Canadian Operator Spacious Storage Innovates the Customer Experience with Access Control

OpenTech Alliance announced the installation of INSOMNIAC CIA access control at Spacious Storage, a Canadian operator among the first to adopt the cloud-based system. Having purchased the system before COVID-19 hit, Spacious Storage is now counting their blessings.

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Storage Operator Invests in Kiosks to Safeguard Operation Long-Term

OpenTech Alliance has partnered with Maryland-based Self Storage Services, Inc. over the past 10 years to ensure they’re always open for business. The product that has proven vital to their operations during the current pandemic, and one they anticipate will be key to future success, are OpenTech’s INSOMNIACTM self-service kiosks.

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Northwest Self Storage Creates Seamless Lien Enforcement Process with StorageTreasures.com

OpenTech Alliance helped Northwest Self Storage reduce operational inefficiencies to create a seamless lien enforcement process with StorageTreasures.com. Since the company started using online auctions in 2017, they’ve not only seen great returns, but have also leveraged StorageTreasures to reduce the number of units that go to auction at all.

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Go Store It Mitigates Added Auction Liability from Multi-State Expansion with StorageTreasures

OpenTech Alliance helped relative newcomer Go Store It avoid auction liability during a multi-state expansion with StorageTreasures.com. Founded in 2017, Go Store It had an aggressive plan for growth throughout the southeast, tripling in size over the course of 12 months. With auctioneers licensed in all 50 states, ST helped them stay avoid liability from lien laws.

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OpenTech Donates $50,000 to Self Storage Association Foundation in Honor of the Knuppe Family

OpenTech Alliance announced that is has become a Platinum Sponsor of the Self Storage Association Foundation (SSAF) thru its $50,000 donation to the SSAF Scholarship fund in honor of Jim Knuppe, his wife Bobbie and son Michael. This gift seeks to honor the Knuppe Family’s long-standing commitment to making dreams come true.

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Storage King USA Leverages Suite of OpenTech Technology & Automation Services to Support Rapid Expansion & Post COVID Operation Resiliency

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OpenTech Alliance has partnered with Storage King USA as part of an aggressive strategy to expand their portfolio to 200 facilities by the end of 2021. Storage King noted that technology will play a significant role in their plans for future growth and changes to their daily operations amid the new contactless environment.

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The Power of Partnership: Simply Self Storage Creates the Ultimate Customer Experience with OpenTech’s INSOMNIAC Products + Services + Apps

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OpenTech Alliance helps nationwide provider Simply Self Storage deliver on its promise to provide the best service possible. Simply’s long-standing partnership with OpenTech Alliance has allowed them to confidently test new technologies as they hit the market – including the company’s access control system, INSOMNIAC CIA.

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OpenTech Releases PTI Keypad Integration

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OpenTech Alliance announced the launch a new PTI keypad integration that allows operators to connect existing PTI® Apex or VP keypads to INSOMNIAC CIA. The integration to INSOMNIAC CIA grants operators access to the IoE Control Center and eliminates the computer problems and never-ending software updates that they experience with older PC-based solutions.

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OpenTech Accelerates Kiosk Delivery and Offers 0% Leasing to Help Self Storage Operators Navigate COVID-19

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OpenTech Alliance announced it will accelerate delivery for the first 25 orders of its INSOMNIACTM 120 self-service kiosk. The company also unveiled a 0% interest payment plan and trade-in options for its 20 Series line of kiosks to make it easier for operators to respond to government mandates to limit person-to-person contact.

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Heartland Storage Group Makes Smart Investments in Self Storage Technology to Streamline Operations

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Heartland Storage Group, the self storage division of HAN Capital, has reduced labor costs and streamlined operational activities across their portfolio with the help of OpenTech technology. With notable backgrounds in finance and investments, Heartland Storage Group’s owners leverage technology to help them reduce operational expenses while maintaining their high standards for customer service.

