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Case Studies

Learn more about the innovative work and services Symbolic Systems has provided its clients. These case studies provide an informative summary of the solutions we designed for our clients’ specific need.

Information Technology
Programming is Only One Part of Development

Learning the Business is the Key

Symbolic's philosophy emphasizes the need to understand the client's business and its requirements before developing a system. The following case studies illustrate this philosophy.

Working in the Kitchen at 5 A.M.

When the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City computerized its operations, Symbolic was asked to develop the system. As part of the design phase, we spent two weeks at the restaurant - from the time it opened for set-up and deliveries at 5 A.M. until dinner began. By working with the chef, the chef's food inspector, the wait staff, and the dining room managers, we developed a system to meet all of their needs. And, we got the buy-in from all potential users to ensure a smooth implementation.

Lab Coats on a Programmer?

Simultaneous with moving to a new facility, GIB Laboratories (a Prudential subsidiary) used Symbolic to migrate from a DEC PDP11 to a VAX, develop a new data entry module, and incorporate new analyzers. When the employees arrived at the facility, the new system was ready.  Symbolic  orchestrated the timing of its development and system upgrade through close collaboration with GIB's management and IT staff.

But the most vocal examples of success were from lab personnel whose jobs were most affected by the new software. We worked in the lab alongside the data-entry personnel and the technicians throughout the design phase; we learned and experienced firsthand their workarounds and frustrations; and we maintained that contact during development. As a result, Symbolic's staff was able to enhance the existing modules as part of the conversion and develop the new modules to fulfill their expectations.

Our initial successes often lead to additional work for the same client. After the conversion and move, GIB retained Symbolic to continue upgrading.  Our 10 years of experience in medical information collection, maintenance, and distribution provide us with insights into the importance and implications (both on the state and federal level) of safe records retention, accuracy, and distribution.

Authentication, Maintenance, and Distribution of Medical Records

As an ongoing requirement, Symbolic integrated the software in new analyzers with GIB's central system, developed custom software to consolidate records for distribution, and wrote communications software for the safe delivery of medical information to both clients and to a national healthcare information bank for underwriters. As with any application that involves medical records, the key requirements were accuracy and privacy.

When Symbolic first reviewed the information flow, a potential for problems was noted: Programs that were added (for new analyzers, clients, or even communications) were copies and modifications of other programs. The potential problem was that if a change were required, not all related modules would be identified. As a result, Symbolic developed a matrix of common or similar modules and modified the structure of each application to have a common form with table-driven exceptions. Hence, future changes to modules would need to be changed in only one location.

 
Information Technology

Technical Support Services

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Neither Rain Nor Snow

Today our call center personnel can work from anywhere. Our center’s support applications are Internet-based. In the early 90’s, when Symbolic provided a call center to support Ciba-Geigy’s nationwide sales force (now ...

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Programming is Only One Part of Development

70:programming-is-only-one-part-of-development

Learning the Business is the Key

Symbolic's philosophy emphasizes the need to understand the client's business and its requirements before developing a system. The following case studies illustrate this philosophy.

Working in ...

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Electronic Commerce

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Creating New Opportunities for Business

One E-commerce Idea
In 1996, PeopleLink, Inc., an incubator company under Ideal Labs (founded by Bill Gross), asked Symbolic to jointly develop ...

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Automotive Photo Inspection System

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Quick Solutions when Time is Critical

Time was the critical success factor for an Inspection Vendor, when its customer, General Motors, requested immediate receipt of digital photographs of inspected cars. Rather than develop ...

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