Since 1964, Bergen Protective Systems has been serving residents and businesses across New Jersey. Opening its doors in the small town of Leonia, Joseph Cioffi, Jr. moved his company in 1977 to Englewood Cliffs, just across the Hudson River from New York City. His sons, Joe and John, both grew up learning the business, and today, the family continues to meet customers’ needs, using DMP security systems exclusively. Until their recent project at a 28-building gated residential community, John Cioffi says, “It’s not very often that a customer uses the word ‘cool’ to describe their security system. But Virtual Keypad adds that ‘wow factor.’”
In this case, that community had two disparate access control systems, one for the gate to the residents’ swimming pool, and the other for two vehicle gates at the community’s entrance. Every time the manager had to add or remove a resident from their database, it had to be done twice. With as many as 1,700 users, “They’d been trying to work with what they had, but it was much more efficient to streamline with one system,” Cioffi said.
Bergen did exactly that, replacing the two systems with a DMP XR150 Series panel. Now, Hetal Gore, the community’s site manager, can easily administer changes to the users, plus arm and disarm the on-site manager’s office, all from the Virtual Keypad app on her phone, tablet or browser.
“The Virtual Keypad app is very user friendly,” Gore says. “And, I’m amazed at how much better our new system works.”
But that wasn’t the community’s only problem that Bergen solved. In fact, for many of the residents and management staff, the entrance gates often failed to work with their authorized users’ cards. “The problems with those gates are what spurred their decision to replace the existing system,” Cioffi says. “Every time there was a problem, the manager had to drive out to the gate to fix it or call for service.”
One of the main reasons for the gates’ chronic problems was because the system relied on an underground telephone line to provide control of the card readers. “When they’re underground, there can be a lot of problems with moisture – that’s just inherent with landlines.” As a result, the phone line wasn’t connecting every time, and the modem frequently needed to be reset.
That wasn’t all. The two gates, located on the community’s perimeter, are about 1,000 feet from the manager’s office, where the security panel is installed. With multiple buildings situated in between the office and gates, Cioffi said, “Extensive underground cabling wasn’t an option. It would’ve been too costly in labor and time.”
Cioffi chose DMP’s Wi-Fi product to solve that problem. At the gate, his team installed an outdoor Wi-Fi access point and an external cabinet with two 734N-WiFi modules. As a result, the gates are working flawlessly over the community’s network. Plus, the management company was very happy they could save money by cancelling that telephone line, Cioffi added.
“We finished the installation in two days’ time,” Cioffi said. “If we’d had to use a hardwired system, it would’ve taken us a week and tripled our cost.”
As for the community’s manager, she’s happy too. The first time Cioffi showed her how to use her phone to open the gates, he recalled, “She watched the gates open on the camera, then she smiled and exclaimed, ‘Cool!’ Virtual Keypad lets customers see how cool electronic security can be.”
Now Gore can quickly and easily manage the gates’ access wherever she is. Describing the flexibility that gives her, she added, “I love having the power and versatility at my fingertips.”