Presort First Class began planning the new OpenInsight system in 2001. “We set out with the goal of not just being able to bill our work, but to actually track all the jobs from inception to payment. The current system does just that,” says Dilbeck. “We create job tickets in the Revelation system, and can track a job throughout its life in that system. The system does all the invoicing and accounts receivable for all our jobs and all the work that we do day in and day out. And it also tracks all the postage for all our customers as well.”
Presort First Class is currently on the latest version of OpenInsight, 9.4. “I can do whatever I want to do with it based on our requirements and it is both easy and flexible for me to make the changes in the system to match our changing business needs. Revelation has got a great support staff. I can always reach out to the developers and get help any time I need it.”
Addressing Changing Business Needs
Because Revelation stays on top of emerging technology trends, new capabilities are constantly being added to Presort First Class’ system. For example, several years ago, Presort First Class wanted to update its metering processes, which were manually intensive. At the time, all the postage transactions had to be written down on job sheets with pencil and paper. The data would then be entered into the Revelation system. When the opportunity arose to streamline operations using third-party postal metering equipment which had an integrated relational database management system, Presort First Class seized it. Because Revelation had developed a SQL connector in OpenInsight, Presort First Class was able to link the tables in the SQL database to OpenInsight and view the information within OpenInsight. As a result, a manual process that took four to five hours every day turned into a 30-minute to one-hour importing routine. “Revelation has provided the flexibility to meet our needs,” said Dilbeck.
In addition, said Dilbeck, Presort First Class has various programs that it uses to communicate with OpenInsight on the back end. As the company receives files from customers via FTP it has processes that handle these files and communicate with Revelation in real time. “Revelation has been easy to integrate with, because they have many ways to connect with other products,” notes Dilbeck.
Presort First Class has looked at other products over the years including one that was specific to the mailing industry. The product included a Visual Studio front end with SQL Server back end. However, it found that although the product had a robust feature set tailored for the industry, it lacked many other features that it had built into its OpenInsight system. “We figured it would take more money to buy the product and have the vendor develop the pieces that were missing that were already in the OpenInsight system. Plus, there were features that they could not replicate so we would still continue using the Revelation system for certain functionality,” says Dilbeck.
Looking Ahead to OpenInsight 10.0
Presort First Class continues to seek new capabilities to deploy in support of its customers. The company has keen interest in the new functionality that will become available with the 2015 release of OpenInsight 10.0, especially the 64-bit processing.
Presort First Class also sees strong potential in a new Couchbase connector in 10.0 for enhanced tracking related to the USPS Intelligent Mail initiative. The Intelligent Mail program uses machine-readable codes to identify mail and follow its path through to delivery. A key attribute of Couchbase is that it can handle a high volume of data. “The amount of data that is generated through piece-level event tracking is really more than Revelation can handle efficiently,” notes Dilbeck. “Couchbase is scalable; you can have millions of documents stored every second across multiple servers and still have it be easily accessible. We are looking at using the Couchbase connector for our tracking databases when that becomes available. Getting the additional functionality of the Couchbase connector would be a definite reason for us to upgrade to OpenInsight 10.0.”