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The Connect Care App

Connect Care creates the most connected experience in the security market, going above and beyond to connect customers with best-in-class technical capabilities, personalized services, and the most advanced open platform access control solution on the market today. Our commitment to Connect Care provides customers with a unique, 360 -degree experience that continually advances them forward.

Last year, we had the pleasure of introducing a digital version of Connect Care to our customers. The Connect Care App is a direct connection for customers seeking information about Open Options’ products and solutions for use while working in the field daily. The app also provides the user with immediate access to documentation, education, support, media, and live chat with Open Options.

 Connect Care In the Palm of Your Hand

The Connect Care App puts several valuable tools directly into field technicians’ hands with ease of access. No matter where you are, the app provides you direct access to various information right at your fingertips. This app is the access control industry’s first mobile app to digitize shared customer support, connecting the manufacturer-integrator-customer all together for a unified, seamless experience.

The Connect Care program reaches across four areas: technical support, platform support, professional service, and training, all working together to equip customers with what they need when they need it most. It’s the easiest way for customers to directly access a team of experts for a quick resolution of challenges or issues, with a qualified, experienced professional at the other end of the line. Explicitly designed for system users of DNA Fusion, the app provides proven technical proficiency, education, documentation, personalized support services, media, and live chat.

With the Connect Care App, Open Options is just a swipe away on a smart device. This app is available at no cost for dealers, consultants, and end-user customers to download and use daily. As a company, we’ve invested heavily in our Connect Care program overall; and by making it digitally accessible, we believe it creates an even better customer experience. We strive to make it easier for customers and partners to gain access to information and support when they need it, no matter where they are.

 The Connect Care App is available on Google Play and Apple Store.

What Happened to Software Maintenance?

If you’ve been with Open Options for a while you might have noticed the Connect Care program has taken the spotlight when it comes to our knowledge base and software support. You might be wondering, what happened to our software maintenance program? Technically, nothing! Our software maintenance program has simply been updated and formally transitioned into what is now Connect Care.

Connect Care (formerly known as software maintenance) is the most effective way to protect your software investment and gain the greatest value for your security solution. 

Software Maintenance Is Now Connect Care

Connect Care represents the next level of customer care, bringing the “DNA” of Open Options' customer-first culture into the everyday experiences of security people, buildings, and data through the innovative DNA Fusion software platform. 

Once registered as a DNA Fusion customer, all Open Options' licensed software products include 12 months of Connect Care from the purchase date, and if customers choose to renew, our annual Connect Care plans provide significant ongoing value to our customers at a fraction of the original purchase price. Open Options offers three different plans for DNA Fusion-certified customers: Sustained Support, Connect Care Standard Plan, and Connect Care Plus Plan. 

Sustained Support

This plan supports customers without a Connect Care Standard or Connect Care Plus plan and includes email support, support for site software, and operational support. 

Connect Care Standard Plan

This annual plan includes email, phone, and live chat support available Monday through Friday from 7 AM-6 PM CST. Customers will have access to Fusion X, as well as software upgrades and the DNA Fusion knowledge base. 

Connect Care Plus Plan 

This top-tier annual plan includes email, phone, and live chat support Monday through Friday 7 AM-6 PM CST and emergency after hours. Customers have access to Fusion X and end-users have access to direct support. For example, if your office, school, etc. is having an issue you are able to call Open Options directly to receive assistance (this is contingent on training, and the end-user must be DNA Fusion certified). Customers also receive software upgrades, the DNA Fusion knowledge base, a one-month rebate training credit, and remote assistance for system programming, configuration, and maintenance. 

Interested In Learning More? 

Connect Care is the most cost-effective way to protect your software investment and gain the greatest value for your security solution. Connect Care also allows you to keep your software up-to-date and continually provides you with the benefits listed above. At Open Options, we want to ensure you receive the best experience our software has to offer over the life of your system. And to achieve that, we highly encourage our clients to participate in one of our structured plans that ensure their initial software investment does not become obsolete in an ever-changing technological environment.

If you’re interested in Connect Care, please visit our website, or reach out to your local sales rep for more information! 

