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.

Open Options to Showcase DNA Fusion at Upcoming Campus Security Shows

We are excited to announce our participation in two upcoming events focused on campus safety and security solutions.

On June 20, Open Options’ Southeast sales manager, Charles Johnson, will be exhibiting at the Campus Security & Life Safety Summit at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Hosted by Campus Security & Life Safety magazine, this summit is a one-day event for security and safety campus and education officials to learn about new solutions and technologies for campus security, emergency response and management, and public and life safety. During the summit, attendees will have a rare opportunity to hear firsthand stories from local campus police chiefs, as well as network and learn vital information from industry experts and each other on crisis communication, event security, the Clery Act and more. Click here for more information.

The following week from June 29 – July 2, Johnson will be exhibiting at the 60th International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators Conference & Exposition. IACLEA is the premier training conference for campus public safety leaders. The conference provides unparalleled opportunities for attendees to network and share best practices with their colleagues. Learn more about the conference here.

Please stop by either of these events to learn more about the user-friendly and robust features of DNA Fusion, and how it can provide a complete and scalable security solution in any campus environment.

Open Options Hosts Annual Vendor Partner Day & Crawfish Boil

Last week we held our third annual Vendor Partner Day event, where individuals from 10 partner companies had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the Open Options sales, marketing, and technical teams. Best sales practices, new product information, and company roadmaps were some of the common points across presentations. We want to thank the following vendor partners for their participation to make this event a great success:

Steve Lucas – Mercury Security
Keith Kober and Joe Pitman – LifeSafety Power
Richard Stafford and Brad Bethune – NEC
Sean Ellison and Chad Palmquist – Milestone Systems
Laurie Aaron – WaveLynx Technologies
Nick Philavong – BioConnect
Derek Ommert – Allegion
Frank Stark – HID
Jim Crowley and Kevin Hendershot – ASSA ABLOY
Dan Rothrock and Kelly Lake – Zenitel

In conjunction with Vendor Partner Day, we held our 15th annual company crawfish boil and fish fry Thursday afternoon. Everyone had a great time enjoying fresh food, cold drinks, and live music from the Jet Poets. Once again, we held a silent auction benefiting Ronald McDonald House charities and raised nearly $1,000! A big thanks to those who placed a bid and to the following companies for donating auction items:

Allegion
American Solutions for Business
Addison Cigar Co.
Frisco RoughRiders
The Ginger Man – Dallas
Lehigh Hanson
LifeSafety Power
NEC
Peticolas Brewing Company
ProCore Fitness
Top Golf

Thank you to everyone who came out – we’ll see you next year!

 

Success at ISC West for Open Options

The Open Options team was excited to attend and exhibit at ISC West a couple weeks ago in Las Vegas! Employees had a great time meeting with security integrators, partners and end users as the company featured exciting new software features and integrations.

Some of the most notable items that were showcased included Open Options’ new high-density enclosure prototype complete with Mercury Series 3 SIO modules and numerous enhancements to the DNA Fusion platform, including improved security with encryption, expanded card formats, new video integrations, and more.

Also on display at the Open Options booth were several of the company’s technology integrations and partnerships with industry leaders such as Traka, Allegion, ISONAS, Farpointe Data, ASSA ABLOY, and many more.

During the show, Open Options hosted a partner appreciation event where customers and partners joined to learn about upcoming products and integrations and network with industry professionals. Steve Lucas with Mercury Security and Derek Ommert with Allegion also presented during the event to discuss exciting new product integrations with Open Options.

The Open Options team also participated in the Security 2/5K at ISC West, and raised nearly $350 for Mission 500!

We are looking forward to ISC West 2019 -- see you there!

Open Options Recognizes Dealer Partners for Outstanding Partnership

We’ve recently recognized several dealer partners across the nation for their outstanding commitment and partnership to Open Options in 2017. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our dealer partners for their support, and congratulate 2017’s award recipients on their well-deserved accolades. We look forward to continuing to work with our dealer partners to provide the most advanced access control solutions on the market. See below for the complete list of award recipients.

Texas

Dealer Partner of the Year: Knight Security

Top Producing Dealer Partner: DAC, Inc.

Pictured above is Scot Sturges presenting DAC, Inc. of Houston with the Top Producing Dealer Partner award for the Texas region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midwest U.S. & Central Canada

Dealer Partner of the Year: Tech Solutions

Top Producing Dealer Partner: Beishir Lock & Security

Brad Rollans presenting the Dealer Partner of the Year award for the Midwest U.S. & Central Canada region to Tech Solutions of Hiawatha, IA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Central U.S.

