees gathered for the company’s national sales meeting, an annual event where the team reviews the successes of the previous year, sets goals for the upcoming year and celebrates with well-deserved honors and accolades.

At this year’s meeting, our sales force met with each of the Open Options department managers, including operations and training, software development, marketing, and more. These breakout sessions were highly beneficial in discussing and building on the progress made in 2019 and implementing goals for 2020.

Numerous individuals were recognized for their accomplishments during the company-wide portion of the meeting. Members of the sales team who achieved sales milestones are listed below:

Scot Sturges

Charles Johnson

Dan Cosgrove

Stacy Molenda

Shannon Diddell

Additionally, there were four individual sales awards given during the meeting:

Highest growth in software maintenance – Stacy Molenda

Highest revenue growth –Shannon Diddell

Highest growth in software sales - Stacy Molenda

Highest growth in new site sales – Shannon Diddell

Salesperson of the year – Scot Sturges

We also celebrated two career milestones:

Lane Ford, 20 Years at Open Options

Chuck Mentz, 20 Years at Open Options

Lastly, several employees were acknowledged for their efforts and exemplary contributions to the company throughout 2019:

Nic Robran

Lauren Yonis

Kaygee Ofilas

Katie Leibow

Gary Bell

Open Options enjoyed a great 2019 with incredible growth, new team members, and several enhanced product offerings and partnerships. To read more about what we accomplished in 2019 and what we look forward to in 2020, click here.

We are looking forward to a productive and prosperous 2020!

Assisted Living Co. Upgrades Security Software To Protect Residents & Stay Current on Technology

Masonicare is Connecticut’s largest not-for-profit integrated senior care continuum. With residential living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, senior hospital, home health care, homemaker companion and hospice and palliative care, Masonicare cares for thousands of patients and residents every day.

Read the latest case study on our website here.

You can also view the published version on SDMMag.com here.

The 2019 Year End Letter from President, Steve Wagner

As we near the close of this year, I would like to begin by telling you how much we at Open Options appreciate your ongoing support and your business. All of us recognize that our success is unquestionably due to our ongoing relationship with our partners, and it has been that way for 20 + years.

Our first full year of operations under the ACRE umbrella is marked with significant change, transition, and growth. With your help, we achieved 11 consecutive months of record sales. We focused our business on providing a superior level of care and sensitivity to customers, for which we are historically known for in the industry.  We launched this new approach mid-year by introducing, Connect Care. This collection of services represents a deeper level of customer care by way of the four key pillars we are very committed to delivering: Platform Support, Technical Support, Professional Services, and Educational Training.  The combination of these elements empowers our customers with what they need when they need it most.

To continue this theme and enhance our training, we launched a new Training portal, a  Learning Management System (LMS), “ConnectEd,” for integrators, installers, and system users to more easily obtain certification in DNA Fusion.  

In addition to the portal, we expanded our self-help video library to include Ted Tips, plus training classes around the country to bring convenience to our customers. Educational excellence will be our continued focus in the next decade.

Over the year, we continued to solidify our reputation as thought leaders to our customers as we expanded our media coverage contributing to articles, webinars, and case studies.  We focused on problem-solving and the ideal that the best in client care is care provided by both of us, making complete customer satisfaction and shared experience a priority.

On the product side, we all benefited from a tighter and more seamless integration of DNA fusion software and 3rd party technologies with our continued development on our open platform. 

We started the year completing our technology partnership with Schindler, one of the world’s leading providers of elevators, escalators, and moving walks. The integration allows users yet another option with their access and elevator control solution. We continued our technology enhancements with Allegion, Pelco, Isonas, and a host of others.

On the sales side of the house, we launched our new dealer incentive program, which provides another level of recognition and benefits to reward our loyal partners who continuously exceed expectations. We are happy to report the list of Advantage Platinum Dealers is ever-growing.

As we look ahead to a new decade, we will unveil our future look in Q1 with the release of Flex Version II thin client. This unveiling will take place at ISC West and will be our initial launch of new things to come. Look for more information in future 2020 Connection newsletters. We are dedicated to supporting your business, we will steadfastly continue our role in educating the market on the value of open platforms for 3rd party integration, for maintaining up-to-date software, and the importance of continuous education.

As we close out 2019, we look forward to a fantastic new year of partnership and growth.  Thank you again for your partnership, we wish you all a very joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy, and rewarding 2020.

