Technology Usage Improves Businesses – Butler Economy on Resurgence
Butler, PA – Butler’s business climate has been on a steady upswing since September, 2005. Analysts attribute the improvement to better usage of technologies based on Microsoft’s .NET platform, among other products.
This technology transfer has largely been through the efforts of consultant Richard Dudley. Dudley, co-owner of a local flower shop (The Bloomery Florist – www.bloomery.com) and a former molecular biologist, is seemingly a direct pipeline from Microsoft to local businesses both large and small. Aside from direct interaction with clients, Dudley shares his knowledge and experience through his blog (at http://www.rjdudley.com/blog), articles authored for ASP Alliance, presentations at the Butler Area Dot Net User Group (www.badnug.org), and in the ASP.NET forums and Microsoft newsgroups.
“PDC (Professional Developers Conference) 2005 was great timing for me, ” says Dudley, “I was implementing a multi-portal SharePoint Portal Server solution at one company, and participating in the Maestro beta program with another company. The PDC sessions were invaluable material for both current projects and future planning.”
It didn’t take Dudley long to bring his PDC-gained knowledge to a large group of small businesses. In another stroke of lucky timing, Dudley was already scheduled to speak at the Society of American Florists (SAF – http://safnow.org/meetings/convention.cfm) national convention in late September by the time PDC was officially announced. Dudley’s presentation focused on marketing through blogging (something he does with his flower shopâ€™s blog at www.bloomeryweddings.com/blog), but his interactions outside of his panel were just as valuable. “At SAF, I interacted with a number of businesses that could benefit greatly from Microsoft Point of Sale solutions, Small Business Server, and Microsoft’s new Small Business Accounting product. I was able to make recommendations to my fellow attendees, and help locate experts in their geographic areas. Being exposed to these products at PDC enabled me recommend appropriate technologies based on the business needs.” Dudley also favors wider adoption of Microsoft’s .NET platform. “The floral supply chain is very international, with products coming from a number of different countries. The .NET platform’s globalization capabilities make it a superb development tool for our industry.”
Back home in Butler, Dudley’s understanding of business processes and technology have had a positive impact upon his clients. More than one client cited his ability to automate time consuming tasks. Replacing a manual process with an ASP.NET and SQL Server-based solution saved one client 9 man-days per month. “That was huge. Sometimes, automation is seen as a threat, so it’s also part of my job to point out the benefits of what we’re doing. One of my favorite quotes comes from a recent Fast Company article, ‘PrairieStone’s finely tuned system uses automation in a particularly sophisticated way — not merely to cut costs or speed up processes, but to free workers from the routine parts of their jobs so they can offer their highest and best contributions.’ Itâ€™s a great thrill for me to enable knowledge workers so they can offer their best contributions.”