Imagine a company has invested tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to develop, customize and maintain an application that is essential to running their business. Unfortunately, the application has just not kept up with the rapid pace of market change or evolving customer expectations. This is the reality facing many organizations today–across industries, regions and countries. Some are opting to abandon their investment, hoping a brand new solution will solve the problem, despite the inevitable implementation, customization, training and maintenance costs required. But BravePoint’s customers have found another way to reap the benefits of a modern, state-of-the art solution while leveraging their existing Progress Software investment.
“With the Progress platform you can get a greater return on your investment without making some really expensive, risky decisions,” explains Alex Oliveri, Vice President of Operations for BravePoint. “You can add functionality to a mobile user, build a new module that you’ve always wanted, or maybe rewrite a module built on old technology to keep up with the competition. There are so many options out there right now for existing OpenEdge users.”
In business for over 26 years, BravePoint was one of the first IT companies to recognize the demand for skilled technical consultants in Progress technologies. Over the years the company has grown to become the largest provider of Progress® Software consulting, training and database services in the world. BravePoint offers everything its clients need and demand to streamline business processes, including applications to help migrate legacy systems of all types to the Web and augmentation packages to help clients get the most from their Progress-based systems.
With 125 employees, BravePoint is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, a $650+ million diversified utility company. BravePoint serves the needs of organizations as diverse as ADP, Northrop Grumman, US Army and Navy, Johns Hopkins University, Eaton and many others.
“While every client project is different, it is safe to say that all of our customers are realizing substantial ROI by leveraging their existing Progress-based systems,” explains Barbara Ware, Director of Marketing for BravePoint. “At a minimum, by implementing a brand new solution the customer would incur costs associated with buying and deploying the product, tailoring that solution to meet their unique needs, migrating the existing data, and training employees. And then they would need to factor in the amount of time all of that would take. At BravePoint we are able to leverage much of a customer’s existing investment and focus the majority of our time, energy and costs on making changes only where they are needed, for example developing a new UI.”
BravePoint knows firsthand what its customers are experiencing. A few years ago the Progress Consulting partner also became a Progress Application partner when it acquired an ISV with an application developed for the subcontractor industry. BravePoint completely modernized the legacy Progress-based application, re-launching the solution as ProfitZoom, an application designed specifically for subcontractor's profitability that integrates everything from dispatching to inventory to job costing. The project was so successful that BravePoint was able to generalize the framework it used which it now calls Application Evolution. The solution is a modernization framework that BravePoint offers to legacy Progress partners and end users that want to move forward without losing the strength of their production database or their product.
“Similar to our own experience with ProfitZoom, our success is our ability to help our customers find ways to keep the strength of their solutions, which is their Progress database and their underlying business logic, while evolving their solutions to create a modern, state-of-the-art system,” explains Bruce Thompson, OpenEdge Enterprise Account Manager for BravePoint. “We are able to show our clients that Progress technology truly is ‘Future Proof’; that there is tremendous value in their existing solid, scalable and reliable Progress platform. We help them find ways to modernize their applications instead of ripping and replacing them, for example through integration with third-party applications, by creating a new graphical user interface, or moving to a new deployment platform like mobile, SaaS or the cloud. The end result is that our customers get a modern system at a substantial lower cost and time-to-deployment than if they had simply chosen to move to a completely new solution.”
Delivering Ongoing Innovation and Value
While BravePoint does work with a variety of different technologies, Ware says time and again Progress is at the top of the list. “We can work with other solutions if need be, but Progress continues to be our favorite. In our hearts we are always pushing for our clients to stay with Progress because we know that there is no reason not to; it is simply the best.”
Thompson says there are a number of reasons Progress continues to be the right choice for BravePoint’s customers. “From a database standpoint it's easy to manage, it's solid, and it doesn't have to be babysat like some of the other databases. It's more intuitive in a lot of ways. And it can easily go toe to toe with competitive solutions, like Oracle. The system can scale to meet any requirement while maintaining superior performance levels. For example, we have a customer that is in the teens of terabytes that's running on Progress. Unlike competitive solutions, the majority of Progress customers don’t need to hire a full time DBA, which is a major advantage. The language itself is very flexible. And the ability to integrate non-Progress solutions with OpenEdge is a huge benefit.”
