OpenTech Alliance has expanded the OpenTech Authorized Dealer program to include kiosks and access control. International Controls & Equipment (I.C.E.), Michigan’s largest gate operator reseller serving the Metro Detroit area, received their Authorized Dealer certification this year and have already begun reaping the benefits of the program.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced a new water sensor integration for their intelligent platform of smart-connected self storage solutions, the OpenTech IoE (Internet of Everything). The new integration helps operators find water leaks on their storage property to prevent significant damage to their facility and loss of customer goodwill from the destruction of tenant belongings.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Pack, Stack & Store implemented INSOMNIAC CIA as part of a high-tech, luxury business model. Originally slated to install a PTI access control system – Pack, Stack & Store canceled their contract in favor of the higher quality product, greater functionality and personalized service offered by INSOMNIAC CIA.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced today that Public Storage, the world’s largest owner, operator, and developer of self-storage facilities, has placed a second order of INSOMNIAC CIA systems, the industry’s first cloud-based access control solution, as the company continues to rollout CIA to its entire portfolio.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Personal Mini Storage will replace existing access control across all 43 of their self storage locations with INSOMNIAC CIA. Central Florida’s largest family-owned storage operator, Personal Mini cites CIA’s lightning suppression and Exclusive Lifetime Protection as key factors.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance launches INSOMNIAC SmartGate, a new integration for the OpenTech IoE (Internet of Everything). When combined with INSOMNIAC CIA, SmartGate allows owners and operators to receive alert notifications when a gate or other device does not open or close when requested, or when it is opened or closed manually.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced iStorage has selected INSOMNIAC CIA to replace existing access control systems across several of their facilities by the end of 2019. iStorage, owned and operated by National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA), will install CIA at over 20 facilities in the Michigan region over the next few months.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance now offers the first access control keypad with an integrated IP camera. With most self storage operators already actively using or with plans to implement IP camera systems over obsolete analog video technology, the enhancement, an exclusive feature of INSOMNIAC CIA, is available now.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance has helped Tennessee-based 24 Hour Self Storage flourish with INSOMNIAC Kiosks since its establishment 6 years ago. Founding partners Nicholas Lillios and DJ Cord, who own and operate various commercial, retail and residential properties, were committed to creating an automated business model before venturing into self storage.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced the release of the INSOMNIAC 120, the newest addition to the next generation line of self-service INSOMNIAC Kiosks, the 20 Series. The INSOMNIAC 120 offers a small size with stellar performance. Compact in design, this model mirrors many of the benefits of its larger counterparts.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Beachfront A1 Surfside Self Storage uses online auctions to safeguard staff and assets while recouping funds tied to delinquent units. A locally owned company since 1991, facility managers have resolved $34,000 outstanding in bad accounts with StorageTreasures.com.Continue reading
Amsdell Companies has converted its Compass Self Storage facilities from live auctions to StorageTreasures.com. According to Amsdell, use of the site has become standard practice due to a streamlined auction process, superior customer service, and a better overall ROI.Continue reading
Atlantic Self Storage rivals top operators with a combination of INSOMNIAC Live! call center solutions, XpressCollect and CIA. A small entrepreneur that operates in the competitive Washington D.C. metro market, Atlantic Self Storage knows you can’t miss a phone call.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance launches the next generation of self-serve INSOMNIAC Kiosks. The 20 series was designed with a focus on the user experience, the latest in hardware components and cloud-based software for maximum engagement and unparalleled reliability – all available at a new, lower price.Continue reading
Changes to the fee structure for the integration between StorageTreasures.com and newly merged StorEDGE and SiteLink‘s property management solution allows all StorageTreasures customers to take advantage of the SiteLink API, at no extra charge.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced the launch of UsedStorageKeypads.com, a website offering used access control equipment at significant savings. UsedStorageKeypads offers self storage owners and operators a one-stop shop to find low-cost access control equipment.Continue reading
Westport Properties, Inc. has committed to replace existing access control at their full portfolio of 120 properties exclusively with INSOMNIAC CIA (Centralized Intelligent Access), the industry’s first cloud-based access control solution.Continue reading
Storage Choice automated their 15 self storage facilities in Texas to offer services and benefits that larger competitors don’t have, such as hands-free gate access via the Storage Genie app and 24/7 kiosks.Continue reading
Amy and Kevin Payne, the owners of 5 Star Boat and RV Storage located in Georgetown, TX, have been able to work full-time and launch their first successful boat and RV storage facility by automating operations with a kiosk.Continue reading
Graham Investments maximizes lien loss recovery efforts to the tune of an 80 percent increase over live auctions at their self storage facilities in Colorado, Texas, and Nevada – and just celebrated the one-year anniversary of their first auction on StorageTreasures.com.Continue reading
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.
“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!”
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