Since 1974, FREY Municipal Software has been engineering and supporting a fully integrated suite of software applications targeting the municipal government sectors needs in the area of Finance, Payroll, and Utility Billing. By focusing on this core municipal need, FMS has propelled itself to this sectors forefront as a technological leader. FMS's fully integrated suite of applications include: BUCS BUdgetary Control System "Fund Accounting", CHIPS CompreHensive Integrated Payroll System, and CUBIC Comprehensive Utility Billing & Control System. A simple promise of providing superior perpetually modernized products and uncompromising customer support is the pledge that FMS has delivered upon since the beginning.
From the beginning until the early 1980s, custom written software for varied needs was provided on a variety of proprietary hardware platforms. All applications had to be written for specific makes and models of computers. Each unique custom software application was very time consuming and expensive to develop.
In 1982, FMS redesigned and rewrote its specialized applications in a generic programming language for the generic UNIX operating system. It promised to be the bridge that would allow FMS's applications to operate on almost any computer.
In 1985, we began offering our software on the PC, personal computers running the DOS operating system. In the following years, DOS proliferated with networks. UNIX began losing market share in the late 1980s because hardware companies were tailoring UNIX to keep customers from migrating to competitive systems. Networked PC's running DOS were becoming the platform of preference. FMS would no longer be a custom software developer, it would now be able to market its previously developed custom software as off the shelf solutions which could be implemented in any municipal operation throughout the US market. All the client had to do was purchase a PC, purchase the FMS applications they required, implement, train and voila their office was computerized, and at a very affordable cost to boot.
In the summer of 1995, FMS developed an Internet Web site. It was an immediate success. People were using the Internet to search for the specialized software we offered. Today, it is our primary means of marketing our products and services. It has also provided numerous other benefits to us, as well as our customers including integrated "Web Services" for our payroll and utility billing applications.
During this period, we recognized the demand for the Graphical user interface called Windows being pioneered by a new little company by the name of Microsoft. Windows 95 was being released and it appeared to be a great improvement over Windows 3.1. FMS started the migration to GUIs (graphical user interfaces) and updated systems for the Year 2000 date requirements. The CUBIC Comprehensive Utility Billing & Control system was released in 1996. It was our first True Windows GUI product. This new software would run on any system that can support a Microsoft Windows 95 or later operating system. It would run on PCs and networks such as Novell, NT, and UNIX. This was a true product revolution for FMS and we offered free software migration, including file conversion, for all of our current clients.
Consistency is the big benefit, if the developer utilized the MS design guidelines. Character based applications had no published design standards to follow. Every developer created their own rules and styles. True Microsoft Windows design standards applications behave in a very predictable fashion. This makes them easier to learn and use. If you use products like Excel and WORD, you have an excellent basis for understanding how FMS applications behave. Today, users find UNIX and DOS to be foreign.
In 1998, we recognized an additional benefit from the Internet. We realized that we could easily distribute interim software updates using the Internet and e-mail. Our customers have greatly benefited from this innovation. We not only keep the products bug free, we also include new improvements on a regular basis.
In 2002, the proliferation of high speed Internet connections permitted us to begin offering web training. This has proven to be of value to clients who are located at a distance or need personalized training. It has proven to be both cost effective and convenient.
2003 saw a movement towards a paperless office model and FMS quickly adapted its applications to this model. New hardware technology had driven down the cost of imaging and storage. It was now more affordable. This enabled the introduction of features giving clients the ability to image documents and attach them to electronic records. We further integrated Internet capabilities into the software by providing embedded email capabilities where appropriate. We began providing program preferences that allowed a user to adapt program options to their selected preferences. All of the changes were targeted to improving the power and ease-of-use of our software.
Today, FREY Municipal Software serves clients throughout the US and abroad using high-speed communications and the Internet. Our product focus is on fund accounting, payroll and utility billing. Our products have been nationally reviewed and received high marks for both design and function. Our plans call for continued growth in our specialties, seizing opportunities to expand in adjunct products, as opportunities are presented. Our customers are loyal. They have confidence in our ability to harness technology in an orderly and timely fashion and deliver "Perpetually Modern Products" to the municipal government market.