Highlighted Projects

Of the hundreds of software solutions we have created, here are a few from the recent past that provided us with great challenges, great successes, and great memories.
 

Cisco Systems

Cloud-based Content Management System

Cisco Systems uses multiple internal content management systems to create product-related documents and website content. However, none of these CMS applications are available to external contributors. Cisco's Smart Business Architecture team needed a way to accept and manage content from both Cisco employees and Cisco technical partners. They approached Leszynski Group to devise a solution.

First, we evaluated Cisco internal technologies and licensed software, as well as conventional open source CMS like Drupal and Joomla. None of these available platforms was highly suited to the business requirements, primarily because Cisco had defined a very specific content management workflow, complex content ownership and version control, a search subsystem across all content, and an API for future extensibility. In order to meet these needs, we designed a customized system — the Cisco Content Tool — built on the Amazon Web Services platform.

Using MySQL, Apache, Tomcat, and Java, we built CCT as a cloud-based CMS system accessible from behind the Cisco firewall using federated employee authentication, and also accessible to Cisco partners on the internet. Due to the low cost of the AWS cloud, we were able to establish a rich multi-server environment that included Development, Test, Staging, and Production web farms. This model allowed our developers, Cisco's testers, and Cisco executives to simultaneously review CCT at different stages in the software lifecycle by connecting to their specified 'sandbox' environment. Due to our focus on security, the CCT application sailed through the rigorous internal Cisco security audit called the Deep Application Vulnerability Assessment.

Toyota North America

Mobile Manufacturing Inspections

In 2001, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America retained Leszynski Group to bring a disciplined approach to software and data systems planning. Toyota's Environmental Affairs Group was seeking a capable and systematic approach to data management after experiencing a disappointing failure from a vendor that attempted to implement a one-size-fits-all data management system. Toyota was impressed by the Leszynski Development Framework (LDF), our published methodology for describing and tackling complex business systems problems.

Working with Toyota's Information Systems Group, we created a multi-year, iterative development strategy to extract value from the entire spectrum of Toyota's complex environmental data. Using Microsoft SQL Server and the Slipstream toolset (our proprietary XML-based user interface framework), we built an application that allowed the Toyota Environmental team to consolidate data from 11 North American manufacturing plants and to refine and report the data for use by the Japanese parent company. We designed the application in ways that minimized the impact on the corporate server administrators and provided a strong role-based security structure that could easily be distributed throughout Toyota's North American manufacturing facilities.

For several years, we developed application modules for three key data sources and built a data mart for compiling and reporting on Environmental Key Performance Indicators. After that, our responsibilities were expanded to include mobilizing key data collection processes using tablet computers. We designed and built a 'digital paper' system that moved ten key factory inspection processes from paper forms to portable electronic devices, allowing factory maintenance teams to collect equipment data more rapidly and accurately.

Leszynski Group's successes in developing solutions to Toyota's complex, regulations-bound, ever-changing business needs were a result of its refined development strategy and its comprehensive approach to discovering business needs at all levels using the Leszynski Development Framework.

Microsoft Corporation

Tablet PC Powertoys

Always on the lookout for innovative new technologies to bring to its clients, Leszynski Group became acquainted with Microsoft's Tablet PC plans during the R&D phase, and approached Microsoft to find out more about the platform and to make suggestions. Microsoft quickly realized that we could provide creative innovation and asked us to design and build Tablet PC software offerings for the launch. Microsoft wanted to create consumer and business applications to demonstrate the uniqueness of its Tablet PC platform, and our software architects went to the whiteboard and designed and built four software applications and a dozen developer tools.

Over the course of a year, our developers spent over 20,000 hours mastering solution development with the Tablet PC Platform SDK. We created the first suite of applications and tools for the Tablet PC platform; many of them were posted for public download on Microsoft's website. Ultimately, one of our inventions — the Snipping Tool — was awarded a patent and became part of the Windows platform. And the Tablet Pool game that we wrote was the first game ever shipped for a Microsoft tablet computer.

In recognition of Leszynski Group's pioneering contribution to the Tablet PC platform, Bill Gates demonstrated our work at the global Tablet PC launch in New York City, and we were invited to deliver keynote presentations at eight regional launch events across the United States.

New York State

Mobilized Health Records

New York State technologists met Leszynski Group while we were developing mobile healthcare solution components, and quickly understood how tablet computers could benefit them. We worked with the Chief Information Officer of New York's Office of Mental Health to automate a key workflow — the investigation of special incidents in state mental healthcare facilities. Regulations of the State of New York mandate that all programs operated by the Office of Mental Health have in place viable incident management procedures and take responsibility for prompt and systematic investigation of all non-routine incidents.

The term 'special investigation' refers to a comprehensive, objective investigation and analysis of client related incidents. Historically, special investigations were conducted using a bound instruction manual for guidance and many hardcopy forms. This workflow suffered from the lack of consistent and comprehensive data collection and from the absence of a system for centralized data collection and analysis.

By moving this workflow to tablets, many benefits were realized, not the least of which were far superior data quality and hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in cost savings. Leszynski Group's success at New York State was lauded by Bill Gates in his keynote address at a conference for global IT leaders.