November 9, 2020 By Red Hat Marketplace 2 min read

How VACAVA turned problems into opportunities.

This post was originally published on the Red Hat Marketplace blog.

Terry Bird’s mother lives in a nursing home. When the pandemic struck nursing homes, wreaking havoc on seniors, caregivers, and staff in the congregate care industry, Terry was among the family members who felt powerless. In contrast, their loved ones were isolated and afraid.

As a software entrepreneur and CEO, Terry instinctively views problems as opportunities. SQL, SaaS, and Linux are tools he applies so companies can re-engineer existing processes. COVID-19 was unlike any challenge the open-source cloud solutions company CEO (VACAVA) and Red Hat® OpenShift® partner had ever seen. He witnessed, from his perspective as a tech executive, the many administrative obstacles facing providers.

“Small and medium businesses don’t have a lot of tech at their fingertips or a lot of knowledge about tech – they have small systems that tackle their individual needs.” — Terry Bird

After health departments mandated facilities to establish strict visiting procedures, Sue Knutson and Rachael Paddock of Samaritan Bethany in southeastern Minnesota, struggled to develop, implement, and manage new visitation processes while caring for a vulnerable population.

Simple, fast, cost-effective, flexible, scalable, and user-friendly

Terry took Sue’s worry and quickly designed a SaaS application that eliminates scheduling complexities. VACAVA developed and deployed a customized scheduling SaaS application with a mobile hybrid app for caregivers in less than two weeks. He used RapidBIZ™, a hybrid cloud platform running on Linux, Unix, and IBM i.

“It’s rapid for a reason because you can develop applications quickly. We’re in the cloud; just press the button and it’s done.” — Terry Bird

RapidBIZ gives developers capabilities to create applications on any device connected to the internet without needing to code. The IBM Cloud offers performance, support, security, and the ability to scale.

“RapidBIZ, running on Red Hat OpenShift, simplifies development, deployment, and management with zero deployment effort and highly automated management of the environment.” — Terry Bird

A multi-tenant solution that has all the settings to allow customization

Because of state guidelines, the scheduling app is different because it’s customizable. First, it allows users to define the number of visitors per location. Then, as visitors make reservations, it tracks the number of people in a location at a given time and establishes the number of reservations allowed per visitor per week.

“My life is so much easier. Before this app, we were coordinating Skype and FaceTime. Scheduling is a time-consuming task. The app eliminates a lot of human error.” — Rachael Paddock

The heart of this SaaS application is re-connecting family, sharing information, and eliminating administrative clutter. This functionality is relevant to small and medium businesses — education, banking, recruiting, and more — because it’s a customizable app removing manual processes and operational challenges, like teacher office hours or a mortgage broker’s endless spreadsheets.

Put the power of application building into the hands of knowledge workers

For Terry and his VACAVA team, it’s key to enable developers who may be unable to program complex applications yet have basic skill sets, the capabilities, and confidence to simply and quickly build a SaaS application.

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