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Homegrown software.

Indiana a big software player? Believe it--from statistical-process-control systems to the "Data Digger" program for funeral homes.

Quick. Think of a software industry hub. Northern California or Eastern Massachusetts? How about Indiana!

According to Dun & Bradstreet, the number of companies within the Indiana software industry include 350 in computer-programming services, 192 in prepackaged software, 143 in computer-integrated systems design, and 206 in computer-processing and data-preparation-and-processing services. For a state known for agriculture and manufacturing, that's pretty good.

The Indiana Department of Commerce supports the growth of this industry and has helped many software companies. The Indiana Software Association recently received a Strategic Development Fund grant for matching dollars to help develop the industry within the state. The Indiana Business Modernization and Technology Corp. has also helped several software companies and has a Software Technology Committee.

Further, the universities in Indiana have strong computer-science programs. Purdue University is a world leader in simulation technology, and at Indiana University, more than 7,000 students are currently enrolled in computer-science/computer-technology courses.

What is not surprising is that the following sampling of Hoosier-homegrown companies deal with quality control, information management, productivity and efficiency. What is impressive is that most of these Indiana companies have a strong international presence.

Software Artistry Inc., Indianapolis--Founded in 1988, Software Artistry produces help-desk/customer-service software that incorporates artificial intelligence and multimedia to provide diagnostic techniques for efficient problem resolution. This is a company to watch, as it expects to go public in 1995.

Software Artistry programs centralize information from a company's internal experts at the help desk. When a customer calls with questions, the help-desk employees identify and solve problems, rather than referring customers to the right technicians.

The company has grown from five to 60 employees, with a 150 percent sales growth average the last two years and more than 250 percent growth expected for 1993.

Success has brought its product into 125 locations throughout the world, including Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Senate.

Pathology Computer Systems Inc., Madison--In a world of thirty-something computer whiz kids, it is refreshing to see a 72-year-old doctor create software.

This company, founded by Dr. Merritt O. Alcorn and another pathologist, has two software offerings. Anatrol, heralded by medical experts as a leading laboratory-information system, is anatomic-pathology software hospitals and large laboratories use to report and code surgicals, cytologies and autopsies. Anatrol Medical Laboratory Manager is for physician-office labs that run various tests.

The market is large for these offerings. There are more than 2,500 hospital labs and 100,000 physician-office labs in the country.

Automated Technology Associates, Indianapolis--Automated Technology Associates was founded in 1982. The company provides real-time quality control for manufacturing resources and operations.

ATA's systems provide immediate feedback by directing computers, rather than factory workers, to do analysis and detection, and recommending real-time solutions that focus on instant notification, thus ensuring that problems are resolved before bad products are produced and before the causes evaporate.

ATA must be doing something right, with more than 400 multiuser systems installed throughout the world. Customers include Ford, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola.

Integrated Technologies Inc., Indianapolis--ITI is a leading supplier of an integrated family of factory-floor information-management products that provide workers and managers with instantaneous information about the quality of products being produced. Under the name PowerWay, the system targets products at specific applications on the factory floor and is designed to function independently or to be linked seamlessly into one integrated system.

The company has installed the current generation of PowerWay in more than 160 manufacturing sites throughout the world. Some of the company's customers include General Electric, Nabisco Brands, Texas Instruments and GTE.

Total Trac Systems Ltd., Albany--Founded in 1987, Total Trac Systems offers a microcomputer-based barcode-tracking system, where data is electronically collected in real time and manipulated within a relational database. The system enhances the ability to comply with various federal regulations and quality standards.

With more than five years of development and service, Total Trac Systems is marketing its tracking system to various kinds of operations such as manufacturing firms, machine shops, job shops, forging companies and assembly plants.

The Total Trac System was used this year at the Indianapolis 500 in testing by the United States Auto Club.