Access Control in the Education Sector

An Open Options & DPS Success Story 

Denver Public Schools (DPS) is comprised of more than 200 schools, including traditional, innovation, magnet, charter, and pathway schools. Serving one of the fastest-growing school districts in Colorado, the DPS safety department is constantly working to create a safe and secure environment for over 90,000 students, 15,000 staff members 24 hours a day, 78 days a week, 365 days a year. 

Led by Chief Michael Eaton, the department has over 140 team members including investigators, armed patrol officers, dispatchers, emergency preparedness professionals, and campus security officers. In addition to training district staff in emergency management, DPS protects their stakeholders from harm and offers guidance to school administrators to enhance school safety in a wide variety of situations.                       

The Challenge

DPS was in need of an access control solution that would be capable of scaling and widespread flexibility, and after much research chose Open Options as their partner. 

The DPS communications center handles over 20,000 calls for service each school year and also monitors all radio communications between their command and patrol staff. The center trains extensively with the Denver Police Department for a wide range of situations. Through their radio communications system, they are able to communicate with every police district in the city as well as Denver dispatch. The center also works in collaboration with jurisdictions across the metro area, the US Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and Secret Service. 

 “At the core of all our efforts in safeguarding our students, faculty, and staff, is our campus security protocols and perhaps most importantly, our access control system,” said Eaton.  As security for a school district has many layers, DPS needed a robust access control system with an abundance of features. 

The Solution 

While an access control system serves as the primary component of a security system, coupling it with additional technologies, such as video management, wireless locks, visitor management, and more, allows for a well-rounded solution that covers multiple aspects of campus security. 

This is where DNA Fusion comes into the picture. 

“DNA Fusion essentially allows us to tie all of our security technologies into our access control system, which plays a critical role in our day-to-day security processes,” said Melissa Craven, Director of Emergency Management for DPS. “For instance, the ability to pull up the live video on an alarm or door forced from the events grid helps us to assess and respond to the issue in a quick and efficient manner.” 

In order to further streamline their security processes and procedures, DPS monitors all the components of their system across campuses from a single location. This significantly cuts down on responses time in the event of an emergency as all decisions related to campus lockdown or other high-threat situations are centralized. 

As DPS looks to the future, they will be adding door position stations to all exterior doors, allowing operators to monitor perimeter security, as well as implementing graphic mapping across their system thanks to DNA Fusion. This will bring all of DPS’s technology together in an extremely user-friendly format, where operators can easily view and address events through strategically placed interactive icons and easily access all card readers, cameras, and intrusion points on the maps. This will drastically improve an operator’s ability to determine a false alarm versus an actual event and will aid in officer safety when responding, as well as asset protection. 

“When looking for a security technology provider, it was essential for us that we found a partner, not just a provider,” said Craven. “Open Options provides a robust access control solution that continues to allow DPS to grow. From installation to the expansion of the system, Open Options has been there, and we look forward to continuing to grow together.” 

Open Options truly believes in the power of flexibility and customer choice that provides options without neglecting the highest security standards. By providing a strong, scalable, and open-platform access control solution for Denver Public Schools they can rest assured knowing that Open Options will protect their most precious assets every step of the way. 

Access Control that Protects without Compromise

An Open Options & Involta, LLC Success Story   

Involta, LLC is an award-winning national provider of IT intelligence, end-to-end infrastructure, managed services, and colocation through their enterprise-class, multi-tenant data centers. Founded in 2007, Involta has data centers spread across the United States. The company serves many clients in healthcare, technology, manufacturing, government, and various other industries where IT is mission-critical, including numerous Fortune 500 companies. 

Involta was searching for a new access control system when they discovered the flexibility and almost endless integration possibilities that DNA Fusion provides. Involta facilities are built in secure, climate-controlled structures and are located in geographic safe zones. Additionally, their centers have no exterior signage, and all staff members are trained to follow stringent security procedures for client confidentiality purposes. 

The Challenge

Because Involta houses an organization’s most critical equipment and disseminates highly sensitive data, their facilities required a layered approach to their security solution. They needed a solution that included access control, video surveillance, wireless locks, and more to ensure access is granted to the appropriate individuals only.

 “There are several requirements our access control system, and overall security solution, had to meet,” said Thomas Lang, Involta data center manager for the Ohio region. “We refused to compromise security or performance when it came to our customers’ data and IT infrastructure.”

