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Thirty Minutes with PCI Execs Marc and Keith

October 2nd, 2015

Fm_Consulting_logoPCI Founders Marc and Keith were recently interview by Donald Clark, FileMaker Developer and Owner of FM Database Consulting.

Check out the interview in its entirety here.

If you don’t have thirty minutes right now to watch from start to finish, we invite you to take a look at some of the highlights you might find of interest:

1:00: How Marc got his start working with FileMaker while interning at the National Association of Music Merchants.

2:08: Marc shares how he worked with Patti Page!

Patti

3:45: How PCI started in a small apartment in Carlsbad, CA.

5:25: Keith discusses the key components to PCI’s success: “Marc is the dreamer. He cuts the path, and then I figure out a way how to pave it.”

7:45: PCI’s secrets to success.

10:23: Hear about PCI’s most challenging project(s).

12:12: Marc discusses the makeup of PCI’s client base, and how it has evolved over the years.

13:10: PCI plug-in announcements!

16:30: Marc discusses DevCon, and his thoughts on the future of FileMaker.

18:00: Marc discusses Vessel Service Solutions as a perfect example of the exciting things which can be done with FMGo.

20:33: Marc and Keith share what they do in their spare time. (Top: Keith. Bottom: Marc.)

White and Gold Finish Line BR__4503-Nov08-13 Cropped

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22:24: Keith discusses his music career in the Army National Guard and Air Force.

23:25: Marc talks about his music career in high school and present day.

24:05: Marc and Keith discuss their multi-faceted roles at DevCon.

25:25: PCI premieres SalesPal at DevCon.

iPad_SalesPal_1

28:48: Keith discusses PCI’s company culture and the importance of work-life balance.

Productive Computing Sponsors Alvaka Networks’ Annual Speed and Feed

November 20th, 2013

Productive Computing Inc. co-sponsors the 3rd Annual Alvaka Networks’ “Speed and Feed” technology trade show and performance driving event on November 8th, 2013. This unique expo took place at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, and brought together various companies within the Information Technology industry.

Vendors and attendees were invited to ride along with experienced racing drivers or take their own cars out on the race track to drive hot laps. The event wasn’t an actual race, but rather a special “track day” for enthusiasts looking to have fun while networking. Out of the more than 200 attendees, about 100 participants, including PCI’s very own amateur racing drivers Marc and Keith Larochelle, took their own cars out to drive the track. Instructional coaches were paired up with each driver, providing tips while they took laps and drivers were grouped according to their skill level and experience. Alvaka ensured that the event was highly structured and safe for newcomers who have never experienced performance driving. Top speeds in the various groups ranged from between 110mph and 155mph on the fastest parts of the track.

Professional photographers were on hand to capture every vehicle’s drive along the speedway. All attendants were able network with various business executives and racing enthusiasts while enjoying outdoors barbeque, raffles and prizes. This one of a kind event surely exemplified the true meaning of “Speed and Feed.”

“This was my 1st time on a big track and pushing 125mph coming out of a long straight and into turns 1 and 2 which are 2 tight left banking turns, was arguably the most fun I’ve had at a technology expo!” —Keith Larochelle, CFO, Productive Computing Inc.

 

Auto Club Speedway Map

 

Marc Larochelle, Josh Mazur, Keith Larochelle

 

Josh Mazur

 

Railz

 

Flash

 

Railz

 

Flash

 

Flash & Railz

 

Flash & Railz

 

Flash Crossing the Finish Line

 

Railz Crossing the Finish Line

 

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Dash cam video of CFO Keith Larochelle in his 2008 Lotus Exige S240

 

For more information, please visit:  http://www.alvaka.net

 

FileMaker Hosting Services Kept Simple

January 25th, 2013

FileMaker® databases are incredibly intuitive to use but the costs and time involved in setting up and maintaining them on your own in-house server isn’t in everyone’s budget or wheelhouse of expertise. Serving your vital business and personal FileMaker databases on your own can be a daunting task. Do you have a server that you can dedicate to this task? Can you afford the licensing costs? What happens if the server goes down? Who will you call and how long will it take to get back up and running? Who will setup and monitor your database backups? Did you know that you can’t back-up “live” database files with 3rd party back-up programs? If you don’t have a skilled person on staff to help you answer these questions and carry out these tasks, perhaps you should consider hosting your FileMaker databases in the cloud.

 

FileMaker Hosting Differences You Can Count On:

While there are many choices out there for hosting a FileMaker Pro Database, keeping things focused and simple to efficiently accomplish your hosting needs is our philosophy. Here are some things that make Productive Computing, Inc.’s FileMaker Pro Database Hosting service different:

1.  We are a large FileMaker Platinum development firm with an expansive and expert knowledge of all things FileMaker (not just a hosting company who may or may not know how FileMaker works under the hood).

2.  We have dedicated servers with SSD drives (nothing virtual, nothing slow) and as a result have read/written times faster than just about any traditional hard drives. Would you believe our servers can do a full reboot in 35 seconds!

3.  We don’t “pig pile” our servers with too many files or customers and we always use the latest version of FileMaker server and OS security patches.

