Aptech Celebrates 40th Anniversary - Propelling Hospitality from Mainframes to Cloud Computing

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"We Have Your Back and Do What It Takes to Make You Successful." Jay Troutman, president of Aptech Computer Systems

Jay Troutman accepting Aptech's independent sales distributorship for WANG computers in 1984

Respect the customers who have given you their trust and provide the most effective tech tools to make their operation more efficient.

Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., the leading provider of hospitality software for business intelligence and enterprise financial accounting, is celebrating 40 years of transforming hotel industry operations by equipping clients with innovative performance management tools that increase profitability.

Aptech President Jay Troutman attributes the company's sustained success to its guiding principal:

"Respect the customers who have given you their trust and provide the most effective tech tools to make their operation more efficient."

Aptech has provided leading edge hospitality management software through four generations of computing technology, says Troutman, by applying an important litmus test to each product:

"Is this going to help someone in our industry do something better? It is not the number of features that is important," he explains. "It is whether we make our software feature-rich in ways that give our customers a better experience."

Coffee and Cornell Hospitality
Troutman began his entrepreneurial career at Cornell University by opening a coffee business in the college of engineering. Troutman's sister was attending Cornell's Hotel School, where students enjoyed the best beverages and pastries on campus.

Across the street, Troutman and his fellow engineering students could not even buy a cup of coffee. He partnered with Dave Hamilton to help convince the engineering dean to allow the sale of coffee and freshly baked donuts delivered daily to the student lounge.

Gallons of coffee and thousands of donuts later, Troutman and Hamilton had paid their way through Cornell. Their partnership continued when Troutman wrote a computer program to assist Hamilton--the captain of Cornell's golf team--with the handicapping for his country club.

Running the Back Office 'With a Sharp Pencil'
The partners also tackled the county club's accounting needs during the mainframe computing era. Troutman describes the process as a kind of Stone Age cloud computing, with student drivers collecting data sheets all day so that Troutman's team could key punch cards through the night for a mainframe that delivered fresh reports in the morning.

Aptech was born at Troutman's kitchen table and grew quickly during the minicomputer era by installing machines at customer properties, and then writing the code that ran on the boxes.

The company built a clientele of 50 country clubs spread over a 150 mile radius. "In those days your business world was limited to the distance you could reasonably drive," says Troutman.

Aptech's country club work attracted the attention of Interstate Accounting Services, a company founded by two tax attorneys who hired Aptech to help create a hotel computer program that "ran the back of the house with a sharp pencil."

According to Troutman, Aptech's reputation grew as it installed hardware and software for Interstate, which became Interstate Hotels. The company soon developed a front office system and competed successfully against major players like IBM.

The Aptech team brought further innovation to the golf industry by creating a tee-time reservation system. Aptech sold the system to Golf Digest at the New York Times Company, where Troutman served as vice president for two years.

Leadership by innovation
Troutman believes that Aptech evolved as a leading system innovator that moved mainframes, to mini-computers and PC networks, into today's era of cloud computing by asking customers, "How can we help you?" Troutman said, "We listen to what clients tell us and then work closely with them to deliver the solutions they request."

Listening to clients' needs led Aptech in 1997 to develop its Execuvue® Business Intelligence (BI) system now used by Starwood, Blackstone, Dolce International, La Quinta, Noble Investment Group and others.

"When we visited one large client and saw their back office financial team up to their chins in hundreds of spreadsheets, the idea for our business intelligence tools just jumped off the page. We saw what was needed and developed our remotely hosted BI."

Troutman emphasizes that technology success is built on solid relationships. "We earn our customers' trust any way we can. One of our longest-standing clients, Charles Hotel near Harvard Square, has stuck with us from mini-computing to the current versions of our software. Why? Because we'll have your back and do whatever it takes."

Aptech Computer Systems
Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, leads the hospitality industry in leveraging change by valuing human relationships and applying technology to solve business problems for people. Incorporated in 1970, Aptech is a financial and operations technology solutions and service company whose products include state-of-the-art back office, business intelligence, and enterprise planning products: Profitvue, Execuvue, and Webvue. Over 2,500 properties, including very large chains, multiple-property management companies, and single-site hotels, use Aptech solutions to understand their financial and operational data. Execuvue and Profitvue are registered trademarks of Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders.

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Cam Troutman
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