New OI User Story


Plumbing Company Modernizes Services with Revelation Software
By Joyce Wells

New England Water Heater is a plumbing services company specializing in water heater repair and installation based in North Waltham, MA. The company provides a centralized service through a network of geographically dispersed plumbing companies in the surrounding region, including its own company, Home Services of New England (HSNE) Plumbing.

NEWH’s services include the sale, lease, installation, and repair of water heaters for non-commercial customers in the New England states, as well as other plumbing services, ranging from fixing leaking faucets to handling oil-to-gas conversions.

To support this work, the company provides a customer hotline in Massachusetts for more than 20,000 accounts. Revelation Software is the backbone of the overall IT system.

Goal
Today, businesses of all types are changing the way they operate. They are adopting hosted services rather than purchasing and maintaining software and hardware on-premises, and, as a result, employees also now frequently work remotely.

With the advances in IT services that have taken place over the past 5 years, NEWH saw an opportunity to move to a cloud-based system to support its employees and customers.  The goal was to improve its overall quality of service while also enabling office staff to access systems from home.

In addition, the company wanted to eliminate the overhead costs of office space, a local area network, and shared printers. Critical to the new set-up was the ability for its affiliated plumbing companies, as well as its own HSNE staff, to input information about service visits and billing into the system and access new assignments while on the road.

Process
In September 2015, NEWH and HSNE decided to eliminate their physical offices, where each employee was provided with a desk, telephone, shared printer, and a desktop computer connected to a local file server to perform their job, said David Harmacek of Harmacek Database Systems, who specializes in Revelation Software products. The process of publishing the company’s 28-year-old Advanced Revelation application to the cloud was handled by Harmacek, who has been a consultant to NEWH since 1994.

When the decision was made to migrate the system, NEWH had a typical Windows Server, internet connections, IP phones for customer support, and a range of website-oriented support interfaces, as well as a hybrid Arev (Advanced Revelation) 32 and OpenInsight 9.4 database system.

To modernize the operations, Harmacek put a plan in motion to switch to a hosted system and began implementing this new approach in February 2016.

The Arev32/OpenInsight system was migrated to a Parallels server. Since the telephones were already on an IP system, no adjustment needed to be made, but office documents and storage outside of the database needed to be moved to Microsoft Office 365 and OneDrive.

As a long-time Revelation Software customer, NEWH uses a system on Revelation’s OpenInsight 9.4 for business processes such as document management, phone calls, and customer support—everything but accounting.

Because the system is so critical to its business—handling processes such as document management, phone calls, and customer support—the NEWH migrated the system to the Parallels 2X RDP server, while also maintaining the physical system, to make sure that everything transitioned flawlessly.

Eventually, even though the company had not yet moved from its physical office space, it began using only the remote services, as if all the employees were working from home, said Harmacek. The dual on-premise and cloud approach lasted until late spring. By June 2016, the company no longer had physical offices, said Harmacek.

Biggest Challenge
“Working with a 28-year-old application, we found that there are many features that are no longer in use, while other capabilities are leveraged all the time and have been just working forever,” said Harmacek.

“The biggest challenge was eliminating the dependence on a local network for file storage and local printing, since the employees could no longer walk over to an office and hand someone a piece of paper, and they could no longer print anything,” he said.  This issue has been solved by using the feature in Parallels 2X that allows a local folder to be managed from the application. Reports and PDF files can be placed onto the remote desktop. Files, both PDFs and images, can be uploaded and integrated with the hosted database.  “Anything that needed to be done had to be accomplished by interacting with the system. I had to find all the places in the processes where this was needed and change the system to allow it to be done that way.”
Read On…

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ITMS Uses Revelation Software to Stay Ahead of the Curve


An article by Stephanie Simone.

OPTO Software, part of iTMS Software Pty Ltd, provides manufacturing inventory software, including ERP solutions, to a wide variety of industries. Customers span the fields of manufacturing, mining, civil, fabrication, and engineering as well as distribution, retail and wholesale, construction, and importing and exporting.

Based in Brisbane, Australia, Opto has been providing ERP, material requirements planning, manufacturing and inventory software solutions to Australian businesses since the early 1990s, and in turn, these software solutions have enabled smaller manufacturers to close the technological and competitive gap between their business and larger-scale market leaders.

Used by hundreds of clients across Australia, Opto prides itself on being small enough to be highly flexible but large enough to deliver the latest technology trends to its customers while shielding them from the underlying complexity. Providing steadfast support, Opto seeks to guide customers through every phase of their installation, from evaluation and feature selection to technical support and help desk enquiries.

OpenInsight at the Core
“Our focus is on the manufacturing technologies you use to build things. Surrounding that, we also plug into accounting systems,” said Jeremy Bolton, managing director. “Revelation Software’s OpenInsight is the heart of our business; our whole product is based on it.”

According to Bolton, a key differentiator for ITMS/OPTO is its deep understanding of the nuances of manufacturing. Revelation supports that agility, ensuring that OPTO platform is easily configured.

“We’re very good at making software fit into many applications with the ability to deliver it quickly and cost effectively, while also making it easy to understand,” Bolton said. “What sets us apart is the ability for the OPTO platform to be easily configured to precise customer requirements.”

The company’s partnership with Revelation was forged after OPTO’s CEO sought to build an effective and simplified system to solve manufacturing issues.

Ability to Adapt
Revelation has made OPTO’s platform very adaptable. It’s simple to build on and it supports both emerging and existing applications, according to Bolton.

Because it runs on a MultiValue database, OPTO can add new capabilities to its platform without affecting the data model.

“If someone needs something with Revelation, the architecture of our product enables us to add the new capability without changing the underlying data model of every other customer,” Bolton said. “Our software can fit in many applications.”