Sincerely,

Steve Wagner

President of Open Options

Setting the Bar High with Access Control

Kemper Development Company (KDC) is a fourth-generation, family-owned real estate development company. What began as a 16-store shopping center nearly 75 years ago has become an internationally renowned hub of life and entertainment, work and leisure, relaxation and pleasure -- all at the epicenter of the city of Bellevue, one of the most sophisticated, fastest-growing markets in the U.S., known as The Bellevue Collection.

Read the latest case study on our website here.

You can also view the published version on SecurityMagazine.com here.

Driving the Conversion to DNA Fusion with Professional Services

A customer in the commercial real estate industry wanted to transition to the DNA Fusion software platform, while still using Mercury panels for its access control. Because Open Options had developed a “conversion module” to transition from one manufacturer’s system to DNA Fusion, the customer engaged with the Professional Services team at Open Options to perform a database conversion.

“The customer wanted to convert from another Mercury-based access control application to DNA Fusion,” explained William Murphey, a Professional Services representative at Open Options. “The integrator wanted to ensure that the process would be as painless as possible to mitigate any risks associated with such a change-out.” 

The conversion module that Open Options offers is used to seamlessly convert an existing access control system to DNA Fusion, so the customer can gain all the benefits of the market-leading platform from Open Options. The Professional Services team was initially engaged to scope out the conversion process and to identify any potential hurdles to the conversion process by evaluating a copy of the competitive system's database.

“Once the evaluation was complete, we informed the integrator that the conversion would be pretty straightforward,” said Murphey, pointing to the confidence that Open Options instilled in the customer.

As planned, Professional Services helped the customer with the database conversion, resulting in a happy customer.

“We were able to successfully convert them into DNA Fusion and confirmed all door functionality worked as expected,” said the customer. “All in all, this migration went very well, and the process was very simple to implement into the field. I appreciate the work and quick turnaround times to accomplish this project. The facility team and security have had a great experience with this transition and are impressed by the capabilities of DNA Fusion from the initial feedback we have received.”

Professional Services provides on-site support with expert know-how, ranging from assistance in planning to deployments and upgrades for large or complex systems. Professional Services also delivers remote services through which a technical professional can access a customer’s DNA Fusion service for installations, conversions and more. 

Banking on Connect Care for an Upgrade Worth Checking

A large bank in the South was ready to upgrade to the latest version of DNA Fusion (Version 7) for all the new features and functionality. Because this end-user is part of the Connect Care program, the bank had direct access to Open Options, along with the dealer. And they are sure glad they did. 

The end-user desired to schedule an appointment with Open Options to ensure that everything went smoothly during the upgrade. The bank wanted to take advantage of Connect Care, which represents the next level of customer care for access control installations. The Connect Care program provides access that connects end-user customers to Open Options’ Tech Support directly for a quick resolution of challenges or issues – with a qualified, experienced professional at the other end of the line.

The end-user customer stepped through the upgrade with Luis, a tech support specialist at Open Options. The bank also wanted to ensure that their alarm panel integration was brought online successfully with the latest version of DNA Fusion, which is the most advanced open platform access control solution on the market today. 

The bank’s DNA Fusion environment consisted of two site drivers, so it was important to have them update the DNA server with site driver 1 before they upgraded the client that had site driver 2.  However, the upgrade hit a snag. 

“They encountered a SQL protocol issue during the upgrade, but Luis was prepared with the solution,” said Nic Robran, Technical Support Manager, Open Options. “So, they breezed through the upgrade and successfully pushed out the upgrade to the remaining remote clients on their system.”

The next step was ensuring that the DMP integration was functioning. “We previously did a custom setup for them with the DMP integration, so Lane, our subject matter expert, was prepared and ready to assist when they ran into an issue with the DMP receiver functionality,” added Robran. 

After a quick analysis, Lane discovered they had a firewall issue that was causing the interruption in the service. Once he let the customer know, they passed that information onto their network technicians, who resolved the issue.

“The end-user customer was pleased that the upgrade was completed, and their entire system was back online and functioning, as desired,” said Robran. “Our Connect Care program allowed us to directly assist the end-user in this case, since the entire event was software and network related.”

This upgrade also showcased the mutually beneficial relationship between Open Options and the dealer, helping and supporting each other in a customer-first commitment to excellence. “The local dealer was on standby in case they needed to take any action on the hardware side,” added Robran, building the end-user’s confidence in the dealer for ongoing support. “But they were able to allocate resources to other projects, which they liked, since Open Options was able to assist through our Connect Care program.”

