A short interview with Lindsey Phillips, Project Manager at ImageTrend, a software development company which offers a wide range of Web-based solutions for industries as diverse as government, medical, human resources, business, education and non-profit.
ImageTrend has been listed in the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America in each year from 2007 through 2010. Customers include Russell Athletic, Goodyear Tire, HealthEast Care System, the University of Minnesota, Cargill, and FirstComp Insurance.
Let’s talk about your organization. What is your core business?
"ImageTrend, Inc. is dedicated to enterprise-level data management and analysis through the innovative use of technology. ImageTrend’s applications serve a variety of industries, but is primarily based in the healthcare and emergency response community. Based in Lakeville, Minnesota, ImageTrend combines business analysis, creative design and database-driven architecture to offer innovative, scalable solutions and strategies for today and the future."
Could you let us know any further information?
"The company’s focus on innovation is demonstrated by the annual Hooley™ Awards, which honors clients using ImageTrend solutions in bold and creative ways to benefit their community. In 2015, ImageTrend has also received recognition from independent publications for its innovation, in the form of the JEMS Hot Product at EMS Today and has two products as finalists in the EMS World Top Innovations Award."
What do you for ImageTrend and what are you responsible for?
"I am the Project Manager for our Custom Software Solutions department."
What does your application or service do?
"The application in which we utilize the Lightstreamer technology is a live & online auction management platform. The client uses our platform to manage the onsite and online bids on large, heavy-construction equipment simultaneously. This platform must display bids real-time in conjunction with a live audio stream (produced outside of Lightstreamer)."
What functionalities are powered by Lightstreamer?
"The real-time bid messaging system is powered by Lightstreamer. The bid increment updates, accepted and rejected bid updates, messages, lot transitions and sold messages."
Is your main application based on HTML or other front-end technologies?
"The bidding system is HTML and Flash based."
Do you provide any native apps for smartphones and tablets?
"Not yet, but they’re coming!"
Do you use Lightstreamer for bi-directional data push (that is, also for sending messages from the client to the server)?
"In our application, we treat the server as a message router. That is to say that nothing is produced at the server level, everything is exclusively sent client to client (traversing the server in between)."
What other features of Lightstreamer are you taking benefit from?
"We enforce strict connection limits based on your user type, and we take advantage of the protocol sensing functionality."
Prior to Lightstreamer, Adobe LiveCycle has been integrated for real-time data streaming in ImageTrend projects. Which limits have been noticed?
"Unfortunately, Adobe LiveCycle was not a good fit for our transition from Flash to HTML for the bidding interface. The goal with the HTML transition was to enable more mobile accessibility for users and Flash is not supported by many mobile devices. Lightstreamer enabled us to move into the next phase of our development with HTML".
How do real-time technologies can improve an auction platform?
"In an auction platform it is extremely important that data refreshes as quickly as possible. Lightstreamer’s push technology ensures that the user is getting data as quickly as their connection allows."
ImageTrend operates in a large number of industries. Are you currently evaluating Lightstreamer for other projects, too? Which role these technologies will play for them?
"Yes, while we do not have immediate project needs, we do see Lightstreamer having potential to be the real-time messaging platform across our entire product stack."
Why you opted for Lightstreamer among several other solutions, both free and commercial?
"ImageTrend evaluated several technologies, but determined
that Lightstreamer required less up front development work and could be
implemented in a shorter timeframe. Leveraging Lightstreamer allowed
ImageTrend to focus its efforts on the business functionality rather
than low-level messaging architecture."
We would be very grateful if you would like to provide a short recommendation to testify your experience with Lightstreamer technology and its support team.
"Lightstreamer has been fantastic to work with. We have had a few questions along the way and each time we reach out to the Lightstreamer team they are extremely responsive. This has been a fun and exciting technology to work with and we feel it has really taken our client to the next level."