Category: OpenTech News

OpenTech Adds Call Center Integration to IoE Platform

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OpenTech Adds Call Center Integration to IoE Platform

(August 23, 2018) – Phoenix, AZ, OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self-storage industry announced their OpenTech IoE (Internet of Everything), intelligent platform of smart connected self-storage solutions now includes Call Center integration.

This is OpenTech’s third integration module available at no additional charge. This new module, the Amazon’s Alexa and the HVAC Integration launched earlier this month are three of many third-party devices and related systems to be supported by the OpenTech IoE platform.

The Call Center integration allows Call Center staff to remotely control access to a storage facility using INSOMNIAC CIA and offer a higher level of customer service by assisting tenants that are having problems while at the facility. “We handle thousands of tenant calls a day in our Call Center and we are always looking for new ways to improve a tenant’s experience.” stated Robert A. Chiti, OpenTech President and CEO. “If a tenant tailgates or gets stuck behind the gate after hours, they would reach the Call Center who would contact the emergency contact, who would have to drive to the facility to let them out. In some cases the Call Center is given an emergency exit code which is very problematic and needs to be updated regularly to ensure the facility remains secure.

Robert added, “We have heard of customers calling 911 or actually driving into the gate, so you can see how that process was not working. By empowering the Call Center staff with tenant data and the ability to remotely control access to the facility through our cloud based Access Control solution INSOMNIAC CIA, we are creating happier tenants, eliminating negative social media reviews, and making self-storage simpler to use.”

Staying true to their commitment of “Open” solutions, OpenTech is offering the call center integration module to third party and internal call centers as well.

To find out how out more, contact OpenTech Alliance or see them at the SSA Fall Conference and Trade Show at booths #618-625 on September 4th through 7th at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

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Call Center Integration to the OpenTech IoE Platform

About the OpenTech IoE Platform:

The OpenTech IoE platform is based on four primary components; a centralized data structure for collecting data from any source, business analytics tools for learning from the data, the ability to monitor and control both proprietary and third-party devices, and a comprehensive notification service based on customizable triggers. OpenTech IoE includes an open API so any property management software, call center, or other applications can easily integrate with the platform.

OpenTech Integrates Amazon’s Alexa with their OpenTech IoE Platform

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OpenTech Integrates Amazon’s Alexa with their OpenTech IoE Platform

Phoenix, AZ, OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self-storage industry announced they will be demonstrating their integration with Amazon’s Alexa and their OpenTech IoE, intelligent platform of smart connected self-storage solutions at the upcoming SSA Fall Conference and Trade Show at booths #618-625 on September 4th through 7th at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

Amazon's AlexaThis will be OpenTech’s second integration module available at no additional charge. This new module and the HVAC Integration launched on August 9th are two of many third-party devices to be supported by the OpenTech IoE platform.

The integration allows storage operators to perform commands and receive information about their storage facility with their voice. “The way we interact with computers changes every 10 years. Voice enabled commands is the next user interface model.” stated Jon Loftin, VP and IoE Product Owner at OpenTech Alliance. “Alexa is utilized at many self-storage facilities to assist with translation services and integrating hand-free commands allows managers to work more efficiently.”

INSOMNIAC CIA customers can ask Alexa to perform tasks such as: open the gate; ask how many tenants are onsite; who was the last tenant onsite; and many more commands. To find out how to voice control your facility, contact OpenTech Alliance.

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Alexa Integration to the OpenTech IoE Platform

About the OpenTech IoE Platform:
The OpenTech IoE platform is based on four primary components: a centralized data structure for collecting data from any source; business analytics tools for learning from the data; the ability to monitor and control both proprietary and third-party devices; and a comprehensive notification service based on customizable triggers. OpenTech IoE includes an open API so any property management software, call center, or other applications can easily integrate with the platform.

Integrating Voice Commands such as, “Alexa, Open The Gate” and many more!

OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Celebrates 15 years in Business

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Press Release

OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Celebrates 15 years in Business

For Immediate Release:

July 7, 2018 – Phoenix, AZ – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. has reached a new milestone this July, celebrating its’ 15th year in business. The company has grown from garage startup into a thriving technology company with over 200 employees and thousands of customers across North America.

Robert Chiti, OpenTech Founder, stated, “Wow, how time flies when you are having fun. Starting and growing a technology business in an industry full of great people has been a dream of mine, I feel very blessed. We owe our success to the hundreds of self-storage operators that trusted us to help them automate their business and vendors that welcomed us to the industry and worked with us on behalf of our mutual customers. We could have never gotten here without them.”

Today, OpenTech is the largest self-service kiosk provider, operates the largest call center in the industry, manages the largest online auction website in the industry, and has most recently launched the industry’s first smart access control system based on the OpenTech IoE platform which is rapidly replacing old PC-based solutions.

In July of 2003, Robert Chiti, Mike Connolly and Davin Dameron drew up plans to develop and market a self-service kiosk, designed to bring the benefits of automation to the booming self-storage industry. OpenTech was initially conceived as a provider of “open” technology solutions that would integrate with and complement other vendors’ systems and technologies. Adhering to this philosophy, OpenTech has since grown into a highly-respected leader and multi-faceted technology solutions provider for the industry.

“Our growth strategy is based on three pillars; Internal Innovation, Acquisitions, Partnerships. So far, the plan is working pretty well’, added Chiti.

StorageTreasures Acquires StorageStuff.Bid

StorageTreasures.StuffLogos

Press Release

StorageTreasures Acquires StorageStuff.Bid

For Immediate Release:

July 9th, 2018 – Phoenix, AZ – StorageTreasures, LLC, the owner of StorageTreasures.com, the storage industry’s leading online auction platform, announced it has acquired StorageStuff.Bid, a well-respected competing online storage auction site. As part of the transaction Cheli and Chris Rosa, both seasoned auctioneers and employees of StorageStuff.Bid, will join OpenTech Alliance, Inc., managers of StorageTreasures.com and majority stakeholder of Storage Treasures, LLC.

“We have always had a great relationship with the folks at StorageStuff.Bid and are very excited to now be on the same team. With Cheli and Chris on board, we are the only online auction company to have licensed auctioneers with licenses in all 50 states, which gives our customers a level of protection not available with other online auction sites. They add a ton of credibility to what we’re doing, a wealth of knowledge, and valuable expertise as it pertains to lien laws for both traditional and online auctions”, claimed Robert A. Chiti, CEO of OpenTech Alliance, Inc.

Chiti added, “Cheli will be responsible for supporting the StorageStuff.Bid customers as well as improving our facility manager and auction buyer training programs. We are going to put Chris to work on expanding our Auction Review Service. In addition, we are going to rely on both of them to teach us how we can better support Auctioneers with their live auctions.”

“We have been an OpenTech and StorageStuff.Bid customer for many years. The merger of OpenTech’s technology expertise with Chris and Cheli’s auction experience is a great thing for us and the industry. We trust them to ensure our lien sales are done properly and that we get as much money possible for our delinquent tenant’s goods,” Marc Harris, Vice President of Metro Storage.

“We are proud of what we have accomplished at StorageStuff.Bid, but realized that it was going to be very difficult to compete with the level of investment OpenTech is making in StorageTreasures.com. The amount of money they spend on digital marketing, auction buyer programs, customer service and technology innovations is staggering, so we felt joining forces was the right move. The one area they were weak was actual auction experience. Chris and I are filling that gap and bringing them our years of experience running both online and live auctions as well our professional auctioneer licenses”, stated Cheli Rosa from StorageStuff.Bid.

The company expects to have all StorageStuff.Bid customers transitioned within 90 days, at which time the StorageStuff.Bid site will be shutdown. After the transition StorageTreasures.com will represent 8,500 facilities, 900,000 active buyers and 15,000 monthly auctions. As the leader in online storage auctions, StorageTreasures has completed well over 1,000,000 successful auctions for self-storage facilities.

About StorageTreasures
Founded in 2010, StorageTreasures offers the most comprehensive self-storage auction platform available on the internet. In addition to storage auction hunters, the site serves auctioneers, appraisers, pickers, yard sale buyers, self-storage customers, and facility owners throughout the US and Canada. OpenTech Alliance, Inc. owns a majority of StorageTreasures, LLC and manages StorageTreasures.com.

About OpenTech Alliance
OpenTech Alliance, Inc. is the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self storage industry. The company’s products and services include the INSOMNIAC line of self serve kiosks , INSOMNIAC Live! call center , INSOMNIAC CIA access control system and StorageTreasures.com online storage auctions. OpenTech solutions are designed to improve the customer experience, reduce operating costs and increase revenues for self-storage facilities.

Contact: Andrew Letter, Director of Digital Marketing (480)397-6503

OpenTech Alliance Launches Internet of Everything (IoE) Enabled Access Control System

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OpenTech Demonstrates New INSOMNIAC CIA system at Self Storage Association Conference in Las Vegas.

OpenTech Alliance Launches Internet of Everything (IoE) Enabled Access Control System

locksSeptember 5th, 2017 Phoenix, AZ – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. is introducing the first of a new generation of products developed for their Internet of Everything (IoE) platform.

The first component of the platform is a Centralized Intelligent Access system – INSOMNIAC CIA . According to Jon Loftin, Vice President and IoE Product Owner for OpenTech Alliance: “The product was designed to address the largest pain points self storage operators have with existing solutions, including: reliance on old school PC technology, skyrocketing pricing, lack of centralized data and control, limited technical support and no long term hardware warranty. We know the industry is anxious to move off their old technology, so we are offering customers the ability to  pre-order their systems with a 100% refundable deposit. We are planning to have product available Feb. 2018.”

