Heartland Storage Group, the self storage division of HAN Capital, has reduced labor costs and streamlined operational activities across their portfolio with the help of OpenTech technology. With notable backgrounds in finance and investments, Heartland Storage Group’s owners leverage technology to help them reduce operational expenses while maintaining their high standards for customer service.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced the launch of INSOMNIAC Unit Alarms, a new integration for OpenTech’s IoE (Internet of Everything). Unit Alarms provides owners and operators the ability to quickly and easily upgrade older individual unit door alarm systems without the need to rewire the property – maintaining their initial investment while taking advantage of the data and real-time reporting available in the IoE Control Center.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced the release of the 2019 Self Storage White Paper. This technical paper provides a comprehensive analysis of consumer trends in the self storage industry, delivering data-driven, actionable insights to owners and operators to position your operation for success throughout 2020.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced Extra Space Storage has chosen StorageTreasures as their exclusive online auction partner. Extra Space, the second largest operator of self storage facilities in the U.S., has converted over 1,000 stores from live to online auctions to date. All facilities that switch to an online auction process in the future will do so on StorageTreasures.com.Continue reading
Pack, Stack & Store implemented INSOMNIAC CIA as part of a high-tech, luxury business model. Originally slated to install a PTI access control system – Pack, Stack & Store canceled their contract in favor of the higher quality product, greater functionality and personalized service offered by INSOMNIAC CIA.Continue reading
Life Storage, Inc. (NYSE: LSI) has signed an exclusive agreement to use StorageTreasures.com as the online auction platform for their full portfolio of 800+ facilities. Life Storage, one of the largest self storage companies in the world, leverages technology to allow their field teams to be more efficient and customer focused.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced today that Public Storage, the world’s largest owner, operator, and developer of self-storage facilities, has placed a second order of INSOMNIAC CIA systems, the industry’s first cloud-based access control solution, as the company continues to rollout CIA to its entire portfolio.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance will showcase a new wired alarm mux (code-named A96) at Booth #318 at the 2019 Self Storage Association Fall Conference and Trade Show on September 4th and 5th. The A96 is currently being tested and scheduled for release in Q4. It is anticipated to range in price from $499 to $799 and can be configured in either 96 or 48 channel mode. The company will begin taking orders for the new product in September.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced the release of two new API integrations for StorageTreasures’ customers. The integrations allow storEDGE and Storage Commander customers to automate the import of tenant auction data directly from the property management software into StorageTreasures.Continue reading
Personal Mini Storage will replace existing access control across all 43 of their self storage locations with INSOMNIAC CIA. Central Florida’s largest family-owned storage operator, Personal Mini cites CIA’s lightning suppression and Exclusive Lifetime Protection as key factors.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance launches INSOMNIAC SmartGate, a new integration for the OpenTech IoE (Internet of Everything). When combined with INSOMNIAC CIA, SmartGate allows owners and operators to receive alert notifications when a gate or other device does not open or close when requested, or when it is opened or closed manually.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced iStorage has selected INSOMNIAC CIA to replace existing access control systems across several of their facilities by the end of 2019. iStorage, owned and operated by National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA), will install CIA at over 20 facilities in the Michigan region over the next few months.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance now offers the first access control keypad with an integrated IP camera. With most self storage operators already actively using or with plans to implement IP camera systems over obsolete analog video technology, the enhancement, an exclusive feature of INSOMNIAC CIA, is available now.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance has helped Tennessee-based 24 Hour Self Storage flourish with INSOMNIAC Kiosks since its establishment 6 years ago. Founding partners Nicholas Lillios and DJ Cord, who own and operate various commercial, retail and residential properties, were committed to creating an automated business model before venturing into self storage.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced the release of the INSOMNIAC 120, the newest addition to the next generation line of self-service INSOMNIAC Kiosks, the 20 Series. The INSOMNIAC 120 offers a small size with stellar performance. Compact in design, this model mirrors many of the benefits of its larger counterparts.Continue reading
