Antares Technology Solutions was hired by Bayou Steel Group (BSG), a Louisiana-based steel production company, to provide a Project Manager to oversee the implementation of the company’s custom SAP instance and Hybris eCommerce platform.  Our project manager successfully worked with BSG staff and the Hybris ecommerce vendor to bring the new explorebayou.com Online Order Entry site into production.

According to BSG’s VP of Sales and Marketing, “We needed a full-time project manager to oversee the building and implementation of our new eCommerce system, but our own staff was already stretched thin. Antares filled that position for us, and also assisted with providing a new, client document portal as part of their work with us. They have been a tremendous asset to our business.”

07/20

2018

CASE STUDY: The Louisiana Insurance Pest Control Association’s CIRCA Project

How a customized software solution transformed a small business by consolidating four primary systems into one to improve functionality, efficiency and business growth.

 

Overview

Antares, a technology solutions company specializing in custom software development, undertook a 12-month-long project for the development of a custom, cohesive integrated insurance system for the Louisiana Insurance Pest Control Association (LIPCA), an insurance agency that was created and is operated by pest management professionals and their families. Prior to the project, LIPCA operated four different applications to run their business. Antares’ objective was to develop a single software package that allows users to:

  • Streamline activities
  • Eliminate human error
  • Automate insurance policy creation and binding workflow
  • Provide built-in, configurable business rules to eliminate errors in underwriting

Challenge

Using these various systems, each agent was spending an exorbitant amount of time to complete each task. Many manual jobs and work-arounds were necessary to get the job done. With limited automation and validation, reports produced were also prone to error. Commercially available software packages did not provide staff members with the ability to execute their key business functions efficiently. The challenge was to create a simpler way to create quotes, bind policies and issue forms. The goal was to provide a custom workflow solution allowing:

  • Underwriting
  • Claim tracking
  • Accounting
  • Reporting
  • Other insurance line-of-business functionality

Solution

Antares worked closely with LIPCA leadership to design and implement the Complete Insurance Rating Claims and Accounting (CIRCA) software as a custom solution to consolidate all needs. CIRCA integrates the four primary systems into one package. With CIRCA, LIPCA now has all the functionality needed to add any line of insurance or any carrier. CIRCA also allows internal company administrators to integrate Department of Insurance regulations as required. Included is a record retention and attachment system to aid in handling all document needs and functionality allowing administrators to create or modify forms, which previously required a programmer.

Results

Since the implementation of CIRCA, LIPCA has doubled their business without doubling their staff, and staff members no longer work on weekends. In addition to the core functionality of creating quotes, binding policies and issuing forms, CIRCA also promotes efficiency through these additional key features:

  • Issuing certificates of insurance
  • Processing all endorsements
  • Invoicing directly to issuers or agencies/brokers
  • Accepting multiple payment types, including checks, credit cards or financing
  • Including invoices and statements in monthly billing
  • Higher level of detail on invoices and reporting documents
  • Premiums, coverages and limits can be used in various capacities
  • Issuing policies
  • Filing taxes
  • Allowing administrators to complete regulatory changes
  • A built-in accounting module
  • Tracking loss ratios for claims for each insured person
  • Automatically creating renewal quotes

These features provide exactly what staff and administrators at LIPCA need to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently to better serve clients. Antares’ support and maintenance is ongoing for the project and will continue as LIPCA continues to enhance the system. The project was so successful that LIPCA was approached by Berkley Program Specialists about acquiring the CIRCA software package. Antares and LIPCA have been working to finalize various product offerings, which include competitive pricing, implementation packages and other ongoing maintenance and support programs.

Conclusion

A common trait for many companies is dealing with the software they already have in place, even though it’s not the most efficient. On the other hand, many other companies make significant investments into the best software, only to realize it doesn’t offer the specific features needed to help employees do their jobs efficiently and grow their business.

