Posts

Integrator Spotlight: FSG Technology

Pictured: (Left) Scot Sturges, Regional Sales Manager at Open Options & (Right) Greg Thornbury, Director of Security at FSG Technology

Reliability is the first order of business for FSG Technology and Open Options, working effectively together as integrator and access control solution manufacturer.  For end-user customers, not only is the technology reliable but so is the service and support. 

This combo of reliability made the difference recently when FSG brought in Open Option’s market-leading DNA Fusion access control platform to displace a proprietary implementation with a multi-faceted, open approach at an end-user site in the southwestern region of the U.S. 

“Open Options has been a reliable partner of ours from the beginning,” said Greg Thornbury, Director of Security at FSG Technology. “They provide us with a reliable platform that works well for small implementations as well as our largest clients. No matter the request, we always know we can trust Open Options to have the features and performance our clients require for access control.”

Greg Thornbury, Director of Security at FSG Technology

When FSG and Open Options presented together to the end-user, the product differentiation of DNA Fusion stood out, along with the commitment to ongoing service and support. But there is more to the story. Underlining the success of their collaboration and mutual reliability is a common culture, which is ultra-customer-centric, proactive, relentless, and solution-oriented. 

“The culture of Open Options is a strong fit to our own culture,” added Thornbury. “That has strengthened our relationship as we’ve grown.”

About FSG Technology

FSG was founded in 1982 on the guiding principle that hard work, dedication to excellence, and continual learning will always yield a positive result for everyone involved. Since then, FSG has grown from a small lighting distributor in San Antonio Texas, to one of the nation's largest lighting distributors and electrical contractors.

Today, FSG employs more than 2,000 employees nationwide and works with more than a thousand affiliate vendors from all four corners of the nation. FSG's customer list includes every type of business from top name multisite consumer brands to general contractors, to local neighborhood businesses. FSG's “Around the Nation, Around the Corner” philosophy, combines the resources of a national service provider with the heart of local business.

DNA Fusion 7.9 Release Ensures Continuity in Software Maintenance License

Now organizations will be notified of Software Maintenance expiration by a pop-up banner in DNA Fusion. The notification will help users avoid a contract lapse with the new “Software Maintenance Refresh” feature in the DNA Fusion 7.9 release. Renewing your software has never been easier!

The new feature begins with alert messages starting within 30 days and continues until you have renewed.  All you need to do is click on the notification, and it will take you to contact information that will aid you in the renewal process.

The proactive contract renewal reminders help prevent compliance gaps and interruption in the software maintenance agreement.

When the SWM is about to expire, you get a pop-up banner warning that the SWM is about to expire:

It will continue to alert you even after it expires:

Once you renew, it will reset until the next renewal period.

Integrator Spotlight

Genesis Datacom

Pictured: (Left) Zach Wirges, President & (Right) Robert Bandy, Vice President

Open Options and Genesis Datacom, a top-tier integrator, are working together to help an increasing number of end-users transition from proprietary, limited, and complex access control systems to an open, easier-to-use, scalable security solution.

Teaming up has allowed them to solve real-world security issues by combining Open Options’ best-in-class access control solution with Genesis Datacom’s technical expertise and integration services. 

“I chose Open Options as our premium access control solution based on the breadth of integrations and limitless configuration options. Open Options is truly an access technology, not just an access control system,” said Zach Wirges, President, Genesis Datacom. “Their design allows us to take the solution to any environment, whether it is a takeover or a new installation, and integrate all of their security resources. The efficient and proactive platform brings increased value for our customers.”

Zach Wirges, President, Genesis Datacom

One example of a joint end-user customer is the Little Rock School District, stuck under a proprietary system that was extremely difficult to manage.  The project consisted of 56 locations and 689 total doors. Open Options’ flagship solution, DNA Fusion, provided the largest school district in Arkansas with a non-proprietary, user-friendly access control system that was flexible and scalable. 

Since project completion in Q4 of 2020, the district has been very pleased with its new system. Open Options met their immediate needs with DNA Fusion and offered more options to manage the school district.   

“The Open Options team is forward-thinking, and their strong technical foundation aligns with how Genesis Datacom does business. We are proud to be a top-tier integrator with Open Options, and we genuinely value the strength of our partnership," added Wirges.

About Genesis Datacom

Established in 2011, Genesis Datacom has grown to be Arkansas' leading commercial integrator of security, datacom and fire systems, installing best-in-tech solutions with unrivaled expertise and service. Genesis Datacom is headquartered in Little Rock, AR and has a new, second office located in Springdale, AR. In March 2021, Genesis Datacom will celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Open Options 2021 Outlook

On behalf of the Open Options Team, we wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

Despite the unprecedented challenges last year has brought, there are many things to be thankful for and look forward to in the upcoming year.  Open Options has continued to diligently support our customers and strategic partners throughout the pandemic and will continue to stay proactive in providing the relevant technology to support your business needs.

