Roundtable Team helps Osprey Retail Systems immediately improve collaboration and efficiency, keeping them competitive in a fast-paced industry.
The cutting-edge in-store software developed by Bedford, Mass.-based Osprey Retail Systems for the reseller distribution channel includes UnifyPOS and UnifyHost, feature-rich point-of-sale (POS) systems and retail solutions that help businesses effectively manage their inventory, offer credit-card processing options, establish pricing strategies, and much more.
With development managed by Roundtable® Team software and powered by Progress® OpenEdge® technology, Osprey’s unique functionality is deployed in businesses ranging from liquor stores to a thriving pet-store chain to nonprofits. Given their client base, Osprey’s employees are not only proficient in programming but also have expertise in retail—a rare combination.
“A lot of other companies hire people with no retail background to write POS software, and while it may be designed very well, using innovative technology, it simply won’t run efficiently in a retail operation,” explains Roger Blanchard, president/director of development. “It’s challenging finding the right candidate for our company, so most of our employees work remotely from other areas, including one programmer in St. Louis.”
Osprey implemented Roundtable® Team in 2008 to enable their employees to collaborate more effectively and prevent such mistakes as programmers writing over one another’s code.
“Roundtable Team has saved us a lot time by helping us eliminate lost code changes and having to redo them,” Blanchard explains. “For our customers, it helps our software development life cycle, so the customer can feel at ease that the code they receive has been through the proper quality assurance and review.
“Not only that, but Roundtable speeds up the entire process, enabling us all to work from the same repository and clearly see what changes have been implemented over time.”
Blanchard says Roundtable Team is useful for training as well. For example, their mid-level programmer in St. Louis can use Roundtable’s Compare feature to see specifically how a code was changed months ago by Blanchard—and in what context.
“Looking at code is often more effective than me explaining it to him, so he can learn to do it himself,” Blanchard says.
Blanchard describes Roundtable’s customer support team as “nothing short of extraordinary.”
“I’ll send an email, and receive a reply within 15 minutes. The Roundtable team not only design and resell Roundtable, but they also use Roundtable on their software development life cycle process, so they’re always quick with a solution.”
When a company is a user of its own product, they constantly monitor aspects of the software that need to be enhanced and quickly find and fix bugs, which would otherwise be a tedious process. Osprey designs innovative POS systems; however, the company doesn’t use their technology—they don’t own retail stores.
“We’re at a disadvantage in a sense because we have to rely on customer feedback,” Blanchard says. “The Roundtable staff is also very knowledgeable in Progress OpenEdge since they use that technology to build applications, so they know immediately if it’s a Roundtable issue or a problem with Progress. Roundtable Team uses the Progress database, so this is an excellent plug-in for what we’re doing, covering all aspects of what we want to do.”
During the recent RetailNOW Expo hosted by the RSPA, Blanchard realized his company’s next evolutionary step is a mobile POS system in which retailers can not only monitor inventory but also process a transaction and accept payment via a mobile handheld device.
“We’re going to use Progress tools for the back end, but we’re using Roundtable for our source-code management on the front end. I believe Roundtable can help us develop this quickly with their technology and support. Speed is so important in our business because it’s always changing so fast.”