07/19

2018

Antares Announces New Executive VP, Terry Verigan

Antares Technology Solutions, a leading Baton Rouge and New Orleans-based technology company that specializes in developing custom software solutions, has hired Terry Verigan as its Executive Vice President. Verigan has been an active member of Louisiana’s business community for more than 35 years. As Executive VP of Antares, Verigan will grow Antares’ technology services to government and corporate clients.

“Antares is a 30-years young organization with an amazing list of accomplishments in growth markets. I look forward to contributing to the continued success of the team and our customers,” says Terry Verigan.

Verigan brings extensive technology-driven enterprise experience into his new role, including more than 20 years as an executive with Xerox Corporation, AT&T, and Windstream (formerly US LEC). During his career, Verigan has initiated and managed projects with major federal entities including the USDA, Department of Labor, the U.S. Navy and the FAA, among others. Verigan has contributed to the development of innovative technology solutions for local and national corporations in a variety of industries, and has contributed to the growth of small local firms into major national enterprises.

“Throughout his career, Terry Verigan has demonstrated a strong grasp on technology as well as the interconnected functional relationships that drive businesses, both in the public and private sector. His expertise and experience are well suited for Antares, and we are proud to welcome him as the newest member of our team,” says Ralph Melian, President and CEO of Antares.

In addition to his corporate experience, Verigan has also served on the board for many local nonprofit organizations, including the New Orleans Summer POPS; Spay-Mart Humane Society; Press Club of New Orleans; and the Greater New Orleans Federal Credit Union, where he was a member of the Supervisory Committee that ensured that the credit union complied with all federal regulations.

Verigan participated as a member of the boards of directors of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and Jefferson PAC. He is a past president of the University of New Orleans International Alumni Association and is the current Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival. Verigan serves as Vice President of the governing board of the local chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, and more recently was named treasurer of Core Element, a nonprofit organization dedicated to STEM education in the schools.

Terry Verigan can be reached at tverigan@antaresnet.com.

07/17

2018

Project Overview: Bayou Steel Group Client Document Portal & eCommerce Integration

Antares Technology Solutions was hired by Bayou Steel Group (BSG), a Louisiana-based steel production company, to develop a web based Client Document Portal to replace a legacy application that was no longer available. The BSG DMS Portal was built to integrate with the company’s custom SAP instance and Hybris eCommerce platform.  The project included migration and accessibility to past client order information documents.

Antares’ team of software developers created a secure, self-service web portal that allows for customers to view their invoices, purchase orders, steel certificates and other critical line-of-business documents. User permissions to access various documents are in place to provide secure views based on roles within the client’s accounting, invoicing, and executive departments. This custom portal has helped Bayou Steel group operate more efficiently and has lessened the administrative workload of staff members. It also created a more seamless process by providing one location to access eCommerce and associated documents for clients who do business with Bayou Steel Group.

07/13

2018

CASE STUDY: Electronic Log Book Web Application for STPSO

About the Client

The St. Tammany Parish Jail is capable of housing 1,192 inmates, pre-trial, and adjudicated offenders. This southern Louisiana institution is committed to the highest standard of care, custody, and control of inmates. For an institution of this size with multiple departments and shared responsibilities, operational efficiency and overall institutional performance is critical to maintaining those standards.

Challenge

The Jail Log Book is an essential tool of the Sheriff’s Office staff, who are required by law to record all activities that take place in the jail. These legal reports must be available upon request as official Sheriff’s Office documents. Because this tool plays such a critical role in the care and control of inmates and the sharing of inmate data, modernization is imperative to streamline supervision and simplify cooperative efforts among diverse departments.

Like many local law enforcement offices, the personnel at the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office were burdened with outdated technology ill-equipped to match the weighty workload. Though they’d long since replaced their paper logs with a digital data storage solution, their obsolete legacy software was stuck on desktop, making collaboration difficult and data management monotonous.

Regardless of the advantages of cutting edge, custom software, the implementation of new technology often adds to the strain of an already stressful occupation. Pivotal users must be able to quickly upskill, but often, these very users are the most taxed by task overwhelm, making the adoption of a new application a challenge in itself.