Data is an asset in any successful business. Cloud-based services have created connections that not only serve the needs of consumers, but is a tool companies have long leveraged to their benefit. The self storage industry is no exception. A critical link is missing from the equation – data that identifies how customers actually utilize self storage.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced the launch of INSOMNIAC SmartDoor, a new integration for OpenTech’s intelligent platform of smart-connected self storage solutions, OpenTech IoE. SmartDoor is the first and only self storage office analytics system that provides actionable insights on consumer traffic, whether your office is open or closed.Continue reading
Beachfront A1 Surfside Self Storage uses online auctions to safeguard staff and assets while recouping funds tied to delinquent units. A locally owned company since 1991, facility managers have resolved $34,000 outstanding in bad accounts with StorageTreasures.com.Continue reading
Amsdell Companies has converted its Compass Self Storage facilities from live auctions to StorageTreasures.com. According to Amsdell, use of the site has become standard practice due to a streamlined auction process, superior customer service, and a better overall ROI.Continue reading
Atlantic Self Storage rivals top operators with a combination of INSOMNIAC Live! call center solutions, XpressCollect and CIA. A small entrepreneur that operates in the competitive Washington D.C. metro market, Atlantic Self Storage knows you can’t miss a phone call.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance launches the next generation of self-serve INSOMNIAC Kiosks. The 20 series was designed with a focus on the user experience, the latest in hardware components and cloud-based software for maximum engagement and unparalleled reliability – all available at a new, lower price.Continue reading
Changes to the fee structure for the integration between StorageTreasures.com and newly merged StorEDGE and SiteLink‘s property management solution allows all StorageTreasures customers to take advantage of the SiteLink API, at no extra charge.Continue reading
OpenTech Alliance announced the launch of UsedStorageKeypads.com, a website offering used access control equipment at significant savings. UsedStorageKeypads offers self storage owners and operators a one-stop shop to find low-cost access control equipment.Continue reading
Westport Properties, Inc. has committed to replace existing access control at their full portfolio of 120 properties exclusively with INSOMNIAC CIA (Centralized Intelligent Access), the industry’s first cloud-based access control solution.Continue reading
Storage Choice automated their 15 self storage facilities in Texas to offer services and benefits that larger competitors don’t have, such as hands-free gate access via the Storage Genie app and 24/7 kiosks.Continue reading
Amy and Kevin Payne, the owners of 5 Star Boat and RV Storage located in Georgetown, TX, have been able to work full-time and launch their first successful boat and RV storage facility by automating operations with a kiosk.Continue reading
Graham Investments maximizes lien loss recovery efforts to the tune of an 80 percent increase over live auctions at their self storage facilities in Colorado, Texas, and Nevada – and just celebrated the one-year anniversary of their first auction on StorageTreasures.com.Continue reading
Self-Storage Operator Replaces Access Control with INSOMNIAC CIA
February 7, 2019 – Phoenix, AZ, OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self-storage industry announced Fox Trail Mini Storage, a family owned business in Kinston, NC has upgraded their Access Control to INSOMNIAC CIA after lightning destroyed their PC based access control system.
Fox Trail Mini Storage owner Amy and Chris Rouse had heard the saying, “lightning never strikes in the same place twice,” however, he wanted to make sure he had researched all the Access Control options on the self-storage market before replacing his keypad. “The lightning storm zapped my Falcon XT, right down to the readout on the keypad,” exclaimed Chris.
“When I took over the business in 2016, we had a stand-alone keypad where I would have to physically go out the keypad and input codes manually. When we upgraded, I no longer needed to walk to the keypad, but we did encounter lots of issues of having to reset the system when the computer went down and support was another thing, we had to submit an online ticket and sometimes wait days to be assisted. That was frustrating and not how we do business; we offer exceptional
customer service to our customers at Fox Trail Mini Storage and I wanted the same when it came to our vendors. When I started researching OpenTech’s CIA Access ControI, I realized our May 2018 lightning strike would allow us to make one of the best business decisions for our expanding self-storage business,” Chris commented.
“Since upgrading to CIA we have noticed a change in our business on various fronts; real-time alerts, reports on how many times tenants are accessing our location, giving tenants hands-free access through the Storage Genie mobile app, and knowing I have Lifetime Protection on the hardware and someone to pick up the phone when I need customer support,” added Chris.
