Scalable Application Strategies

About scapps

Scalable Application Strategies (scapps) is a boutique consultancy providing strategy and implementation services to technology teams and software businesses that develop and support business-critical applications. We can assist with software product evaluation and selection, application architecture and road mapping, infrastructure design, application design, tooling, application development, project management and technology transfer. We can also provide operational expertise in software quality and post-sales support. We have hands-on experience with leading scalability frameworks and public clouds. Although scapps is small we can provide substantial levels of assistance through our affiliations with other leading practitioners. Our value proposition is based on experience and adaptability. We are happy to consider engagements in all locations.

Founder's Bio

scapps founder Dan Stone has more than twenty-five years of professional experience in technology and technology management. Prior to forming scapps he spent sixteen years with major investment banks in roles ranging from application developer to regional CIO. Earlier in his career he was a vice president of The Rustin Group, a small, computer science-driven consultancy based in New York City. He also managed software product development for a pioneering CAD system integrator, MiCAD Systems Inc., and designed and built applications for customers of PARC spin-off Metaphor. More recently he has run Technology in Europe for a major fintech business and served as COO for a London-based cloud computing start-up. Mr. Stone received a bachelor’s degree in Computing Science from Columbia University and an M.B.A. In Finance from Fordham University, both in New York City. Raised in Maryland, Mr. Stone has divided his adult life between New York, Tokyo, Prague and London where he now lives.

Engagements

Cloud Computing Start-Up Operational Support

scapps' founder Dan Stone joined the management team of a London cloud computing start-up to help manage operations. The role, which involved post-sales support, software QA, documentation production, marketing and other operational areas developed into a COO position filled by Mr. Stone.

Market Data and Compliance Services Vendor Acquisition

A prominent American fintech company retained scapps founder Dan Stone to provide transitional management during the acquisition and integration of a European data and services business. The role evolved into the position of head of IT for Europe, which Mr. Stone occupied for two years.

In-Memory Metals Trading Valuation Engine Project

A scapps consultant was retained to rescue a critical software development project for a prominent commodities dealer. The project was crippled by poor internal coordination and fractured lines of engagement with the larger change program of which it was a part. Order was restored and the in-memory metals trading valuation engine that the project team was tasked with delivering was deployed into production.

Derivatives Trading System Strategy

scapps was retained by the American branch of a large Japanese bank to develop a derivatives trading system strategy that met local needs for flexibiity while satisfying corporate control requirements. The proposed strategy was accepted and implemented.

Derivatives System Usage and Operational Risk Analysis

scapps was enlisted by a leading London financial services IT consultancy to analyze the operational risks associate with their client’s usage of a proprietary derivatives trading system. A scapps consultant worked with the end client’s representative to create a methodology for capturing and characterizing system usage. Information collected during interviews with IT staff and representatives of user areas was captured in a purpose-built relational database. Deliverables included: a database containing the usage information, numerous SQL queries to facilitate analysis of the data, a bespoke program for preparing the data for its final reporting format and several formatted reports and heat maps describing system usage and attendant risks. Work was completed successfully and led to a follow-up engagement.

Derivatives System Development Recommendations

Following an engagement by scapps for a leading London financial services IT consultancy to analyze the operational risks associate with their client’s usage of a proprietary derivatives trading system, scapps was retained to prepare a report for the end client proposing strategic changes in system governance, technology and functionality. The report was accepted by the client and delivered to the steering committee responsible for the system in question.

Derivatives Risk Management Technology Selection

A scapps consultant led a team conducting a technical product selection process for a derivatives trading area of a prominent European investment bank. The engement encompassed requirement gathering, vendor and product assesment, proofs-of-concept and a final recommendation. The recommended product was purchased and deployed successfully. 

Technology Consultancy Operational Support

A scapps team member was retained by a prominent London-based financial technology consultancy to help develop client project proposals during a period of rapid growth.

Cloud Persistence

scapps was enlisted to help our client with the development of a new software product targeting developers of cloud applications that require DBMS-quality data availability and integrity guarantees. This innovative product allows the developer to manipulate persistent data in the familiar form of Java POJOs, with retrieval and storage responsibilities handled using the widely embraced DAO pattern. The application-specific DAOs generated by our client’s product resolve data location issues across the cloud transparently, and apply transactional protections to the data being updated. Background processes persist data changes to a DBMS or other storage persistent storage medium asynchronously, while preserving their original ordering and transactional boundaries.

A scapps consultant joined the client’s team during the design phase and contributed to the final design as well as development of a prototype. During the design phase, numerous options were explored for optimizing performance while preserving transaction semantics. The resultant design demonstrates excellent performance and data integrity characteristics.

Cloud Persistence (second engagement)

scapps was enlisted to help our client with the development of a new software product targeting developers of cloud applications that require RDBMS-quality data availability and integrity guarantees. A scapps consultant had worked with the client’s team during the design phase and contributed to the final design.  scapps was re-engaged during the implementation phase to review and validate detailed aspects of the design test the software, develop a prototype client application to demonstrate usage patterns, design and build a regression testing suite to ensure that correct behaviour was maintained across changes, develop an approach to performance testing and implement a performance testing framework prototype. Work was completed successfully and marketing of the product has begun.

Model-Driven Application Generator

Our client is a software development house with substantial expertise in application modelling, code generation, and large scale distributed application development. One of their software products, which is implemented as an add-in for the Eclipse software development platform, assembles an application model based on design input from the user (a developer, analyst or modeller), and then generates a complete application framework based on the model. Business methods are reflected in the generated code as stubs, which are subsequently implemented by a developer.

The first edition of the product, which has been commercially available for several years, assists with the design and construction of J2EE applications. Recognizing the potential of GigaSpaces to become an important platform for cloud applications, the client decided to create a new edition of their product tailored for use by GigaSpaces application development teams. A Scapps consultant joined the development team to assist with the design and development of a proof of concept application, and to explore with the development team ideas for improving the product. The consultant also participated in testing the product, analyzing and correcting issues discovered during testing, and documenting the finished product.