In addition to the quality of their products, InVue’s success can be attributed to large and highly efficient sales channels, and the company’s focus on setting standards and achieving goals. The IBM i platform upon which InVue runs more than lives up to their standards for stability and reliability. But to reach their goals for continued success, the company realized something had to change: Green screen applications.
“As our sales team grows and new people come on board, it’s up to our IT department to train them to use our Sales Information Systems applications,” explains InVue’s director of IT, Michael Stewart. “New employees were overwhelmed learning how to access customer and account information in a green screen, and the process of re-training them on the applications was time-consuming for our IT department.”
Stewart and his team realized that, once out in the field, their sales force would avoid accessing these non-intuitive green screen applications. “Although they were originally designed to help our sales teams and partners track results, set goals and achieve success, end users weren’t comfortable using them,” Stewart states. “It became clear that our teams weren’t getting the support they needed to meet their sales goals from these applications, and that’s when we knew we needed a change.”
“We wanted to do more than ‘screen scrape’, and have the ability to create new applications from scratch. We also needed a tool that would be easy for our programmers to learn and use. After seeing Profound UI in action, we agreed it was the right solution for InVue.”
Director of IT, InVue
InVue decided that in order to improve the adoption of Sales Information Systems it was time to move off of green screens, and began to look for the right modernization solution to create modern, Web browser-based interfaces. “We wanted to do more than ‘screen scrape’, and have the ability to create new applications from scratch,” said Stewart. “We also needed a tool that would be easy for our programmers to learn and use. After seeing Profound UI in action, we agreed it was the right solution for InVue.”
Profound UI utilizes RPG Open Access, which enables programmers to move their RPG applications off of the 5250 stream and onto the Web. This capability, plus an intuitive, easy-to-use graphical development environment, made developing modern applications a breeze for the InVue team. “Our programmers were able to develop modern applications with minimal training time,” said Stewart. “In fact, our programmers were able to increase their efficiency by cross-training fellow teammates, the last of whom had no Web development experience and worked remotely. That they were able to pick up how to use the product so quickly is a testament to Profound UI’s ease of use.”
InVue also found that Profound UI was robust and flexible enough to meet their standards for the type of applications they wanted to deploy. “We felt it was important to create our applications the right way from the start,” said Stewart. “We determined what the colors, buttons and other graphical elements would be for all of our pages to ensure consistency. Once we standardized a layout that we felt would be the best and most efficient choice for our users, it was incredibly easy to deploy these modernized applications with our RPG source code.”
After rolling out their newly modernized applications, the InVue team started seeing the positive results right away. Because InVue’s Sales Information System is easier to learn and use, team members are armed with the information they need, and spend less time training and more time selling. “By giving our employees a better, more intuitive way to access information, we’ve not only made them more efficient but also more autonomous,” explained Stewart.
“Stewart and his team are also pleased with the functionality they’ve added to their applications. “There’s a lot we’ve been able to accomplish that wouldn’t have been possible before Profound UI,” Stewart says. “For instance, we’ve turned function keys into a series of tabs that enable users to filter and view product and sales information that’s tailored to them.” Stewart’s team has made use of another Profound Logic product, Atrium, to create a Web 2.0
menu framework for their applications that eliminates clumsy green screen menus.
InVue’s IT team plans to carry this success into future projects that include an inventory application designed to give their engineering, sales, and marketing teams insight into customer purchasing trends. “We want to arm the people who design and sell our products with the latest information on what our customers want, and this will be the perfect way to do that,” says Stewart. He and his team know their upcoming modernization efforts are secure with Profound Logic and Profound UI. “Profound Logic is on the forefront of technology, which is important to us. Profound UI is superior to other modernization and development tools we looked at, and with our newly modernized solutions it has resulted in a more informed, goal oriented and efficient business.”