MultiValue database technology can be quickly tailored to unusual requirements and it can talk directly to the CRM copy machine, Bolton explained.

“When we are talking to people about layout, normally we have to get spreadsheet, but this technology allows us to do a layout quickly and effectively,” Bolton said. “Revelation gives us the flexibility we need when responding to customer requirements.”

Built for the Future
Reliability and compatibility are also why OPTO has stayed with Revelation for more than 20 years.

The technology helps OPTO support its customers by providing them with a platform that delivers better customer outcomes, quickly, and cost-effectively.

The MultiValue aspect of the platform make it possible to process requests from customers quickly and with a speed that relational database management systems can’t provide, according to Bolton.

“Running Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle didn’t make any sense,” Bolton said. “There is nothing else you can find to handle so much data.”

Additionally, the cost to customize the platform for a customer was “astronomical,” whereas using Revelation makes the platform cost-effective for the client, Bolton explained.

However, if customers do need to utilize relational database management software, the OPTO platform can integrate to any part of the database that’s necessary, he noted.

Read On…

Furniture Retail Operations Group Uses Revelation to Help Power its Business


The September 19, 2016 issue of Database Trends and Applications features an article written by Stephanie Simone titled Furniture Retail Operations Group Uses Revelation to Help Power its Business.

The Furniture Retail Operations Group (FROG) provides innovative, yet easy to use IT solutions for furniture and appliance stores.  Its mission is to create reliable and cost-effective methods that allow home furnishings retailers to operate more efficiently.

The company’s KISS system is a fully integrated point-of-sale solution for Windows built by experts in furniture operations to make companies more efficient in how they operate. In order to get the most out of this system, fix problems, and create new solutions and projects, FROG uses Revelation Software’s OpenInsight solution.

The OpenInsight Windows application is a big part of FROG’s ability to run its business, according to David Hatcher, director of software services at FROG.  Keeping the system running 24/7 to support customers means FROG needs a foundation that’s reliable and Revelation delivers that.

Choosing OpenInsight
“OpenInsight is what handles the data,” Hatcher said. “The nice thing is that it has a CGI (common gateway interface) for web-based data handling. An OpenInsight windows interface takes the same data from the internet, from an app, from a browser or from within the built-in Windows application all at same time, in real time. From any device, we can get into the system to manipulate data, keep track of customers, and do what need to do to keep business going.”

FROG’s data management system was created in the late 1980s on PICK mini-computers and Revelation technology helped the company move from that platform to the first DOS-based system.

“We’ve been able to maintain same data structure through those decades. Some code from the old Pick system was even ported to the DOS system and then later to Windows,” Hatcher said.  “The data control on even the new capabilities we develop often has 25 years of testing behind it so we don’t have many of the problems that can come up with new development using a new system.”

The ability to keep the environment stable while having the flexibility to evolve and change has been a key reason why FROG continues to utilize Revelation’s systems, he said.

Evolving with Revelation
In addition to using OpenInsight at the back end for many years, FROG more recently began using O4W (OpenInsight for Web) in its web applications.

“Most of our new development is on O4W,” he said.  “As we move more and more of the system to apps, eventually our system will eventually be 100% application-on-cloud and we’ll have no need for Windows anymore.”

The latest initiative FROG has underway involves OpenInsight and Google geocoding and tracking to route and monitor trucks, according to Hatcher.  “It has heat maps of where our customers are for ad purposes and we can see anything we want to know about customers through these maps which are linked into apps suite.”

Meeting New Goals
By working with Revelation, FROG has been able to shift technologically into anything, anywhere, Hatcher explained.  “The advancements with CGI and Revelation’s O4W keep data flowing out to the latest and greatest apps and that’s been extremely useful.”

Revelation is always ahead of the curve, keeping up with latest trends and sensing where the market is going, he noted.  “They react to new capabilities the technology sector is developing but also knows what to retain so we can keep the same database and stay on the leading edge,” Hatcher said.

‘The advancements with CGI and Revelation’s O4W keep data flowing out to the latest and greatest apps and that’s been extremely useful.’

Because of Revelation’s innovations and foresight it has never made sense to switch to another provider, he said.  Revelation’s ability to stay with the same data structure, move through several transitional kinds of interfaces, and ability to provide constant upgrades, has made it easier on FROG to keep its system going.

“We didn’t have to rewrite for all the changes,” Hatcher said. “The ability to transition has been greatly simplified by keeping data separate from the user interface as technology changes.”

What’s Ahead
Preparing for the future, FROG is in the process of enhancing its database to make sure it runs faster, and apps perform reliably and smoothly as the company runs into more internet networking situations, Hatcher explained. The plan is to be able to offer its services exclusively through apps in the cloud.

“Building apps for the system was a big step forward and we’re looking forward to having the ability to go into back end with a new engine Revelation is working on,” Hatcher said.

<Article sourced from Revelation Software’s monthly newsletter>

European Payroll Software Provider Expands with Revelation Software’s OpenInsight for Web


Ardbrook
Ardbrook

With the myriad of constantly changing tax rules, dealing with payroll deductions and tax payments can be a time-consuming and costly endeavour. To get this onerous job done efficiently and cost-effectively, many businesses utilize payroll software specialists that provide tools to support their in-house staff. For Ardbrook, a Dublin, Ireland-based software provider of payroll software, Revelation Software’s OpenInsight provides the agility necessary to adjust its payroll product features to address emerging market requirements. The recent introduction of OpenInsight for Web has also enabled Ardbrook to provide its software as a service online.

Written by Joyce Wells, the full story can be found in the October 2013 issue of Database Trends and Applications features an article entitled European Payroll Software Provider Expands with Revelation Software’s OpenInsight for Web and it is linked on the Revelation website here.