Dealer Partner of the Year: Digi Security Systems

Top Producing Dealer Partner: Orion Security Solutions

 

Western U.S. & Western Canada

Dealer Partner of the Year: Aspen Technologies

Top Producing Dealer Partner: Red Hawk

Pictured above is Chris Gouge presenting Aspen Technologies of Tempe, AZ with the Dealer Partner of the Year award for the Western U.S. & Western Canada region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured above is Chris Gouge presenting the Top Producing Dealer Partner award for the Western U.S. & Western Canada region to Red Hawk of Bothell, WA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southeast U.S.

Dealer Partner of the Year: Softrim

Top Producing Dealer Partner: Signature Systems

Pictured above is Charles Johnson presenting the Dealer Partner of the Year award for the Southeast U.S. region to the Softrim team of Estero, FL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured above is Charles Johnson presenting Signature Systems of Casselberry, FL with the Top Producing Dealer Partner award for the Southeast U.S. region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rocky Mountain U.S.

Dealer Partner of the Year: Access Technologies, Inc.

Top Producing Dealer Partner: Team Linx, LLC

 

Northeast U.S. & Eastern Canada

Dealer Partner of the Year: A+ Technology & Security Solutions, Inc.

Top Producing Dealer Partner: Vulcan Security Technologies, Inc.

Pictured above is the A+ Technology & Security Solutions team of Bay Shore, NY receiving the Dealer Partner of the Year award for the Northeast U.S. & Eastern Canada region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured above is David Johnstone presenting the Top Producing Dealer Partner award for the Northeast U.S. & Eastern Canada region to Vulcan Security Technologies of South Windsor, CT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-Atlantic U.S.

Dealer Partner of the Year: LowV Systems, Inc.

Top Producing Dealer Partner: Berkshire Systems Group, Inc.

Pictured above is Bill Meekins presenting LowV Systems with the Dealer Partner of the Year award for the Mid-Atlantic U.S. region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Lakes U.S.

Dealer Partner of the Year: Conti Corporation

Top Producing Dealer Partner: Kratos PSS – Indianapolis

Pictured above is Dan Cosgrove presenting the Top Producing Dealer Partner award for the Great Lakes U.S. region to Kratos PSS of Indianapolis, IN.

Decentralized Assets, Centralized Control

In this day and age, securing educational facilities is not as simple as it once was. Long gone are the days of slapping CCTV cameras around the exterior of a building and calling it “safe.” There is no finite security solution for any one campus, and oftentimes, solutions will vary greatly in their technology depending on their size and location, among other factors.

More than likely, when one thinks of security in a campus setting, they probably think of the most common components: access control, high-security locks, cameras, and maybe a visitor management system. However, with the constantly evolving state of campus safety and security, coupled with emerging technologies, it is time for schools to begin thinking about innovative solutions when it comes to their overall security plan.

A technology that is not as “mainstream” as CCTV or access control, but just as important and effective, is key and asset management. This proves to be an extremely valuable addition to any campus in enhancing security and effectively managing the important keys and devices which are critical to day-to-day operations. Recognized as the global leaders in innovative key and asset management, Traka utilizes pioneering solutions to manage the most important parts of any organization, including campuses.

Power Through Integration

It is becoming more and more critical that businesses and organizations adopt open standards when selecting their security equipment providers and technologies. With the recent integration of Traka’s intelligent key and asset management products and Open Options’ DNA Fusion access control platform, users can now have a feature-rich and powerful solution that makes the task of managing and tracking company property that much easier.  A well thought out integration allows you to scale your operational needs without the burden of scaling your administrative needs.

DNA Fusion is the standard in open platform access control software. It’s designed using the very latest in software development technology and contains countless customer-centric features that provide an extremely user-friendly experience. A true proponent of open architecture, DNA Fusion has the capability to interface with leading technologies in the industry, such as Traka key and asset management, to develop a customized and best-of-breed security solution based on each user’s unique needs.

The functionality of the integration is simple yet extremely effective. System administrators can automatically enroll DNA Fusion cardholders into the Traka database, assign user access levels for access to Traka cabinets and lockers, and receive Traka events and alarms back into the DNA Fusion interface for centralized control. For enterprise-level organizations, this integration gives users the regionalization necessary for efficient management without adding any burden to top-level security administration, which is ideal in a multi-campus setting.