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OpenTech Alliance Adds Unit Alarms to IoE Platform

IoE Integration Unit Alarms

OpenTech Alliance announced the launch of INSOMNIAC Unit Alarms, a new integration for OpenTech’s IoE (Internet of Everything). Unit Alarms provides owners and operators the ability to quickly and easily upgrade older individual unit door alarm systems without the need to rewire the property – maintaining their initial investment while taking advantage of the data and real-time reporting available in the IoE Control Center.

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Understanding Your Consumer: An Annual Analysis of Self Storage Tenant Behavior Trends & Data Insights

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OpenTech Alliance announced the release of the 2019 Self Storage White Paper. This technical paper provides a comprehensive analysis of consumer trends in the self storage industry, delivering data-driven, actionable insights to owners and operators to position your operation for success throughout 2020.

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Extra Space Selects StorageTreasures.com as Exclusive Online Auction Partner

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OpenTech Alliance announced Extra Space Storage has chosen StorageTreasures as their exclusive online auction partner. Extra Space, the second largest operator of self storage facilities in the U.S., has converted over 1,000 stores from live to online auctions to date. All facilities that switch to an online auction process in the future will do so on StorageTreasures.com.

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Life Storage Signs Exclusive Agreement with StorageTreasures

Graphic LifeStorageSTAgreement ST Oct2019 Blog

Life Storage, Inc. (NYSE: LSI) has signed an exclusive agreement to use StorageTreasures.com as the online auction platform for their full portfolio of 800+ facilities. Life Storage, one of the largest self storage companies in the world, leverages technology to allow their field teams to be more efficient and customer focused.

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OpenTech Adds Overlock Solution to INSOMNIAC CIA Access Control

Graphic DaVinciPRSocialPost IoE Sept2019 Blog

OpenTech Alliance announced a new integration between the DaVinci Lock® System and INSOMNIAC CIA, scheduled for released in Q4. As part of the OpenTech IoE (Internet of Everything) intelligent platform, the DaVinci Lock integration will allow storage operators to automate tenant notifications during the rental and overlock process without investing hundreds of dollars into a new system.

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OpenTech Expands INSOMNIAC CIA With Wired Alarm Mux

Graphic A96AlarmMuxSocial IoE Aug2019 Blog

OpenTech Alliance will showcase a new wired alarm mux (code-named A96) at Booth #318 at the 2019 Self Storage Association Fall Conference and Trade Show on September 4th and 5th. The A96 is currently being tested and scheduled for release in Q4. It is anticipated to range in price from $499 to $799 and can be configured in either 96 or 48 channel mode. The company will begin taking orders for the new product in September.

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StorageTreasures Now Offers Automation for storEDGE, Storage Commander and DoorSwap Customers

Graphic storEDGEStorageCommanderIntegrations ST Aug2019 Blog

OpenTech Alliance announced the release of two new API integrations for StorageTreasures’ customers. The integrations allow storEDGE and Storage Commander customers to automate the import of tenant auction data directly from the property management software into StorageTreasures.

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OpenTech Alliance Adds INSOMNIAC SmartDoor to IoE Platform

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OpenTech Alliance announced the launch of INSOMNIAC SmartDoor, a new integration for OpenTech’s intelligent platform of smart-connected self storage solutions, OpenTech IoE. SmartDoor is the first and only self storage office analytics system that provides actionable insights on consumer traffic, whether your office is open or closed.

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Self-Storage Operator Replaces Access Control with INSOMNIAC CIA

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Self-Storage Operator Replaces Access Control with INSOMNIAC CIA

February 7, 2019 – Phoenix, AZ, OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self-storage industry announced Fox Trail Mini Storage, a family owned business in Kinston, NC has upgraded their Access Control to INSOMNIAC CIA after lightning destroyed their PC based access control system.

Fox Trail Mini Storage owner Amy and Chris Rouse had heard the saying, “lightning never strikes in the same place twice,” however, he wanted to make sure he had researched all the Access Control options on the self-storage market before replacing his keypad. “The lightning storm zapped my Falcon XT, right down to the readout on the keypad,” exclaimed Chris.

