Open Options to Exhibit at GC&E’s Converged Security Summit 2019

Charles Johnson, Open Options’ Southeast sales manager, will be showcasing DNA Fusion and its powerful components at the third annual Converged Security Summit (CSS) on February 28, 2019 at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

Hosted by GC&E Systems Group, an Open Options authorized dealer, CSS is a one-day comprehensive program that will bring together experts in information and physical security to discuss best-practice countermeasures to safeguarding IT infrastructure and information assets, as well as proven solutions for perimeter security, intrusion and personal safety in public and private sectors.

Bringing together IT and security professionals, more than 20 best-of-class security and IT vendors, and industry-recognized leaders to speak and provide insight on the constantly evolving state of information and physical security, CSS is the not-to-be-missed event of 2019. Through the convergence of security and IT professionals, speakers, and vendors, CSS provides the perfect opportunity to network, share ideas, and learn from industry subject matter experts and other industry professionals on ways to better manage and mitigate risks associated with information and physical security assets.

To register for the event, click here.

Open Options Appoints Steve Wagner as President

Open Options (acquired by ACRE, LLC on December 17, 2018) has named Steve Wagner as the company’s new President. You can click here to read the full announcement.

Open Options Kicks off 2019 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 2018 and implementing goals for 2019.

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

Brad Rollans

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

Highest growth in software maintenance – Bill Meekins

Highest revenue growth – Charles Johnson

Highest growth in software sales - David Johnstone

Highest growth in new site sales – David Johnstone

Salesperson of the year – Scot Sturges

Scot Sturges was also recognized for 10 years of dedicated service to Open Options.

Lastly, several employees were acknowledged for their efforts and exemplary contributions to the company throughout 2018:

Lauren Yonis, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Kaygee Ofilas, Receptionist

Brent Doherty, VP of Marketing & Communications

George Crawford, Software Developer

Roscoe Coffman, VP of Operations

Brad Rollans, Midwest US & Central Canada Sales Manager

Open Options enjoyed a great 2018 with incredible growth, new team members, and several enhanced product offerings and partnerships. To read more about what we accomplished in 2018, click here. We are looking forward to a productive and successful 2019!

2018: Year in Review

2018 was a year full of growth and change for Open Options. As we celebrated our twenty-first year of business, we also mourned the unexpected and tragic loss of Jonathan Berman, who had been an integral part of the Open Options family for nearly two decades. In mid-December of this year, our team announced we were to be acquired by ACRE, which will provide new opportunities for growth and expansion for both ACRE and Open Options. We want to thank our customers, dealers, and partners for your continued support and let you know how much we truly value your relationship to Open Options. Continue reading below for some more highlights from 2018.

Company Growth

Open Options continues to experience growth in the marketplace, and consequently, in personnel. Throughout 2018, we welcomed several new employees to the Open Options team in various departments across the company:

  • Lauren Yonis – Marketing & Communications Coordinator
  • Brittany Tate – Technical Trainer
  • Zack Davis – Technical Support Representative
  • Ephraim Wiggins – Technical Support Representative
  • Joy Doherty – Production Manager
  • Brent Mucher – Pacific Northwest Regional Sales Manager
  • Jose Charco – Technical Support Representative
  • Shannon Diddell – South Central Regional Sales Manager

We also had some promotions take place during the year. At the beginning of 2018, we established a Professional Services department with William Murphey announced as the Professional Services and Engineering Manager. In his new role, William is responsible for creating the infrastructure to grow and manage this department. To learn more about the services we offer, visit our website. Nic Robran was promoted to Technical Support Supervisor, where he will oversee the technical support department and ensure customer satisfaction through our support team.

Software & Integrations

Our development team works tirelessly to ensure DNA Fusion is equipped with the feature set necessary to provide the most advanced access control solutions possible. This year we had nine major software releases, and also executed several new third-party integrations as well as updated and improved various existing integrations:

  • Mirasys video integration
  • Kone elevator integration
  • Added support for the Mercury Series 3 product line
  • ISS video integration
  • Hikvision video integration
  • Schindler elevator integration
  • Allegion backend support for ENGAGE IP Gateway (full release Q1 2019)

We look forward to continuing to provide our customers with the best technology available through our third-party offerings in 2019.

Tradeshows & Events

Open Options participated in several tradeshows and events throughout the year. We once again exhibited at ISC West, where we showcased DNA Fusion and its powerful components to 30,000 security professionals. While we didn’t have a booth space at GSX in Las Vegas, we were still a co-sponsor of the 15th annual Security Industry Party. In November, we also exhibited at ISC East in New York City.