Furthermore, this integration streamlines security processes and procedures, as single credentials can be assigned for both door access as well as property and equipment secured by Traka.

What Can be Secured?

The sky is the limit when it comes to what can be secured with an integrated access control and asset management solution, especially in a campus environment. With the recent introduction of technology in the classrooms, such as iPads, tablets and laptops, there is certainly an increased need for secure and controlled storage that can be audited at any time. Traditionally, assets such as these are assigned on a “sign in, sign out” method. Although this leaves somewhat of an audit trail, it is not a very sophisticated practice and poses numerous security risks such as theft and accidental loss, to name a couple.

There are also several aspects to be considered outside the classroom when it comes to asset management and protection. Campuses house a number of different departments including grounds and facilities, IT, finance, athletics, and many more. As a result, there are many different assets – ranging from maintenance fleet vehicles to controlled substances in a laboratory – that require strict access control and monitoring.

So, what’s the solution?

Decentralization Increases Efficiency

Networked key cabinets and locker systems enable schools to securely store items at the point of use making daily use more efficient. Authorized users can retrieve the key(s) or assets they need in seconds, right in the building where it’s used. This means that vehicle keys can be stored in the garage, specialized equipment can remain in the lab, and tablets can be kept in the classroom. Administrators still have the same control and visibility from the central security office, while your staff – and students – enjoy more efficient and effective daily processes.

Many campuses suffer from having a single point of distribution and collection for facility keys and assets. This has proven to be extremely inefficient with a direct impact to the bottom line. While it’s beneficial to have centralized control and visibility of protected items from the campus security office, faculty and staff must walk across campus every day just to check in or out a key or asset. Multiply this by dozens of users, and it adds up to a lot of lost productivity each day. Think about security officers, cleaning crews, maintenance workers… The list goes on and the dollars stack up.

While these keys and assets are necessary for employees to gain access to various areas of the campus, utilizing a decentralized key and asset management solution allows the items to be tracked effortlessly from one central location. Consequently, the number of keys held by staff is reduced, and in turn, the chance of them getting into the wrong hands is mitigated. This reduces risk while increasing security and peace of mind all without disrupting daily operations, making processes more effective.

Additional Benefits to Campuses

An integrated asset management and access control solution will also create a more controlled environment, increasing safety and situational awareness for students and staff alike. For example, system operators can easily restrict access to hazardous areas until proper safety equipment has been checked out. Access to assets can also be easily controlled by adding, deleting or suspending users.

Because the time of every user and asset transaction is recorded and logged as an event within the access control platform, individuals are held accountable for the property they have checked out. Furthermore, this integration gives system administrators control of each user’s facility access permissions based on Traka item status; for example, employees cannot leave a facility prior to returning keys or equipment to the Traka cabinet. Knowing this may prompt those who access property to act more responsibly and return items in a timely manner.

These are just some of the reasons an integrated management and access control solution is not just a smart, but necessary technology to have as part of any campus’ total security solution.

This article appeared in the January 2018 issue of Campus Security & Life Safety magazine

Open Options Kicks off 2018 with National Sales Meeting

Last 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, software development, marketing, and more. These breakout meetings were highly beneficial in discussing and building on the progress made in 2017 and implementing goals for 2018.

Members of the sales team who performed beyond expectations were acknowledged during the company-wide portion of the meeting. Here’s a complete list of the recipients:

Scot Sturges
Laurie Dickson
Chris Gouge
Charles Johnson
Dan Cosgrove
Stacy Molenda
Bill Meekins

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

Highest growth in software maintenance – Stacy Molenda
Highest revenue growth – Brad Rollans
Highest growth in new site sales – Dan Cosgrove
Salesperson of the year – Scot Sturges

Lastly, several employees received recognition for their efforts and exemplary contributions to the company:

Michael Bergstrom, CFO
Gary Bell, VP of Software Development
Lydia Foster, Inside Sales Administrator
Katie Leibow, Order Fulfillment Specialist
Dominick McCune, Technical Support Representative
Ellie Randall, Marketing & Communications Manager

Open Options enjoyed a great 2017 with incredible growth, new team members, and several enhanced product offerings and partnerships. To read more about what we accomplished in 2017, click here. We are looking forward to a productive and successful 2018!