The ability to rapidly deliver customized applications is quickly separating the leaders from the pack. Jungle Lasers knows first hand how powerful rapid application development can be. For six years, the company has relied on the Progress Pacific Platform as a Service (PaaS) to develop custom web applications for local government municipalities and small businesses. And within that short time, the company has scaled its business by 50% while slashing development costs by a factor of 4.
Jungle Lasers is a leader in bringing custom web applications to municipalities and small businesses in a truly improved way using the Progress® Rollbase® development platform for cloud and mobile applications, a component of Progress Pacific. Through the company’s Geo3.0 portal, Jungle Lasers provides online services to clients including custom software applications and data and information management.
The company turned to Progress Rollbase when its previous model of application development using .NET, ASP and Java required months to build a single app. This time-consuming, tedious approach was no longer serving the business as it sought to respond to meet customer demands.
“Many of our customers perform the same tasks, such as permit issuance, but they all do it slightly differently,” explains Mark Catanese, Vice President of Product Development for Jungle Lasers. “Progress Rollbase was really the perfect fit to allow us not only to create applications very quickly, customized to the client, but then to also customize existing applications to meet the needs of each client.”
For example, Jungle Lasers created an application for a New Jersey municipality to help it more easily locate unlicensed dogs and cats, streamlining a time-consuming manual process and mobilizing the municipality’s efforts for easier tracking. Another client, an educational tour group company, was able to integrate their existing enterprise management system through Rollbase to allow users to manage all aspects of their business online, from accepting a quote and managing tours to collecting funds with PayPal integration. And when a parks and recreation customer wanted the ability to study the demographics of those people participating in its programs, Jungle Lasers was able to quickly modify the client’s existing Geo3.0 (pronounced jee-oh-three-oh) custom application to support that requirement.
With the easy-to-use point-and-click, drag-and-drop functionality of Progress Rollbase, Jungle Lasers can develop and deploy powerful business applications in about one week versus months with traditional development methods. And despite a 20% increase in development work due to business growth, the company has slashed costs, employing just two developers versus the previous eight.
“Progress Rollbase really bridges the gap between the technical world and the world of business,” says Catanese. “The system is so intuitive that business users are empowered to create applications and change and modify them without being dependent on IT. That has significantly increased our time to value.”
Catanese says Jungle Lasers can now interact with its customers in an entirely different and far more engaging way. “Now when we are with a new customer we say, ‘Just give us your pain points. Don’t think about what software you need. Just tell us what you want to do and then we’ll develop a solution that will solve those problems.’ It is no longer about the technology, but about their business and the value we can deliver using Progress Rollbase”
The ability to accelerate its time to market for customized solutions has fast become a competitive advantage for Jungle Lasers. “None of our competitors are even coming close to what we can deliver,” says Ray Hodnett, CEO of Jungle Lasers. “Our time to market is now 90% faster with Progress Rollbase and we have been able to grow our business by 50%.”
Progress Rollbase has afforded Jungle Lasers the agility to enter new markets outside of municipal government, including mainstream businesses and non-profits. “There are so many markets we never would have considered entering given budget and resource constraints,” says Hodnett. “But now, with Progress Rollbase, the sky’s the limit; we can expand into just about any market we choose.”
Progress Rollbase also enables Jungle Lasers to empower what it calls the citizen developer. “When we create software, we are amazed at how many times a staff role or a job has evolved to an optimal solution. Slowly perfected over time, people create great processes for themselves. They know what needs to be done and they do it very efficiently. This is where we came up with the idea of the citizen developer. Progress Rollbase enables us to move a process to Geo3.0 that encapsulates that knowledge and institutionalizes it by emulating the naturally evolved optimal solution,” says Hodnett.
Jungle Lasers also practices what it preaches, using Rollbase to develop its own in-house applications, including its Geo3.0 website portal, support ticket system, and the company is in the process of merging its CRM system into Rollbase.
Hodnett and Catanese say both Jungle Lasers and Progress share a similar philosophy to business, committed to delivering superior solutions and the highest level of service and attention. “We love all of the people we deal with at Progress, truly. It is remarkable how friendly, helpful and honest everyone is,” says Hodnett. “We have tremendous confidence in Progress, the direction of the company, and the product roadmap. Over the years they have continued to listen, care, deliver on their promises and be there for us each step of the way. What more could you ask for in a partner?”
One of the most unique apps Jungle Lasers has developed with Progress Rollbase is the Identi-find Reseller Item Registry solution, a cloud-based dataset for law enforcement to recover stolen items purchased by resellers in their jurisdiction and neighboring jurisdictions. Identi-find helps law enforcement identify stolen goods by providing a central database of items sold to pawn shops and other resellers, including the precious metal (gold and silver) resale market.
Participating resellers access the system via a web portal where they can quickly and easily record required information about the item and seller, which can include photos of the item being purchased. Jungle Lasers created business rules to further enhance the automated system. For example, if a retailer has not reported any purchases for three consecutive days, the system will notify the Supervising Detective. In another scenario, a Detective will receive an alert when a known past offender is selling merchandise to one or more retailers, allowing for a higher level of review.
Prior to Identi-find, this entire process had to be managed manually. Resellers would email the information to a Detective who would then store the seller’s information in a spreadsheet, including a driver’s license photo, item description, serial number, etc. This often resulted in dozens or more emails a day to a single Detective who was responsible for managing the spreadsheet. The reseller could not sell any merchandise for seven days from the time they reported an item to the police department, which gave the Detective just one week to ensure the information was inputted into the spreadsheet and then cross-checked against any reported stolen items.
This manual process was not only inefficient, but it increased the chance for errors and could delay an officer’s ability to identify stolen goods. For example, any time a neighboring police department wanted to inquire about stolen goods it needed to reach the Detective who had authorization to access the spreadsheet. Days off, sick leave and vacations all put the efficacy of their process at risk. But that has all changed with Identi-find.
“Identi-find is just one example of how Progress Rollbase empowers us to develop custom apps to meet the very specific and unique requirements of an organization,” says Hodnett. “That flexibility and agility are what set us apart from other vendors and provide us with significant competitive edge in a crowded global market.”
Jungle Lasers is a leader in bringing custom web applications to municipalities and small businesses in a truly improved way using a cloud-based development platform. Through their GEO3.0 portal, Jungle Lasers provide online services to clients for software applications and to manage their data and information. . www.geo30.com