Robert A. Chiti, President and CEO of OpenTech added. “We are very lucky to have Jon leading our IoE platform effort. He has over 25 years of experience in the access and control arena and it is his experience and leadership that have made it possible for OpenTech to deliver such a dramatically advanced solution. We are all excited to see what he comes up with next.”

INSOMNIAC CIA is the first cloud-based access control system designed specifically for the Self Storage industry. It does not require a PC at the facility. The system gives operators total control of one to thousands of facilities with a mobile friendly administration portal using any Internet connected device including PC, Mac, tablets or smartphones. The portal provides secure, real-time diagnostics, data visualization and reporting insights into what is happening at the facility at all times from anywhere in the world.

The IoE platform is designed based on an open architecture allowing operators and other technology vendors to develop their own integrations. OpenTech will be integrating the system with their LiveAgent! call center application, allowing their storage counselors to better assist tenants on the property. INSOMNIAC CIA comes with a Lifetime Protection program that includes; software subscription, hardware warranty, unlimited telephone support, and the Storage Genie mobile app. Storage Genie comes with the “No Touch” feature that allows self storage tenants to quickly access the property without having to even reach for their smartphones.

INSOMNIAC CIA hardware is built to last and has undergone surge/lightning testing of 20,000V at 10,000Amps for the power inputs and 16,000V at 380Amps for the RS485 communications. In addition, it is also listed to Underwriters Laboratory (UL) specification UL294 for access control systems

To learn more, visit www.opentechalliance.com/cia/ or call us at 602.749.9370.

OpenTech Alliance Brings Self Storage Robot to North America

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OpenTech Alliance, Inc., a leading technology solutions provider for the self storage industry, announced they have signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Wyca, a robotics engineering company headquartered in Toulouse, France, to sell and support their Keylo robot in North America. OpenTech demonstrated the robot at the Inside Self Storage World Expo in Las Vegas last month.

Self Storage Robot PHOENIX, ARIZONA (PRWEB) MAY 10, 2017

The robot is designed to assist self storage customers rent a unit, make a payment, purchase a lock and it will even escort them to their unit. The robot will also connect the consumer with a live storage counselor who can assist them and answer any questions they may have about the facility.

“We are engineers, and our passion is integrating Robotics with Artificial Intelligence technologies to solve business problems. We are very pleased to be partnering with OpenTech Alliance to be our sales and service partner in North America. Their reputation and track record for developing innovative self storage solutions is impressive, and fits perfectly with our strategic plan to bring automation to the industry”, stated Matthieu Besozzi, Wyca Co-Founder.

Robert Chiti, OpenTech President and CEO added: “We are super impressed with the Wyca team. As an industry, we are fortunate they have decided to invest their brainpower, money and resources to help put self storage operators in a position to leverage the latest in technology to operate their businesses. Typically, the aerospace and healthcare industries get to have all the cool technology first. Over the next year we will be demonstrating the robot and collaborating with self storage operators to learn more about how they feel it can help their business.”

About OpenTech Alliance
OpenTech Alliance, Inc. is the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self storage industry. The company’s products and services include the INSOMNIAC line of self serve Kiosks, INSOMNIAC Live! call center services, technology for online storage reservations, and the StorageTreasures.com online storage auctions website. OpenTech solutions are designed to improve the customer experience, reduce operating costs and increase revenues for self-storage facilities

About Wyca
Wyca develops Keylo, the first service robot specifically designed for self-storage industry. By combining human interactions and Artificial Intelligence, Keylo robot helps self-storage owners to receive clients remotely, lower operational expenditures and strengthen security. Wyca is headquartered in Toulouse, France.

This technology is part of a larger trend towards unattended or unmanned self storage. A video of the Self Storage Robot in action can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/opentech

OpenTech Voted Best Self Storage Call Center for 2016

ISS Award 2017

iss-award-2017Congratulations to the entire OpenTech team for another job well-done:

Winner – ISS Best Self Storage Call Center Services 2016!

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More proof that hard work and dedication pays off….

The Inside Self-Storage “Best of Business” reader-choice poll, launched in 2011, solicits online votes from industry professionals who elect their favorite suppliers in approximately 30 categories. Awards include Best Builder, Best Management Software, Most Innovative Product and Best Customer Service among many others. Winners are honored through profile pages in ISS magazine as well as during a special ceremony at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas. The results are published online year-round for ISS readers to access.

Awesome job, everyone!

OpenTech Labs Cuts the Ribbon on New Software Development Space

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OpenTech Labs
CEO Robert Chiti (left), and Joe Arnone, Vice President of Product Management cut the ribbon on the new OpenTech Labs.

OpenTech Alliance cut the ribbon on it’s new software development center dubbed “OpenTech Labs” today. Presiding over the festivities is OpenTech Alliance President and CEO Robert Chiti, and Joe Arnone, Vice President of Product Management, who provided the impetus to make this a reality. The new OpenTech Labs is a part of OpenTech’s push into new products and services geared towards adding value to it’s core technologies in the self storage rentals market. OpenTech Alliance provides a line of integrated hardware, software and solutions that improve customer service, efficiency, and profitability for self storage facilities nationwide.

OpenTech Labs designed the new space in a bid to attract up and coming developers to it’s growing operation. “With the market for tightening, we need to compete more aggressively to find and keep high quality talent” according to Chiti. “what has worked in the past has to make way for new realities”. With growth coming in a range of SaaS (software as a service) products, along with OpenTech’s “StorageTreasures.com” online auctions website, the need for high quality programmers and product developers is continuing to increase. By providing a fresh and open workspace, OpenTech Labs aims to improve internal collaboration while better offering a more inviting work environment for it’s development teams.

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Devon Storage Managers Generate Huge Spike in Automated Collections

Devon Storage Managers Generate Huge Spike in Automated Collections

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – November 18th, 2016 – Today OpenTech Alliance, a leading provider of self-storage technology solutions, announced that Devon Self Storage, a Top Operator in the Storage industry, reported a significant increase in tenant usage of XpressCollect, a SaaS product that collects late rent payments automatically.

With over 40 facilities that span across 15 states, Jim Mooney (Director of Operations at Devon) transitioned the entire portfolio from a manual calling collection process, to a cloud-based automated collection system, by implementing XpressCollect in January of 2016.

From the onset, the results were encouraging.  In February of 2016, the automated service collected a total of $36,161 in  late payments throughout the portfolio.  Since then, the solution has produced even better.  In September of 2016, the automated service collected a total of $92,817  late payments throughout the portfolio.  Tenant usage increased over 200% in 2016.  Even more amazingly, $50,352  in late payments were collected in 1 day on September 5th  – Labor Day, when all Devon stores were closed.

When asked what he liked the most about the decision to automate collections, Mooney answered with a question, “How long would it take for you to call 125 people?  Once twice, or maybe five times?  Now multiply that by 40+ managers.  The future of storage collections is all about our managers.  And that decision has reduced a large portion of our manual collection calls.  Through these efficiencies, our managers have been able to focus more on sales and operations.”

Devon has triggered XpressCollect to send friendly payment reminders via text or email when accounts are 5, 9 & 15 days late.  Managers never have to worry about scheduling collections, or sending reminders.  Once the system is setup, they never have to touch it again.  When reminders are sent, tenants make their payment thru the service by pushing a few buttons on their phone to complete their payment through XpressPay, OpenTech’s pay-by-phone service, or they simply click to make their payment through their phone.  Devon collection reports also highlighted that even though the last payment reminder is sent to accounts that remain unpaid on the 15th, thousands of dollars are still collected thru XpressCollect by month end.

Mooney added, “Tenants are unpredictable, and will pay when they can pay.  But now, we are far more consistent in reaching past due tenants.  The solution delivers everything needed to drive late rent payments automatically, and into the channels our tenants prefer, whether it is by phone, email, or text.  As more owners, operators, and managers look for easier solutions to streamline collections, XpressCollect will offload manual collection tasks at much lower costs than doing it manually.”

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 130,000 tenants in 2015, generating over 140 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech also owns a majority stake in Storage Treasures, LLC and operates https://opentechalliance.com/, the largest online and onsite self-storage auction market place in the industry with over 900,000 bidders, 6,500 self-storage facilities and over 140,000 auctions held in 2015. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please visit our website https://opentechalliance.com/ or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

 

Press Contact: 
Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo, and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

OpenTech Helps Storage Managers Rent over 130,000 Units in 2015

PHOENIX, Arizona – September 6th, 2016 – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. announced the release of the 2016 Self Storage Technology White Paper.  According to the report, storage unit rentals through the INSOMNIAC™ platform eclipsed 130,000 units in 2015.

A total of 49,966 move-ins were completed thru INSOMNIAC self-service kiosks.  Also, a total of 76,832 move-ins were completed thru the OpenTech Call Center (INSOMNIAC Live!), and finally, a total of 5,682 rentals were captured via INSOMNIAC Online.

OpenTech’s portfolio of customers yielded an estimated $140 million in new sales over 2015 using the company’s automated solutions.  In addition, the kiosk, call center and online solutions assisted store managers in collecting a grand total of 609,649 customer payments, while conducting over 1.9 million self storage transactions in 2015.

This is the 8th year OpenTech will be demonstrating their core value of transparency by sharing their transaction data with the industry. The White Paper includes ongoing self storage business trends, customer case studies, and several valuable illustrations used to highlight key points for consideration.