In October 2018 we hosted our first-ever A&E Summit just outside Austin, Texas, where A&Es and consultants gathered to learn more about Open Options as a company and our numerous product offerings. Click here for a recap of the event.

Open Options also attended several partner events throughout the year put on by Mercury, Milestone, and Knight Security, to name a few. We enjoy being able to support our partners and highlight our relationships through this avenue. The Open Options sales force also attended and exhibited at various regional events, including the MSMA Fall Conference and the Campus Security Summit both in Orlando and Phoenix hosted by Campus Security & Life Safety magazine.

Philanthropy

Open Options was proud to support many charitable efforts and events throughout the year:

  • At ISC West, we participate in the Security 5/2K benefiting Mission 500, a nonprofit organization that works closely with the security industry to provide aid to children and families living in poverty in the United States.
  • Every spring, Open Options holds a company crawfish boil and silent auction, with all proceeds from the auction going to our local Ronald McDonald House.
  • This past summer, Open Options was a sponsor of the ASPIN Saltwater Fishing Tournament in Matagorda, Texas. ASPIN is a nonprofit dedicated to meeting needs of professionals in the security industry affected by man-made or natural disasters, illness, accidents, or death. dedicated to meeting the needs of professionals in the security industry affected by man-made or natural disasters, illness, accidents, or death.
  • Each October, Open Options serves as a gold sponsor for the Southwest Airlines LUV Classic golf tournament and party. Since 1985, this event has donated more than $16 million to deserving children’s charities.
  • Lastly, every holiday season we host a Toys for Tots toy drive at our corporate headquarters. Donations received during the drive are distributed locally to children in need.

Again, we want to thank all of you who helped make 2018 such a success. We are looking forward to a great 2019 together!

To our Friends, Partners and Valued Customers

Dear friends, partners, and valued customers:

I wanted to reach out to each of you and thank you for the outpouring of love and appreciation for our loss of a great friend and leader, Jonathan Berman. This was a great shock to the entire industry and was a tragic loss to our team. We deeply appreciate your patience with us as we continue to heal.

Yesterday, we made a formal announcement of our transition and the sale of our company to the holding company ACRE. This transaction had been in the works since late summer and was clearly the dream of Jonathan as he was a big part of the process. With his sudden and untimely loss, it completely left us shorthanded and the work of our external announcement to our partners and customers fell behind. For that, I personally apologize.

The sale of Open Options was a strategic decision that was uniformly supported by every level of our executive management.  As the industry continues to consolidate, we identified many reasons why we believe this direction provides deeper strength to our longer-term mission of bringing the best in open architecture to our customers. Open Options will continue to move forward as a standalone company under the umbrella of ACRE, and our brand, staff, and products will continue to remain the same that we have offered in the past. The scheduled release of our latest software and hardware products are continuing on track.

To summarize, we will continue to move forward with the great ideas, products, staff, and purpose that we have since our beginning. We have lost a great friend and leader, but have rededicated ourselves to his memory with purpose. If you have any specific concerns, please feel free to contact me directly.

Thank you for your support as we all look forward to the conclusion of a great year in business and a continuation of what we have always provided.

Sincerely,


 

 

 

Steve Fisher

In Memory of Jonathan Berman

Jonathan Berman tragically passed away early Saturday morning, December 8, 2018. JB was an exceptional, loving, father to his three children Lauren, David and Jonah, and a beloved member of the Open Options family, where he worked for nearly 20 years. As this was a sudden and unexpected loss, there is an immediate need for financial assistance for multiple expenditures; however, funds raised through this specific GoFundMe campaign will be given directly to Dawn Berman, the mother of their children, and invested in the long-term well-being and future of Lauren, David, and Jonah, including educational expenses. JB’s impact was far-reaching, and those who knew him absolutely loved him. He will be missed and in our hearts forever.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit our GoFundMe page. Thank you to those who have already donated.

Open Options Hosts Consultants for First-Ever A&E Summit

Open Options, a leading provider of open platform access control software, hosted the company’s first A&E Summit for security consultants in Austin, Texas this past weekend.

The Open Options team planned a full weekend of networking, session speakers and open discussion. Announced at the event were new and improved products including new HD Series Enclosures, DController, Open Options’ IP-based intelligent door controller, and the new NSC-200 sub-controller, which now opens from the front and allows users to connect direct to hardware with strain relief fittings at the opening.