I would like to take this time to share with you some new and exciting things we are planning in 2021 at Open Options.

Starting this year, Open Options and Vanderbilt Technologies will be teaming up to expand our global reach as we combine our sales teams to better support our growing integrator base. Our company has made great advances both domestically and internationally with ACRE as our parent company and joining our strategic sales efforts, will ensure that our business continuity will strengthen yours.

To successfully move forward in 2021, Open Options will be releasing the following enhancements:
  1. Fusion X – One of the key features in the release of DNA Fusion 8.0 is Fusion X. Fusion X provides customers with a new web client experience. It enables customers to manage access rights, print ID access badges, run access reports, execute operational commands, and monitor the health of their environment all within one web interface.
  2. Cloud-hosted DNA Fusion software – Fusion Cloud is a hosted solution that removes the need for customers to purchase an on-premise server, maintain server hardware, and perform system upgrades. With Fusion Cloud, customers can take advantage of a worry-free hosted environment that leverages the integration platform of DNA Fusion.
  3. New Licensing Tool Application - Designed to help Dealers, Integrators, and Consultants to understand how Open Options licensing works when either upgrading an existing DNA Fusion system or a new project using DNA Fusion.
  4. New Monthly Newsletter – starting next month (Febuary 2021), we have redesigned our “Connection” newsletter to include product highlights, new releases, Training guides, videos, and helpful tips, and, a new section to “Highlight” our Integrators and Dealers as they share with us some DNA Fusion success stories.  

I am excited and very optimistic in the coming year and I want to express our gratitude to our all of our customers and partners for their continued business. 

Again, wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy and Safe New Year!


Charles (Chuck) O’Leary
President, Open Options

Top 7 DNA Fusion Features for Version 7.9

DNA Fusion 7.9 brings many exciting improvements. Today we will highlight the most notable additions. To view all 84 improvements and new features view the change log here.

For customers interested in upgrading to DNA 7.9 contact your Integrator or email us at insidesales@ooaccess.com and we will connect you with someone who can help.

1. Salient DVR and Event Integration

DNA Fusion events are now able to be shown in the Salient CompleteView 20/20 platform. These integrations bring DNA Fusion up to the current SDK.

Salient CompleteView2020

2. Mitsubishi Elevator Integration

Comfortable elevator operation and ride under ever-changing usage conditions – that's the concept realized with the ΣAI-2200C group control system from Mitsubishi Electric. Incorporating the latest advancements in fuzzy-logic, this system utilizes intuitive control to provide smooth operation and a stress-free ride. The moment a hall call button is pressed, the optimal car to respond to the call is selected based on factors such as waiting time, travel time, current car occupancy and energy consumption, and the Immediate Prediction Indication feature is simultaneously activated to reduce user irritation generated when waiting for the car to arrive.

3. Milestone Integration

Updated to latest .NET integration to support new Milestone servers release that will be available in May.

4. Expiring Software Maintenance Pop Up

Pop up to inform users when their SWM is expiring. Speaking of do you need to update your SWM? Do you already know about this pop-up, and you want to clear it? Check out this technical bulletin to do just that.

5. Updated/New UI for various Control Dialogs

Check out the below video (no audio) for a visual of the new control dialogs.

6. Dark Mode

Fonts, and colors updated in DNA Fusion to increase visibility while using dark mode.

DNA Fusion Dark Mode

7. Added support for Mercury SIO Encryption

To further extended end to end security.

A Tale of Two Integration Setups: Fixing an Idemia Integration Issue

During their setting up the Idemia integration, a customer was having issues enabling full functionality for secure access control. The dealer was not able to resolve it, so they called into Tech Support at Open Options. Living up to its reputation for fast and skillful support of DNA Fusion users, Tech Support figured out the root cause immediately.

“After reviewing the issue and logs, our Technical Support Supervisor, Zack Davis, determined that they were attempting to utilize part of the old integration setup and part of the new integration set up,” said Nicholas Robran, Vice President of Customer Support at Open Options. “This was the root of the issue causing the integration to not work correctly.”

With the experience that Open Options Tech Support has come to be known for, Zack had already stepped through both methods and knew the best way to solve the issue was to get them on the newer streamlined method of a direct connection with the Idemia system.  He upgraded DNA Fusion to the latest 7.8 version and then completed the new setup. 

He ensured that this was a new integration, as there would have been extra steps if they had migrated from the old integration method to the new. Once complete, Zack stepped through the process with them but immediately found two issues that still need to get resolved. As usual, Tech Support would continue helping until all issues are resolved.