The Solution 

Open Options’ DNA Fusion platform was able to meet these requirements and then some. 

DNA Fusion was installed at 11 sites across multiple states and currently has 14 authorized operators. Authentic Mercury hardware panels and other equipment were installed in the head end room of the centers, which is only accessible by authorized Involta staff. 

A non-negotiable for Involta when selecting their access control provider was the ability of the system to integrate with other technologies. DNA Fusion connects with a host of different systems, including video management, intelligent locks, critical communications, and many more. It has two decades of access control innovation and development tied to the Authentic Mercury open hardware platform that allow it to provide a true open architecture access control solution. 

 Alongside Open Options, Involta works with a number of their technology partners for a customized solution that DNA Fusion seamlessly integrates with, including Aperio, ASSA ABLOY, Altronix, Samsung, and Axis. Involta also utilizes Milestone XProtect software for their video management needs and deploys two-factor authentication at high-security entrances using biometric readers, electromagnetic locks, and PTZ cameras. 

In addition to its impressive portfolio of integration partners, DNA Fusion also houses a number of user-friendly features within the software, including drag and drop capabilities, the option for custom toolbars, and instantaneous reporting. “DNA Fusion is extremely intuitive and has a wide array of features that prove to be very valuable in our operation,” said Lang. “Time schedules and access levels are two features, in particular, we utilize in our daily operations to streamline access for our nearly 200 employees. We appreciate DNA Fusion’s ability to recognize assigned authority and schedules to make sure proper access is being observed.” 

Involta also opted to utilize the Open Options’ mantrap controller as part of their security upgrade, which is unique to a designated area containing two or more doors that the customer wants to control access to strictly. When a single door is open during the operation of a mantrap, no other entries will open until the initial door closes. “The addition of the mantrap controller has heightened the security of our customers’ assets even more,” Lang said. “It essentially allows us to separate non-secure areas from secure areas and prevent unauthorized access.” 

Lastly, to manage their security remotely, Involta utilizes DNA Fusion’s web application, Fusion Web.

“Open Options’ DNA Fusion software and supporting products, coupled with their excellent customer service and support, have proven time and time again they are the best choice for our access control needs,” said Lang. The remote function allows operators to take advantage of the critical features of DNA Fusion, such as managing personnel, addressing alarms and events, and controlling doors from any supported web browser. Because Involta logs and retains access and events for auditing purposes, the ability to run custom reports is highly beneficial. 

Open Options truly believes in the power of flexibility and customer choice that provides options without neglecting the highest security standards. By connecting Involta to their ultimate goals of having a true open platform access control solution, they can continue to provide critical protection of network operations and manage technical and cloud services without the fear of compromise. 

The Power of Access Control in Healthcare

Masonicare is Connecticut’s most extensive 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. 

Masonicare was in need of a new access control solution to secure their facility and ensure the safety of its residents, patients, and nearly 2,300 employees. A few of their access control necessities consisted of: 

  • Preventing residents in wheelchairs from being able to open the door to a stairwell, where they would be at risk of serious injury.
  • Keeping patients with memory loss or other cognitive impairments safe and in one area.
  • Having pharmacy doors locked down to prevent misuse of narcotics.
  • Making certain that facilities are locked at night and opened in the morning. Consequently, access control is at the heart of its security measures. 

The Challenge

Masonicare had 145 Isonas readers installed that controlled the door access throughout the buildings on campus. While the readers themselves were functioning, the legacy software that was managing the readers was creating major headaches for the organization. “Doors always went down, costing us hours of work because we drove from one location to another to get a door back online,” said Tyler Timek, IT Security Engineer at Masonicare. “The root cause was the legacy software. We needed to find the right access control software to manage the readers at our doors.” When any door went down and could not be locked, the heightened risk threatened the safety of residents, patients, and employees. 

One door going offline could result in a resident in a wheelchair falling downstairs or a patient with Alzheimer’s wandering out of the building and onto the street at night. “The software is so easy to use that we were able to grant HR users the ability to add users and give access as well as remove access. This takes some of the burden off IT and equips HR with the ability to move faster and be more efficient in their processes to onboard and offboard employees,” said Timek. Furthermore, in two of the buildings, a lockdown feature is used, so control of all the doors is imperative to ensure a complete lockdown in case of an emergency.

