Alpha DevCon Engineering Roundtables

Alpha Anywhere Case Study: Team Global


Alpha Anywhere Consultant Scores LA Unified School District Contract with Offline Mobile App





"We use Alpha Anywhere for large enterprise and government apps on several continents. It's robust enough for building enterprise-level solutions, but agile enough for us to quickly build working prototypes."

— TeamGlobal founder and President Taggs


About

TeamGlobal (Taggs Enterprises Applications Manager Global) is an American-Filipino international venture, which provides total business solutions and offers end-to-end information and service solutions for strategic asset management and maintenance. Its clients include the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, South Korean's Pohang Steel Corporation, the U.S. Marine Corps, Lockheed Martin Corporation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and many others.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second-largest school district in the United States, with more than 640,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade at over 900 schools and 187 public charter schools.

Situation

The Maintenance Operations Branch of the Los Angeles Unified School District performs maintenance of elevator equipment for the district, which encompasses 720 square miles and include Los Angeles and parts of 31 smaller municipalities plus several unincorporated sections of Southern California. The school district was looking to replace its existing mobile platform for managing elevator maintenance with a more robust one that would run on an Android platform.

Solution

The school district put out a contract to bid for the new platform and mobile application. Among the bidders was TeamGlobal Taggs. TeamGlobal used Alpha Anywhere to prototype the mobile solution and based that and the bid, TeamGlobal won the project.

TeamGlobal has used Alpha Anywhere for client projects on several continents, and found it ideally suited to the school district work.

"We had previously used IBM MobileFirst, but it was a bit complex so we wanted an easier-to-use solution," says TeamGlobal founder and President Richard Taggs. "We needed a platform that would let us easily build mobile apps and Web sites, and also let us build apps with offline functionality. It also had to be a solution that would provide a high level of security and be enterprise level, because we would be providing services to banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and other large firms and government agencies."

He looked at several solutions, and when "We tried Alpha Anywhere for several months and were quite impressed with it," he says. "It's very agile and can build quick prototypes, then develop and deploy big, complex applications as well."

For the school district, TeamGlobal used Alpha Anywhere to build an offline mobile app that works when inspectors are out of range of the Internet or a WiFi network. An inspector starts his day by logging into a server with the mobile app, which downloads his work plans for the day. He then disconnects and goes out into the field to do inspections. Each elevator has a barcode that he scans using the app. The app then brings up information about what work needs to be done on that specific elevator. The app also tracks the time spent inspecting the elevator and confirms that the work was completed. At the end of the day, all information is synced from the app back to the server.


We tried Alpha Anywhere for several months and were quite impressed with it. It's very agile and can build quick prototypes, then develop and deploy big, complex applications as well."

Benefits

The ability of the app to work even when offline offers significant benefits to the school district, Taggs says.

"The district will eventually have 1,000 mobile workers for this type of maintenance and for another type of maintenance for their buildings," Taggs says. "I don't care about what database you use, but if you have 1,000 mobile people constantly hitting the database, it's probably going to slow down. And what if there are 10,000 people in their offices using the database as well?

"With this app, mobile workers won't constantly be using the database — they'll just use it at the beginning of the day and then at the end of the day. That reduces the cost and management of the infrastructure because people aren't constantly stressing the servers. It also ensures they won't run up big data plan costs."

Taggs says that without using Alpha Anywhere, TeamGlobal would probably not have won the contract.

"If we had to instead use something like JavaScript or C++ or C#, we never would have been able to build the prototype in time," he says. "It simply couldn't have been done. Alpha Anywhere allowed us to build the prototype and demonstrate it within the timeframe the district required. I don't believe we would have won the contract if we hadn't demonstrated the solution we built with Alpha Anywhere."


If we had to instead use something like JavaScript or C++ or C#, we never would have been able to build the prototype in time. It simply couldn't have been done. Alpha Anywhere allowed us to build the prototype and demonstrate it within the timeframe the district required. I don't believe we would have won the contract if we hadn't demonstrated the solution we built with Alpha Anywhere."