ASPsoftware Accelerates Time to Market and Expands its Business Internationally with Progress Rollbase and Progress OpenEdge
Most people think of the waste industry as the local garbage truck that visits your neighborhood once a week or performs daily trash pick on your city’s streets. But the industry is far more intricate and complex, reaching across medical waste collection, mining and fracking collection, septic tank liquid waste collection, and construction and demolition collection, just to name a few. Servicing these sectors of the industry requires numerous trucks and equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the coordination of tens of thousands of people, and the ongoing management of all of the various supporting processes involved--from sales and accounting to route management, resource scheduling and more. It is a complicated business with a lot of moving parts and zero room for error.
This is the market ASPsoftware serves with its state-of-the art Wastedge on premise and web-based solutions. Based on the Progress OpenEdge application development platform, Wastedge is a modern cloud-based suite of software with integrated Google mapping, route optimization and mobile software applications that support a wide variety of waste organizations across the waste & service industry sectors. Product features include:
- Sales prospecting & contract renewals
- Commercial accounts & service pricing administration
- Resource scheduling & workload clustering
- Regular route optimization, generation and dispatch
- Onboard job lists, GPS tracking & navigation guides
- Mobile software for iPads, tablets, PCs & PDAs
- Residential route workload balancing
- Residential onboard truck data capture (GPS, lift events, photos, RFID)
- Commercial services, tipping & rentals invoicing & receivables
- User defined reporting and KPI business activity monitors
- Self service customer enquiries, reprints and bookings
The company chose Progress OpenEdge over 15 years ago when it first developed its Windows-based waste management solution, and they have continued to rely on Progress OpenEdge to evolve and innovate the solution. “Progress continuously provides us with the tools, features and functionality we need keep our application modern and competitive,” explains Terry Daley, CEO of ASPsoftware. “So much has changed since we first developed our application – the move through various versions, the advent of the Web, the shift to the cloud and now the proliferation of mobile devices. Progress OpenEdge is so flexible and robust that it has allowed us to adjust to all of those market changes while giving us the agility to take advantage of many new opportunities.”
Rapidly Growing its Business with Progress OpenEdge and SaaS
One of the biggest and most exciting shifts for the company came with its recent move to the cloud. ASPsoftware has spent the last three years creating the industry’s first and only true multi-tenant SaaS cloud and mobile applications software suite. Wastedge is currently hosted on high security professionally managed servers in major data centers in Australia, Europe, the UK and US. While the company did have a few international on-premise clients prior to the move to SaaS, the majority of the company’s customers and prospects were tethered within a couple of hundred miles of its headquarters. As is the case for so many companies, Wastedge has to maximize its resources, so it focused most of its efforts on local customers where the company could more easily support their needs for an on-premise implementation and ongoing support.
But all of that changed overnight with SaaS. “The move from on-premise to the cloud was dramatic for our business – giving us access to new markets across geographies and within the enterprise and small to medium business sectors,” explains Daley. “Whereas an on-premise implementation could take three to six months, even up to a year and be very costly, we can now have a customer thousands of miles away up and running in the cloud within minutes at a much more attractive price point. And with Progress OpenEdge’s translation capability, we can also now target non-English speaking markets.”
ASPsoftware averages at least three to four new SaaS customers each month, and the company’s resellers in other countries are also experiencing similar growth.
From the Spark of an Idea to a Revenue-generating Solution with Progress Rollbase
When a new large waste management prospect recently approached ASPsoftware looking to quickly implement an accidents records management system, the technology leader saw the perfect opportunity to once again innovate its offering. ASPsoftware needed to quickly demonstrate it could provide a peripheral system that would replace the prospect’s manual process for documenting and tracking accidents, requesting external repair cost estimates, and tracking costs, and enable the company to share that information with its third-party insurance agent.
ASPsoftware also wanted to add plug-in functionality, such as an integrated calendar, task list workflow triggers linked to email for generating requests for repair quotes, and even a mobile app for drivers to enter accident data at the scene and also a portal, as well as a number of impressive KPI charts. While ASPsoftware had moved many modules to the Web in the past, it was looking for a way to accelerate its previous time to market to meet the prospect’s aggressive timetable. After talking with the Progress Philippines consulting group, ASPsoftware chose Progress Rollbase for the project.
Part of the Progress Pacific cloud platform, Progress Rollbase is a hybrid cloud rapid application development (RAD) platform that enables users to create software fast and efficiently using point & click, drag & drop tools in a standard web browser with a minimal amount of code. With some invaluable guidance from Progress consulting, ASPsoftware was able to create a demo of the new web-based module within a couple of days, and they had the entire solution complete and available to the market within a month and a half. “The ability to demonstrate a comprehensive working prototype in such a short time that also integrates with our base operations management modules in OpenEdge, that could then further be configured to their needs, has resulted in pulling in a core waste applications sale for over 300 trucks,” explains Daley.