4. FileMaker WebDirect™ hosting is available to bring a desktop-like experience to users via a web browser without the requirements of traditional web programming.

5.  We perform local backups, backups to a physical attached drive, and to the cloud. That gives us 3 points of redundancy for disaster recovery and up to 30 days of data.

6.  We provide a daily DropBox backup for those customers who want the peace of mind to know their data is at their fingertips. No cumbersome FTP programs are required to get at your data should you need it.

7.  We provide direct FileMaker Server Admin console access for users on FileMaker 12 – 13 where they can close and open files, download files, etc. We can provide direct access to FileMaker 11 Server Admin as well for developers who request it.

8.  For developers who are thinking of referring their customers to us, we treat their customers as if they were our customers. Often developers want to know that your customers will be treated as well as you would treat them in the event your customers would call us directly.

9.  We provide a unique IWP scenario for FileMaker 11 – 12 users that will auto redirect to a web page of your choosing upon IWP time out or IWP Log out. We developed this technology here in-house and it’s truly one of a kind.

10.  Distance from the server to the client is a big factor which is why we are continuing to invest in our infrastructure by putting servers in all corners of the country.

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Keeping Web Hosting and FileMaker Hosting Separate: Why?

We recommend to our customers to have and/or keep their websites hosted using a traditional web provider (like GoDaddy, Bluehost etc.). The reason for this is that for a very low price you get a standard web server has all the bells and whistles needed for your web development team (i.e. the correct PHP version, standard web security, robust web control panel, population and performance stats, scalability, accessibility, redundancy, secure certificate, standard PHP reusable code snippets / built-in plugs for hit counters, forms, validation, shopping cart, Word Press, etc.). If you host your website on a double-duty FileMaker/Web server, the service provider has to provide all these extras which gets complicated fast and providing service and maintenance on all these other technologies is time taken away from being an expert maintaining your databases. And you wonder why they don’t return your call or answer the phone when you have a problem. They are up to their eyeballs in all that stuff.

Even still, we offer IWP and the ability for anyone to use an external website with PHP while at the same time talking via PHP directly to our hosted FileMaker servers. The only requirement for a client is to have their PHP files and the web files on a web server outside our infrastructure. Typically when a client comes to us for hosting, they already have their own website hosted elsewhere and prefer that as the location for their PHP files.

Keeping it simple and focused allows us to be your on call experts for FileMaker Services and FileMaker Database hosting. Our brand has a strong reputation because we do not try to be everything to everyone. Focused expertise is our key to servicing our customers in the way that they expect to be serviced.

FileMaker Database Hosting

Gather Your Acorns and Prepare for a Brighter Economy

April 29th, 2009

I have noticed in the last six or so weeks that the mood in the country is changing. Despite the fact that unemployment is high and predicted to move higher there has been some good news reported.

Wells Fargo predicts a $3 billion profit was the headline on April 9th. A bank that is making money, how can this be?

Goldman Sachs sells shares of its stock to pay back half of its TARP funds bailout and refers to paying the funds back as “its duty” to do so. What? A company paying back government loans – and so soon? The last time I heard this happened was when Chrysler paid back its government bailout in the 80’s. According to Lee Iacocca in his book “Where Have All The Leaders Gone” it took the government a month to figure out where Chrysler should send the check since no one had ever paid a government loan back before.

Since the stock market hit bottom on March 9th and closed at 6547, it has had almost a 25% rally closing at 8125 on April 16th. (Yahoo Finance) Doesn’t this give you the feeling that the panic is fading? Certainly the talking heads have toned down their gloom and doom predictions of another “depression like the 20’s and 30’s”. I have already doubled down on some of the stocks I own and have already begun to reduce the losses from last qtr’s investment massacre.

Whether you agree with the politics of the solutions or not, it’s tough to believe that dumping almost a trillion dollars of stimulus into the economic blender and pouring almost another trillion into the financial sector to loosen the credit markets will not have some positive effects.

Based on what I am seeing and reading it looks like we could be out of this funk by the end of the year. To many of you who are keeping up on current events this probably isn’t news but I for one am starting to believe it to be true.

So what does that mean to me as a small business owner? Well, if you had done what your mother had told you and saved your pennies for a rainy day when the sun was shining, you should have a nice little nest egg of reserve capital which should not only be big enough to weather the storm, but should be available for reinvestment back into your company to prepare for the next wave.

Our business, like many of yours, has felt the economic slowdown, but we aren’t wringing our hands over it. We have been using the breather the economy has given us to take a hard look at our business systems and processes to find ways to make them more efficient, streamlined and produce a more consistent and better quality product for the customer. I’m not talking about cutting the workforce to save money. I’m talking about actually hiring in the face of the economy and dumping some of the rainy day reserves into branding, marketing, R&D and infrastructure. One of the benefits of a down economy is that much of these capital investments can be negotiated at lower costs. When the sun comes out again, you will have positioned your company for growth and that is the important lesson for today. Even a down economy presents opportunities for those who have planned ahead.

In the next several articles we’ll talk about some of the ways you can use technology to improve your processes and position your company for growth into this economic recovery.

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