Santa Claus Couldn’t Have Provided Better Sales Support of the Customer

Twas’ the night before integration… a third-party product needed to be integrated into a high-profile customer’s access control environment. However, difficulties hung in the air, like stockings full of coal over a fireplace. An Open Options sales manager went above and beyond to deliver a fix – and without the need of a proverbial red-nosed reindeer.

“The high-profile customer required this integration to be completed by a certain deadline,” said Dan Cosgrove, Midwest Regional Sales Manager at Open Options. “But the new integration with a third-party ran into problems, and there was difficulty gaining status of this through DNA Fusion.”

The Open Options sales rep assigned to the account jumped in to muster necessary resources to address both the third-party product and DNA Fusion from Open Options.

Open Options has a commitment to do anything and everything possible to find a resolution for the customer in the shortest period of time and with the least disruption, regardless whether it’s related to DNA or a third-party product. It’s a level of sales support by Open Options that has raised the bar in the security industry. It puts the customer first. 

“It was ultimately determined the issued resided with the other company's product,” explained Cosgrove. “Their engineering support, whom we introduced to the problematic situation, was able to gain a satisfactory resolution.” And the Open Options sales manager facilitated the best response and positive outcome without having to go down a chimney. But if there was ever a need to go down a chimney to solve a problem for a customer, an Open Options sales representative would be the first to do it for the good of the customer. 

2020 Training At A Glance

With only 28 days left in 2019, the Open Options training department has been busy connecting with customers this past year. We were thrilled to have over 250 class attendees in 2019 and were excited to spread the Open Options knowledge base.

For 2020, our new Training schedule has been released. To help make that training more available, the 2020 calendar includes additional regional classes to meet the demand for DNA Fusion training. Our team begins our journey in Tulsa, Oklahoma this January and will continue training classes from coast to coast in cities such as Seattle, Orlando, Southern California and Boise.

In these sessions, Open Options will conduct both Dealer Essentials certification training and System Administrator class in the regional locations. We have also added an Integration class to the Open Options training catalog. The new class will debut in October and is expected to fill quickly based on the initial reaction from our trainees.

Open Options system users will find Administrator training dates as well as Connect Care dates. While we have conducted Administrator classes for years, the new Connect Care class is a component of the Connect Care Service Plan. It provides the system user with a hands-on class that includes wiring of hardware and programming of the DNA Fusion system. This class provides system users with the tools they need to support their DNA Fusion system.

To view the full Open Options training calendar, visit the ConnectEd website – https://ooaccesss.netexam.com. You will need to register on the site to view the training calendar. Once approved, you can view and register for classes. We look forward to seeing you in 2020!

Back to School: 1-on-1 Training, Overrides and a “Ghost”

Back to school means back to training, with several schools bringing in Open Options for not only equipping groups of system users but also one-on-one sessions for extra hands-on training. No two sessions are the same since Open Options tailors training material to meet the system administrator’s specific needs.

“Back to school time is always a busy season for Open Options training, and since late August, we’ve found ourselves supporting schools on many levels,” said Sherinda Barrow, Director of Education Services at Open Options.

On a recent visit to the Denver area, the company took the “Open Options classroom” to a local community college that has DNA Fusion implemented across multiple campuses.

“The system user had already attended Administrator training in 2016 but felt they could benefit from some personalized training,” said Barrow. “The college put together a list of topics they wanted to cover so they could expand their DNA Fusion installation and take advantage of some of the unique features offered by the software.”

During the one-on-one training, the system user learned for the first time how to issue “override” cards, so that in the event of a lockdown, emergency first responders can enter through doors that have been locked. The new feature in DNA Fusion provides a more straightforward method for securing access points while still allowing access to specific cards that are used by first responders.

Interestingly, this training session also included the identification of a “ghost.” Barrow explained, “During the visit, a ghost event popped up, and the ‘ghost’ was quickly chased down to a door position sensor that had not been properly labeled.” Furthermore, when it was discovered during the training that the college was using an older version of DNA Fusion, a collaboration between Training and Tech Support supported the end-user customer to upgrade. “Open Options’ Technical Support team sat in the wings as the customer upgraded to the latest and greatest version of DNA Fusion, and the college is currently working with Open Options training to fine-tune their lockdown procedure,” added Barrow. “It is this kind of joint effort across departments to assist our customers that make Open Options an excellent team-oriented organization.”