“We built INSOMNIAC CIA from the ground up for the self-storage industry to address issues with older PC based systems including technology, warranty, installations, and support to solve frustrations that operators like Chris experience,” stated Robert A. Chiti, CEO of OpenTech Alliance. Robert added, “CIA has been listed to Underwriters Laboratory spec UL294 for Access Control as well as independently tested to withstand surges of 20,000 Volts and 10,000 Amps, so if lightning does strike twice, we have Chris covered!”
The Last Word
by Robert Chiti
Open Platforms Are Good for Everyone
When self-storage operators first started using technology it was in the form of PC software that was by its very nature isolated and rarely integrated with other systems. Early integrations included exporting data files other systems could read, including credit card processing software and access control systems. Because the unencrypted data files were automatically created and exported to a shared hard drive the originating software vendor could not control who could use the data, resulting in a true Open Integration.
Today, things are a bit different. Software systems now send data and commands back and forth through what is known as an Application Programming Interface (API). Here is where the problems start, for security reasons some type of authentication code needs to ensure the system trying to access the API has been authorized and is not a hacker. So this means the use of the API needs to be restricted. In most cases these restrictions are good for the self-storage operator, they make the entire system more secure and protect the self-storage operator’s data, and can also ensure the systems using the API are programmed efficiently so they do not cause performance problems for the users. However, in some cases, vendors put restrictions in place to limit competition or control the operator’s data. These closed end-to-end type systems can have a very negative impact on the success of a self-storage business.
Closed end-to-end platforms get self-storage operators “hooked” and then limit the other solutions that can be integrated with, to only solutions they sell, in some cases forcing the user to implement substandard technology. This approach can be very good for the vendor, but disastrous for the self-storage operator. These platforms typically end up costing the self-storage operator much more because they have no choice but to use the products offered by the vendor.
A truly open technology platform offers it’s APIs to all other vendors so a self-storage operator has the freedom to choose the specific solution they feel is best for them, instead of having to be held hostage and forced to only buy solutions from one vendor. A truly open platform sometimes referred to as Internet of Everything (IoE) platform allows all kinds of devices, applications, systems, and people to work together regardless of the vendor.
For example, with a truly open platform, an internal or third-party call center storage counselor can have real-time access to all the transaction data recorded in an access control system and can open a gate for a customer stuck behind the gate after hours without having to give out a temporary code that has to be changed later…. regardless of if the call center vendor competes with the access control vendor in other product areas.
So my Last Word is OPEN. End-to-end platforms that try to lock out competitors are bad for self-storage operators and bad for the industry as a whole. Self-storage operators would be wise to make sure they are only investing in technology that is backed by a vendor committed to providing open technology.
*Published in MiniCo Messenger, January 2019
Security 101 Chooses INSOMNIAC CIA as their Preferred Self-Storage Access Control Solution
January 31, 2019 – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. announced Security 101 LLC., has joined their growing list of OpenTech Channel Partners. Security 101 LLC., has supported self-storage operators with their access control and security needs for over 8 years and serves customers in the New Hampshire and Maine area. Clif Johnston, the owner of Security 101 LLC., was introduced to OpenTech when one of his customers inquired about their cloud-based access control solution, INSOMNIAC CIA. “When I investigated the hardware componentry, I was really impressed with the forward-thinking design. Captive screws and a unique hinged faceplate allow for easy installation and service, and the customer experience with the bright OLED display, text me my code, and Storage Genie mobile app are what set CIA apart from other solutions available in the self-storage industry.” Clif commented.
Gary Carland, Channel Development Manager for OpenTech Alliance, emphasized the point, “Every technology we develop is designed entirely to help self-storage operators, and in this case, our dealers work smarter and more efficiently.” Gary added, “Due to the easy installation process, INSOMNIAC CIA saves both the installer and customer time and money.” Clif commented, “The Technical Support staff at OpenTech are incredible, I am not a ticket in the system and a helpful voice is waiting to assist me every time I call!”
