The development team that brought true innovation to the BHPH industry addresses the issues of the present and the changes of tomorrow.
From the beginning, AutoStar has continued to develop and expand our software, infrastructure, and internal operations to better meet the evolving needs of our growing customer base. Some of these changes are obviously more noticeable than others, but they all serve an essential purpose. While you may not have perceived many visible changes in recent years, there have actually been many significant upgrades and improvements that have been implemented on your behalf. These upgrades have been designed to not only benefit you today, but to also serve as the basis for what will come in the future.
As we move forward and our software development life cycle comes to a close, our enduring, currently deployed software system is also coming to its own inevitable end of life, making way for its much anticipated successor. In preparation for this change, we’ve made some dramatic updates over the past year. Perhaps most significantly, we have been migrating all of our current customers from the Advantage database over to the Microsoft SQL database. Most of you won’t even notice this change has taken place, but once completed, the result will be improved performance consistency and redundancy for all of our customers. This means that even if a server goes down, you will still be able to access all of your data and applications. This also means that we will be able to take advantage of SQL Server backups, which will pretty much eliminate data loss situations.You may also notice faster performance when you search within our applications. Reports, especially, will run faster, returning results quicker than ever before.
In addition to this monumental shift, we’ve also added over 20 new physical servers this past year, many of which include Intel’s new six core processors. This is a very exciting move since it ensures that we have the processing power to deliver our software to you as fast as possible. We’ve also doubled our storage capacity and disk speeds by adding a second array of Dell’s Equallogic iSCSI storage hardware to our existing one. More recently, we’ve redesigned our server’s network infrastructure, further increasing our speed and dependability. Conceivably the most meaningful behind the scenes update we’ve conducted this past year has been the replacement of our firewalls with new Cisco ASA5520’s. Not only did this increase our bandwidth by over nine times, but it also added automatic intrusion prevention measures to help protect our network even more proactively. Along those same lines, we’ve also switched to a more robust virus protection system, which is much better at detecting threats.
While these major infrastructure changes will help improve our speed and security over time, our development hasn’t stopped there.
As we continue to improve the hardware that provides the backbone of our operations, we have also been moving to unite all of our customers onto a singular version of the current Fusion software platform. This new version will make it easier and faster to initiate updates and will instantly improve customer support activities. This also means that all customers will soon have the ability to implement a vehicle leasing option, where applicable, as an alternative to financing a sale. This entire move is due to be completed at the end of August 2012.
Likewise, our development platform is also changing. By the end of the year, we are hoping to have our new platform ready for client review, testing, and feedback. Unlike our current system, the new platform will be cloud based, meaning no more Remote Desktop sessions. This will enable you to enter contracts from anywhere and from any device with Internet access, including mobile phones and tablet-type devices. Reporting will also be more robust and will include added functionality such as graphing, pie charting, and more. This new platform will also be good news for those that want to integrate with our software as well. The plan we have in motion will allow integrators to interface with our system in weeks instead of months. We understand that you have a very diverse set of integration desires and our new platform will allow us to provide them to you with very quick turn-around times. It almost goes without saying that this move alone makes it a very exciting time to be an AutoStar customer.
All of this probably sounds great, but there are some that may ask, “why change something that is already working for us?”
The answer is technology. The current architecture of our application has not changed in years. As modern information technology has evolved, so too must we adapt to all the various integration options, devices, mobile platforms, and streamlined processing for you and your customers. We consider this to be the most sincere thank you that we can offer to you, our dedicated customers. Keep logging in to your AutoStar software every day, and we will continue to burn the midnight oil and ensure that those logins are fast, secure, and profitable.