Ocean Pines Exploring Tech Upgrades

BERLIN — Card key access systems and network connectivity are among the top concerns being explored by the Ocean Pines community’s technology workgroup.

During Monday’s meeting of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors, attendees were briefed on the progress of the technology workgroup formed last year.

“I wanted to make sure we got this out in front of everybody,” said Doug Parks, a member of the workgroup as well as the board of directors. “We’re working actively.”

Parks said the nine-member workgroup had spent the past few months taking a basic look at the condition of the association’s technology. A significant amount of time was spent interviewing staff and making note of the issues employees encountered during the association’s daily operations.

Following that initial discovery phase, the group identified five areas of interest. Those include network connectivity, disparate systems and problematic POS systems, along with the possibilities of high-speed network access and a universal card access system.

Parks said the fact that Pines amenities weren’t able to do business if connectivity was down between their location and the overall system was a major problem.

“One of the things we heard from everybody was that it was hit and miss,” he said.

In addition, the fact that not all of the association’s operations used the same IT systems was a cause for concern.

“The islands of automation have to be eliminated,” he said.

Parks said the POS systems used throughout the Pines were also in need of improvement.

“They’re suspect at best,” he said, adding that they were difficult to keep in sync.

The workgroup is also exploring what steps would need to be taken for the implementation of a card access system. Parks said ideally association members would use their membership cards to access various facilities.

In addition, the group is investigating high-speed network access options for the Ocean Pines Police Department. Parks says group members, who meet via Skype, will spend the next six to 12 months coordinating with the general manager and finalizing recommendations for the board of directors.

“Making sure that dialogue stays open is really important,” Parks said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.