What you’ll learn from this research:

  • Analyze the objectives storage owners are able to achieve by integrating self-service sales & service channels into their operation.
  • Kiosk comparisons for benchmarking individual results to all kiosks installed provides an in-depth look at how your onsite technology is performing.
  • Data on the AASR (Average Annual Sales Return) of OpenTech products will reveal how self storage owners can evaluate efficiencies and returns on investing in self-service technology.
  • Comprehensive call center data and the conversion rates of store managers.
  • Case Studies about operators who are bundling INSOMNIAC solutions to impact facility valuation.
  • Discover the strategies other storage businesses have put in place to attract new renters and see just how far their business processes have evolved.

Jim Chiswell, President of Chiswell & Associates said, “Since the start-up of Open Tech Alliance, Robert and his team of technology professionals have used their annual Self Storage Technology White Paper to share statistical and data insights on facility achievements, sales tactics, manager performance, asset management and customer analytics that they have measured across their various platforms during the past year.  I want to acknowledge their contribution to our industry’s growing understanding of the positive impact properly implemented technologies can have on our bottom-line results.”

The complete 2016 Self Service Technology White Paper is available for download at the company website or by clicking here.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 130,000 tenants in 2015, generating over 140 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech also owns a majority stake in Storage Treasures, LLC and operates www.storagetreasures.com, the largest online and onsite self-storage auction market place in the industry with over 900,000 bidders, 6,500 self-storage facilities and over 140,000 auctions held in 2015. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please visit www.opentechalliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact:
Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo, and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

OpenTech Acquires eTRACKER for Self and Mobile Storage

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Sept. 5th, 2016 – Today, OpenTech Alliance Inc. announced they have reached an agreement with eTRACKER, LLC to acquire the eTRACKER software system for the self and mobile storage markets. eTRACKER, LLC will exit the self storage market and retain a customized version of the software to sell into the commercial real estate market. The transition is projected to be completed by the end of 2016.

eTRACKER has been available and used by self storage operators for several years. Operators have been enjoying the benefits of streamlining their operation, reducing costs, going paperless, as well as improving communications internally and externally with vendors.  The solution has a cloud based corporate module called “HQ” and a mobile app.  The system has benefits for managers, district managers, owners and even third party vendors – everyone knows what is happening at the facility without having to be there.

OpenTech will be renaming the operations management solution to StoreTracker. StoreTracker features include:

  • Property Audit
  • Incident Report Management
  • Task Management Module
  • Unit Inventory Management and Lock Checks
  • Auction Management
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Operations Management Optimization

“We have been using eTRACKER for several months and it has made a very positive impact on our operation.  Our managers love it and use it to track and share information in ways we never thought about.  We have been a customer of OpenTech’s for many years.  We have kiosks at all our properties and trust them to handle all our incoming phone calls thru their call center.   In addition, we use their collections tool and StorageTreasures.com to handle our auctions.  So we are very happy OpenTech has picked up this product, it is a great addition to their platform of solutions,” stated Margaret Martin, EVP Property Management for Pegasus Group/Central Self Storage.

Jon Loftin, OpenTech Vice President and Product Owner said, “StoreTracker fits nicely into our IoE strategy and we plan to open it up for use by other vendors in the self storage industry.  Storage operators including managers, DMs and corporate staff will be able to use one tool to communicate with all of the vendors they use to operate their facility.  This will allow operators to track everything that is going on at a facility with one easy to use tool.”

Contact OpenTech if you are interested in learning more about how StoreTracker can save you money, simiplfy your operation and always keep you the loop.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the company’s automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2015, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech also owns a majority stake in StorageTreasures, LLC and operates www.storagetreasures.com, the largest online and onsite self-storage auction market place in the industry with over 950,000 bidders, 7,500 self-storage facilities and over 140,000 auctions held in 2015. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please visit www.opentechalliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact:
Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo, and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

Texas Self Storage Association to Host Annual Conference in The Woodlands

Texas Self Storage Association
595 Round Rock West Drive, Ste. 503
Round Rock, TX  78681

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  July 25, 2016

Contact:  Jennifer Taylor, Director of Communications & Marketing
(512) 374-9089 • (888) 259-4902 • Fax (512) 374-9253 • pr@txssa.org • www.txssa.org

Texas Self Storage Association to Host Annual Conference in The Woodlands

TSSA has some big ideas in store for self-storage owners, developers and managers at the 2016 TSSA Annual Conference in The Woodlands at the Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, October 9-11, 2016.

Share, discover and engage at the premier event for the self-storage industry in Texas. Join us for three days of networking, education and a trade show geared for self storage.

The conference offers four educational tracks to target what you need to know for your business: Strategy & Enterprise; Development & Growth; Management & Operations; and Marketing & Technology.

This year’s keynote speaker Steve Vrooman, Ph.D., Professor of Communication Studies at Texas Lutheran University, will give a presentation titled, “By the Time They Need Us, They Already Know Us: A New Approach to Social Media for the Self-Storage Industry.”

Is this what your Facebook or Twitter sounds like? “We exist. So does our phone number. We have vacancy. And operating hours. Contact us. Please.” Do you have the nagging feeling that it is all just a waste of time? The Texas self-storage industry has a social media problem. Few self-storage businesses use it. Even fewer use it to any effect. How do we build a productive social media strategy when our business is just DIFFERENT than those that social media gurus design their tips for?

The trade show is also a great opportunity to learn about new and innovative products to help your business. “I’ve started doing business with some of the vendors I met at the trade show,” said Bill Gibbs, owner of A Low Cost Self Storage in Baytown.

Early bird discounts are available until August 31. For more information or to register, visit www.txssa.org.

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About TSSA
The Texas Self Storage Association was established in 1986 and is a non-profit trade association dedicated to enhancing the quality of the self-storage industry in Texas. The Association provides opportunities for members to increase their knowledge of the self-storage industry through education, research, discussion and exchange of information. For More Information:  Texas Self Storage Association – www.txssa.org

About the Keynoter:

Steven S. Vrooman, Ph.D., is a Professor of Communication Studies at Texas Lutheran University. He has taught courses on public speaking, research methods, popular culture and communication technology for 20 years. He appeared in the documentary film The People Versus George Lucas, and spoke at TEDxSanAntonio on how our brains work like Twitter.He has published articles on popular culture and the rhetoric of the Internet. Dr. Vrooman has presented on diverse topics at numerous conferences around the country.

Uncle Sam Increases Savings to Self Storage Owners on Kiosk Purchases

OpenTech Alliance reminds self storage owners that INSOMNIAC™ Kiosks now qualify for increased tax deductions under the new PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act). The tax act notably reduces the cost of a kiosk purchase by 35% percent, resulting in a savings of up to $6,300 per kiosk. Taking advantage of this tax savings may just be the best financial decision you make in 2016.

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OpenTech Recruits Jon Loftin to Lead New Initiative

OpenTech Recruits Jon Loftin to Lead New Initiative

PHOENIX, Ariz. – June 28, 2016 – Today OpenTech, a technology leader in the self storage industry, announced they have recruited Jon Loftin, one of the industry’s leading access control experts. Jon will report directly to Robert A. Chiti, the companies CEO, and hold the title of Vice President and Product Owner.

Mr. Loftin has held senior management roles in the self storage industry for over 25 years.  He has contributed to the success of Digi Tech International, Chamberlain Access Products Group and for the past 5 years has been leading sales, technical support, customer service and marketing for PTI. Jon has managed the dealer/installer networks for all three companies.  Jon will be responsible for the development of OpenTech’s new IoE Solutions Platform. Details of the initiative will be announced later this year.

Jon commented, “I have worked with the team at OpenTech for many years and I have watched them continue to grow their company by developing innovative solutions and happy customers. I am excited about getting the opportunity to design, develop and launch an entirely new solution for the self storage industry, built from ground up on the latest technology available.”

Robert A. Chiti said, “We are proud that Jon has decided to join our management team.  His values align nicely with OpenTech’s.  He puts customers first and will do whatever he can to make them happy.  We call it Doing It Right.  Jon’s experience and knowledge with access control systems, business, and people makes him the perfect person to lead our IoE initiative.”

Jon will continue to work from Asheville, NC but travel to OpenTech’s headquarters in Arizona on a regular basis. He can be reached at jloftin@opentechalliance.com or his mobile (828) 776-0820.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the company’s automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2015, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech also owns a majority stake in StorageTreasures, LLC and operates www.storagetreasures.com, the largest online and onsite self-storage auction market place in the industry with over 950,000 bidders, 7,500 self-storage facilities and over 140,000 auctions held in 2015. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please visit www.opentechalliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact:
Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo, and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

Industry Leaders Partner to make the payment process Simple, Secure, and Available 24/7

OpenTech Alliance Inc., the leading innovator of automation solutions for the self storage industry and Select Merchant Solutions, the industry’s leading payment processer have partnered to market OpenTech’s pay by phone solution – XpressPay in conjunction with Select Merchant Solutions credit card payment processing service. The two companies are combining efforts to help Select Merchant Solutions’ customers make the rental payment process an effortless experience for both the tenant and the facility manager.

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More Renters & Local Businesses Seeking Storage Facilities with Kiosks

PHOENIX, Arizona – March 17th, 2016 – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. announced today that Storage Spot, a 200 unit facility located in Beaumont Texas, revealed an in-depth view of transaction data that highlights the exceptional performance of their “full-serve/self-serve” storage office. Despite pronounced profits & efficiencies, the side-effects of their business model are even more distinctive.

“Happy tenants and local businesses have become a walking advertisement for our brand,” said Mark Montebello, owner of Storage Spot. Montebello incorporated the INSOMNIAC™ Kiosk into his facility from the start. His sights were set on using the kiosk to assist his onsite manager with work-load, and also as a preventative to missing business when his office was closed.