Due to the streamlined communication between the Support Team and the Development Team within Open Options, the technical support supervisor involved the Development Team right away. As a result, they were able to solve those two small issues quickly. 

“Once the issues were all resolved, Zack once again walked through the process to ensure they were all set up and good to go,” added Robran, reflecting the commitment at Open Options to customer satisfaction. “He then did a follow-up call a couple of days later to check in on the customer and found that they were very happy, and the integration was functioning 100 percent to their satisfaction.”

Nicholas Robran, Vice President of Customer Support at Open Options

Top 8 DNA Fusion Features for Version 7.8

DNA Fusion 7.8 brings many exciting improvements. Today we will highlight the most notable additions. To view all 72 improvements and new features view the change log here.

  1. LifeSafety Power Integration
    • In the above video, you can get a glimpse of a user utilizing the LifeSafety Power integration. With the new integration DNA Fusion system users now have the ability to control up to 40 inputs and 20 outputs directly from within DNA Fusion instantly or timed. Prior to the integration, users had to log in to the NL4 board’s web interface to get diagnostic information. Anyone who logged in could indirectly change the programming of the NL4 without other user's knowledge. Now In DNA Fusion users can access the NL4 via the hardware tree based on operator permissions. Additionally, the integration surfaces diagnostic functionality including fire alarm, ac failure, test battery, etc. Lastly the ability to power cycle controllers/sub-controllers to prevent requiring a technician to be on-site immediately, if wired accordingly.
  2. Dormakaba Wi-Q lock integration via mercury
    • 7.8 includes integration to Dormakaba Wi-Q locks, it also important to note you can now purchase Dormakaba locks and the BEST WI-Q Gateway from Open Options as well.  Introducing the Wi-Q locks have built-in Wi-Fi access point so you get better range than BLE which allows for more flexibility in the system design. This integration is not using any existing Wi-Fi infrastructure of the facility therefore not causing any extra strain to the network. Offers a cost-effective solution to expand electronic access control to additional portals Higher density of doors per gateway than other integrations
  3. ACT ID- mobile credentials
    • ACT ID mobile credential can be issued from the enrollment button. The credential number automatically syncs the credential number with DNA Fusion when the app is installed on the device. The mobile credential will allow authorized personnel to unlock doors equipped with compatible WaveLynx readers. This is a no-cost mobile credential. No operator interaction required to update the mobile credential if the personnel replaces their phone and keeps their original phone number. No longer have to worry about replacing lost physical credentials. 
    • Learn More
  4. Hanwha Wave Integration
  5. Salient Restful integration
    • Moved to Salient restful integration to future proof DNA Fusion integration.
  6. Upgraded Exacq video integration
    • Updates to Exacq new software (future proof).
  7. Expanded Allegion Engage Integration
    • With the expansion of the Allegion Engage integration user are now able to program up to 1023 gateways within DNA Fusion. Want to know where we got the idea to expand the integration? Read the full customer story here.
  8. Changed the default Visual Theme to Visual Studio Dark
    • The new default look of DNA Fusion on a fresh install.

Professional Services in the Thick of a Conversion to DNA Fusion

If you have ever wondered when is a good time to call the Professional Services team at Open Options, consider the scenario one customer had: Conversion from a Vanderbilt Control System to DNA Fusion. Change out controllers to talk to the existing system’s sub-controllers. No experience with Vanderbilt hardware or Mercury hardware. Only scattered reports to work from, rather than a full copy of the database. Deadline to complete the conversion was in one week. It was time to call Open Options Professional Services for onsite help.

“We needed to convert the existing system database into a DNA Fusion database, but all we had to work from were scattered reports from the old access control software,” said John Hubbard, National Sales Engineer, Open Options. “Our Professional Services team was able to take the information from the reports and build a workable DNA Fusion database that we were able to use to make converting the hardware much faster and easier.” 

Once the database was done, the Professional Services representative had to go to the customer’s site and help convert the hardware over to use in DNA Fusion. He worked with the dealer onsite through changing the controllers and bringing them online in DNA Fusion. Together, the dealer and the Open Options Professional Services specialist converted the hardware for several buildings.

After getting all the doors online and working in DNA Fusion within the week, Open Options still had to work with the dealer and the end-user over the next few weeks to tweak all the lockdowns, access levels, buttons to open doors, and any other tweaks to the software the organization required so they could get back to business as usual.

“Because of our onsite support, the customer was able to overcome several hardware-related issues in much less time that if they had to work with someone over the phone,” added Hubbard. “The dealer let me know that if Open Options had not been there during the cutover, they would not have met the deadline to get the hardware and software online and working within the one week timeframe they had. At the end of the day, Professional Services was there in the thick of things.”