INSOMNIAC CIA gives self-storage operators total control of a single or hundreds of properties and addresses issues with older PC-based systems including technology, warranty, installation, and support. Operators don’t have to worry about computer problems or never-ending software updates as the cloud-based software is always running the most current version and will continue to operate even if your Internet connection goes down. Managers and owners can also gain insights into their renter’s behaviors and streamline business operations with predictive maintenance triggers with real-time data visualization and reporting from the OpenTech IoE Control Center.
To learn more about the OpenTech Alliance Channel Partner opportunities, contact Gary Carland
at email@example.com or 828.551.1210.
Be Heard! How Voice-Enabled Technology Can Improve the Self-Storage Customer Experience
By: Jon Loftin, OpenTech Alliance Vice President and IoE Product Owner
Artificial intelligence is touching more facets of our lives, and we need to start thinking about how it can improve the self-storage industry and our customers’ experience. Read how voice-enabled devices work and the functions they offer.
The way we interact with computers changes approximately every 10 years. First, we used punch cards, then keyboards and monitors, then the mouse, which was followed by touchscreens. Each of these changes meant learning new skills but ultimately improved the way we engage with technology.
The next user interface is voice-driven. Think of Alexa, Google Home, and Siri. A voice-activated device can enable all kinds of hands-free functions at self-storage facilities, from opening gates or doors to answering data-specific questions such as, “Who was the last person who entered the property?” Enabling these types of abilities is like giving the manager an office assistant, allowing him to quickly perform actions and tasks.
AI for Business
While voice interactions with AI assistants are fast becoming commonplace in the home, Amazon is looking to bring the same benefits to the commercial sector with Alexa for Business. The service has three main components: management tools, an application program interface to integrate with existing applications and infrastructure, and Echo devices, which can be configured for individual tasks or used in shared locations such as conference rooms or lobbies.
- E-mail management, which allows you to read, reply and manage e-mails
- Website monitoring, which allows you to learn the status of your websites
- Schedule management, which allows you to set reminders and confirm completion for tasks such as self-storage facility maintenance
Because these devices are cloud-based, they can easily be enhanced and expanded. Cloud-based systems allow for easy improvements without the high cost of upgrading older PC-based technology. Self-storage operators who are using antiquated tools should investigate newer platforms that allow for additional functionality, increased security and lower cost of ownership. Some are already experiencing multiple benefits by employing voice-enabled devices at their locations.
“We’ve seen numerous times where overcoming a language barrier sealed the deal in securing a rental,” says Natolie Ochi, president of SKS Management, which operates 23 self-storage properties in California. “We see future benefits of voice-driven functions at our properties, from having Alexa open our gates to giving the manager a daily briefing report, setting reminders, and so much more.”
Here are some common ways to use voice-enabled devices and platforms at your self-storage locations:
Language translation. If a customer who doesn’t speak English enters your facility, you can ask the device to translate your speech into the customer’s language and vice versa, omitting the language barrier and facilitating a unit rental. It vastly improves the customer experience for non-English speakers.
Control other facility devices. Voice technology can also be used to control thermostats, gates, doors and more. For example, you can simply say, “Open the front gate.” There’s no need to stop what you’re doing to find the clicker or open the access software to perform this simple function.
You can even ask the AI to begin the workday, which might include turning on lights, starting the coffee-maker, telling you the weather or breaking news, or relaying the number of rentals the facility had via the self-serve kiosk or online reservation system during the night.
Data security and privacy are significant concerns today with all this new technology. Amazon and Google say their assistants only start recording information after they’ve heard the wake phrases “Alexa” or “Hey Google.” Users can delete any information that was stored.
The attack vector for smart speakers is small, meaning a hacker would have to access Amazon or Google or your physical device. Your laptop and Web browser, which store more critical information, are much more open to cyber-threats than a voice-controlled device.
Adapting to Demand
“Amazon, Apple, and Google are investing billions to make voice recognition the main way we communicate with the Internet. We need to take proactive steps to ensure we’re part of this new shift in user experience,” says Robert A. Chiti, CEO and president of OpenTech Alliance, a provider of self-storage kiosks, call-center services, and other technology.
