ACRE Purchases Open Options

Almost a year ago, ACRE CEO Joe Grillo approached Steve Fisher and Brian Bergstrom, founders of Open Options and began to explore the prospects of an acquisition. It was a casual conversation at first but has since grown to a final handshake and buyout of the company.

ACRE recently finished all the paperwork and has since acquired the company. Grillo said the purchase will definitely increase the company’s position in the access control market in North America.

“This is really a milestone for ACRE,” Grillo said. “A couple months ago we finished up the specifics of the acquisition, and now we move forward. Open Options is a great company; they are growing and they are profitable. They also have an enviable position in the marketplace, which balances ACRE’s presence in North America.”

For 20 years, Open Options has developed access control solutions that connect to leading security technologies to deliver a full-scale solution based on each customer’s unique needs. Open Options has been a Mercury Security partner since 1997 and is dedicated to delivering the most advanced open-platform access control solution available on the market.

Grillo said the acquisition will continue to expand ACRE’s competitive position in what he called a highly fragmented market with great growth potential.

“The acquisition of Open Options boosts Vanderbilt’s reach in the access control market and enhances our product portfolio with the addition of an open architecture access control solution,” commented Grillo. “With the international portfolio fully integrated, it was time to turn our focus to North America.”

With this transaction, Grillo plans to return to the United States from Europe after the company’s purchase of the security products business from Siemens, in Wiesbaden, Germany. Grillo said he plans to relocate to Texas. Open Options is based in Addison, Texas.

The leadership of Open Options will remain with Fisher, who is the CEO. Grillo said Fisher will still be involved and step back in to the day-to-day operations. Only a week ago, Open Options staff was devastated when company president and long-time employee Jonathan Berman suddenly passed away. This loss leaves a void at the company, but Grillo said Open Options has a “strong leadership team and Steve has always been the leader of the business.”

“We are pleased to join the ACRE organization with its strong global reach which will open new opportunities for the Open Options product range,” Fisher said.

Grillo added information on the trends that he sees going forward in 2019, to include wireless locks, mobile credentials and remaining focused on open architecture. He said to expect more of the same from Open Options, which is already moving in this direction.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is the Publisher of Security Today magazine.


  • Report: 15 Percent of All Emails Sent in 2023 Were Malicious

    VIPRE Security Group recently released its report titled “Email Security in 2024: An Expert Look at Email-Based Threats”. The 2024 predictions for email security in this report are based on an analysis of over 7 billion emails processed by VIPRE worldwide during 2023. This equates to almost one email for everyone on the planet. Of those, roughly 1 billion (or 15%) were malicious. Read Now

  • ASIS Announces ANSI-Approved Cannabis Security Standard

    ASIS International, a leading authority in security standards and guidelines, proudly announces the release of a pioneering American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved standard dedicated to cannabis security. This best-in-class standard, meticulously developed by industry experts, sets a new benchmark by providing comprehensive requirements and guidance for the design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and maintenance of a cannabis security program. Read Now

  • ISC West Announces Keynote Lineup

    ISC West, in collaboration with premier sponsor the Security Industry Association (SIA), announced this year’s dynamic trio of speakers that will headline the Keynote Series at ISC West 2024. Read Now

    • Industry Events
  • Government is Top Targeted Industry for DDoS Attacks in Q4 2023

    The government sector experienced a surge of DDoS attacks in Q4 according to Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN), a global leader in integrated network and cybersecurity solutions. The Lumen Quarterly DDoS & Application Threat Report for Q4 2023 analyzes data from its DDoS mitigation platform and application protection partner, ThreatX, to provide an overview of the DDoS and application-layer attacks that targeted organizations in the last quarter of 2023. Read Now

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • EasyGate SPT and SPD

    EasyGate SPT SPD

    Security solutions do not have to be ordinary, let alone unattractive. Having renewed their best-selling speed gates, Cominfo has once again demonstrated their Art of Security philosophy in practice — and confirmed their position as an industry-leading manufacturers of premium speed gates and turnstiles. 3

  • Hanwha QNO-7012R

    Hanwha QNO-7012R

    The Q Series cameras are equipped with an Open Platform chipset for easy and seamless integration with third-party systems and solutions, and analog video output (CVBS) support for easy camera positioning during installation. A suite of on-board intelligent video analytics covers tampering, directional/virtual line detection, defocus detection, enter/exit, and motion detection. 3

  • Camden CV-7600 High Security Card Readers

    Camden CV-7600 High Security Card Readers

    Camden Door Controls has relaunched its CV-7600 card readers in response to growing market demand for a more secure alternative to standard proximity credentials that can be easily cloned. CV-7600 readers support MIFARE DESFire EV1 & EV2 encryption technology credentials, making them virtually clone-proof and highly secure. 3