The company also did a full demonstration of its DNA Fusion software, which has intuitive features and a user-friendly UI. Open Options’ Professional Services/Engineering Manager William Murphey took the group of consultants through some exciting features such as customizable reports, mass edits of personnel access, direct commands, environmental customization and, my favorite, graphic maps.

Murphey explained how an organization can take advantage of graphic maps, which allows users to see their solution on one screen at a glance. This view gives users up-to-date information on open access points, data on users, and alarm status. DNA Fusion also integrates in a “Lockdown” button that efficiently works to facilitate a lockdown, locking doors immediately.

At the A&E Summit were several guest speakers, including Ian Kilpatrick with Kemper Development Company, who spoke about the Open Options integrations that span five city blocks in Lincoln Square in Seattle, Wash. The area includes hotels, corporate buildings and retail space. Kilpatrick explained how the company used Open Options to integrate in ThyssenKrupp for elevator features, such as Destination Dispatch and utilized DNA Fusion for custom reports that enabled auto email to a distribution list for analysis and archiving.

Also speaking at the Summit was Guy Grace, Director of Security & Emergency Planning at Littleton Public Schools in Colorado. Grace addressed the growing need for campus security and explained to consultants how he has used Open Options to develop a unified solution on his campuses. Grace stressed the need for protocols to correspond with security technology and spoke about the ease of use when working with DNA Fusion.

“Access control is the back bone of the entire physical security system,” Grace said when speaking about the importance of the Open Options solution and its many integrations. Grace and Littleton Public Schools specifically integrate in their access control, VMS, wearable panic devices and more into their DNA Fusion Software.

Chris Verde from National Instruments stressed the need for a unified solution on their corporate campuses all around the world, including six international campuses and six branch offices in the U.S. that all host thousands of readers and hundreds of controllers. National Instruments was able to take advantage of Open Options and their partnership with Mercury Security to develop exactly what they needed to keep their locations safe and secure.

Consultants and Open Options team members also spoke with each other in-depth about how they view the security industry, the biggest trends they see, the biggest problems they face and the frustrations they need help overcoming. While it is hard to solve all the security industry’s problems in just one day, this group got really close.

This story was written by Campus Security & Life Safety executive editor Sydny Shepard and originally published online at securitytoday.com and campuslifesecurity.com.

Open Options Expands Corporate Office

Due to recent company growth, we have expanded our corporate headquarters. This expansion served to relocate our development department and accommodate new employees, including a production manager. The new addition houses nine offices as well as a secondary warehouse space for product storage, assembly and management. The expansion was completed a couple weeks ago and all employees are moved in and enjoying the new space!

 

 

Open Options Welcomes New Employees

We are excited to announce the addition of new team members in our technical support and training departments to accommodate our continued success and growth in the market.

New to our training and education department is Brittany Tate, a Texas A&M graduate who comes to Open Options from General Dynamics where she acquired over eight years of training experience. At Open Options, Tate will assist in curriculum development and help coordinate end user and dealer training courses.

Ephraim Wiggins joins Open Options as a technical support representative, where he will be responsible for providing personal customer support for dealers and end users. Wiggins holds a B.S. degree in Computer Technology from Jackson State University, and has 22 years of experience working in the IT industry in different capacities.

“The reason I chose to work at Open Options is because it’s a growing company that has stability in the industry,” said Wiggins. “Also, the respect everyone has for each other creates a very friendly and supportive work environment.”

Mayra Gammido also comes to Open Options as a technical support representative. Gammido has held several positions in Information Technology, including project manager, analyst, and most recently, as a specialist for the Texas Air National Guard. Gammido is currently seeking a certificate in full stack web development from SMU.

“I was attracted to the pride Open Options showed in their products, as well as their management structure and opportunity for growth,” said Gammido.

Another addition to our technical support department is Zack Davis. Davis was enlisted out of California in the Marine Corps in 2010, where he spent seven years as a communications and radio technician.

We welcome our new employees and look forward to the success and contributions they will bring to Open Options! If you’re interested in joining the Open Options team, check out our available positions.

Head of Security Confident in the Safety of Denver Public Schools

Michael Eaton, chief of public safety for Denver Public Schools, recently shared the security measures the district has in place to safeguard 200 campuses with nearly 92,000 students. Open Options is proud to supply access control for DPS and equip them with the feature set necessary to help protect faculty, staff, and students every day. Click here to watch the full interview.