Friday, January 14, 2011

Philadelphia Software Development and Programming Community

The RAWcross America tour rolled through Philadelphia as it continues its amazing coast-to-coast and back tour of the United States. The RAWmobile, complete with uniPaaS Jet and Magic Software logos up and down the sides of the car, managed to escape the snowstorms in New York and make its way to Philadelphia, the “city of brotherly love.” In addition to being known for cheese steak sandwiches, Rocky and the Philadelphia Phillies, Philadelphia sits in the middle of the “programmers alley” that stretches from New Jersey to Maryland.
In the early days of the history of uniPaaS in the United States, the United States Army started programming in Magic at the Tobyhanna Army Depot. Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) is the largest, full-service electronics maintenance facility in the Department of Defense (DoD). TYAD’s mission is total sustainment, including design, manufacture, repair and overhaul of hundreds of electronic systems that include satellite terminals, radio and radar systems, telephones, electro-optics, night vision and anti-intrusion devices, airborne surveillance equipment, navigational instruments, electronic warfare and guidance and control systems for tactical missiles. TYAD is the DoD’s recognized leader in the areas of automated test equipment, systems integration and downsizing of electronics systems. The Army has designated Tobyhanna as its Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for C4ISR and Electronics, Avionics and Missile Guidance and Control. The Air Force has designated TYAD as its Technical Source of Repair for command, control, communications and intelligence systems. At Tobyhanna, they understood the need for developing software applications quickly and with maximum degree of operational integrity, transactional integrity and performance. I don’t know when it all began really, but it was at least as far back as 1993 that these programmer jobs in the greater Philadelphia became available on the Magic platform (now known as uniPaaS).
The uniPaaS programming tradition continues today at companies like Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. Guardian is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in America, with 150 years of experience in providing diversified financial solutions, including life insurance, disability income insurance, retirement services, employee benefits, and investments. From the Northeastern Regional Home Office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Guardian develops a key core financial services system on the uniPaaS application platform. The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc., offers a range of annuities that are designed to help long-term investors as they seek to accumulate and manage their assets through professionally managed investments options.
And of course, one of Magic Software’s premier cloud computing sites is located in a Philadelphia suburb s well: Clinical Financial Services. Clinical Financial Services (CFS), located in the heart of the “Pharma-Belt” in suburban Philadelphia, is the industry’s only company focused exclusively on the financial management of clinical trials. Through unique business process outsourcing capabilities, the company empowers sponsors, clinical research organizations, and investigative sites to transform the way they handle the complex financial activities required to initiate and successfully complete clinical trials. The Company’s core competencies include an in-depth knowledge and understanding of clinical trial budgets and agreements, contract negotiation and administration, and finance and accounting specific to clinical trials.
CFS could see that existing clinical trial financial processes are fundamentally flawed in a number of ways. Lack of technology integration and standard business processes meant that little or no invoicing was performed properly, insufficient financial controls were in place, transaction processing costs were high, and investigator sites were feeling the cash flow pinch. CFS understood that by making better use of the Internet, improving integration of disparate systems and standardizing business processes wherever possible, they could eliminate these problems. In short, the lack of integrated technologies makes it difficult, if not impossible, to properly calculate grant dollars earned and efficiently administer payments to sites.
Glen Slater, CIO of CFS, took on the task of identifying the best architecture for the solution. Rather than trying to build every element of the solution from scratch, CFS chose to focus on its core competency of e-Payment processing and matched that with best-of-breed solutions for their back-end business and customer relationship management solutions. Slater knew that if he utilized as much on demand and service-oriented architecture as possible, agility and integration would be maximized. CFS has overcome the challenges by developing a highly controlled and fully integrated payment processing environment that connects their proprietary grant application with SAP, and other technologies using Magic Software's iBOLT Integration Suite. Implemented later in 2006, the new sophisticated and highly integrated business process architecture allows CFS to pay investigative sites both quickly and accurately by means of electronic funds transfer (EFT). Along with the funds CFS provides detailed electronic remittance and statement information. The solution also complies with the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) standard and is entirely “cloud based.”
The iBOLT Integration Suite automates business processes related to invoice payment, forecasting and other key processes between CFS e-Payment Application, SAP Business One, and EMC's Documentum eRoom Content Management System.
These are just a few of the “Philadelphia Stories” that come to mind in a community and region with a long history of using Magic Software Enterprises application development platform and integration suite.
For those following the RAWcross America tour, the next stop is in NASHVILLE, TN on Saturday, January 15th at the Mercy Lounge. Contact: / if you are an artist wanting to learn more about RAW or just a curious programmer who wants to see the RAWmobile.


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