PTI Security Systems has rolled out a new security-and-access technology product that it says will go a long way towards the eventual automation of numerous other functions at self-storage facilities.

Earlier this month, the Arizona-based PTI, which provides both hardware and software products tied to self-storage access and security, released its new “PTI Core,” described as a “cloud software platform, device management system and predictive analytics tool.”

Put in layman’s language: PTI’s new product will allow facility owners and managers to remotely kick back from wherever they are in the world, monitor multiple access and security functions at various facilities via their mobile devices, and make adjustments, all without budging from their office, home or even beachfront cabana.

“The industry is ready for this,” said Franklin Young, chief executive of PTI Security Systems, calling PTI Core’s potentially “revolutionary.”

Everything connected

Eventually, PTI officials see PTI Core interacting with other facility devices so that self-storage operators can remotely monitor and control other functions, including lighting, heating and air conditioning, elevators, humidity controls, irrigation and other items and services.

Founded in the late 1990s, PTI systems has carved out an impressive niche for itself over the years, with its main product centering on an integrated “access control” system that includes software and key pads, key pad readers, controllers and other items tied to access and security functions.

Today, PTI has 47 employees working with customers overseeing about 36,000 facilities. Among its customers are Extra Space, Public Storage and CubeSmart – in all 108 of the top 110 self-storage companies in the country, Young said.

Internet of Things

Cory Sylvester, a principal at Union Realtime, a New York-based self-storage data and research firm, said he’s not surprised to hear that PTI is moving aggressively into more automation products for self-storage companies. “I see all businesses headed in this direction,” he said. “Self-storage definitely lends itself to more automation.”

That automation ultimately ties back to the so-called Internet of Things, or the use of computers, laptops and smart phones to remotely operate all sorts of “things” via the Internet.

One of today’s more widely used Internet of Things functions, at least for the average home owner, is being able to control heating and AC thermostat controls remotely via an individual’s smart phone.

Internet of Things technology is at the core of PTI’s new PTI Core product (with PTI’s “core” standing for “centralized, online, real-time enterprise), says Jeff Flowers, chief operating officer at PTI Security systems.

Ripe for change

Young, Flowers and Source Capital LLC purchased PTI Security Systems a few years ago, with Young having previously having worked at PTI as chief operating officer from 2000 to 2003 and being familiar with the firm’s products and customers before their buyout, he said.

“We felt that self-storage was an industry ready for new technology,” said Flowers, who knew Young from another job before the two teamed up with Source Capital to buy PTI. “That’s why we (bought PTI): The industry was ripe for technology.”

As for the cloud-based PTI Core, it will “provide new capabilities now not available” on the market, he said. The remote monitoring-and-control feature can work from anywhere in the world, covering one or even hundreds of facilities at the same time, Flowers said.

“It’s a giant step toward automation,” said Young, adding he sees PTI’s customers across the globe buying the product.

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Jay Fitzgerald