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“Working with OnLogic is smooth and easy! The experience has been and continues to be really great--you guys treat us like we are the best customer ever!”Brian Haine, Genea Director of Technical Services
Who is Genea?
Advanced Remote Property Management
Genea (www.getgenea.com) provides cloud-based software and services for the commercial real estate industry. They create value-added tools for property teams to manage tenant-related services including after hours HVAC and lights, automated submeter reading and billing, as well as intuitive apps and web services.
A Versatile, Reliable Small Form Factor PC
Genea provides commercial office owners, property managers, building engineers and tenants a range of capabilities to help them manage and control the after hours operation and maintenance of building HVAC and lighting through their After Hours Control System (ACS Cloud). The system drives building efficiency, empowers tenants to more easily manage their property needs and gives building managers insight and access to building usage and maintenance requests. In addition, Genea's Automated Meter Reading & Billing (AMRB) app simplifies tenant billing and streamlines the collection of submeter values while automatically generating tenant invoices.
"One of our unique hardware challenges was that we needed different types of multiple ports all on the same device," said Brian Haine, Genea's Director of Technical Services. "The computer acts as part of our proprietary interface that enables us to provide after hours HVAC and lighting control for commercial office tenants and automatically read meters, as well as offering a 24/7 monitoring and alert system. In addition to the hardware requirements, we also needed R&R: Reliability and Reasonable price."
Prior to partnering with OnLogic, Genea had struggled to locate a hardware partner who could provide them with the service and support they required.
"Finding a company with quick turnaround times and a knowledgeable tech team hasn't been easy. With the type of hardware support we require, one company could not supply us without an 8 week lead time on any size order. Perhaps worst of all, they changed the components without telling us!! They informed us of the EOL for our device 2 days before the date. The tech support was non-existent and the sales team did not return calls or emails for weeks, if at all. You wonder how these companies stay in business. We haven't had any of these issues with OnLogic."
The OnLogic Solution
Customized ML210 Industrial PC
Working with OnLogic, Brian and the team from Genea were able to identify the ML210 Industrial PC as the starting point to create a unique, proprietary hardware platform that would accommodate their specific connectivity and performance requirements. In addition to customizing the hardware, Genea was interested in finding a way to make the device more visually unique, and differentiate themselves from the increasingly cluttered modern building utility room.
"In the past, we use to describe our device as, 'Silver, about the size of a shoe box, with a bunch of fins.' That worked pretty well, but I realized how important it was to brand our hardware and have it be something that was easy to spot. What was awesome was that we got some samples of colored cases from the folks at OnLogic and that really sealed the deal. From there, we sent our sketches to their design team, who created a digital product mock up and worked with us to get the right font and graphic layout. Honestly, the worst part of the whole process was arguing internally over colors and text placement!"
The final Genea system features a custom laser etched heatsink, branded chassis and customized packaging.
In addition to their custom branded, ML210-based control system, Genea also uses OnLogic CL100 Mini PCs to drive status displays in their control room and MC500 actively cooled systems for their desktop computers.
"The OnLogic team walked us through the selection process and gave us several options, complete with pricing. The best thing about OnLogic was that we were able to try out a couple of systems before we made our final decision and had full access to tech support throughout the prototyping process, which we used a lot!"
Read more about how Genea is innovating in the commercial property management industry and how they partnered with OnLogic to create their custom hardware device in our full Q&A with Genea Director of Technical Services Brian Haine.