Business Systems Research Products Philosophy

SOME AUTOMATED INTELLIGENT DECISIONS

Purpose

Business Systems by Graeme Robertson (1977 - 2017)

London Marine Market Insurance System Designed and developed a new 7-dimensional consolidated monthly insurance data system for Commercial Union, complete with a considerable number of built-in hierarchical calculations along and between each of the 7 dimensions.
Worldwide Bank Treasury Dealing System Based on a number of STSC APL utilities written by Martin Turner and Karl Mabert, developed system in London for Midland Bank Group Treasury which was then used extensively by foreign exchange traders around the world, in Europe, USA and the Far East, via the I.P.Sharp communications network. (I.P.Sharp Associates was acquired by Reuters for $47.5m in 1987 after the demise of mainframe timesharing and before the rise of the Internet.)
Multi-National Customer Relationship Profitability System Designed with Rashmi Kakad, and led a small team of APL consultants, including Martin Turner and David Pilbeam, to build a large application involving many existing banking systems. This complex integrated system analysed the profitability of a bank's large multinational customers worldwide. The final project was completed at a total cost of less than 3% of the largest competitor bid for the project, and less than 5% of the second largest bid. The remains of the £1m budget was used to train staff worldwide how to use the system.
Bank International Library Search and Find Database This set-theoretic text storage and retrieval system was based on an elegant file design by John Craig, and developed in London for Midland Bank International Business Library. It was also used by Midland Bank Business Sector Marketing Unit for a similar purpose.
European Marketing and Finance Database Systems Most of the work at Kodak was based on a brilliant application called Wizard which was developed at IPSA London by Peter Airs. I led a small team of APL consultants, including Nicki Coyne, Christine McCree and Sally Drew, to build four multidimensional database systems using Wizard for Marketing, Finance, Graphic Arts and Medical Film departments. The development team and customers were the best.
Calculation of Final Salary Pension Claims Over 100 pages of exact specification of active and deferred final salary pension calculations were programed in order to compute individual retiree pension quotations. Also produced a 300 page description of application inputs, outputs and mainframe links in support of over 50 inhouse users.
Petroleum Analysis Workstation conversion to Windows Led a team to convert a petroleum analysis system from DOS to Windows, and further develop the graphical component and other elements of the program as part of the team work.
Giant APL Variables Prototyped a system obviating the need for an APL programmer to handle a separate APL file system by making variables of any size allowed by total hard disc file memory limitations to virtually reside in the RAM-sized workspace.
Change of Address & Bank Details speed-up Created a speedy PC front end to an old slow mainframe system thereby significantly reducing time pressure on customer service staff who every day have to process many customer requests to change an address or bank details, while at the same time protect against fraud.
Death Claims speed-up Created a PC front end to an old slow mainframe system thereby significantly reducing customer service processing backlog of death notifications and the associated administration.
Pensions Calculator enhancements Added features to an existing PC system, including automated customer letters for transfer values, with-profit endowments, death letters, nothing-payable letters, commutation of spouse's pension and widow's pension letters. Another major addition was automatic import of relevant data from a number of mainframe systems. These additions greatly reduced the backlog of work for staff, and usage was rapidly extended to over 100 users in England and Wales.
A Bayes Linear Estimator This system was originally designed by Bayesian expert Professor Tony O'Hagan of Nottingham University to assist in the privatization of UK water boards. Since then it has been used in the privatization of UK railways, Hong Kong water and Melbourne trams, and is currently being used for a London Underground project. Graeme Robertson and, laterly, Graeme Robertson Ltd have been a significant part of the team in developing, supporting and extending this system since its beginnings in 1992.