STPSO needed an up-to-date data management solution that was both cost-efficient and laborsaving. They also needed their designated users to gain a thorough understanding of the new software in an expedient, painless manner.

Solution

Antares specializes in custom enterprise software development, and the New Orleans-based company had partnered with several public institutions prior to STPSO, including the Louisiana Clerks Remote Access Authority, the Louisiana Clerks of Court Association, and the Department of Health and Hospitals. This combination of technical expertise and relevant industry experience equipped Antares to analyze, understand, and address the most pressing obstacles to STPSO’s institutional goals and operational efficiency.

To modernize and streamline data management, the Antares team created a web-based application and supporting database accessible from the Sheriff’s internal network. A web application saves large institutions like STPSO time from the outset as they don’t have to be individually installed and updated. Data can be easily accessed, shared and updated from anywhere at anytime on any device that is connected to the internet, boosting productivity.

The log book program created for STPSO is able to operate in three departments: bailiffs, jail and work release, which allows key users to collaborate more effectively. With the new software, trusted users in these departments can easily create and supplement log book entries, search the log book, generate reports, and manage administrative functions. User security levels, easy data entry screens and specific reporting functionality further enhance operations.

Once the software was ready for action, Antares provided comprehensive training to key users, empowering them to be leaders in the adoption and implementation of the system at a more widespread level.

Results

With their new custom software, the hard-working staff of the STPSO can quickly book inmates, track data, and provide information that is always up-to-date. The application offers usability enhancements that have been welcomed by over-taxed users in the field, and moving to a webbased application has equipped the IT department to provide better services to its users and upgrade the old equipment in the field.

Conclusion

In the modern era, your enterprise is only as effective as the technology behind it. For a large scale operation like STPSO, legacy software may be a comfortable known, but it’s also an impediment to progress and an obstacle to achieving financial and operational goals. Antares helps institutions and enterprises tear down the barriers to forward movement by analyzing workflow and processes and providing custom solutions that meet budget demands and offer improved efficiency.

With three decades of award-winning custom enterprise software development experience, Antares overcomes the hurdles that legacy software and out-of-the-box solutions can’t. If your company can benefit from customized software solutions, contact us.

“We needed our Jail Log Book program rewritten in a more efficient and current technology. Antares’ application has greatly improved our tracking and reporting activities. Additionally, our IT department can now fix issues remotely instead of making regular service calls to the Sherriff’s Department. The application has also enabled us to upgrade all of the old computers in the field.”
– I/S Project Manager, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office

 

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07/13

2018

How Technology Can Make Government Entities Operate More Efficiently And Save Money

Effective digital government improves the experience of all users.

In the past, interactions with government agencies could be confusing, time-consuming, and costly. With each local government bound by the requirements of dozens of diverse federal and state regulatory agencies, redundancies in information-gathering quickly led to costly inefficiencies in collaborative efforts and frustrations on the part of both employees and citizens. Emerging technologies offer a framework for digital services that can transform the experience of all users by facilitating cross-agency collaboration and enhancing security and data management.

Streamlined technology solutions consolidate and optimize operations.

IT consolidation/optimization has held its position as one of the top three priorities of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) for more than a decade. As the State of Oklahoma’s CIO James “Bo” Reese testified in 2017, inefficient operations and lack of inter-agency collaboration has led to wasted resources, reduced buying power, expensive integration requirements, and significant security risks. By equipping state and local government agencies with streamlined technology solutions, processes and collaboration can be centralized and services can be consolidated, optimizing operations and maximizing resources.

Robust security and risk management mitigates costly cyber threats.

Security breaches pose a significant risk to government agencies and the taxpayers they serve. Not only are cyber threats a real and present danger, they create burdensome and duplicative requirements from federal regulatory agencies. Each federal agency addresses security issues with disparate demands, creating inefficiencies and unnecessary expense. Robust security frameworks help state and local governments mitigate cyber threats and meet the demands of diverse federal agencies.

Cloud strategy offers scalable, sharable resources and services.