It didn’t take long for the community to respond favorably to the kiosk. Montebello was casually approached by one of the area’s biggest movers wanting to find out if the kiosk could provide their business with something other facilities could not… more flexible access to the facility during off-peak hours. This kiosk attribute alone, led the company to partner with Storage Spot to lease units and parking space for their fleet of moving trucks.

“Their storage business, along with their customer’s storage business has trickled down to benefit Storage Spot, and the kiosk is credited to our acquisition of these new business relationships,” said Montebello.

In addition, Montebello has been grateful for his many tenants who have gone out of their way, almost instinctively, to spread the buzz about the benefits of the kiosk. “We work on a very small budget, but always put our tenants first, and their word-of-mouth P.R. has been more powerful than any type of advertisement. In part, the kiosk is responsible for gaining more new customers,” added Montebello.

Montebello has another business that occupies the majority of his time, but is fortunate to have an exceptional storage manager to handle operations, and provide customers with full-service onsite. The manager also sees the kiosk as a fringe benefit of the job that affords a much more flexible, and efficient work-schedule. “With the kiosk, our manager is not tied to a regular schedule on weekdays, nights, or weekends in the storage office. The after effect is a huge benefit for our manager as well,” noted Montebello.

When the manager is away from the office, Storage Spot is never disconnected from their tenants, or new potential customers. Their self-service office is always open, and supported by live Storage Counselors thru the INSOMNIAC Kiosk Network.

And while their manager still processes a majority new rentals, and tenant payments with customers in the office, the kiosk continues to play the role of a 24-7 assistant manager. In 2015, 102 new tenants leased their units directly through the kiosk.

“Each month, the kiosk generates 4-5 additional rentals that we would have otherwise lost. At an average of $1,100 per rental, we would be losing over $4,000 dollars in monthly revenue without the kiosk,” finished Montebello. Detailed kiosk transaction data for 2015 is highlighted below.

Kiosk Report Data (Storage Spot – 2015)

  • Total Kiosk Transactions: 487 for $51,424.60
  • Total New Rentals: 102 for $8,248.71 (in first month payments)
  • Average Monthly Rental = $1,100 x 102 for $112,200 (in gross kiosk rental revenue)
  • Existing Tenant Payments Collected: 367 for $42,922.78
  • Total Merchandise: 18 for $0,253.11

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech also owns a majority stake in Storage Treasures, LLC and operates www.storagetreasures.com, the largest online and onsite self-storage auction market place in the industry with over 900,000 bidders, 6,500 self-storage facilities and over 140,000 auctions held in 2015. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please visit www.opentechalliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact:
Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo, and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

 

OpenTech Acquires Majority Stake in Leading Self Storage Auction Platform

OpenTech Acquires Majority Stake in Leading Self Storage Auction Platform

PHOENIX, Arizona -January 19th, 2016 – Today OpenTech Alliance Inc., a leading technology provider in the self storage industry, announced they have acquired a majority stake in Storage Treasures LLC, the largest onsite and online self-storage auction platform in North America.  As a part of the investment, OpenTech has signed a long-term management agreement to operate the related websites, hire all employees and expand the brand into new markets. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Storage Treasures website currently supports over 900,000 registered bidders and services more than 6,000 self-storage facilities managed by industry leading operators such as Extra Space Storage (NYSE:EXR), A- 1 Self StorageCentral Self StorageGreat Value StorageCompass Self Storage, and US Storage Centers.  Storage Treasures also owns several associated websites including; StorageBattles.com, StorageTreasures.com, LegalNoticeLocator.com, SpacePicker.com and is a founding technology partner of Charity Storage, Inc., the Official Charity of the Self Storage Association (SSA).  Storage Treasures, LLC is the result of a consolidation of Storage Battles LLC and Storage Treasures Inc. in late 2013.

“We have observed the rapid adoption of online auctions in our space and felt we could leverage our technology expertise, customer service capabilities and IT infrastructure to help scale the Storage Treasures platform,” said Robert A. Chiti, OpenTech President and CEO.  “Over the past two years the team at Storage Treasures, lead by Jim Grant, has knocked the cover off the ball.  They have significantly ramped up every metric of the business including self-storage facilities using the service, active bidders, number of auctions and most importantly, the debt recovery percentage for their storage owners.”

“Our plan is to build upon the vision of the founders of the respective sites Jim Grant (Storage Battles) and Lance Watkins (Storage Treasures), so we are very happy Jim has decided to stay on with OpenTech and continue what he started,” Chiti said.  “Everybody within the Storage Treasures organization is very excited about joining OpenTech,” said Grant.  “Robert has been a member of our Board of Advisors and investor for over a year, so he is up to speed on our short- and long-term road map.  We already are the largest onsite and online self-storage auction platform and with OpenTech we plan to gain additional momentum while taking our customer service and technology innovation to a whole new level.”

OpenTech already offers self-storage managers services that fit into the late to lien process.  Their XpressCollect service automatically notifies tenants in a convenient channel (text, email or manual call) that their rent is due.  The service also gives the tenants an effortless and secure way to make their payments, saving managers lots of time and reducing the costs for self-storage owners.

Storage Treasures already is using OpenTech’s Open API service to automate the auction posting process by keeping the Storage Treasures site updated with information from an operator’s property management software.  This integration significantly reduces the chance of human error in the process and reduces an owner’s risk.

Following OpenTech’s philosophy of developing open solutions, the company plans to invest heavily in launching new related sites, while adding new features to the Storage Treasures site to promote the use of the service by partners such as traditional auctioneers, affiliated auction sites in other markets and resale outlets.

“The resale trend is exploding and we want to put Storage Treasures in the center of it,” said Chiti.

About StorageTreasures.com:  Storage Treasures is a free, social site to find live onsite storage auctions or post online auctions at any self-storage facility across the United States and Canada. Members also can bid on storage units online from participating facilities. Storage Treasures has revolutionized the way in which the contents of self-storage units are marketed and publicly auctioned after the lessee has failed to pay rent. The site fills the gap between the operational systems that the industry currently utilizes and the public buyer who may be interested in the contents of a unit that is going to auction. The tools Storage Treasures provides allow the storage industry not only to comply with, but also to exceed the intent of state laws governing the self-storage industry, protecting tenants and bidders alike. For more information please visitwww.storagetreasures.com.

About OpenTech: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the company’s automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2015, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact:
Anton Communications

714-544-6503 p

info@antonpr.com

Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Southern California, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo, and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

OpenTech Call Center Helps Storage Portfolio Exceed 44% Rental Conversion Rate

PHOENIX, Arizona – December 19th, 2015 –OpenTech Alliance, Inc. announced today that Investment Real Estate Management, LLC (IREM) reported statistics on their portfolio of 15 properties in Pennsylvania and Maryland. “By using the OpenTech Call Center (INSOMNIAC Live!), our store managers were able to achieve an extraordinary, 44% rental conversion rate,” said Jason Carl, District Manager at IREM.

Carl offered further analysis of the OpenTech performance report. Over the course of 2015, Storage Counselors at the call center answered a total of 15,556 IREM facility calls. 15% of the calls answered, were validated sales inquiries. A classification breakdown of the sales calls processed at OpenTech included: 871 completed unit reservations, 122 scheduled sales appointments, 653 qualified sales leads, and 790 limited leads, totaling 2,436 sales inquiries. These calls were first answered at the call center, and then the data was forwarded to store managers at IREM for closing.

IREM managers take over from there. They are well trained, highly skilled, and incentivized to follow up immediately. “In the end, we were able to convert 44% of the sales calls that were processed at OpenTech, totaling 1,069 rentals thru the call center alone. The storage counselors at OpenTech set the stage for our callers, they acquire quality customer data, and it’s sent to our properties in real-time. This strategy puts our managers in a better position to close sales more effectively, and OpenTech has greatly contributed to our success,” said Carl.

What’s even more impressive is the fact that the call center represents the portfolios second line of defense. All facility calls are routed to reach the store managers first. However, when managers are with customers, away from the desk, or when the office is closed, calls rollover to the call center. “It’s about control versus trust, and based on our history of success with OpenTech, we trust calls to roll over, without the worry of a negative impact on sales or service. Our managers also realize that by sharing control, the call center saves the sales we would have otherwise missed,” added Carl.

The report revealed that over 35% of all facility calls rolled to the call center on workdays when managers were busy, and when the office was closed in the evenings, and on weekends. At an average cost of $1,600 per rental, the call center at OpenTech was estimated to drive $1.6 million in incremental revenue for the company.

Carl also noted that, the call center offered some very impressive levels of customer satisfaction unrelated to sales. The report indicated that 85% of the calls answered, were designated as tenant care calls. Those calls were completed at the call center without the need for store manager involvement.  Service calls processed at OpenTech included: 3,641 collected payment calls, and 9,479 miscellaneous service inquiries, totaling 13,210 tenant care calls.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Jason, and his site managers at IREM. It is a great feeling to be supporting their site managers in a positive way, and we are happy to have contributed to their success,” said Robert Chiti, President and CEO at OpenTech.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact:
Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo, and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

Owner/Operator Reveals New Generation Ethics for Self-Storage

PHOENIX, Arizona – October 31st, 2015 – OpenTech Alliance announced today that Robert Kapp, owner of American Self Storage in Pittsboro, North Carolina, revealed a number of new generation business practices that combat rising storage competition, by adapting to new customer buying habits.  Kapp’s ethics have allowed the company to rapidly gain a competitive edge, and in turn achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction.

