The series is back! May I present to you, our second blog in our PaaSing the Ball series, a series by you and for you, on your experience with Progress Pacific PaaS. In the first blog, we got to know Freddy Jaarsma, Director of Brixxs. Today, I’d like to introduce Tory Teunis, VP of Operations at All Western Mortage who will tell you how he and his company are using Progress Rollbase, the rapid application development solution within the Pacific platform. I hope you enjoy!
What is your background?
Q: Can you give us a brief background on you/your company?
A: I have been in mortgage banking for more than 15 years. I started in traditional banking for a national FDIC bank and then moved over to the residential mortgage side quickly after. I have opened a mortgage bank from the ground up in the past and have completed every step of the mortgage process myself. I am a firm believer that you need to understand what your staff does before you can manage them, so I learned and continue to learn every process before we roll it out or implement it in our system. I started with All Western Mortgage in 2011 – I was brought on board to reorganize the operation and integrate the company with technology to allow it to grow and scale quickly.
Q: Are you business or technical user?
A: I guess I am both. I started as a banker, but have always been a tech junkie. While I don’t code myself (I type too slow!), I understand the logic. Years ago after a bad experience contracting out with a development company on some software I needed built, I decided I would not let myself be at the mercy of someone that did not understand my business and my workflow model. I jumped online and began demoing multiple systems and software offerings and reading as many blogs and tech magazines as possible. I wanted to be able to speak technical language. Nothing frustrates me more than ANY ONE in ANY FIELD using jargon to confuse or talk over you. Now I am at the point that when I can direct my own group of in-house developers and do not need a buffer to explain what I need and how I want it done.
How are you using Progress Pacific?
Q: What problem/issue drove your need for Progress Pacific?
A: I have used MANY systems in the past. What brought drove us to Rollbase was the stability of the platform, ease of use and the web portal pricing model. It allows a user of my level to build with “guard rails,” but also to go outside when necessary, with APIs and other integrations. The web portal pricing model allows me to develop consumer/vendor facing modules and not get beaten up for user-based licensing. Our customers and partners can use these portals without getting charged as base users.
Q: Can you explain how your business uses Progress Pacific, and identify which Pacific technology you use, Rollbase, DataDirect Cloud, Easyl, or all?
A: We use Progress Rollbase. We’ve built an end to end solution for our company. Our system handles everything from adding new employees and users to closing loans and managing government audits. Our company runs on Rollbase.
Q: How has Progress Pacific helped you to implement a successful solution?
A: They provide easy access to staff, and more importantly, they have listened to us over the last three years and implemented many of our suggestions within the platform. It is not a stodgy program that never changes – they are always improving.
Why Platform as a Service (PaaS)?
Q: Why did you decide to use PaaS? And why did you choose Progress Pacific (Rollbase) over other PaaS platforms?
A: I wanted more control over very detailed parts of our workflow that NO other system out of the box allows. The detail we run processes through our operation call for a system that allows you to create it on your own.
Q: What advice/tips/ideas/recommendations would you give to others regarding PaaS?
A: It is a challenge. You need to understand when you develop your own system it is a blank canvas. While the system gives you guard rails and started modules – in the end YOU drive the success of your system. The more time, energy, and most important, PLANNING you put into your system, the more satisfied you will be with your end project Building a system is not magic – it takes work, but Progress software can help.
Stay tuned for the next in our series, coming soon.
Xavier Bonnamy is a Principal Systems Engineer and Pacific Evangelist at Progress Software. He has worked at Progress for almost 20 years in a number of different roles in systems engineering and software development. Prior to working for Progress, Xavier worked as a Programmer (on OpenEdge) for Anjou Telematique, owned by Compagnie Générale des Eaux (now Vivendi Group). Xavier holds a degree in Life Sciences from the Université de Nantes in France.
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