Association Computer Services, Indianapolis--The market for software extends even to the grave, as Association Computer Services has become a leader in funeral-home-management applications. Founded in 1985, ACS has more than 900 customers in 43 states for its Data Digger and Professional Series programs that perform tasks to make funeral-home staffs more productive.

By automating the many forms, printing bills, tracking family information and providing business-performance reports, ACS allows funeral directors to devote more time to meeting the needs of the families they serve.

ACS products are recognized as the easiest to use in the industry. The company recently introduced a new program that produces personalized memorial folders, prayer cards, acknowledgments and register books.

Eden Systems Corp., Indianapolis--Eden Systems Corp. is a recognized leader in the COBOL industry.

Its first mainframe software product was Q/AUDITOR, a software measurement tool for computer programs written in COBOL. The company has developed two more products to measure and rewrite COBOL computer programs to improve maintainability and readability. Customers include Boeing Computer Services, Electronic Data Systems, GTE Data Services and 3M. The company has an extensive presence in Europe and the Pacific Rim through international distributors.

Eden Systems' desire to boost productivity led to the development of The Meeting Room software, which allows people to lead and attend meetings from their desks on personal-computer networks.

Experior Corp., Fort Wayne--Experior Corp. was founded in 1978. Richard Presser, president and former hospital MIS director, created the Interactive Clinic Management Software system that provides billing and accounts-receivable solutions for group medical practices and service bureaus.

Experior delivers an administrative and financial-information system to an expanding physician base currently numbering about 1,500. The company has used more than 85 percent of the ideas clients have submitted to enhance its product.

Pritsker Corp., Indianapolis-West Lafayette--Pritsker Corp., founded in 1973, was the first company to bring simulation to the commercial market. Alan Pritsker, president and CEO, is a world-renowned engineer and a pioneer in the development of simulation technology.

Pritsker develops and markets a complete line of simulation-based software products that help customers effectively design, plan, schedule and operate their businesses. The company has more than 20 years of corporate experience with more than 5,500 product installations throughout the world.

Useful over a broad spectrum of industrial applications, Pritsker has identified two key application areas for simulation: systems engineering and design, and operations planning, scheduling and execution.

Hertzler Systems Inc., Goshen--The company's first product was RheoLogic for the rubber industry, followed by MooneyLogic and TensiLogic. The "Logics" software products now dominate the rubber industry as the statistical-process-control systems of choice. The QA/S Statistical Process Control Software was developed from RheoLogic.

Hertzler Systems has more than 2,500 clients worldwide. The company's international program has shipped products to more than 40 countries.

Customers represent a variety of industries including, but not limited to, automotive, electronic, rubber, food processing, chemicals, biomedical and aerospace. Its customers include Motorola and General Electric.

Micro Data Base Systems, Lafayette--This Lafayette-based company develops the software tools that other software developers use in creating applications.

Among its products are GURU, KnowledgeMan, Object/1 and MDBS IV. Using these building blocks, computer programmers have developed custom applications that among other things analyze bank stability for the Comptroller of the Currency, manage benefits for ADP and gather loan-processing information for GE Mortgage Co. The company's other program, Inspection Data Manager, is a prepackaged application for use by companies that must deal with Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections.

Technology Service Corp., Bloomington--This company started out in the radar business; among other things, it developed color weather radar and the Fuzzbuster radar-detection system (businesses it has since left).

In its radar applications, especially those relating to the Pentagon, TSC recognized the need to manage large volumes of data. So it created a software division to work in database development. It also gained software expertise in instrument control, creating applications to control the instruments on manufacturing floors. And TSC will visit clients' offices and plants to consult on systems integration, determining how to automate processes and improve productivity.

While TSC historically has done a lot of business with the military, Pentagon downsizing persuaded the company to diversify and generate more non-military business.

John R. Gibbs, based in Carmel, is a management consultant in corporate development and financial affairs and former executive director of the Indiana Software Association.
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Author:Gibbs, John R.
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Date:Dec 1, 1993
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