Investigate the benefits of incorporating voice-enabled devices into your day-to-day operation, including how people use them and how they can enhance the customer experience. As with any new technology, it’s important to choose an open platform that allows for integrations with many devices as opposed to a closed, end-to-end solution.
Just as Web and mobile search displaced the Yellow Pages in how customers find and use self-storage, voice-enabled devices can drive even greater change. As consumers use these platforms, the more functionality they’ll expect. Potential self-storage users will ask their device for the closest facility, then to reserve a unit, pay their rent, schedule a move-out or perform other functions. Facility operators should think about how they’ll use this new technology to stay competitive in a quickly evolving industry.
OpenTech Launches SmartEye
December 12th, 2018 – Phoenix, AZ, OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative smart connected technology solutions for the self-storage industry announced the launch of SmartEye, a tenant and asset protection service, that uses Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), Machine Learning and a Virtual Security Team (VST) to detect, intercept, and alert intrusions at self-storage facilities.
According to Jim Kwitchoff, Regional Vice President for Life Storage, “OpenTech’s SmartEye security monitoring service, powered by BlueEye, has taken our facility monitoring to another level. Combining Artificial Intelligence with good old-fashioned eyes on the target and live voice, SmartEye has proven to be an effective tool that we can use to ensure a safe and secure environment for our customers. The OpenTech Sales and Service teams are responsive at all times and have worked non-stop to meet our needs. We are very particular at Life Storage about the companies with which we do business, and OpenTech has met our high standards.”
SmartEye works with your existing CCTV systems to detect bad behavior as it is happening at your facility and immediately alerts a Virtual Security Team (VST). The VST is standing by to respond to the perpetrator with voice commands as well as notifies the local authorities who can immediately respond to the incident. The VST can also respond to visitors with precautionary or greeting messages reinforcing that security is a priority and enhancing customers assurance their belongings are secure.
The system uses A.I. technology to learn from the incidents and tags events that the VST should ignore, such as lights turning on and off. A.I. combined with a VST gives owners and operators peace of mind knowing their tenants and facility assests are being monitored by a professionally trained security team and incidents are being addressed in real-time opposed to reactively looking through recorded footage or relying on untrained personnel to respond to incidents.
Jon Loftin, Vice President and IoE Product Owner at OpenTech Alliance commented, “We have been following Technology advancements in A.I. and how it can benefit self-storage security. We are impressed with the results at several self-storage locations where SmartEye is implemented. Operators are reporting facilities that once experienced frequent issues have had no incidents!”
Storage Authority Chooses OpenTech Smart Connected Self-Storage Technology
October 1st, 2018 – Phoenix, AZ. OpenTech Alliance, Inc. announced Storage Authority, a rapidly growing self-storage franchise company, will be implementing OpenTech’s smart-connected technology at all their newly developed locations. Marc Goodin, Civil Engineer and Co-Founder of Storage Authority, designed and permitted his first self-storage facility over 25 years ago. Marc commented, “By utilizing the OpenTech family of products our customers have more conveniences at their fingertips which means we win out over our competition.”
Having been involved in this industry, Marc can clearly see we have entered a pivotal turning point in the self-storage industry. “We’re now selling what’s outside the four walls of a storage unit, not what’s inside. Furthermore, we are in the people business, somewhere between the banking and hotel industries,” added Marc.
To address this shift, Marc’s strategy for his franchisees is to leverage technological advances to increase operational efficiencies and focus on the customer experience. Some of the ways he is leveraging technology are by having an INSOMNIAC kiosk onsite at every property, outsourcing inbound leads through INSOMNIAC Live! Call Center services, offering customers hands-free access through INSOMNIAC CIA and the Storage Genie tenant mobile app and utilizing OpenTech’s IoE integrations such as HVAC and Alexa.
Robert Chiti, President and CEO of OpenTech Alliance, emphasized the point, “Every technology we develop is designed entirely to help self-storage operators work smarter and more efficiently. In today’s business environment you’ve got to use all the tools available to create a competitive advantage, and at OpenTech we’ve got one heck of a tool chest.”
