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  • Writer's pictureTroy Web Consulting

Software Modernization: From Spreadsheets To A Robust Ticketing System

Project Objective: Provide on-demand and go-to resources to help the New York State Museum operate more efficiently and effectively on a daily basis.

Project Background: Dave Gerhard and Troy Web Consulting’s Jon Briccetti met in a Cold Fusion training class Jon was teaching at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

“We struck up a conversation, and Jon asked me about my work,” recalls David Gerhard, who heads information technology services in the Office of Cultural Education at the New York State Education Department. “I told him about an IT issue we were having, and he took out his laptop and started working on the issue right then and there.”

The issue, Gerhard says, was the need for a ticketing system for a theater at the New York State Museum in Albany, New York. At the time, the museum’s theater staff members were using multiple versions of a single spreadsheet to keep track of ticket sales. As a result, the theater was selling multiple tickets for the same seat.

The Challenge: “Our system wasn’t working, and we knew we needed some sort of database,” Gerhard says. “Jon suggested solving the problem with a web application so that everyone who needs seating and ticket information in real-time can just log in. This was in 2002, and the ticketing system is still up and running.”

After that, Gerhard says, Troy Web Consulting became a go-to resource for his department, building a series of web applications to help the museum conduct business more efficiently.

With Troy Web Consulting, the museum has created applications such as help-desk systems for scheduling and an automated ticketing system. One of the most important apps Troy Web has developed for the museum is the data logger app; a system used to monitor the temperature and humidity of the museum’s display cases and collection spaces. The app tracks and reports environmental data in multiple buildings, where storage needs vary greatly depending upon collection type. When a storage area dips below or rises above its recommended range, the system immediately sends an alert to building maintenance professionals.

“It’s a red-light green-light system with great reporting capabilities,” Gerhard says. “If the Smithsonian is going to loan artwork for display in our museum, they want to see that we understand and can report this environmental data. Being able to say, ‘We keep this gallery in this range and your collection will be safe here’ is important.”

Business Impact: Gerhard says every application, especially utility-based tools such as the help-desk and data logger applications, have saved museum staff “incredible amounts of time.”

“Everything they’ve done for us saves us time on a daily basis,” Gerhard says. “Troy Web steps back and thinks about the big picture, including what you might need down the road, and then they build your applications so you can add or modify them yourself in the future.” Jon Briccetti, CEO of Troy Web Consulting, says client relationships matter just as much as hard numbers.

“We never underestimate or take for granted the importance of building solid client relationships. Our clients become our friends. Their success is our success,” Briccetti explains. “Projects may not always generate calculable metrics, but if our client’s day is made easier or more efficient because of our work, we’re happy.”


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