Feb 12th, 2019
Describe what it was like when Versatrans was acquired by Tyler? What was your role in the acquisition?
When you look at other technology acquisitions in the Capital District in the last decade, you won't find a better success story. It has been more than 10 years since Versatrans became part of Tyler. Since then, our client base has more than doubled, revenues have tripled, and the staff size has grown from 60 to 130 with employee attrition rates remaining in the single digits. And, nearly all of the staffing growth has occurred in our Latham office. We recently acquired, and are almost done renovating, a 43,000-square-foot building in Latham to accommodate our current and future growth. The success of Tyler’s Versatrans acquisition can be attributed to two things: Tyler's acquisition model and the cultural fit between the two companies. Tyler strategically acquires companies who are leaders in their space. Versatrans was the leader in K-12 transportation software in 2008 and we are still the leaders today. We still have the best technology, largest client base with a 95 percent client retention rate, and the highest client satisfaction ratings. The cultural fit between Tyler and Versatrans was excellent from the start and continues to this day. Both organizations have always been focused on caring for our employees and our clients. When Versatrans became part of Tyler, I was vice president of Sales and Marketing. In 2013, I became vice president and general manager of the product group within Tyler. I was part of the due diligence team which helped determine how Versatrans would integrate within Tyler.
Describe the culture at Tyler? Do you have any fond memories?
Everyone at Tyler is pretty humble and great to work with. A few years ago, I spent a few weeks working on a project in our Plano, Texas, office. That office has experienced explosive growth and has a parking issue as a result. One of the senior executives was late to a meeting because he couldn't find anywhere to park. Another consultant who was also working on the project suggested that the Tyler executives have their own parking spaces to which the Tyler executive responded, "Why would we do that? That’s not who we are."
Are there any new software developments?
There are two products that we are very excited about. A few years ago, Tyler released a web-based version of our routing software called Traversa, which is leading the market in school routing software. Most software takes three to five years to mature to the point where it is truly valuable. This year, 70 percent of the school districts implementing Traversa are switching from a competing software product. We released a tablet specifically designed for school bus drivers called Tyler Drive. It is a combination of purpose-built hardware and Tyler's own app which includes modules for navigation, messaging, ridership, time keeping, and compliance. As part of our commitment to the Capital District, we have partnered with Saratoga Springs School District for the last year to help us refine the product and field test updates. The Saratoga team has been great to work with and very dedicated to helping make Tyler Drive a vital part of getting our most important resource -- your children -- safely to and from school each day.
What is the software scene today versus a decade ago?
It is hard to say, as I haven't been as plugged into the local startup scene for a few years. In 2011-2012, I did some work with a few groups who were getting their start at the Center of Gravity in Troy, New York, but my general manager duties took me away from that and have kept me traveling around the country for the last six years. One of the things that I have noticed is that it is still difficult to raise money for software startups in the Capital District compared to other parts of the country. Last year, I attended an event at the 1871 (Chicago's Technology & Entrepreneurship Center) and was impressed with the level of activity and buzz. When I was talking with startups at 1871, access to seed money was not the common issue. At the Tech Loop launch, I was pleased to see lots of new companies and even talked to a few new "founders" who were pitching their companies to me after the launch.
What was your motivations to become a first supporter of Tech Loop?
There is a growing gap between open software positions and qualified candidates, with open jobs outpacing qualified candidates. This gap is not just in the Capital District but all across the nation. As I have traveled around the country, I have often thought that it might be easier to set up operations in other parts of the country, but the negatives for doing that -- insanely expensive housing and heavy traffic, for example -- far outpace the benefits of trying to attract people to the area. I moved to the Capital District 30 years ago for a job and for the quality of life, so why can't others do the same? Solving that problem isn't something that Tyler can do alone. Software companies in the area must begin to work together to market the region to the rest of the northeast and the rest of the country. We can do that by combining our resources to show what a vibrant and active community of software companies we have to complement the fantastic quality of life we enjoy the in the Capital District.
What is your advice to future entrepreneurs?
It’s simple: solve a problem that needs solving for which people or businesses are willing to pay for the solution. And, do that better than anyone else. Lots of software has been developed which doesn't solve a problem or which is only marginally better than the competition. You also need to have great team. You can't start a successful business and grow it by yourself. You don't necessarily need a lot of people, but you do at least need a small dedicated and diverse team to have any significant amount of success.
