Page 160 - Security Today, July/August 2018
P. 160

with Schlage locks, Open Options was award- ed the project because according to Townsend, “their product had the most integration options available, and they showed they were in a position to continuously offer more.”
For over two decades, Open Options and Mercury Security have worked together to provide a true open architecture access con- trol solution. Open Options’ flagship access control platform, DNA Fusion, interfaces with a host of other systems, including intel- ligent locks, video management systems, crit- ical communications, elevator systems, visitor management, and many more.
“The whole upgrade process was pretty painless," Townsend said. "The biggest issue was that one of our largest buildings was in heavy use during the upgrade, so we had a very short window—one week to be exact— to complete the work in that building."
Fortunately, the installation was rather straightforward with only having to switch out the building controllers, as all the existing locks and wiring were already compatible with DNA Fusion. Furthermore, transferring cardholder and database information from the old system to DNA Fusion was simplified with Open Options’ OpenDX software.
OpenDX database exchange software pro- vides an easy-to-use interface for configuring the data users want to transfer into their DNA Fusion access control system. This powerful tool removes the time-consuming task of manually entering data across various busi- ness systems, saving the organization signifi- cant money and valuable resources. OpenDX performs automated data transfers from any valid data source.
“As most access control system users do, YHC utilizes access levels and time schedules cam- pus-wide to achieve maximum security, and with DNA Fusion’s extremely intuitive feature set—such as the drag and drop functionality and global access levels—managing these permissions is a breeze,” Townsend said. “For example, if a person changes departments, we can easily add or remove them from groups.”
As previously stated by Townsend, a huge factor in the selection of Open Options as the college’s access control provider was the com- pany’s extensive portfolio of technology part- ners and integrated solutions. In addition to integrating Schlage AD and NDE locks with DNA Fusion, YHC also deploys Milestone Systems’ XProtect software for their video
management needs.
The integration between DNA Fusion and
XProtect enables full control of live and recorded video from XProtect through the DNA Fusion client. DNA Fusion software manages the entire access control system, including door controllers and door hardware, users, cards and access levels. The highly cus- tomizable DNA Fusion client is used to config- ure, maintain and monitor the access control system including viewing live and recorded video, integrated from XProtect software.
Other integration features include the abil- ity to view live video from graphical building maps and from camera trees in the hardware browser, as well as the ability to display mul- tiple monitor views and simultaneously play back using built-in controls.
For streamlined security management, Townsend and his team were adamant about getting their Information Technology depart- ment away from running the campus’s day- to-day security operations, and to transition that role to the designated security operators.
“Even though DNA Fusion is extremely easy to manage because of its feature set, I credit a lot of our knowledge on the product to training,” Townsend said. “Because of the training we received through Open Options, the sessions we conduct for our users is typi- cally less than an hour.”
In addition to a well-rounded security solu-
tion, YHC has numerous efforts in place to streamline and control access, which in turn increases the safety of students on campus. Students are assigned credentials that are used to gain entry to facilities campus-wide, including residence halls, common student areas, and more. YHC also requires students present their access badge at elevators, where the students are then are able to choose from set floors depending on their access level.
“Ultimately, we need to be able to provide students access to their residence halls and common areas, yet prevent them any addition- al access without it being explicitly given,” Townsend said. “I think the way our system is configured does a good job of addressing that.”
Though Townsend and his team are happy with the college’s current security solution, he wants to stress this isn’t the end of the road for system expansion.
“Future plans include implementing emer- gency procedures and tying them into our existing systems to keep our students safe,” Townsend said. “Open Options is the standard for our access control, and we look forward to working with them, our other product vendors, and our integrator, GC&E
Systems Group, to continue upgrading our security.”
Ellie Randall the Market- ing and Communications Manager at Open Options.

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