What started 15 years ago as an untested concept, American Self Storage was founded on the principles of being an unmanned facility.  At that time, the new facility owner began to pioneer the remote business concept singlehandedly, 60 miles away from his facility.  Without the latest technology, transactions were handled by phone, and all the red-tape was done manually by mail.  Today, the site has grown and evolved into one of Pittsboro’s busiest storage facilities.

In order to accomplish the feat, Kapp’s first course of action was to scrap the customary self-storage business schedule.  “You all know it.  The one that was built to work for most of your customers, most of the time,” said Kapp.  Instead, he had the philosophy to build a storage experience that works for all of his customers, all of the time.  Kapp stated, “People are working longer hours and are always on the go.  We felt that limiting business to our office from 9-5 wasn’t ok, just because everybody else does it.  We also knew that we were leaving money on the table by not providing a solution.”

As the property got bigger, daily time limits to doing business with the 500 unit (60,000 sqft) facility were eliminated by integrating the INSOMNIAC Self-Storage Kiosk.  “The kiosk supercharged our efficiencies and put our facility into a position where it never turns business away,” added Kapp.

Prior to purchasing the kiosk, Kapp spoke to several owners who use the technology and noted, “Talking with kiosk users was the best way to get a non-biased opinion.  Before seeing success, many had a slow start.  There was a natural adjustment period because they were used to serving customers the same way for so long.  Training their staff to do things differently took extra time and care.  We were lucky; our start was literally seamless because the kiosk already complimented our business practices.  There was no push-back, and training with our Customer Success Manager Kristina, was in-step with our beliefs.”

When visiting the site these days, there is no perception of a traditional storage facility.  New customers and tenants alike experience the automated model from the beginning, when approaching the always-open American Self Storage tech-office onsite.  And when customers call by phone, no matter the time of day or night, Kapp goes back to his original playbook to offer RFS (Remote Facility Support).  They market their amenities, and over the years they have become very good at it…

And like a well read script, Kapp went into demonstration mode, “Thanks for calling, yes units are available.  No appointment is necessary, the automated office is always open; make yourself at home (fridge is for customers).  You can do what you need to, at your convenience.  Just remember to push the help button on the kiosk if you need any assistance onsite.”  Customers get immediate help when they want it from a live storage counselor through the 2way video feature the onsite kiosk provides.

When asked about the lack of personalized service onsite, Kapp replied, “Managers can’t offer personalized service 24-7, but we do have a full-time supervisor.  He stays busy overseeing three of our sites and is available to offer personal service when needed.  Still, we are finding less and less people want personalized service.  The kiosk offers a flawless experience, we have had zero complaints, and my anxiety level has gone down.”

It’s no longer business as usual in the storage industry in Pittsboro, and Kapp has grown his empire into 7 properties.  Customers are receiving exceptional service on an anytime-anywhere basis at American Self Storage where their business loyalty is reserved for those who are best serving them at the moment.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact:
Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo, and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

Rookie Storage Owners Realize Win-Win by Creating an Effortless Storage Experience

PHOENIX, Arizona – October 18th, 2015 – OpenTech Alliance announced that industry newcomers, Steve and Barbara O’Rourke, recently opened the first unmanned storage facility in Ames Iowa. And after a year of operating the facility without routine human intervention, their plan to create a win-win business proposition for both tenants and property owners has become a reality.

Since opening Ames West Side Storage in November of 2014, the duo insists that their facility provides an easier and more convenient option for storage customers. Most importantly however, they guarantee that the automated business concept offers owners much more.

“By creating a flexible and effortless storage experience for our customers, we have realized higher net profits without being required to man our storage office for 60 hours a week,” said Steve. Steve is a licensed public adjuster and Barbara is a NICU registered nurse. “Our storage property is self-sufficient, and the INSOMNIAC kiosk allows us to oversee a top-notch storage property, and maintain our full-time jobs without many headaches,” added Steve.

When asked about not offering good old-fashioned customer service and or the possibility of hearing negative feedback over the lack of a manager onsite, Steve replied, “Our new customers and tenants still get immediate help when they want it from a live storage counselor through the 2way video feature that our kiosk provides.” The couple believe that the 24-7 technology offers their customers a level of consistency that neighboring facilities can’t. And their kiosk operational reports back up that belief by revealing over 40% of their kiosk rentals occur after 5 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.

“We get no complaints about our setup, and every customer coming in is treated exactly the same. Those who want to rent a unit or access their storage can do so all day, every day. Our competitors only have manager’s onsite to sell and serve from 9-5. With only 190 units, our facility is on the smaller side and it would not be as profitable to have a manager onsite,” added Steve.

Being entirely committed to the self-service concept from the onset and after implementing a number of best practices after, Steve & Barbara’s INSOMNIAC kiosk continues to perform at a level that is equal to their competition. On the other hand, the win-win scenario that they have created sets Ames West Side Storage apart from the competition.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped store managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

OpenTech Releases Version 2.0 of XpressCollect for Self-Storage Managers

PHOENIX, Arizona – September 9th, 2015 – Today at the SSA Tradeshow in Las Vegas, OpenTech Alliance announced the V2 release of INSOMNIAC XpressCollectan automatic payment reminder and collection system that helps storage managers to shorten the life cycle of a tenant invoice and improve cash flow. The service eliminates the need for making excessive collection calls, and manually sending various emails or individualized texts, it automates the entire process.

Already a hit with hundreds of storage managers nationwide, the impact of XpressCollect has been demonstrated to be immediate and easy to measure. Jim Mooney, Director of Operations at Devon Self Storage said, “After implementing XpressCollect, our conversion rates on collections improved dramatically.  And after using the product for several months, we were able to cut our delinquent receivables in half.”

OpenTech originally announced the acquisition of TXT Collector and subsequent the launch of XpressCollect in September of 2014.  The plan was to invest heavily in development resources to make the service the best in the industry and the lowest cost.

In true OpenTech style the new version was built on their Open Self Storage Cloud platform and leverages OpenPortal so make it easy for managers setup up and forget. Version 2.0 leveraged the companies Open API to integrate with more property management systems. XpressCollect is now readily available to benefit storage owners using; DomicoQuickStorSiteLink, and Yardi, with additional vendor integrations on the horizon.

In Version 2.0, the product framework has undergone a major overhaul and new dynamic features have been added to bring more value to self storage managers, but cost of $29/month is still much lower than any other competing solution and it is a fraction of the cost of do-it-yourself collections.

Highlights of new version:

  • Secure integration with the leading property management systems
  • Multi-channel communication (e-mail, text, and  optional Live Call module)
  • Validation of tenant contact information (mobile numbers and email addresses)
  • Customizable collection timeline and workflow
  • An optional Live Calls Module that gives managers the ability to initiate and record outbound phone calls and have the result tracked for more troublesome collections situations
  • Detailed documentation on all collection related notifications
  • Detailed and easy to navigate reporting
  • Transparent compliance practices

Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing at OpenTech said, “Time is money and XpressCollect will help you recover both.  Whether you are seeking ways to speed up the collections process, increase cash flow or become more sales efficient, the side-effect of automating your accounts payable means that time previously spent on manual collection calls can be redirected toward more meaningful work.”

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped store managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

Leaders Merge to Create Highest Quality Call Center in the Industry

PHOENIX, Arizona – September 8th, 2015 –OpenTech Alliance and StorageMart, the owners of the INSOMNIAC Live! call center and PhoneSmart call center respectively, announced today at the SSA 2015 Fall Conference that they have reached an agreement to merge their third party call centers before the end of the year. The financial terms of the merger were not disclosed.

Over the next few months the OpenTech and PhoneSmart teams will work together to combine each companies’ best practices, technology, self storage experience, processes and people to form a combined call center made up of the best of each.  The merged operation will use the INSOMNIAC Live! brand.

“We have always had the utmost respect for the StorageMart and PhoneSmart organizations. They have years of experience operating a call center in our industry and even more time operating self storage facilities.  Their experience is invaluable in our mission to build the highest quality call center in the industry”, said Robert Chiti, OpenTech President and CEO.

“The storage industry is becoming ever more competitive, therefore, PhoneSmart has made the decision to exit the third party call center business in order to focus exclusively on StorageMart branded stores.  Our customers are the greatest, but long term the advantages of OpenTech’s technology platform cannot be denied.  We felt it was best for us and our customers to combine our third party call center with OpenTech.  We have been looking for ways to work together for several years and now the timing is right”, commented Cris Burnam, StorageMart President.

To learn more about OpenTech’s products and services stop by the OpenTech both #635 – 641 or the PhoneSmart booth #430 at the SSA Fall Tradeshow.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped store managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

US Congress Helps Self Storage Owners Save on Kiosk Purchases in 2015

PHOENIX, Arizona – August 23rd, 2015 –OpenTech Alliance, reminds self storage owners that INSOMNIAC™ Kiosks  qualify for accelerated tax deductions under Section 179 resulting in a savings of up to $6,300; notably reducing the cost of a kiosk purchase by 35 percent.  Self Storage owners can learn more about this tax savings at Section179.org.

As of today Section 179 of the IRS Tax Code has a limit of $25,000 that can be expensed immediately on qualifying purchases.  However, the House and Senate Finance Committee have already voted to reinstate the previous limit of $500,000.  Once the full Senate passes the bill, the limit will be raised.

Pricing: INSOMNIAC Kiosks range from $1,500 to $18,000. Under Section 179, a purchase will yield a rebate in savings from $525 to $6,300 per kiosk. Click Here for Models & Pricing

Calculate Your Savings:  Endorsed by section179.org this free calculator is fully updated for 2015 – go ahead, punch in some numbers and see how much you can save on a kiosk this year. Click Here to Calculate Your Savings for your kiosk or other qualifying equipment you plan to purchase in 2015.