2nd Generation Owners Take Hardy’s Self-Storage to the Next Level
Brothers Norman and Steve Hardy using Kiosks and Call Center Technology from OpenTech Alliance to Expand their Business and Gain New Efficiencies
(August 24th, 2018) – Hardy’s Self Storage, a second generation self-storage business with locations in Maryland and Delaware, is moving into new markets and building on their success with an assist from some forward thinking and new technology from OpenTech Alliance.
Hardy’s Self Storage was founded in 1986 with locations in Delaware and Maryland. Today, they have six locations, ranging in size from 124 to 300 units. Having grown up in the business, brothers Norman and Steve Hardy took the reins from their parents over 10 years ago and haven’t looked back since. The brothers have continued to expand and invest in new technology to help manage their growing enterprise.
While not wanting to “give away the secrets” to their success, Norman readily admits to the advantages Hardy’s has seen from automating their facilities: “We purchased our first Kiosk from OpenTech Alliance in 2013. Its’ value became obvious as we quickly proceeded to fully rent the facility. Since then, we’ve put (kiosks) in all of our locations, and plan for them from the start with each new property. In fact, through the first 7 months of 2018, we’ve completed 67 new rentals and received over 550 payments on the kiosks alone! In terms of competitive advantages, they help us keep our overhead and payroll expenses down, while at the same time keeping our facilities open longer and making it easier for our customers to rent a unit or pay their bill. It really allows our staff to focus on other maintenance and administrative tasks that need attention.”
Hardy’s is also using OpenTechs’ INSOMNIAC Live! Call Centerservice to handle incoming calls. According to Norman, this offers the business even greater efficiencies: “All of our inbound calls are handled by the OpenTech call center. Outsourcing our inbound phone traffic frees up our people to focus on the most important tasks at hand and gives us peace of mind in knowing that calls are handled quickly and efficiently, even when we’re not available. Incoming leads go immediately into our SiteLinkTMproperty management system, enabling us to follow-up right away and providing a detailed record of each call. I can’t imagine running a self-storage business without it.”
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.
This 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.
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 Adds HVAC Integration to their IoE Platform
(Phoenix, AZ, August 9th, 2018) OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self-storage industry announced their OpenTech Internet of Everything (IoE), intelligent platform of smart connected self-storage solutions, now includes HVAC integration. The new integration module is available immediately and at no additional charge. This new module is the first of many third party devices to be supported by the OpenTech IoE platform.
The integration allows self-storage owners and operators to save on their HVAC expenses by monitoring and controlling the temperature at their facilities from anywhere using the IoE Control Center and a Honeywell Lyric Round or T5 Series thermostat. The centralized intelligent control allows operators to adjust their thermostats remotely to prevent unwanted changes from tenants or employees as well as many other features. The notification component of the platform can also send text and email alerts based on variety of configured triggers including temperature and humidity levels.
“We know from working with our customers that HVAC can be a big expense that up until now has been difficult if not impossible to control remotely. Smart-connecting a facility with the Honeywell Lyric thermostat is an easy way for our customers to gain control of this expense.” stated Jon Loftin, VP and IoE Product Owner at OpenTech Alliance. Contact OpenTech Alliance today for more information on compatible devices.
Public Storage Selects OpenTech Alliance’s Centralized Intelligent Access (CIA) Solution
Phoenix, AZ – July 18, 2018 OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self-storage industry announced Public Storage, the world’s largest self storage operator with over 2,375 facilities, is implementing OpenTech’s cloud based property access control solution, INSOMNIAC CIA, at 850 locations.
This is the first of many smart-connected solutions built on OpenTech’s IoE Platform. OpenTech’s IoE platform was developed internally by OpenTech exclusively for the self-storage industry. The IoE platform is open so it can work with all kinds of devices such as kiosks, robots, video door bells, thermostats, lighting, cameras, Bluetooth wireless unit locks, drones, water flow meters and valves, and even the popular Alexa. The integration does not stop at devices, it also integrates with other software programs like property management systems, mobile apps, and call centers.
