Tools of the Trade

Here are some of our commonly used tools.

Software
  • Apache
  • MySQL
  • Jboss
  • Nagios
  • Splunk
  • VMWare
  • PHP
  • Lasso
  • Asterisk
  • Adobe web and design tools

Hardware
  • WatchGuard firewalls
  • Cisco switches
  • Coyote load balancers
  • Barracuda spam filters
  • EqualLogic storage

Technology

Our goal in building software and applications is ultimately to make a difference and promote a new way of doing business. Here are the core themes that define our approach.

Software as a Service (SaaS) — Instead of buying software, gear, and support contracts, and putting in place the staff to configure, care for, and maintain it all, think about doing business in a new way. Our dedicated team of experts can handle all the concerns about hardware, software, redundancy, security, and back-up management, while we deliver to you via the Internet the latest versions of our software. The only requirements for you, the user, are Internet access and a computer with a web browser. This means you can work from your office, home, or even a local coffee shop in exactly the same way.

Vertical Integration — Departments within organizations often have tools that are specialized to their tasks, but not able to integrate well with the programs that other departments use for their specific needs. While this approach works for each department, the net result is an operation in which customers, commerce, and marketing are disconnected. We believe that organizations do better with software that focuses on integration, collaboration, and communications rather than each department’s staff choosing software solely for its own needs. This is truly a new way of doing business.

Work Flows Instead of Features — Traditional software is developed with the idea that more features mean improvement, which in turn justifies having an upgrade cycle to get the new features. Unfortunately if those features are not meaningfully connected to the work that needs to be done, they can make an application so complicated that extensive training is needed to use the software in the first place. Contrast that approach with work flows, essentially a series of screens that walk the user through a process in order to achieve real work. With work flows, training is embedded in the flow itself as only relevant features are available to move the process to the end.

Virtualization — Software delivered from servers creates the need for many different and redundant types of servers that have separate roles but work together to achieve the net result. The only way to do this in the past was to set up two or more computers for each one of these roles, even though some of the roles would tax the equipment at just a fraction of its overall capacity. That limitation in turn led to lots of gear to manage and subsequently higher expenses. With virtualization it is possible to run multiple “virtual” machines on a single physical machine. Memory and CPU resources from the underlying computer can be allocated to a virtual machine according to its needs, and virtual machines can be moved in real-time from server to server for rapid re-deployment.

Design is a “Day One” Issue — We invite you to read our thoughts about design. Our history includes many years creating information design and marketing communications, so we understand that design considerations are foundational. This includes how technology looks and how it works, not just for external customers, but for everyone.