To qualify for the deduction, a kiosk must be installed and operating by the end of the 2015 calendar year.  In order to ensure owners will be able take advantage of the tax savings they are urged to order their kiosk now, so they can have it delivered by November and operating in December.  As with any tax consideration, please consult your accountant or tax attorney for individual case assessment before making tax or business related purchases.

“While I am not a fan of the behavior of many of our politicians, I am happy to see many in our Congress understand the value in supporting the growth of small businesses”, stated Robert A Chiti, OpenTech Alliance President & CEO.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped store managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

OpenTech and storelocal Partner to Develop Industry’s First Global Distribution System

PHOENIX, Arizona – July19th, 2015 – OpenTech Alliance, one of the self-storage industry’s most innovative companies, and storelocal, the storage industry’s first national cooperative, announced today that they have partnered to develop and deliver an advanced technology platform for the independent operator.  The two companies plan to jointly develop the industry’s first global distribution system (GDS) to deliver real-time self storage inventory in a standard, scalable and secure method to consumers and third parties on a variety of platforms much like the Saber system used by the airlines.  The GDS will lessen self storage operator’s dependency on Google and open their doors to many other less expensive sources of renters. Consumers will be able to rent, reserve and pay through the GDS from any device.

OpenTech’s mission is to make using storage effortless so more consumers will use it. Today, almost 9% of American use self storage, OpenTech’s goal is to reach 12%. The partnership with storelocal will create a GDS platform that will work with all participating facility management software providers and provide potential renters and other companies such as movers, truck rental companies, apartment management firms, and even bigger players like Yelp, Amazon and Angie’s List with effective ways to drive more consumers to self storage facilities using a fluid, intuitive digital rental experience. By leveraging modern user interface principles in tandem with OpenTech’s award-winning connectivity technology, the two companies plan to create the best self storage user experience on the market.

“OpenTech’s commitment to the independent operator, dedication to innovative technology, and their alignment with storelocal’s mission made them a perfect partner. They have solved a difficult and ongoing connectivity challenge for their kiosks, call center and other applications and now we’re working together to solve the problem for other companies looking to help self storage operators rent more units.  The platform we’re developing will expose self storage to more people as well as change the way they experience it,” said storelocal CEO Lance Watkins.

“We totally enjoy working with innovative minds that are not afraid to think big.  storelocal is a group of self storage operators that are looking to make self storage easier to use and that concept aligns well with our mission.  We are excited to be part of something that will help the entire industry grow,” stated OpenTech’s President and CEO, Robert A. Chiti.

About storelocal: storelocal is a cooperative of self-storage owners and operators coming together to increase their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Together our members leverage new and existing resources to lower their operational costs and increase their profit. We provide access to best-in-class products and services through in-house development and vendor partnerships. Collectively leveraging value and commitment, storelocal increases members’ competitive advantage in the marketplace. We believe providing access to the best business tools will reduce your operational cost and increase your profit. To learn more about the storelocal co-op, visit the storelocal website, www.storelocal.com or call Natalie Bragg, Director of Public Relations, at 949-629-4142.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped store managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click:OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

INSOMNIAC Kiosk Honored as Freedom Fighter

PHOENIX, Arizona – July 4th, 2015 – OpenTech announced today that the “Freedom Act” passed by Freedom Self Storage 24-7 last year has been a great success.  In August 2014, self storage owners James & Darcey Widmann installed the INSOMNIAC Kiosk at their storage business in the greater Des Moines area of Carlisle Iowa to ensure their customers had the Freedom to do business when it was most convenient for them. Less than a year later, the kiosk has already accounted for completing over 30% of all new move-ins and payments at the 133 unit facility.

James said, “The kiosk fits our Freedom brand 100% and demonstrates our commitment to freedom.  Guests who want and expect service in person can always use our front desk and those who prefer self-serve can use the kiosk 24-7.  A place where freedom of choice meets self storage is what we’re about.”

The property represents a 15 year dream for the Widmann’s. Before purchasing their first property, they researched what people liked and didn’t like when doing business in Carlisle. They discovered many residents preferred the freedom that self-service systems provide.  The Widmann’s felt the kiosk would help to meet those desires when it came to the business schedule of their corporate tenants and new generation renters.

“We had to find a way to adjust to their schedule and negotiate a plan for our freedoms also.  The most practical way to accomplish that was by purchasing the kiosk,” added James.  The husband and wife team has plans to open three more properties for their children & families with a kiosk at each location.

Darcey said, “The kiosk has been our best hire ever, a true Freedom Fighter.  And many of our customers choose to come here, over another property because of the freedom our kiosk provides.  Liberty is the right to choose, and Freedom Storage is the result of that choice. Happy Birthday America!”

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped store managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click:OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

OpenTech Helps Storage Managers Rent over 100,000 Units in 2014

PHOENIX, Arizona – June 29th, 2015 – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. announced that they have published the  2015 Self Service Technology White Paper.  According to the White Paper, storage unit rentals through the INSOMNIAC™ platform eclipsed 100,000 units in 2014 with 63,355 rentals thru the INSOMNIAC Live! call center, 39,919 rentals thru INSOMNIAC Kiosks, and 2,876 rentals via INSOMNIAC Online.

OpenTech’s portfolio of customers yielded an estimated $100 million in new sales over 2014 using the company’s solutions.  In addition, the kiosk, call center and online business solutions assisted store managers in collecting 489,431 customer payments, while serving over 1.3 million self storage customers in 2014.

This is the 7th year OpenTech will be demonstrating their core value of Transparency by sharing their transaction data with the industry.  The White Paper includes ongoing self storage business trends, customer case studies, and several valuable illustrations and graphs used to highlight key points for consideration.

What you’ll learn from this research:

  • Analyze the objectives storage owners are able to achieve by integrating self-service sales & service channels into their operation.
  • Kiosk comparisons for benchmarking individual results to all kiosks installed provides an in-depth look at how your onsite technology is performing.
  • Data on the AASR (Average Annual Sales Return) of OpenTech products will reveal how self-storage owners can evaluate efficiencies and returns on investing in self-service technology.
  • Comprehensive call center data and the conversion rates of store managers.
  • Case Studies about operators who are bundling INSOMNIAC solutions to impact facility valuation.
  • Examples of best practices, next practices and lessons learned for both new and current OpenTech customers.
  • Discover the strategies other storage businesses have put in place to tackle next generation renters and see just how far their business processes have evolved.

The complete 2015 Self Service Technology White Paper is available for download at the company website or by clicking here.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Storage Owner Shares Secret to Operating Small Facility

PHOENIX, Arizona – May 31st, 2015 – OpenTech Alliance announced today that Rocket Self Storage reported that the unmanned storage concept has been the key to their success.

A representative from Rocket stated, “Prior to opening the facility in May of 2014, we were faced with the choice of budgeting for onsite labor or automation.  We couldn’t afford to do both.  In the end, our owners felt that the kiosk would provide a higher profit margin and valuation.”

Since then, the ownership group hasn’t looked back on that decision.  The kiosk has performed 100 percent of all rentals and payments at the facility; leading them to over 95 percent occupancy in one year.

Located in San Diego, California, the 113 unit facility includes public easy access and a 24-7 INSOMNIAC Kiosk that is programmed to rent units, take payments, sell locks & insurance, verify identification and provide users with all the required leasing documentation at move-in.  If help is needed, customer service is available with a live Storage Counselor via 2-way video at the kiosk.

According to SpareFoot, “The logic behind this current movement is that storage owners have the opportunity to make more efficient use of time and space.”  And while most storage owners choose to operate with a manager onsite from 9-5, thousands have elected to do both (managers & kiosks).

WHAT IS DRIVING INNOVATION IN SS?  SpareFoot said, “Tenants are driving the use of the kiosks.  Mom works, Dad works, the kids are hauled from school, to band practice, and soccer games. Everybody is over-scheduled.  If there’s something that can be done to make storing faster and easier, more tenants will use it.”  While store managers are traditionally good at personal service, a growing number of properties understand the importance of the opposite as well… non-personal or remote service.

CAN YOU PUT YOUR FACILITY ON AUTO PILOT WITH A KIOSK?  SpareFoot went to the streets last summer to report.  Reaction among owners, managers and tenants on the kiosk ranged from marvel to skepticism.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped store managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

OpenTech and Storage Treasures Partner to Streamline the Self-Storage Auction Process

PHOENIX, Arizona – May 12th, 2015 – OpenTech Alliance, and StorageTreasures.com, the world’s leading online storage auction company, announced today that they have partnered to streamline and automate the self-storage auction process.  Storage Treasures will be using OpenTech’s Open API to eliminate the inconvenience and manual labor related to preparing for an auction, as well as reduce the pitfalls and liabilities associated with the auction process. The integration provides a secure method of integrating to multiple self-storage management software programs, resulting in less manual translation of data, making the process more consistent and accurate.

A faster, easier and more cost-effective way of handling the public-sale has arrived.  And thousands of storage hunters are already lining up at Storage Treasures online auction storefront to do business.  James Grant, President and CEO at Storage Treasures said, “The storage auction market is now dominated by the online players, and the most active and sophisticated buyer’s no longer waste time and gas traveling to storage sites to buy units.  They realize that the power of the Internet allows them the opportunity to bid further away and at more locations from the comfort of their office.”