 In order to decide which access control solution to use, Masonicare consulted with its integrator, A+ Technology, and Security Solutions. The integrator knew that the legacy software would no longer be supported by its manufacturer, which left Masonicare in a bad spot.

We came in, looked at the future more strategically and suggested that Masonicare look at Open Options because of their support of Isonas,” said Jeffrey Sweeney, Sales Manager at A+ Technology and Security Solutions. “Knowing how well Open Options approaches software development, we were confident that they would continue to support Masonicare well into the future, without the need for a forklift upgrade that other access control solution providers would painfully require.

The Solution

Masonicare selected Open Options’ DNA Fusion as its new software platform to manage its access control. DNA Fusion was able to integrate with its Isonas readers, which were all kept in place; therefore, no forklift upgrade was needed, saving costs. “DNA Fusion software is very easy to use,” said Timek. “Installation of this software from Open Options was quick, and it’s easy to add readers to the platform. The process to move over each reader took only about two weeks, exceeding our expectations.” The end result of the solution delighted the customer. “Readers do not randomly go down anymore,” added Timek. “It’s a very different experience from when we were using the legacy software.”

The legacy software used to take hours to update the devices at all the sites, particularly pushing out permissions for new employees. With Open Options software, it now takes less than one minute for all sites to be updated with the latest security information. “The performance improvement was an immediate benefit for Masonicare,” said Sweeney, whose company assisted with migrating to the new software platform. “Expandability, namely the ability to add wireless locks where it made more sense than rewiring for readers, was another benefit, as well as Masonicare taking advantage of the integrations that come along with Open Options.” 

The enhanced capabilities of the more robust system, DNA Fusion, also enable Masonicare to confidently use lockdown buttons at two locations, controlling access levels to different areas. The new platform increased the reliability of using time schedules on specific doors and enhanced the overall efficiency of operations. DNA Fusion was installed in the IT department and the Human Resources department at Masonicare, and brought much-needed security streamlining to the Masonicare infrastructure.

“The software is so easy to use that we were able to give our HR employees the ability to add users for access onsite as well as remote,” Timek explained. “This takes some of the burden off IT and equips HR with the ability to move faster and be more efficient in their processes to onboard and offboard employees.”

Supporting the customer with its next-level Connect Care services, Open Options provided access that connected Masonicare to its ultimate goals to protect and enrich lives, from door to door, with the most advanced open platform access control solution on the market today.

Introducing Fusion X

In case you’ve missed it, it’s been an eventful few weeks here at Open Options. We recently had two major announcements consisting of our new web-based access control software, Fusion X, and the highly anticipated 8.0 DNA Fusion update! Today, we will be diving into Fusion X and highlighting a few of the unique features it offers. 

So, what exactly is Fusion X? Our new web-based system provides a secure way to remotely manage the DNA Fusion access control system from any supported web browser, and also allows current users to search, view, edit personnel, and control the system hardware from that same web browser. With Fusion X, alarms and events can be viewed, acknowledged, and cleared, and administers the ability to access the system remotely in order to manage or respond to specific situations, such as granting access after hours or controlling doors remotely. 

How Fusion X Empowers Our Customers

This new built-in web server includes all the benefits of the robust DNA Fusion platform while additionally allowing programming and maintenance from any web browser. With Fusion X, you can benefit from a thin client solution that eliminates the need for running full versions of DNA Fusion on multiple PCs throughout the location.

“Customers are constantly looking for solutions that increase workplace productivity and value,” said Chuck O’Leary, President, Open Options.  “With Fusion X,  security and IT leaders do not need to resolve issues at the end-user desktop location. Rather, they can maintain the system remotely using any device that can access a web browser. This seamless and streamlined process empowers organizations with a higher level of usability and management, allowing users to benefit from a reduction in expenses, and an increase of security and productivity.”

Fusion X was designed for ease of use and to foster simplicity in accomplishing a variety of common tasks in DNA Fusion without having to resort to a thick client solution. This powerful web application is the perfect solution for the remote management of your access control system, and Open Options is dedicated to supporting you all along the way.

DNA Fusion 8.0 is required to run Fusion X, and both are available for immediate release. To learn more about these solutions, visit our website. 

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