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Customer Support Planning for 2021

2020 brought on new challenges that all evolved due to the Pandemic. As a result, we had to provide our customers support remotely.  This re-iterated the need for us to increase and improve our knowledge base materials across the board.   

Thus, our goal in 2021 will be to work on building our knowledge-based library to better assist our customers with the tools they need to be successful.  

Here are just a few new tools Open Options plans to roll out in Q1 2021: 
  1. A new LMS system will be our first order of business, and will include several self-paced courses, including a method to re-certify and maintain DNA Fusion certification.   
  1. Software Maintenance Agreement – added benefits that will include 1 hour bi-annually of one-to-one custom training to aid our customers in better understanding their DNA Fusion Access Control System.  Virtual DNA certification courses, as well as one-to-one custom courses, will have more availability in 2021 as we understand the health concerns with face-to-face classes as well as the additional financial cost to our customers that are incurred with travel.    
  1. Quick Guides to cover specific topics, more tech bulletins on high priority issue items, and more videos to cover common trouble areas.   
Other improvements: 

The success and growth of the company have continued to see an increase in calls to Support this past year.  We drastically reduced the number of calls that went to voicemail in 2020 by right at 80%.  The Support team’s increased experience and knowledge led to shorter call times which allowed our customers to have faster resolutions when they needed assistance.  This also opened more phone availability to prevent calls from rolling to voicemail and forcing our customers to wait on a call back for an issue resolution.  To further tackle this issue, we expanded our available support by introducing support chat as well as a new tracking system for email support.  We know reaching our voicemail is not ideal and that the demand for support is high when the customer is on-site ready to tackle an issue or project.  In 2021 we will be introducing the ability to schedule time with Support during regular business hours to assist our customers when they are on a scheduled trouble call or project.     

2020 did not allow the opportunity to have in-house training sessions with our integration partners, but we did manage to complete a couple remote sessions.  We will continue to work with our integration partners in 2021 to build our knowledge on integrated products as well as strengthen the relationship with our partners to better support our mutual customers. 

2021 will be the year that the Customer Service Team explores new and innovative ways to provide support to our customers as well as to continue to improve the overall customer experience.   

Nic Roban 
Vice President, Open Options Customer Support 

A Secret to Tech Support’s Success: Attention to Detail

A customer was having a significant issue with his access control system. It was crashing immediately every time he launched it, rendering DNA Fusion unusable. He was not able to create badges or edit personnel. The customer could not figure it out on his own. Therefore, he called Technical Support at Open Options, trusting their reputation for resolving complex issues.

Zack Davis, the Tech Support Supervisor, dug into the issue by checking the DNA Driver logs. He discovered that the logs were showing a massive amount of controller functions but did not point to any specific controller. The error logs were indicating the driver was getting overwhelmed with commands, which was causing it to crash. 

He implemented a SQL script that disabled all the controllers, allowing the driver to start back up and for DNA Fusion to launch without issues. Then he started to enable the controllers one by one.  While enabling the second controller, the error appeared, and he was able to isolate it. 

“A host-based macro had been programmed in DNA with a loop condition on a camera call up function,” explained Nic Robran, Vice President of Customer Support at Open Options.  “Zack verified this with a report and found 30,000 pages of that event being executed before the driver crashed. Once he found the problem, he removed the host-based macro that was causing the issue and enabled the remaining controllers.” 

Subsequently, DNA Fusion remained stable and all the controllers came back online without issue.  He verified that the system was 100% back online and operational. 

“The customer was extremely happy that their system was back online,” added Robran. “And they were able to once again create badges and edit personnel.”

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

Tech Support Dives Deep into Logs to Identify Problem with Wireless Locks

An integrator was upgrading the ASSA ABLOY DSR integration at a senior living facility when he started to get “Access Denied” on all of their wireless locks for all cardholders. Although it was after normal business hours, the integrator was able to get Jose Charco, Support Technician at Open Options on the phone immediately. As a cornerstone of Open Options’ Connect Care program, Tech Support kicked into gear.

Jose gathered the logs and version information on all the software. When the DSR was upgraded from version 7 to version 8, the issue surfaced. The hunt for the cause was on. From the start, it was clear to Jose that the issue had to be something deeper than just a setting. He also realized that the involvement of the ASSA ABLOY support team and Open Options’ Development team was also needed to get to a resolution. Tech Support provided the leadership needed to gather the team resources available to address the issue.

With the backing of his colleagues, the Open Options technician checked that everything had been upgraded correctly, but he went a step further. Relying on his extensive experience in the security industry, he conducted a deep analysis of the logs. He discovered that the firmware version on the locks was the cause of the issue. This was the hidden detail that had been alluding others up to this point. 

“Once our Tech Support team member (Jose) uncovered the issue, it was just a matter of getting the firmware update pushed to all the locks,” said Nicholas Robran, Vice President of Customer Support at Open Options. “After the firmware had been updated, the issue was resolved. The integrator confirmed that everything was running fine. Everyone had access again, and the end-user customer was happy.”

To go from “Access Denied” to “All Systems Go” in as short a time as possible is a testament to the commitment and expertise of Open Options’ Tech Support to dive deeper into an issue for the fastest, most effective resolution. A seemingly “small detail” of a firmware update made a big difference. No detail is too small for Open Options when Tech Support is on the hunt.