“If you actually added up the number of hours we spent developing, testing and deploying the new module using Progress Rollbase over a few weeks, we spent about 28 hours in total or just over three-man days of effort. Using other development methods would have taken us at least three to six months to accomplish the same task. Our development team was at least 10x more productive using Progress Rollbase and our costs were also reduced by at least a factor of 10.”
Daley says it is Progress Rollbase’s flexibility and ease of use that enables this accelerated development cycle and reduced costs. “Progress Rollbase comes with a number of predefined templates and building blocks. You can literally pull down options from a menu and the functionality is there, with no additional development work. The system makes it very simple to customize the application--adding or changing fields, layouts and labels, and it also integrates easily with other third-party systems, like calendars and task management systems.”
The smooth integration with Progress OpenEdge was also key to getting the module to market quickly. The new accident records management module pulls information from the core OpenEdge-based Wastedge application, for example employee master records and license renewals. However, all of the information on the accident records management employee screen appears in one single location; the integration and separation of the data is completely invisible to the user. And when information is inputted into the new Rollbase module, such as details of an accident or truck damage, it is automatically flowed back into the core OpenEdge-based product where all the mechanic repair requests are made and maintenance, repairs and scheduling are managed.
“This seamless integration between Progress Rollbase and OpenEdge means we can leverage all of the work we have already done with our Wastedge application, reducing development cycles. It also ensures we are not creating silos of information. Rather the two work hand in hand using the same data,” explains Daley.
Progress Rollbase also made it easy for ASPsoftware to develop a mobile app for its new accident records management module. “Out of the box, we were able to develop a mobile app that lets a driver log an accident on his mobile phone. We have also developed a mobile app that enables a repair service provider to submit a price quote.”
Daley says the power of Progress Rollbase has already stretched beyond this initial customer request. The company is working with another customer in the UK that wants to add a new purchasing approval module that their current system does not include. “Progress Rollbase offers a whole library of templates, one of which includes purchase approvals processing. Using that template we were able to quickly demonstrate within just a couple of days how we could support their requirement. It was truly stunning and they were quite impressed. There is so much future potential for our business and for our customers with Rollbase.”
Staying Far Ahead of the Competition
Daley says the move to SaaS and the adoption of Rollbase is giving ASPsoftware a major competitive edge in the market. “Most of our competitors are still struggling with getting out of a Windows environment, whereas we are delivering new functionality to customers via the cloud. What takes them three to six months takes us days. Where they are spending 30-40 percent of their time doing system upgrades for on-premise implementations, we are focusing most of our energy on innovation and meeting new customer requirements. We are years beyond our competition with OpenEdge and Rollbase.”
Additionally, there is so much more the company is looking to do. For one, they plan to expand into the service industry, supporting those companies that are responsible for maintaining and servicing machinery and trucks. ASPsoftware will be able to leverage much of the work they have already done on the Wastedge application.
Over the next few months they also have plans to develop their own encapsulated apps using Rollbase that can be sold to the Rollbase community via an app store. “So often when it comes to software, people reinvent the wheel. We want to give customers the ability to quickly, easily and affordably kick start their projects. For example, if anyone wants an accidents module that applies just to the trucking industry or the motor vehicle industry, then they can simply download the app out of the Rollbase environment.”
Daley says ASPsoftware is looking into the possibility of adopting other Progress solutions in the future, like Corticon, DataDirect and OpenEdge BPM. “There are a number of exciting possibilities we are looking into around dynamic business rule management and the ability to ease integration with third-party systems. Certainly for us, over the years Progress has been a great partner in providing innovative technology, forward leadership, direction and advice on industry trends and best practices. They are truly a business mentor for us, helping us navigate through new markets, technologies and areas of development like SaaS, cloud and mobile. That type of business partnership is immensely valuable.”
Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, ASPsoftware also maintains a regional staff in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Auckland. The company’s Wastedge product is a modern cloud based suite of software as a web service with integrated Google mapping, route optimization and mobile software apps that support a wide variety of waste organizations across the waste & service industry sectors. Wastedge International is a growing consortium of waste software specialist companies who resell and support ASPsoftware’s Wastedge solution in the UK, Europe and South Africa. ASPsoftware has spent the last three years creating the industry’s first and only true multi-tenant SaaS cloud and mobile applications software suite. Wastedge is currently hosted on high security professionally managed servers in major data centres in Australia, Europe, the UK and USA. http://wastedge.com/