“We enjoy partnering with large operators to develop innovate solutions for the entire industry. Our goal is to be a self-storage operator’s innovation partner and that is what Public Storage was looking for. Their requirements included the highest level of security, scalability, and openness at the lowest cost, so we are sure other operators are going to be happy with what we have developed”, stated Robert A Chiti, OpenTech President and CEO.
INSOMNIAC CIA has a LifeTime Protection plan that includes:
- Industry leading customer support so operators to talk directly with a technician whenever they need help.
- Full product warranty including damage from lightning.
- Software subscription for the OpenTech IoE Control Center so operators can customize the technology to meet their needs as well as provide an instant overview of the status of all properties in their portfolio. The IoE Control Center includes an enterprise data store, business analytics, and a customizable notification service.
- Storage Genie, a comprehensive mobile app that gives tenants a hands-free method of opening the gate, making payments, contacting the facility, and much more without requiring the facility to setup static IP addresses or open ports on their network.
More information on the OpenTech solutions can be found at www.opentechalliance.com or by calling 602.749.9370.
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
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.
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
Customer Success Story
Highline Storage ‘Sets the Market’ With Their Innovative Technology Solutions
June 26th, 2018 – Phoenix, AZ – Highline Storage is changing the way their storage facilities run their operations through the innovative technology solutions from OpenTech Alliance. Recently Highline Storage implemented the industry’s first hands-free tenant mobile app and cloud-based INSOMNIAC CIA, Centralized Access Control solution. Within 2 weeks Highline Storage had 50% of their customers use the Storage Genie tenant mobile app to access their property, hands-free. “Our customers are very excited to benefit from this new hands free technology at our properties; it’s another offering that sets us apart from our competitors”, stated Alison Evans, Director of Operations for Highline.
New to the industry, Alison connected with industry professionals, bought tons of books and fully immersed herself in how to run a successful self-storage business. It was pretty obvious to Alison that if she could successfully automate her facilities, she could expand her operations much faster. This search to automate brought her to OpenTech’s wide array of self-service products. “We didn’t want to play the numbers game with our competitors, so instead we equipped our locations with innovative technology features to enhance the customer experience and market our facilities as the better option.” stated Alison. “Now at Highline we don’t match the market, we set the market. We’ve completely changed our selling strategy and now charge an admin fee, require insurance for everyone, don’t offer move-in deals and our prices are higher than our competition.”
“Highline Storage is very successful at ‘setting the market’ by offering technology solutions like kiosks, security cameras, hands-free access through our Storage Genie tenant mobile app and having access to critical data and predictive analytics through our CIA Access Control solution.” Stated Robert Chiti, President and CEO of OpenTech Alliance. “From virtually anywhere, Alison can manage her properties, setup proactive maintenance triggers and view predictive analytics on her renters’ behaviors.”
“I went to the ISS tradeshow in April to look at software options, and left with Access Control!”, stated Alison. “Access Control wasn’t really on my radar, but when OpenTech showcased their CIA solution I was immediately sold on the cloud-based technology, technical support team, and hands-free secure access through the Storage Genie tenant mobile app. Prior to having CIA implemented I would get random calls, typically on evenings and weekends, that the gate was not working. I would need to visit the property and reset the gate system.” Alison added, “I didn’t realize how terrible my other Access Control system was until I had CIA installed and was able to allow that customer access without driving to the facility, it’s changed the way we do business.”
Highline Storage currently operates 3 self-storage locations in Des Moines, Iowa, of which two are unmanned and one is utilizing an OpenTech kiosk. They have two more facilities in development and opening mid 2019.
INSOMNIAC CIA gives self-storage operators total control of a single or hundreds of properties, and addresses issues with older PC-based systems including technology, warranty, installation, and support. Operators don’t have to worry about computer problems or never-ending software updates as the cloud-based software is always running the most current version and will continue to operate even if your Internet connection goes down. Managers and owners can also gain insights into their renter’s behaviors and streamline business operations with predictive maintenance triggers with real-time data visualization and reporting from the OpenTech IoE Control Center.
Get in touch with an OpenTech expert here to see how these and other solutions can impact your storage facilities’ customer satisfaction and bottom line!