Grant said, “We needed a way to configure our software with individual self-storage companies’ management software.  By programming with OpenTech’s integrated platform, we are able to automate online auction postings for the storage industry.  Now, with this partnership, a facility manager will not have to manually load  all of the pertinent information  for an auction.  Instead, it will preload automatically, and be ready if and when the time comes to start an auction.  All the manager will need to do is cut the lock of the unit, take pictures of the unit contents, note the description of the items, and upload it to the pending auction.”

With over 900,000 active buyers on the company’s website, the partnership opens the doors for new buyer relationships and a more competitive bidding process.  According to Grant, traditional auctions recoup only about half of what is owed by tenants in default.  On the other hand, his service recovers more than 100% for his clients on average. “With much less headaches and stress on the manager,” added Grant.

Robert Chiti, President and CEO at OpenTech said, “Our Open API is making it easier for everyone in the self-storage industry to share data in a secure and standardized fashion, which saves us all money and time.  We have been using the Open API for over 10 years and invest heavily into the technology to continue to enhance it, ensure it is always kept current and working properly.  We are glad that Storage Treasures customers will be gaining value from our investment.”

About StorageTreasures:  A web-based business that is revolutionizing the way in which the contents of self storage units are publicly auctioned after the lessee has failed to pay rent.  The site provides guidance to the storage facility, buyers and auctioneers. The result of which includes professionally managed auctions, more competitive bidding and increased revenues. StorageTreasures educates all parties involved in the storage auction process with an overall goal to reduce the number of units that eventually go to auction.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped store managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2014, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

Self-Storage Management Group Increases Property Values 35% thru Technology Bundle

PHOENIX, Arizona – April 7th, 2015 – Today from the ISS World Expo in Las Vegas, OpenTech Alliance Inc, announced the Self Storage Management Group of California (SSMG)reported ongoing statistics on the success of their kiosk and call center technology implemented at South Congress Storage in Austin, Texas.  The studies demonstrated how automation is instrumental to bottom-line cash flow and increased property value.

Mark Yandow, Partner at SSMG, “Adding the kiosk and call center attributed to a 35% increase in property valuation within 8 months of installing the bundle of automated services.”  What’s even more mind-blowing is that the move also increased the facilities net income by more than $6,000.00 per month within the first year, while occupancy rose 11%.  Today, the property is yielding over $12,000.00 in added monthly revenue since the conversion and store managers are producing at higher levels than ever before.

The entire transformation however, can be credited to more than the implementation of self-service technology.  Yandow, a self-storage owner, developer and 30 year industry icon, created an analytical system that assesses the integrated operation of a storage facility.  “The grading system allows storage facilities to measure their base, develop new startup strategies, and establish an achievable income potential by practicing a number of repeatable business processes.  We started with a limited cash flow, but the kiosk and call center were purchased and deployed before closing on the property by carefully redistributing expenses,” added Yandow.

SSMG has conducted case studies on over 14 properties spanning from 2007 to present that document successes in optimized facility performance.  His studies share data on a number of performance measures both before and after using automated business processes and self-service tools.

On April 1st, 2015, the SBOA hosted a roundtable workshop with Robert Chiti (President and CEO at OpenTech) and Mark Yandow to present detailed insights and statistics on his portfolio of properties. To view a replay of the presentation, click here.  Contact Mark Yandow at (805) 550-7388 if you are interested in engaging in a consulting project.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, we connect thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, our automated products and services helped our clients move-in over 50,000 new tenants in 2014, generating over 50 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

INSOMNIAC Kiosks Now Support Canadian Debit Cards through Interac

PHOENIX, Arizona – March 31st, 2015 – OpenTech Alliance Inc, announced today that the INSOMNIAC™ brand of Self-Storage Kiosks has completed integration to Canada’s proprietary debit payment solution, Interac. With many kiosks installed north of the U.S. border, the company’s self-service platform has already seen great successes in Canada.  Until today however, OpenTech kiosks would only accept credit cards, Canadian currency and Checks.

Calvin Grant, President of A-Z Storage Limited in Sydney, Nova Scotia said, “Requests to accept debit payments through our self-service kiosks have been in high demand and we are thrilled that OpenTech has met this demand.”

When Canadian consumers reach for a payment card in their wallets, Stats Canada reports that 56% of the time they choose Interac Debit (when compared against all other credit card brands combined). Nilson and Federal Reserve reports indicate that international debit cards represent the fastest growing market in preferred consumer payment type since 2009 (boasting the lowest ratio of fraud rates over the last 5 years globally). In contrast, the slowest market growth overall is occurring within the U.S. credit card sector.

Troy McLellan, president of Public Storage Canada and the Canadian Self Storage Association said, “OpenTech is a company that has made a name for itself as a dominant technology player in the self-storage industry. We congratulate them on their new integration with Interac. With the addition of the new debit card acceptance software, Canadian kiosks are now able to better service a wider majority of customers.”

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, we connect thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, our automated products and services helped our clients move-in over 50,000 new tenants in 2014, generating over 50 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing

OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

Store Managers Collect $21,000 in Past Due Rent Without Making A Single Phone Call

PHOENIX, Arizona – March 20th, 2015 – OpenTech Alliance Inc, announced today that Value Store It reported an effortless reduction in both manager effort and accounts receivable of over $21,000.  The decrease in receivables collected was over the span of 5 months since activating XpressCollect; OpenTech’s innovative collections product.

Based in Miami Florida, Value Store It is a privately owned self-storage company, with 12 locations throughout Connecticut, New York, and Florida.  Bryan Lekas, Vice President at Value Store It Management, LLC said, “The collection tool is automatically processing over $4,200.00 per month in past due rent and continues to improve our cash flow.”

XpressCollect automates the entire collection process and frees up managers to focus on more valuable tasks.   Unlike other collections services on the market, the system does not require the manager to manually send out emails or texts, eliminating the chance for error.  At $29 per month, the service is a fraction of the cost of do-it-yourself collections and tenants appreciate a friendly text reminder as opposed to the annoying robo calls.

The concept has become a big favorite of Value Store It managers for a number of reasons.  The task of making multiple monthly calls, sending various monthly emails, and taking on the follow-up routine that follows, has been largely eliminated.  “Our store managers love the value of automated collections because it is seamless and they do not have to physically do anything to maintain the process daily, monthly, ever.  Once setup, the collections process is easy, fool proof, and it never stops,” added Lekas.

Time savings was redirected towards manager performance measures to increase both sales and service at the same time.  Lekas also noted that their facilities are in some of the nation’s most competitive markets and the addition of the service has given them an added competitive advantage.  Lekas said, “We are also better positioned to maintain relationships with tenants.  Managers are now free from dealing with a majority of the awkward interactions connected with collecting payments and assessing late fees.”

Best of all, the service does not require operators to surrender their phone number or route your calls thru a virtual tracking number.  Managers do not have to login to a different system to use it, because it integrates seamlessly with the operators property management system.  XpressCollect is a standalone solution, but can be integrated with OpenTech’s call center and XpressPay service.

Why We Do What We Do:  Every day, we connect thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world.  With over 4,000 daily transactions, our automated products and services helped our clients move-in over 50,000 new tenants in 2014, generating over 50 million dollars in new sales revenue alone.  OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It.  For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com  

NOTE TO EDITORS:OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

OpenTech and Bellhops Partner to Create New Revenue Stream for Storage Owners

PHOENIX, Arizona – March 11th, 2015OpenTech Alliance, Inc., one of the self-storage industry’s most innovative companies and Bellhops, a Chattanooga, TN based startup, announced today that they have partnered to provide storage owners with a revenue generating service they can offer their customers. The two companies are working together to make Bellhops on-demand moving service available thru all of OpenTech’s solutions.

A new type of moving company has arrived, one that targets projects that are too small for the big moving firms. Bellhops are targeting storage tenants, people who simply need an extra set of hands to complete their do-it-yourself storage tasks. Unlike arranging service from a brick-and-mortar office or truck fleet, this unique launch compares to several of the growing technology and apps-based businesses.

The Bellhop service provides self-storage owners with an opportunity to share in the revenue on every transaction, while the Bellhops do the heavy lifting. Chris Cowart, VP of Business Development at Bellhops said, “We needed a way to configure our software with individual self-storage companies. By programming with OpenTech’s Self Storage Cloud service, we are able to program on-demand moving support for the storage industry.”

Do You Need Help Moving Stuff? With the new partnership, that question may be automatically prompted to tenants at move-in, move-out or when making monthly transactions. OpenTech innovation will provide storage owners with the capacity to integrate this extra special customer courtesy into all their customer touch points. Exclusive to the OpenTech portfolio of customers, the platform will function though the INSOMNIAC line of self-service kiosks, call center and online rental software securely and in real-time.

Operating out of 130 U.S. cities, Bellhops employs a real-time software network to accept customer move-time requests while simultaneously offering those jobs via-app to a contract labor pool of over 8,000 trained and insured college students (Bellhops). The tech-enabled moving company is backed by California and New York investors credited with supporting PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Zappos and SnapChat at startup.

Robert Chiti, President and CEO at OpenTech said, “I see the Bellhops model similar to the Uber model and we all know how wildly successful that has been. The team at Bellhops is well capitalized and they are very focused on ensuring the highest level of customer service. Together we will be bringing another new innovative revenue stream to self storage operators and maybe even more importantly a few spare hands to their tenants. Our mission is to make using self storage effortless, so providing tenants with a simple way to get some help moving fits perfectly.”

