Your IT business partner
“If we ever face a catastrophic event, we will be fully up and running within a couple of hours. … Computer Business Consultants gives us this confidence.”
– Dennis Farrell, Founder & CEO, FBS Parking Solutions
FBS Values Computer Business Consultants for Architectural Guidance, Security, and Business Continuity
It’s been nearly 40 years since FBS began its journey to create industry-leading ConnectSmart Parking solutions.
Today FBS helps municipalities in New York State implement innovative, integrated parking solutions and escape the old burden of paper-based parking tickets, payments, and parking violations management.
“Things have really changed. Back in the 1980s, courts and parking violations bureaus were predominantly a paper-based environment,” says Dennis Farrell, Founder & CEO of FBS. “Our earliest solutions were based on IBM mainframes and green bar reports. Over the years, we’ve continued to evolve our technology to where we now support a fully automated, integrated, smart paperless environment.”
Today, parking patrons pay parking meters with their smartphones. At the same time, enforcement officers use handheld scanning devices to issue citations with ease and precision. The scanning technology in new handheld devices eliminates errors that stemmed from handwritten, and even hand-keyed, parking tickets.
FBS developed ConnectSmart Parking solutions and its CaseTrax Parking Violations Manager application to integrate with whatever handheld ticketing components a city uses. CaseTrax manages the entire parking violation lifecycle, including notifications, payment processing, third-party collections, and online dispute resolution. FBS ConnectSmart Parking solutions integrate with a municipality’s entire parking ecosystem.
All this requires a lot of technology, which FBS has helped to pioneer along the way.
Early on, FBS recognized the need to work with a strong technology partner. FBS has talented development teams but saw the need for outside help in designing, implementing, and securing its ever-evolving IT infrastructure that supports its operations. FBS found the partner it needed in Computer Business Consultants, a managed services provider for onsite, cloud-based, and mobile infrastructure, specializing in disaster recovery and cybersecurity.
CaseTrax is a web-based control center that enables you to manage every step of the parking violations process.
The First Engagement: A COBOL Problem on Christmas Eve 2012
Farrell exactly recalls when he met Clinton Pownall, President & CEO of Computer Business Consultants. It was Christmas Eve 2012, and FBS was migrating to a new platform from IBM CICS.
“Our first step migrating out of the mainframe environment was to port our applications using a version of COBOL that would run in the new environment,” Farrell recalls. “On Christmas Eve our translator program became corrupted. We had to rebuild our old CICS environment. I quickly started searching for someone who could help us, and found Clinton Pownall, who was literally the one in a million who had the knowledge to solve our problem. He was the right person at the right time, and he worked with us all through Christmas Eve. We were back up and running Christmas Morning. We’ve been working with him ever since.”
FBS Parking Solutions has enjoyed several benefits working with Computer Business Consultants, including great technical expertise, architectural guidance, security, disaster recovery, “very responsive” customer service, and great value.
Providing Great Technical Expertise
FBS values the technical knowledge that Computer Business Consultants provides, mainly because it would be so expensive to hire such expertise on its own.
“For most organizations our size, it would be prohibitively expensive to have your own full-time staff with the range of knowledge and experience required to keep such an operation up and securely running,” Farrell says. “It is more than one person or a small team could do. Clinton’s organization brings to the table a very deep and diverse technical team. They have extensive knowledge of operating systems, network requirements, hardware issues, and security. We have our own IT department, but it is focused on our development efforts and operational issues. We augment our in-house team with Computer Business Consultants, so our IT can concentrate on our core business. Computer Business provides us with all of the pieces that we do not have internally.”
Paying for parking made easy.
Security and Disaster Recovery: “Computer Business is There for Our Rainy Day”
In addition to helping ensure the FBS IT infrastructure is always up to date, and all security fixes are applied, Computer Business Consultants provides 24×7 security monitoring. Security monitoring helps ensure attempted cyberattacks are detected before hackers can accomplish them.
Computer Business Consultants also manages a robust system for data backups and disaster recovery. The disaster recovery plan provides an effective response to artificial and natural disasters. Planning and preventative measures mitigate risks associated with disasters, minimizing downtime during recovery and ensuring a seamless service.
The FBS security and disaster recovery strategy includes:
- Multiple backups, including to the cloud.
- Daily backup of live critical data.
- Clustered database and application servers provide immediate failover.
- A mirrored remote data center is available to restore and host a computing environment.
If a disaster occurred at the FBS main processing facility, Computer Business would use offsite facilities mirroring FBS’s data center to provide continuity.
“We have multiple security overlays,” Farrell says. “Computer Business provides us with many layers of security in addition to software maintenance and security patches. If we ever face a catastrophic event, we will be fully up and running within a couple of hours. From a business continuity perspective, Computer Business Consultants gives us this confidence. We know they are there for our rainy day.”
Providing “Very Responsive” Customer Service
The rapid response Farrell first received from Computer Business years ago on Christmas Eve 2012 has continued through the years. It is a much-valued benefit of working with Computer Business Consultants.
“They continue to be very responsive,” Farrell says. “Their turnaround time to get back to us is always very quick. Whenever we have a question—day, night, or weekend—we always receive very responsive service.”
FBS values the deep knowledge that Computer Business Consultants bring to their operations on a managed services basis.
“For a very reasonable price, we’re able to bring in world-class security and backup support that we just would not be able to afford to hire and manage internally,” Farrell says. “It isn’t just a matter of headcount. Even with a large budget, it would be difficult to find the skill sets and disciplines that Computer Business provides. They give us the diverse skill sets we require. For a small firm to have that kind of team in-house is economically impossible.”t kind of team in-house is economically impossible.”