Multi-Dimensional Accounting System conversion to Windows Converted the Kunzle Planning System from DOS to a Windows application for the successful March 1995 Adaytum launch in Birmingham NEC soon after KPS was acquired by Adaytum Systems. Adaytum then acquired Insight Systems and then, some time after system completion, Adaytum was acquired by Cognos Inc. for $160m in 2003. (Later IBM acquired Cognos for $5bn in 2009.) The resulting significant new source of funds breathed new life into the Dyalog APL language vendor when Dyalog was acquired by an independent Insight Systems of Denmark.
Project Planning System to facilitate new system implementations Work at Rank Xerox was based on a brilliant project planning system called SNAP which was designed and built by Ken Chakahwata at IPSA in London. Assisted Ken and the Strategic Planning team at RX by developing a layer of software on top of SNAP to control its use in executing the successful implementation of various new RX computer systems in Europe.
Incorporate Jersey Tax Law Changes Made modifications to a pension system to take into account changes in legislation concerning tax arrangements specifically for Jersey pension quotations. This was just one of many small projects undertaken by Graeme Robertson Ltd on this large and complex pension system.
Automate Various Pension Reports Created and automated various reports regarding different types of pension claims made on a daily to monthly basis, such as summaries of claims involving guaranteed annuity options, or the total numbers of claims made over the month.
Pensiopn Scheme Cancellation System Enabled cancellation of a pension scheme by automatically removing large numbers of selected scheme members on mainframe systems via a PC front end, thus saving a considerable amount of clerical time.
Enhance Complex Portfolio Management Application Enhanced a very successful APL system in a number of very specific areas. While most APL applications are written by one or two individuals, and supported by up to three or at most four, this particular Danish application has very many programmers involved in its development, and is corrrespondingly very large and very complex.
Product Pricing Application Created a new multidimensional accounting system for use by a large multinational manufacturing company to model their product pricing structure.
Insurance Claims Accounting System upgrade Modified an existing system for Year 2000 compliance plus other enhancements, then converted this quarterly insurance system to a monthly reporting system.
Optimisation add-on using FrontMip DLL Wrote a front-end to an optimisation DLL with linear and quadratic solvers for use by the customer's APL programmer.
Visual OLE System to drill into resident OLE Servers (e.g. Excel) to expose their functionality (properties and methods) by simple mouse clicks at each level of the object hierarchy.
Fourier Transform add-on using FFTW DLL Created a DLL with APL cover functions to call a Fourier Transform or its inverse from open source FFTW (Fastest Fourier Transform in the World) C++ code.
Eigenvectors and Eigenvalues add-on using LAPACK DLL Created a DLL with APL cover functions to call a sufficient subset of eigen routines and complex matrix inverse routines from open source LAPACK (Linear Algebra PACKage) C++ code.
Worldwide Oil Trading System Created a system for petroleum trading around the world, based on the same technology as the Worldwide Treasury Dealing System above, using the powerful combination of STSC APL/PC and Sharp APL/MF.
Business Management Graphs Wrote functions to generate board-level management graphical reports from current databases monthly for the bank.
Multi-Dimensional Chemical Database This was a classic application of Wizard, the I.P.Sharp multidimensional database package, to store naturally multidimensional chemical details of oil products.
Architect Project Scheduling System Bespoke add-on to SNAP, the Sharp Network Analysis Package, this system formalised the standard project plans and procedures for the Tower Hamlets Borough Council architects.
Barometric Height Program Machine code calculation of Tornado height from barometric pressure reading. This is a small part of the aircraft navigation system.
Fuel Remaining on Station Task Machine code calculation of Sea Harrier fuel remaining on station after completion of mission. This is a small part of the aircraft navigation system.
Magnetic Variation Atlas Machine code representation of world magnetic variation map for Sea Harrier navigation from FORTRAN master. Navigation by compass is untrustworthy near the poles where the magnetic field splinters.

Fresh Air
A Taste of APL
APL Font
APL 1-4
APL Reference Card
Periodic Parsing Character from Vector Vol.2 No.2 October 1985
Symbol Potency Chart from Vector Vol.2 No.2 October 1985
New Foundations from Vector Vol.20 No.1 July 2003
Bell's theorem & Matrix Mechanics from Vector Vol.20 No.3 January 2004

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