The financial services industry is known for its pressured environment and highly competitive nature. Companies in this industry use technology to gain competitive advantage by providing better services to their customers. There are two important qualities necessary to satisfy a financial services client: expediency and reliability. Both of these qualities are demonstrated by Beacon Hill in numerous projects for its financial clients, as is demonstrated by the scenarios listed below.
Wall Street Models
Financial companies transfer thousands of documents every day. Many are sent the old-fashioned way: in hard copy. Prior to the existence of XML, Beacon Hill helped architect and design an Internet-based API and document transfer system for a client who, in turn, distributed the system throughout their sophisticated network of top-tier brokerage firms.
Beacon Hill was asked to develop a polling application, which retrieves highly confidential financial documents on a daily basis using the HTTPS protocol. Beacon Hill's involvement included the architecture and design of the system, development of the API as well as the client retrieval application. It is an application that demonstrates brilliant quality in design making it elegant and reliable, guaranteeing the company a competitive edge through its timely delivery of confidential financial information. Wall Street Models was featured in the Wall Street Journal. The two articles can be viewed on this site. The first is Fidelity Asks Firms for 'Instant' Research and the other is Hot Stock-Data Pipeline Runs Directly to Fidelity. State house wing
On a daily basis, one of the largest mutual fund management companies in the world uses a research reporting system architected and designed by Beacon Hill. For more than three years, this company's research analysts have been publishing their analysis and recommendations utilizing the Beacon Hill system. As the major source of internal research, this system is critical to the company's success. Its ease of use and extreme reliability have made it one of the company's most highly regarded internal projects. Since going live in 1996, Research Reports has demonstrated a 100% performance rate requiring 0 hours of debugging or rework.
Global Meeting Scheduler
Financial services companies meet with external CEOs and executives in the course of everyday business. An existing scheduling system, developed in Lotus Notes, was cumbersome and inflexible, prompting the client to request a new system -- a system able to connect to internal financial databases, provide scheduling functionality, as well as provide the research on each company in one easy-to-use, web-based interface.
Beacon Hill developed architectural guidelines, designed, and created this system. It is currently used throughout every business day, by everyone in the company's entire financial analysis and management department. Chestnut street sidewalk
Portfolio management software within the financial world is another area expertise for Beacon Hill. A Beacon Hill client was utilizing an internal system based on Unix workstations. Over time, it became apparent users were not getting the value they initially received because the bulk of their work was actually occurring on their Windows-based desktops. Cumbersome floppy-based file transfers made managers cringe. They desired the same functionality currently available in the Unix system on their Windows desktops and portables.
Beacon Hill designed and implemented a collection of Windows applications for use by the clients' managers and analysts. Part of the collection included an innovative navigator allowing for easy access and launching of various applications. The navigator was financially aware in order to pass the current issue or fund to each application, allowing the user to stay focused on the task at hand. The navigator also features a friendly interface which collects the user's applications into a book-and-tab metaphor.
The ease-of-use built into the entire collection of Windows applications was well received by every single user.
Financial companies receive a tremendous amount of information in hard-copy format. One client desired an automated system in order to scan, categorize and store captured information. Beacon Hill architected and designed a system capable of scanning external financial reports into PDF format, providing opportunities for browsing via a web browser. The system reduced considerably the number of documents needed for manual transport between departments.
Healthcare information systems are a unique entity in the world of commerce, since they interface with many different systems both internally and externally. Often these are large organizations working to create information systems that are simple yet highly effective. Beacon Hill's dedication to simplicity and easy-of-use make us a perfect partner for any healthcare organization seeking information technology solutions.
Universal Windows desktop
One of the finest hospitals in the world contracted Beacon Hill to help design portions of an innovative universal Windows desktop. Their MIS department was charged with maintaining and supporting a very large Windows desktop user-base. These users desired a consistent working environment capable of operating from any desktop. A consistent set of applications, as well as a consistent location for user files, was one of many requirements. Beacon Hill provided custom software utilities in order to help build, develop and create this system. We also provide Windows-specific knowledge and consulting on the system, currently in use by more than a thousand users.
Another large Boston healthcare provider was building a new database utilizing a client-server architecture. Beacon Hill was contracted to help provide communication components running over TCP/IP between the clients and servers. These clients ran on multiple platform types and, as a result, the components were also developed to be cross-platform compatible.
Beacon Hill regularly provides services to software companies developing their own commercial software applications. Working with a software development company on a consulting basis requires two important qualities: flexibility and integration. You must be flexible enough to integrate smoothly with a client's team. Quality is of the highest concern when helping to build a component, a section of product, an installation, etc. What is delivered must be at the same level of quality and reliability as the work being done by in-house developers.
Beacon Hill has successfully accomplished such tasks for numerous companies and on many occasions, as is demonstrated by the scenarios listed below.
A popular Internet service for children contracted Beacon Hill to develop their client-side account management and registration wizards and product installation. The company's highly graphical and playful environment required simple and easy-to-use installation, registration and setup components. Rather than attempt development of these components in-house, risking distraction from the core mission, the company contracted Beacon Hill to deliver the high-quality, custom components within a rapid-rate turnaround enabling the company to focus on development of its unique Internet service.
A company known for producing a popular e-mail program developed an add-in component for Microsoft Mail, providing users with the capability for filtering mail messages using rules. Beacon Hill was contracted to develop a server version, providing capabilities to filter user's mail automatically while out of the office. Also, for the same client, Beacon Hill developed a data access add-in for the company's rule language. With data access from the rule language, users can manipulate information from databases in response to e-mail-based events. Both add-ins allowed the company to attract more customers by enhancing the feature set of its base products. State house courtyard
An international retail software company contracted Beacon Hill for development support of its report writer for Windows. Major areas of involvement included the product's DDE interface, Query builder, RTF output, bitmap image support, help system, call-outs to user-defined functions and BASIC macro support. The product exceeded the company's expectations and was a popular retail sale item for more than three years.
Graphical information mapping
Beacon Hill was also contracted by an information mapping company to develop a future graphical interface product for users of the company's formatting solutions. The application presents users with a tree-building metaphor utilizing hierarchical representations of information, ending with information blocks at the tree's leaves. These blocks contain paragraph-like information, which, because of this product, can be stored in a database allowing the map creator to be independent of the block information maintainer. The product is an OLE server application, allowing users to create and build maps within other applications. Its ease-of-use and quality design enable what was once a manual, paper and pencil technique to be accomplished in a systematic way.
Beacon Hill developed an interface from Microsoft Access to English Wizard, supporting the use of natural language queries from within the popular database system. The client, known for its natural language expertise, also contracted Beacon Hill to develop a graphics conversion and support system for the company's web-based application.