Winning a Better Solution
Bicycle shop seeks user-friendly access control to protect valuable trade secrets
- By Taylor Foster
- Nov 01, 2015
In July 2014, Vincenzo Nibali achieved bicycle racing’s highest honor by winning
first place in the Tour De France. His riding weapon of choice is a
state-of-the-art machine from Specialized Bicycle Components. Founded in
1974 by Mike Sinyard, Specialized Bicycle is an American brand of bicycles
and related products that has always maintained a sharp focus on providing
a better biking experience for all riders.
Specialized’s success lies in their ability to expertly design and develop road,
mountain, fitness, utility and BMX bicycles as well as equipment and gear while
working hard to protect trade secrets in this highly competitive market. In an effort
to provide maximum security for those trade secrets—as well as employees and
top-of-the-line equipment—Specialized enlisted Open Options Access Control
and Mercury Security.
Meeting the Challenge
Located just south of San Jose, Calif., in Morgan Hill, Specialized Bicycle Components
has grown into one of the most successful bicycle manufacturers in the
world. For more than 40 years, their business has operated from the ground up
on a campus that most recently includes three facilities totaling 250,000 square
feet. Visitors and more than 400 employees regularly traverse the dynamic complex
which hosts a variety of unique and wonderfully eccentric facilities.
Upon entering the impressive lobby of Specialized headquarters, visitors can
instantly gain access into the history of this exceptional company in the Specialized
museum that showcases the 40-plus year history of the brand and includes
race-winning bicycles, original production pieces and even extreme sports legend
Shaun Palmer’s downhill race bike. Visitors then find themselves on a quiet street
facing a real-life example of a store front that was expertly recreated to illustrate
how these top-of-the-line products should be showcased.
Walking through the facilities, one can witness the bike brand’s envy-inspiring
corporate culture with employees whisking off for a quick ride at lunch or grabbing
a bite at their onsite café. Top off the tour with a walk through Specialized’s
own aerodynamic wind tunnel where bicycles and riders are tested against speeds
as high as 62 miles per hour and it is easy to see why this company has excelled for
so many years in this highly competitive industry.
With state-of-the-art facilities comes an imperative need for reliable and cuttingedge
security. There are many challenges associated with securing Specialized including
theft protection and loss prevention, general security for employees, and
protecting the company’s highly confidential trade secrets which are safeguarded
at headquarters. Although they had an access control solution in place for nearly a
decade, Alfredo Echauri, head of security, put the brakes on the previous provider
and sought a better solution.
The access control provider in place at the time required “an expert level of
access control user knowledge,” which made it extremely difficult to use and therefore
almost ineffective, Echauri said. They sought a replacement, but had to keep
expense in mind, as they did not want to lose their initial hardware investment by
converting to a new system. Because Specialized initially installed authentic Mercury
Hardware, they were able to keep the original hardware and convert to a new
access control software provider at a much lower cost.
Seeking a Partnership
When seeking alternative access control solutions, Echauri consulted Victor Lopez,
formally of Sprig Electric and currently working with Brayer Electric, who he
had known for many years from previous security projects. For Lopez, the choice
was simple as he only offers Open Options as an access control software solution
because he believes in the product’s capabilities so much.
“My customer Specialized, and Alfredo had tasked me with finding them a more
cost-effective access control system than their current expensive system they had
been using,”Lopez said. “Open Options DNA Software and controllers gave them
everything they wanted and more for their new system with minimal cost to change.”
Because Specialized had Mercury Security hardware control panels installed,
the conversion from their existing access control solution to Open Options solution
was seamless. The panels, readers, locks and all other hardware infrastructure
were able to stay in place while their existing database was converted to use Open
Options DNA Fusion access control software. This was a money- and time-saving
move, Echauri said.
Open Options and Mercury Security have worked together for more than 15
years to provide a true open architecture access control solution. Mercury Security
has close to 20 OEM partners, an extensive feature set and the world’s largest
install base with more than three million controllers. The fact that multiple manufacturers
support this hardware platform is what makes it open and allows the
end user a valuable choice in software. Because of Open Options’ commitment to open architecture and their successful
collaborations, Mercury named Open
Options one of the company’s first
Platinum Elite Partners in 2014.
Open Options provides a complete
security solution with DNA Fusion.
DNA Fusion is an open platform access
control system that interfaces with
a host of other systems as well as mobile
and web applications. The ease
of use and customer-centric nature of
DNA Fusion was exactly what Specialized
Specialized Building Operations Manager
Ashley Elisary says the conversion
went “flawlessly” and that she is most
impressed with how user-friendly DNA
Fusion is. Elisary is tasked with creating
badges, access levels, and varying
weekly time schedules for Specialized’s
400-plus employees. She says DNA Fusion’s
ability to aid her in creating these
constantly-changing schedules has
been “a real time saver.”
The Specialized deployment consists
of access control coverage for more than
50 doors throughout the complex. The
supporting hardware for the installation
is the existing and new Mercury Security
authentic hardware supplied by Open
Options including SSP-D2 intelligent
door controllers, RSC-2 reader sub-controllers,
and RP 405 HID readers.
Echauri says he was surprised at how
smooth of a ride it has been from the
existing system to Open Options and he
is glad Specialized had invested in open
architecture hardware from Mercury to
help facilitate the transition.
“You don’t expect to have to change
access control software providers midride,
but we are so grateful at the options
we had because we wisely chose
an open platform hardware solution.
As world-renowned winners in bicycle
racing, we know that it takes a winning
team to deliver an excellent product
and we are extremely pleased with our
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Security Today.