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“When I took over the business in 2016, we had a stand-alone keypad where I would have to physically go out the keypad and input codes manually. When we upgraded, I no longer needed to walk to the keypad, but we did encounter lots of issues of having to reset the system when the computer went down and support was another thing, we had to submit an online ticket and sometimes wait days to be assisted. That was frustrating and not how we do business; we offer exceptional

customer service to our customers at Fox Trail Mini Storage and I wanted the same when it came to our vendors. When I started researching OpenTech’s CIA Access ControI, I realized our May 2018 lightning strike would allow us to make one of the best business decisions for our expanding self-storage business,” Chris commented.

“Since upgrading to CIA we have noticed a change in our business on various fronts; real-time alerts, reports on how many times tenants are accessing our location, giving tenants hands-free access through the Storage Genie mobile app, and knowing I have Lifetime Protection on the hardware and someone to pick up the phone when I need customer support,” added Chris.

“We built INSOMNIAC CIA from the ground up for the self-storage industry to address issues with older PC based systems including technology, warranty, installations, and support to solve frustrations that operators like Chris experience,” stated Robert A. Chiti, CEO of OpenTech Alliance. Robert added, “CIA has been listed to Underwriters Laboratory spec UL294 for Access Control as well as independently tested to withstand surges of 20,000 Volts and 10,000 Amps, so if lightning does strike twice, we have Chris covered!”

To learn more about INSOMNIAC CIA, contact OpenTech Alliance at sales@opentechalliance.com.

The Last Word

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The Last Word

by Robert Chiti

Open Platforms Are Good for Everyone

When self-storage operators first started using technology it was in the form of PC software that was by its very nature isolated and rarely integrated with other systems.  Early integrations included exporting data files other systems could read, including credit card processing software and access control systems. Because the unencrypted data files were automatically created and exported to a shared hard drive the originating software vendor could not control who could use the data, resulting in a true Open Integration.

Today, things are a bit different. Software systems now send data and commands back and forth through what is known as an Application Programming Interface (API).  Here is where the problems start, for security reasons some type of authentication code needs to ensure the system trying to access the API has been authorized and is not a hacker. So this means the use of the API needs to be restricted. In most cases these restrictions are good for the self-storage operator, they make the entire system more secure and protect the self-storage operator’s data, and can also ensure the systems using the API are programmed efficiently so they do not cause performance problems for the users. However, in some cases, vendors put restrictions in place to limit competition or control the operator’s data. These closed end-to-end type systems can have a very negative impact on the success of a self-storage business.

Closed end-to-end platforms get self-storage operators “hooked” and then limit the other solutions that can be integrated with, to only solutions they sell, in some cases forcing the user to implement substandard technology. This approach can be very good for the vendor, but disastrous for the self-storage operator.  These platforms typically end up costing the self-storage operator much more because they have no choice but to use the products offered by the vendor.

A truly open technology platform offers it’s APIs to all other vendors so a self-storage operator has the freedom to choose the specific solution they feel is best for them, instead of having to be held hostage and forced to only buy solutions from one vendor.  A truly open platform sometimes referred to as Internet of Everything (IoE) platform allows all kinds of devices, applications, systems, and people to work together regardless of the vendor.

For example, with a truly open platform, an internal or third-party call center storage counselor can have real-time access to all the transaction data recorded in an access control system and can open a gate for a customer stuck behind the gate after hours without having to give out a temporary code that has to be changed later…. regardless of if the call center vendor competes with the access control vendor in other product areas.

So my Last Word is OPEN.  End-to-end platforms that try to lock out competitors are bad for self-storage operators and bad for the industry as a whole.  Self-storage operators would be wise to make sure they are only investing in technology that is backed by a vendor committed to providing open technology.