An analysis of available data sets by CompTIA found that the U.S. technology sector employment continues to increase. In the first six months of 2019, more than 56,000 jobs were created for technology professionals, with another 13,500 jobs created in the month of June alone. This information comes from an examination of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Employment Situation” report. Compared to last years’ report, so far this year an additional 6,700 jobs have been created as opposed to the first six months of 2018. “The mid-year tech employment report card shows many positives, reflecting the broad-based employer demand for tech talent,” says Tim Herbert, Executive Vice President for Research and Market Intelligence at CompTIA. “Businesses continue to make progress in adopting a range of emerging technologies, with hiring following suit.” Read More: https://mytechdecisions.com/compliance/data-says-demand-for-tech-talent-continues/
Jul 12th, 2019 via https://mytechdecisions.com/compliance/data-says-demand-for-tech-talent-continues/
After Strong Start to 2019, Hiring to Slow Amid Recruiting Challenges, According to Capital Region Employers Optimism remains high for future job growth, even as companies temper hiring expectations through the end of this year. Albany, NY – Hiring was robust in the first half of the year, and optimism over the long term remains high, but Capital Region employers are scaling back expectations for the second half of 2019 amid continued challenges in recruiting employees, according to the Spring 2019 Alaant Hiring Index released today. The index is compiled by Alaant Workforce Solutions, the Capital Region’s leading professional workforce services firm.
Jun 19th, 2019 via https://www.alaant.com/blog-news/press-release-alaant-hiring-index-spring-2019
Come one come all and gather around the campfire. You’ve made it through that dreaded Monday, cruised through Tuesday on steam and now you’ve hit the Wednesday hump. Today, we’d like to help you get through it all with some coding horror stories. Share these with your colleagues to make their day and help them realize that a missing punctuation isn’t all that bad
Jun 13th, 2019
Higher pay and rapid advancement retain talent in Upstate NY communities Upstate, New York, May 15, 2019 — The 3rd annual Upstate CEO Report, commissioned by Upstate Venture Connect, shows that fast-growing companies across our region have average salaries that are up to 60% higher than the average salary in a typical upstate metro area. “Scalable companies targeting national and global customers are distributed across our region,” stated UVC CEO Nasir Asli. “They don’t often show up on traditional economic development metrics, but clearly have an outsized impact on our communities.” Scalable companies are often in the newer industries and building products for national/global customers. Survey respondents in this category plan to hire 6-7 entry level people on average in 2019 and two thirds of those positions require a college degree.
Jun 3rd, 2019 via https://uvc.org/ceo-survey-shows-more-jobs-for-upstate-college-graduates/
Join hundreds of business professionals, entrepreneurs and innovators on June 27 for networking, awards ceremony and celebration with heavy hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, music & more!
May 17th, 2019
What is SQL Saturday? "SQLSaturday is a free training event for Microsoft Data Platform professionals and those wanting to learn about SQL Server, Business Intelligence and Analytics. This event will be held on Jul 20, 2019, at SUNY Albany, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany..."
Jul 18th, 2019 via https://www.meetup.com/Capital-Area-SQL-Server-User-Group/events/257931962/
Last Thursday, at Rivers Casino Resort, several companies and leaders in the region attended the Center for Economic Growth (CEG)'s 23rd annual technology awards. The awards honor innovative and inspiring companies and individuals who help build the capital region.
Jul 1st, 2019
Imagine if updating your name on an app, sends your password to all your favorite contacts. Not only can you say goodbye to your privacy, you now have to update your passwords and hope that your friends aren’t too terrible. How do we avoid minor changes from having huge impacts? By QAing for “every possibility” you can think of and then some...and then some...
Jun 24th, 2019
Microsoft SQL Serveris defined as “a relational database management system developed by Microsoft. As a database server, it is a software product with the primary function of storing and retrieving data as requested by other software applications—which may run either on the same computer or on another computer across a network.” There has been huge changes with Microsoft SQL and we’d like to get you up to speed.
Jun 24th, 2019
Jun 3rd, 2019