Customer Secured Mission-Critical, Open Options Platform Support, No Matter What

Technicians from one of Open Options’ channel partners were on site at a state government agency, converting an end-user customer’s legacy access control system to the state-of-the-art DNA Fusion platform, which ties together all security technologies in a unified, value-added approach. The technicians ran into an unexpected challenge; however, it was also an opportunity for Open Options to demonstrate its philosophy for platform support – fix the issue, no matter what.

“The dealer’s technicians encountered an issue of bringing panels online that were associated with the end-user’s critical security doors,” said Ben Vestal, Vice President, Sales and Business Development, Open Options. “Both the dealer and the end-user customer were in a bind. It was discovered that they were missing a necessary license.”

Because the regional sales manager for the territory was on vacation and unavailable to authorize the right software license for the platform, the dealer placed a phone call to Open Options headquarters in Texas and was immediately directed to Ben for support. 

“Open Options' philosophy of ‘Fix the problem first and deal with any associated financial issues afterwards,’ combined with the policy of a live person always answering the phone, allowed the dealer to make contact, explain their situation and be connected with someone who could address the issue,” said Ben. “Many large competitors utilize automated phone trees that make it nearly impossible to address an issue if they do not specifically know whom it is that can assist.” 

Ben was able to quickly resolve the issue by authorizing the necessary license, which the Open Options Tech Support team subsequently provided.

“The dealer was able to complete the task at hand, minimizing downtime of the technicians that were on site, thus saving the dealer time and money. The end-user was able to secure the doors, ensuring proper access control for their environment.”    

Professional Services Marches Forward to Solve Complex Issues for the Customer

The Army Depot in Texas was looking for more than just service maintenance for its security system. This DNA Fusion customer, who has an installation of 300 doors to secure, needed strategic planning for an upgrade, complex problem-solving, integration best practice-based advice, and guidance on FIPS compliance issues. When Open Options’ Professional Services did a courtesy, on-site visit at this Army Depot recently, they did more than the customer even expected. 

“First, we were able to resolve an issue the customer was having with reporting by correcting the permissions on the account running reports,” said Roscoe Coffman, Vice President of Operations, Open Options. “Next, we were able to address some misconceptions regarding a perceived ‘latency’ issue with card reads.”

“The so-called ‘latency issue’ was simply the difference in processing time for a 26-bit Prox card that has no security and a Common Access Card (CAC) card,” he explained. “The Prox card granted access in less than one second, while the CAC card takes about four seconds. The best approach is the education of the cardholders as well as best practices in integration.” 

Furthermore, with the customer in the process of installing turnstiles around the perimeter of the facility, Professional Services took the opportunity to assist with a successful deployment.

“The best approach for this is to count card reads and turnstile rotations, allowing the turnstile ‘Free wheel’ until the last user has passed through. After reviewing their turnstile documentation, we determined that they do not have this feature implemented on the turnstiles. We advised them to contact the turnstile manufacturer to assist them in getting this installed. Because of previous experience with many turnstile installations, I was able to provide them with advice to best implement them with the access control system.” 

While also addressing an issue with a DNA Fusion / Ocularis integration, Professional Services was able to provide guidance for the customer on the path to FIPS 201-2 compliance. “Through the process, I was able to help them better understand the issues and limitations of becoming FIPS compliant, as they move forward with a large system expansion.  We also let the customer know that we are available on an ongoing basis to strategize for better integration and FIPS 201-2 compliance,” said Roscoe.

This customer is also a fan of Open Options Professional Services for the two-way communication. “The customer stated several times his appreciation for our asking for customer input for improvements.” 

Continuous improvement is part of the ‘DNA’ of Open Options to ensure that Professional Services, along with other strategic pillars of Open Options’ Connect Care, continues to be a valuable asset that customers can access anytime to connect to the solutions that solve their issues and challenges. 

Training Hit the Road to Enrich the DNA Fusion Customer Experience

Open Options’ Training team recently took their classroom on the road to train some system operators and technical staff on site at a major venture company. The company made a decision to invest in training their staff further on the use of DNA Fusion in order to get more out of their investment in the platform. They wanted the full Connect Care experience. 

“They wanted to learn more on the hardware configuration side of the system as well as train their system operators,” said Sherinda Barrow, Director of Education Services at Open Options. “We put together a custom agenda that allowed for two separate classes to make sure they received the training they needed.” 

Sherinda led the effort to set up a hands-on class in Michigan.  The first two days were centered around the hardware wiring and hardware configuration within DNA Fusion. “We had 11 students for the technical training to learn more about wiring hardware in the field, and they wanted to educate themselves on the hardware being deployed in the field, so they can be more self-reliant.” 

In addition, a number of the integrator's technicians joined the team to learn more about the product during this training conducted by Open Options. 

The third day was devoted to the five operators who manage DNA Fusion. “These operators have the day-to-day responsibility for the system, and they came with specific questions,” explained Sherinda.  “The operators had a number of pain points that we worked through with them in the middle of the training session and we helped them find the solutions they needed.”

The outcome of the three-day educational workshops was extremely positive for the customer. 

“The training for this customers staff allowed the operators to implement policies and procedures,” said Sherinda. “It also provided some clarification on the lock integration they have deployed. They were thrilled to see that DNA Fusion provided them the ability to copy access from one cardholder and apply that access to another cardholder with a few clicks. In the past, they had been taking a picture of the access on the desired card and referencing back to the picture when adding access to the new cardholder.”

She added, “I love those light bulb moments!” 

Tech Support Goes Above and Beyond for Bank Customer

It was a late Friday night in May, and the customer at a large regional bank called Open Options just before midnight to report that they were unable to launch DNA Fusion. This was business-critical for the bank, and, with the system down, it needed immediate attention. 

The after-hours, on-call tech ran through the normal steps and worked diligently to pinpoint the issue, but he was still having difficulty. The resolution wasn’t as easy as hoped, so he activated the after-hours escalation process to make sure the customer issue would be resolved. He rallied his colleagues in Tech Support to tackle the technical issue as a team.

Nic Robran, Technical Support Manager, was brought into the situation early on Saturday to assess why the bank customer was repeatedly getting messages that read: “License Stream is invalid or corrupt” on the server; and “C++ Library Error” on remote clients.

“This prevented them from accessing DNA Fusion,” explained Nic. “They were not able to receive alarms from the system or verify that locations were locking down on schedule. It’s typically a quick fix, but this was caused by a different issue, as they’re a multi-site customer.”

What unfolded next in this increasingly high-pressure situation demonstrated the best-in-class tech support capabilities of Open Options. “Upon remoting in on Saturday morning, it was discovered that there was a DNA Fusion Version mismatch between site 1 and site 2.  This caused site 2 to go into an error loop on the license.”

Nic guided the customer on the next steps. “The entire system had to be put on the same version of DNA to resolve.  They wanted to upgrade to the last version 6 release.  After the upgrade was completed, they had to run the upgrade on each remote client to resolve the C++ Library error. They then verified successful login on all clients.”

Taking the extra step, Nic verified that both sites were online and that all associated hardware was also online. However, just as it looked like all issues had been resolved, the customer reported that they had a few locations where the doors were not following schedules.  “ After investigating, I uncovered that they had several controllers that were an hour behind, so their doors were not locking on time. The controllers had to have the new daylight savings times entered manually due to an older version of DNA running. A couple had been missed, but with the upgrade to a newer version of DNA, the default dates had been updated and just needed to be refreshed and downloaded to the controller,” said Nic. “At the end of the call they were able to launch DNA Fusion and both sites were online. All controllers were showing the correct time, which resulted in all locations’ doors locking at the correct time.”