*Published in MiniCo Messenger, January 2019

Security 101 Chooses INSOMNIAC CIA as their Preferred Self-Storage Access Control Solution

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Security 101 Chooses INSOMNIAC CIA as their Preferred Self-Storage Access Control Solution

January 31, 2019 – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. announced Security 101 LLC., has joined their growing list of OpenTech Channel Partners. Security 101 LLC., has supported self-storage operators with their access control and security needs for over 8 years and serves customers in the New Hampshire and Maine area. Clif Johnston, the owner of Security 101 LLC., was introduced to OpenTech when one of his customers inquired about their cloud-based access control solution, INSOMNIAC CIA. “When I investigated the hardware componentry, I was really impressed with the forward-thinking design. Captive screws and a unique hinged faceplate allow for easy installation and service, and the customer experience with the bright OLED display, text me my code, and Storage Genie mobile app are what set CIA apart from other solutions available in the self-storage industry.” Clif commented.

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Gary Carland, Channel Development Manager for OpenTech Alliance, emphasized the point, “Every technology we develop is designed entirely to help self-storage operators, and in this case, our dealers work smarter and more efficiently.” Gary added, “Due to the easy installation process, INSOMNIAC CIA saves both the installer and customer time and money.” Clif commented, “The Technical Support staff at OpenTech are incredible, I am not a ticket in the system and a helpful voice is waiting to assist me every time I call!”

INSOMNIAC CIA gives self-storage operators total control of a single or hundreds of properties and addresses issues with older PC-based systems including technology, warranty, installation, and support. Operators don’t have to worry about computer problems or never-ending software updates as the cloud-based software is always running the most current version and will continue to operate even if your Internet connection goes down. Managers and owners can also gain insights into their renter’s behaviors and streamline business operations with predictive maintenance triggers with real-time data visualization and reporting from the OpenTech IoE Control Center.

To learn more about the OpenTech Alliance Channel Partner opportunities, contact Gary Carland
at gcarland@opentechalliance.com or 828.551.1210.

OpenTech Appoints New President and Recruits Domain Experts

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OpenTech Appoints New President and Recruits Domain Experts

January 30th, 2019 – Phoenix, AZ.  OpenTech Alliance, Inc., the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self-storage industry announced Mike Connolly has been appointed as President of OpenTech Alliance. “Over the past 15 years, Mike has played a major role in OpenTech’s success and growth as an investor, board member, and leader. Mike has been my professional and personal mentor for over 35 years, without him, OpenTech would never have gotten off the ground. As our business expands and gets more complex, Mike is the perfect person to keep it running smoothly. At the same time, my job will be to shake things up, growing our business through Internal Innovation, Acquisition, and Partnership. I expect the next 15 years to be even more exciting than the first.” stated Robert Chiti, Chairman and CEO of OpenTech Alliance.

Robert added, “As we planned for Mike’s transition, we also realized it was time to recruit some talented leaders with deep experience in the areas of Engineering, Sales, and Marketing to help us grow the company and continue to deliver innovative solutions and superior service to our customers.”

Kristi Adams-Gubbels will join as the Vice President of Product Marketing. Her 13 years of self-storage experience from assisting with the start-up of USstoragsearch.com to driving marketing strategies for U-Store-It (now CubeSmart) will be instrumental in achieving the company’s overall objectives and goals in the years to come.

Roy Pierson as Vice President of Engineering brings extensive experience in product and solution delivery with a focus on cloud computing, security, big data, and technology transformation and innovation. Roy’s experience includes 15 years at Microsoft and extensive work in the area of global reservation systems as well as leading the effort to create valuable industry standards for data sharing in the Hospitality industry.

Lastly, Bill Hoffman has joined our team as the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Bill brings over 20 years of strategic sales, marketing, channel and customer success experience with a focus on team building and hands-on experience implementing “game-changing” CRM strategies. Under Bill’s direction, we have already begun to ramp up our operational tools and implementing new focused marketing and sales programs.

Having talented people is a great thing, but the best part about our team is they all share our core values and commitment to Doing It Right. I have always heard that growing a successful company is all about people, so I am very optimistic about our team and where they will take OpenTech in the future,” stated Robert.