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Success Story - Voelker & Associates, LLC

Project Details  

Voelker & Associates, LLC


Green Screen


Telecommunications


Presto

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Modern Interface Appeals to Broader Audience than Green Screens

After many successful years, Voelker & Associates (an ISV) came to a difficult conclusion about the marketability of Woodstock, their green screen ERP solution for the building supplies industry. According to their president, Bruce Voelker, "New prospects thought our solution was dated because of the green screen interface. This made it harder to compete."

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Voelker & Associates, L.L.C (V&A) is a solutions developer specializing in hardware and software solutions for the distribution industry. They have been providing consulting, support services, custom applications, and packaged turnkey solutions to their hundreds of clients since 1978.

About one year ago, V&A had come to a difficult conclusion about the marketability of one of their offerings, Woodstock, a green screen ERP solution for the building supplies industry. According to their president, Bruce Voelker, "New prospects thought our solution was dated because of the green screen interface. This made it harder to compete."

In reality, Woodstock was quite up to date and very powerful. Voelker reasoned that the only way to show prospects that Woodstock would actually improve their operations and profitability was to completely revise its appearance. After a thorough evaluation they selected Presto to do the job.

The out of the box effects that impressed Christopher Voelker, manager of R&D, were the skins included with Presto that instantly gave all their screens a modern look, the function keys were all converted to clickable buttons and their entire app was accessible from any browser on virtually any device. "There's no question Presto had an impact right out of the box. The navigation and functionality of our applications remained intact in the refaced screens, which was perfect for our existing clients who were accustomed to the green screen. Yet at the same time, it gave a brand new look to our applications, with features that are familiar to most users who prefer the mouse over the keyboard. Presto was the perfect option for keeping our existing clients interested and making our products more marketable."

Voelker explained that he didn't have to touch 90 percent of their thousand screens since Presto web enables all screens automatically. He also found it easy to customize their most important screens, about 130 of them. Common enhancements he made were making text and other elements clickable and adding alert boxes to give users more info, date pickers, and arrow buttons for scrolling pages. All the conversion work is now done and V&A are finalizing their marketing plans. All in all, it took one developer less than five months to web enable over 1,000 screens including coming up with their own custom design to match their company's look and feel.

Peers have much to offer though the wisdom gained from experience, and these three technical savvy entrepreneurs may have already arrived to where you are thinking of going. If you are considering moving forward on an IBM i application modernization initiative, it might be a good idea to include these short real-world examples in your discovery file for future reference.

 

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