The fact that Progress is committed to delivering continuous innovation to the industry is critical to BravePoint’s own ability to deliver enhancements to its clients. The company is looking forward to taking advantage of the new Progress Pacific solution, particularly the Rollbase cloud platform that allows rapid creation of SaaS business applications using point-and-click, drag-and-drop tools in a standard Web browser with a minimal amount of code. “We were really impressed with Rollbase from the speed and the ability it took to develop a prototype. The integration opportunities of Rollbase are very exciting to us. Within a matter of hours Rollbase will enable us to design and develop full-featured web-based business applications.”
BravePoint also sees tremendous value in the Progress Corticon® Business Rules Management System (BRMS) for delivering high-quality, high-fidelity, high-performance automated business decisions. “We expect our customers will be asking for that functionality in the very near future. It is good to know that with Progress we already have the ability to deliver.”
A Partnership Rooted in Respect and Collaboration
Over the 26 years Progress and BravePoint have been partners, the companies have maintained close ties at a number points within the organizations. BravePoint’s consulting and sales professionals often work with Progress sales to support new projects, for example by providing new software licenses. BravePoint’s Vice President of Sales, Sean Garguilo, has regular calls with Progress’ sales and marketing organizations. And Thompson, an 18-year veteran with BravePoint says he frequently meets with different Progress sales reps and account managers to keep them abreast of what BravePoint is doing and to make sure they are offering the best services possible. “Our primary focus is to keep Progress users happy, and we want to do that together with Progress.”
The relationship is truly mutual, as Thompson explains. “When Progress rolled out its Multi-tenancy solution we actually worked with Progress to write and deliver the training materials. They value our expertise just as we value theirs. That mutual respect and collaboration are key benefits of the partnership.”
Ware, who has been with BravePoint for 16 years, says the strength and longevity of the partnership is what makes their message so powerful and strong. “I have worked with Progress on a number of marketing-related activities, like case studies and the Exchange conference. And we were honored to be named Consulting Partner of the Year for the second year in a row. With Progress we truly feel important and valued.”
BravePoint in Action & Proof Point: Kauffman Tire Improves the Customer Experience by Modernizing its Point of Sale System
How does a leading tire company with 50 retail stores, 14 wholesale distribution centers, four commercial tire centers, a retreading facility and an e-commerce site stay ahead of the competition? By staying ahead of the technology curve with their point of sale application.
As a long-standing customer of BravePoint, Kauffman Tire knew just where to turn to modernize their TirePro application. Using Application Evolution, BravePoint was able to create a tablet interface that enables Kauffman technicians to get out from behind the counter and provide a better shopping experience for their customers. Using a tablet, the salesperson can scan the car for history and compatible tires while referencing their existing Progress OpenEdge database. This is revolutionary and BravePoint is at the forefront of this technology and innovation.
“We were able to take what we learned when we modernized our own ProfitZoom application and leverage that experience to produce a browser-based user interface that was sized and scoped for a tablet device while maintaining the underlying Progress database and logic,” explains Thompson.
After completing the project ahead of schedule, Richard Aldredge, CIO at Kauffman Tire, was able to pilot a single store and gauge positive customer experience. “The Application Evolution process with BravePoint has been a completely satisfying and painless experience,” says Aldredge. “We have worked with BravePoint for years and have always trusted them to manage our Progress projects skillfully and meet our budget and timing expectations. But even with that kind of confidence, we were pleasantly surprised by the professionalism and efficiency of the Evolution process and BravePoint’s project managers. We would absolutely recommend BravePoint's AP Evolution to anyone wishing to modernize their Progress application."
Headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, BravePoint®, Inc. is a leading provider of consulting, training, and application development to a variety of clients worldwide. Since 1987, BravePoint has applied business experience and technology expertise to improve customers’ profitability and competitiveness with the use of technology. BravePoint is a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK). www.bravepoint.com
About Kauffman Tire
Kauffman Tire operates over 50 retail stores in Georgia and Florida; fourteen wholesale distribution centers in seven states; four commercial tire centers and one Bandag retreading facility in NE, Ohio and the e-commerce site Tread Depot. Kauffman Tire offers daily delivery to customers out of all wholesale centers, with a fleet of approximately 150 vehicles. Kauffman Tire's thorough knowledge of passenger, light truck, medium truck, farm, specialty, OTR, industrial and commercial tires, and their network of retail stores and wholesale distribution centers, allow Kauffman Tire to respond efficiently and effectively to its customers' needs. www.kauffmantire.com