The integration of cloud services and deployment models offers local and state agencies scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities. Through secure, state-of-the-art cloud-based applications, offices can minimize redundancies in their operations and develop labor-saving, cost-effective collaborative processes.

Improved data management and analytics provides an avenue for adjusting to inadequate funding.

One of the chief advantages of the Information Age is the ability to streamline data management and access previously unimagined analytics. Intelligent data governments and predictive analytics improves the business intelligence of local and state governments. With better data astutely organized in a logical architecture, local and state governments can resiliently respond to inadequate funding and improve budgetary management.

Agile and incremental software development equips local government to prioritize technology needs.

Antares Technology Solutions has a proven track record of developing secure, streamlined custom software solutions for government clients. Our applications integrate maximal security and minimal redundancy, empowering local and state offices to meet the most stringent demands while remaining cost-efficient. Through iterative project management, we equip budget-strapped government offices with the ability to prioritize their needs and roll out new technology solutions over time.

Recently, we worked with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office to modernize and streamline their data management and enhance collaboration among departments. The agency’s new custom software upgrades the performance of the staff, simplifies data entry and tracking, and ensures information is always up-to-date. It offers usability enhancements that ease the burden on the government employees and equip the agency’s IT department to provide better services to its users.

Read the STPSO case study to learn more about how Antares Technology Solutions improves the operational efficiency of local and state governmental agencies while saving them money. Then, schedule your initial consultation to begin improving the experience of all of your users.

 

Map your app or software project

 

07/05

2018

Why You Should Create A Software Roadmap

The rapid pace of technological innovation paired with unpredictable market conditions creates a turbulent environment. Today’s most successful and sustainable companies are those that invest in corporate foresight. They clearly identify critical goals and opportunities, assess the landscape into which new products are being introduced, and develop flexible strategies for achieving goals and overcoming obstacles. By taking a measured approach early, these buoyant businesses ensure long-term sustainability.

At Antares, we clean up the Fuzzy Front End of Innovation by working with prospective clients to develop a software roadmap that lays a clear path for identifying relevant goals and challenges, reach a consensus regarding the best solutions for your company’s unique requirements, and forecast future needs.

During your complimentary mapping session, we’ll ask the right questions to better predict your company’s most urgent and most important areas of development.

Business Goals

Before any new business venture is undertaken, it’s critical that all parties share an understanding of the goals driving the project. Any features added to a piece of software should be necessary to achieving the goals set by business stakeholders, and you should be able to measure the software’s success by metrics aligned to those goals. By starting with an understanding of your business goals, Antares is able to determine the best technology solution to accomplish your short-term and long-term goals.

Software Assessment

During the initial mapping session, your consultant will identify ways to optimize your existing applications and streamline your business process management. He can pinpoint the places where your system integration may already be breaking down and offer suggestions to improve productivity and internal efficiencies.

By gaining an accurate picture of your business processes and goals, your consultant will also be better equipped to project future needs and scout out emerging technologies capable of providing labor-saving, cost-effective solutions.

Software Build or Buy?

After the mapping session has been completed, key processes, data collection and reporting needs will be identified. Your consultant can help you determine if an off the shelf solution can address your needs or if development of a custom software application may be a better approach to capitalize on your proprietary processes or performance metrics and reporting.

Strategic Staffing

A software roadmap also provides insights into your strategic staffing needs as we plan for the pipeline of work that lies ahead. With a clear direction in mind, project managers can more confidently delegate responsibilities and divvy up resources among key players. Strategic staffing needs can be identified early and resolved through the most effective deployment of internal and external business and technology experts.

Antares can help you build a software roadmap from where you are to where you want to be.

At Antares, we’ve spent thirty years successfully developing custom software for clients in healthcare, insurance, finance, oil & gas and the enterprise. We know these roads better than most, and we’re equipped with the technological tools and expertise to get you where you’re going faster and with fewer unnecessary expenses.

Schedule your complimentary mapping session with an Antares consultant today to see where the road will take you.

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