Why We Do What We Do:  Every day, we connect thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world.  With over 4,000 daily transactions, our automated products and services helped our clients move-in over 50,000 new tenants, generating over 50 million dollars in revenue alone in 2014.  OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It.  For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing OpenTech Alliance, Inc. 602.324.8655 msawyer@opentechalliance.com   

NOTE TO EDITORS:OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

 

Metro Self Storage Chooses OpenTech Call Center

PHOENIX, Arizona – March 10th, 2015 – Today, OpenTech Alliance, Inc., announced that Metro Self Storage, a Top 5 private self-storage operator, has chosen the INSOMNIAC Live! Call Center to handle all phone calls for their portfolio of storage properties.  Headquartered in Lake Forest, IL with over 90 facilities, Metro also committed to utilizing OpenTech’s website platform INSOMNAC Online, to offer individual unit rentals on-line, in addition to providing on-site self-service with INSOMNIAC Kiosks at select locations.

Brian Blankenship, Executive Vice President at Metro Storage LLC said, “Over the course of a year we measured a number of call center metrics, evaluated technology capabilities, and carefully measured call quality to compare our current service with OpenTech.  After a long and well thought out process, we found our future partner in OpenTech.  Their proven track record of innovation, commitment to continued improvement, and integrated platform were key factors in our decision.”

Robert Chiti, President and CEO at OpenTech said, “We have had a great relationship with the executive team at Metro for many years and we always felt that at some point we would become a valuable partner for them.  They have a similar culture to ours and it makes for a great working environment.  We look forward to contributing to their long term growth and success.”

Why We Do What We Do:  Every day, we connect thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world.  With over 4,000 daily transactions, our automated products and services helped our clients move-in over 50,000 new tenants, generating over 50 million dollars in revenue alone in 2014.  OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It.  For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com  

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

Self-Storage Kiosk Sales Jump 53% in 2014

PHOENIX, Arizona – February 5th, 2015 – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. announced today that the INSOMNIAC™ family of self-storage kiosks achieved another year of impressive growth, with revenue from kiosks sales and related services exceeding $4 million in 2014.  The number of kiosks delivered rose by 53 percent over 2013, and reflected orders largely from existing clients, new independent storage owners and self storage management groups.

The INSOMNIAC self-service kiosks make the storage process easy, effortless and offer immediate help with a live storage professional from their 2-way video service.  In 2014, OpenTech published a number of success stories that demonstrated the dramatic impact kiosks are having on the financial performance of self-storage businesses:

JFK Mini Storage, in Macon Georgia, reported an average increase in net operating revenue of over $3,500 monthly since the kiosk made its debut.  The property owners originally installed the kiosk to reduce labor and spend more time away from the business in the evenings and on the weekends.

Access Self Storage, in Oakland New Jersey, installed the kiosk in January of 2014 to help managers with payments and add a layer of customer convenience that was missing.  The following month, owners reported an all-time high in unit rentals over the course of a month.  After averaging approximately 8 new rentals monthly, the property completed 14 rentals through the kiosk alone in February of 2014.

Red Dot Storage continues to add kiosks to every new property based on a management philosophy to leverage technology that delivers the highest level of customer service and convenience, while controlling costs and increasing profits.  In turn, their portfolio of properties reported an increase in occupancy between 5% – 25% at every location, while decreasing operating expenses as much as 20% after installing the kiosk.

Robert Chiti, President and CEO at OpenTech said, “We are excited to report that our current customers want more kiosks and we are welcoming many new customers each month.  Storage facilities around the country are increasingly using onsite kiosks because consumers are embracing them with no hesitation.  Today’s high-tech society has been trained to help themselves thru the use of all the technology they come into contact with everyday.”

About OpenTech Alliance, Inc: Celebrating over a Decade of Service to Self-Storage, OpenTech provides solutions that connect storage owners with tenants.  Through the development of a complete line of automated Kiosks and Call Center services, the INSOMNIAC brand has become synonymous with self-storage.  The company offers a wide-range of self-storage rental solutions that increase revenues and improve customer convenience, while decreasing operating costs and workload.  A place to find reliable, around-the-clock support is what OpenTech has come to be for thousands of self-storage owners world-wide.  For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com  

NOTE TO EDITORS:OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

Top Operators Select OpenTech Call Center to Outperform Competition

PHOENIX, Arizona – January 27th, 2015 – Today, OpenTech Alliance, Inc., announced that INSOMNIAC Live!™ has been chosen as the call center of choice by a number of leading self-storage operators including; Securlock Storage Centers, Assured Self Storage, The Storage Center, Guardian Storage, and Personal Mini Storage.

Family owned and operated for over thirty years, Personal Mini Storage manages a portfolio of 36 self-storage properties across the state of Florida.  In 2014, the company decided to develop the call center concept for a number of strategic reasons.  Increased NOI, property valuation and maximizing on their ability to rent units topped the list.  Still, the company approached the idea of handing over their calls to an outsider with caution and pushback from several store managers.

“Our investment in the early stages uncovered a lot.  We started on a trial basis with only 3 of our stores using the call center at OpenTech.  Within a month, we were impressed to see a substantial increase in the number of calls that were being answered and tracked.  We knew immediately that our managers were missing calls for a number of reasonable explanations,” said Joel Patterson, Operations Manager at Personal Mini Storage.

Sixty days later, the continued effect led the company to add call center services to every facility in its portfolio.  Today, managers still have the first opportunity to answer every call, but when busy or unable to pickup promptly, Storage Counselors at OpenTech take over to ensure that a call is never missed.  Patterson said the compromise with store managers to use the rollover service has driven a substantial influx in reservations and leads to their sales funnel.

Another big part of adding the call center service was to gain a level playing field with all of the REITs located in their 36 unique marketplaces.  “Like any other independent self-storage operator, we battle with the REITs on an hourly basis.  And all of the public owned storage companies use their own 24-7 call centers for a reason… to gain an edge on the private owners.  We know that by doing the same, we have the ability to outperform all of the competitors in our Florida cities,” added Patterson.

Blair Valk, Vice President of Operations at Assured Self Storage also came to OpenTech with the need to increase telephone sales performance and the lead tracking process for store managers.  The impact of the call center was a success, “Over the course of a year, the OpenTech call center contributed to an increase in occupancy from 71% to 82%, an all-time high,” said Valk.

Companies are also selecting call center vendors based on their ability to deliver deeper customer engagement and service capabilities like; automated text collections, express payments, onsite kiosks, online rentals, online chat, and mobile applications. OpenTech President and CEO, Robert Chiti predicts that over the next five years, storage vendors that can offer multiple capabilities and value-added technology solutions will have an edge over those that offer less, and largely compete on cost alone.

About OpenTech Alliance, Inc: Celebrating over a Decade of Service to Self-Storage, OpenTech provides solutions that connect storage owners with tenants.  Through the development of a complete line of automated Kiosks and Call Center services, the INSOMNIAC brand has become synonymous with self-storage.  The company offers a wide-range of self-storage rental solutions that increase revenues and improve customer convenience, while decreasing operating costs and workload.  A place to find reliable, around-the-clock support is what OpenTech has come to be for thousands of self-storage owners world-wide.  For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing

OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com  

NOTE TO EDITORS:OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

OpenTech and Storage Door Curtains Partner to Create New Revenue Stream for Operators

PHOENIX, Arizona – December 12th, 2014 – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. and Storage Door Curtains today announced the completed product integration between Storage Door Curtains’ wireless Weather Barrier Storage Door curtain sensors and OpenTech’s INSOMNIAC Self Storage Network. The effort provided Storage Door Curtains with the capacity to integrate their door curtain electric monitoring software securely and in real time with all major self-storage management software systems. The integration allows self storage operators the ability to create a new revenue stream by utilizing the door curtain monitoring capabilities.  With the integrated services self storage operators will be able to assess “daily energy loss fees” to tenants that leave curtains doors open to climate controlled units.

The curtain highlights an eight-layer, airtight, waterproof; floor-to-ceiling barrier with built-in electronic sensors and a starting R-12 insulation rating that exceeds newly implemented 2012 Energy Code Specifications.  By programming to OpenTech’s OpenAPI the Storage Door Curtains’ monitoring software is able to utilize built-in electric door curtain sensors to insure the proper closing of barriers and assess daily energy loss fees on individual units to tenants that fail to close the door curtain in their unit.

With numerous financial incentives available from federal, state, utility companies and local agencies, operators can see a reduction of energy costs by up to 70% and implement an automated “green-workplace” practice to recoup lost energy revenue.

James Ciaciuch, CEO at Storage Door Curtains said, “There are a vast number of operators who want to better control the temperature on exterior units.  We needed a way to configure our software with individual self-storage units to monitor proper door curtain closings to save energy and assess energy loss fees. The partnership with OpenTech will allow us to simultaneously reduce the amount of energy lost or wasted and give self storage owners a substantial source of new monthly income.”

Robert Chiti, President and CEO at OpenTech said, “We are excited to be working with such an innovative company.  James and his team are forward thinkers and the investment they have made in developing this new and valuable product is impressive.  Talking to James reminds me of when OpenTech launched the industry’s first self service solution.  We have a real soft spot for entrepreneurs like James and are happy to be partnering with him to bring a new revenue stream to self storage operators.”

About OpenTech Alliance, Inc: Celebrating over a Decade of Service to Self-Storage, OpenTech provides solutions that connect storage owners with tenants.  Through the development of a complete line of automated Kiosks and Call Center services, the INSOMNIAC brand has become synonymous with self-storage.  The company offers a wide-range of self-storage rental solutions that increase revenues and improve customer convenience, while decreasing operating costs and workload.  A place to find reliable, around-the-clock support is what OpenTech has come to be for thousands of self-storage owners world-wide.  For additional information, please click: OpenTechAlliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact: Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com  

NOTE TO EDITORS: OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

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