Solutions

Eyes Wide Open

VideoTronix Inc.

Security is a serious business. Whether a company deals in hard money or valuable ideas, keeping a close eye on who goes where and when — and what they do when they get there — is essential. In the Upper Midwest, companies have come to trust VideoTronix Inc. for dependable security equipment and services, and VideoTronix has come to rely for efficient information processing on FileMaker Pro, the award–winning database software application from FileMaker Inc.

Overview

  • Schools and businesses rely on VideoTronix, Inc. to provide state–of–the–art security. And VideoTronix relies on FileMaker Pro to track work orders and more. FileMaker Pro, with its ODBC connectivity, allows information exchange with other VideoTronix data sources, and FileMaker Mobile allows VideoTronix to process time card reports more efficiently on Palm OS handhelds.

Industry

  • Information Technology
  • Small Business

Since FileMaker Pro is so easy to use I'm able to write many of my reports by taking advantage of FileMaker's ODBC connectivity.

— Rick Allan, Information Technologies Manager, VideoTronix Inc.

Business Challenge

Based in Minnesota, and operating a branch office in Golden, Colorado, VideoTronix maintains a staff of expert field technicians, engineers, and project managers — experienced in every phase of on–premises security and monitoring system installation and maintenance. From closed–circuit video cameras and monitoring consoles, to electronic access control systems to the equipment necessary to produce and organize those ubiquitous employee photo–ID badges, VideoTronix prides itself on offering complete, detailed service to its clients. Its specialty? Providing state–of–the–art security protection for schools, industrial, banking, and commercial properties — and offering round–the–clock protection for students, employees, customers, and property.

Successful Solution

Keeping all the work and maintenance orders flowing smoothly is Rick Allan's job. He's the Information Technologies Manager at VideoTronix's main office, and he's been using FileMaker Pro for as long as he's been with the company. 'FileMaker was already being used by the company when I was hired 4 years ago,' he explains. 'This was the first that I ever heard of the FileMaker product and found it easy to learn and very flexible for our changing needs.'

FileMaker is an essential component of the VideoTronix job–tracking process. 'Our primary use for the product is handling our service department's dispatching and work order tracking needs,' Rick explains. 'We have programmed it to automatically send pages to our technicians' Nextel phones and we recently successfully tested integrating FileMaker with Nextel's two–way messaging services. We have also just successfully finished a 30 day trial period using FileMaker Mobile with the Palm OS–based PDA units that our technicians' use for their weekly time card reports and we have gained increased accuracy in both time reporting and financial reports.'

We will continue to expand the use of FileMaker and PDA integration in the field for work order reporting, customer history information, and project management.

— Rick Allan, Information Technologies Manager, VideoTronix Inc.

Rick is also ever on the lookout for new ideas for putting FileMaker's power to work. 'I am constantly being challenged to come up with custom reports from FileMaker and our other databases, based on MS Access and Great Plains accounting software, he says. Since FileMaker Pro is so easy to use I'm able to write many of my reports by taking advantage of FileMaker's ODBC connectivity. We are able to provide customer specific reports and have been able to integrate email solutions to keep our customers up to date on the status of their service calls which helps us be more competitive in our service contracts.' As the system expands, Rick is running more than sixty individual databases, containing anywhere from 5 to more than 32,000 records — and 24 of these databases are kept running on a 24/7 basis.

Customer Benefits

The future holds even more for FileMaker at VideoTronix. 'We will continue to expand the use of FileMaker and PDA integration in the field for work order reporting, customer history information, and project management,' notes Rick. 'We will also continue to utilize the ODBC connectivity, instant web publishing and plan to have full time connectivity with our Colorado office.'

And all that means more efficient job management for VideoTronix personnel, and more reliable, more secure service for VideoTronix clients. Any way you look at it, VideoTronix has found FileMaker Pro a real eye–opener.

For FileMaker:

Kevin Mallon
Public Relations Manager
FileMaker Inc.
408-987-7227
kevin_mallon@filemaker.com
http://www.filemaker.com

For VideoTronix Inc.:

Rick Allan
Information Technologies Manager
VideoTronix Inc.
rallan@vtiusa.com