Advanced Management Systems in Troy, NY was one of Steve's first clients, way back in 1993. AMS had a 13 year history of technical innovation in the complex business Insurance back office systems, especially in premium audit. Several AMS customers had requested a new system to manage the complexities of field audit operations, involving billions of dollars of premium and hundreds of people wandering around the countryside, under all sorts of legal and time-based requirements for properly processing insurance policies.
Steve was brought in to help in build their revolutionary new flagship product, the Audit Control Environment (ACE). This system, now seven years old, is currently the dominant force in the industry and has no real competitors. Even IBM left the market rather than compete with this system, whose cost runs from about $400,000 to over $3 million, yet can pay for itself in a year or less.
Steve was the principle designer, architect and technical manager for this system. He developed many of its innovations and managed its complexity from day one, including choosing many of the tools, training all of the technical staff and managing the day-to-day design and building of the system. He also designed and managed the enterprise installation and integration procedures, including the inclusion of a world-class mainframe-level security system.
ACE is an extremely complex system, incorporation hundreds of user screens and modules. It often takes a year of planning to install and integrate a system; Steve routinely ran eight hour on-site monthly meetings with a dozen or more of the customer's staff to coordinate the integration design. ACE integrates right into the heart of several multi-billion dollar insurance firms, yet also includes a distributed computing system involving synchronized data exchange with hundreds of mobile users around the country. This was particularly innovative long before the Internet became popular.
The system also incorporates its own artificial intelligence and rule-based processing system. There is also a very complex management and error processing subsystem, plus batch and email systems. Systems under integration testing routinely generate thousands or tens of thousands of pages of diagnostics and error messages.
Steve also spent time with AMS from 1997-2000 as their Director of Technology. During this period, his teams released ACE version 3 with billing integration and their first Windows audit product, AuditWin, which was an instant hit. Steve and his team also designed a system that enabled the entire $100 billion industry to inter-communicate with its premium audit vendors, something that the industry has been unsuccessfully attempting for many years. The company also purchased its closest field software competitor and Steve seamlessly integrated the products to produce an innovative hybrid able to record and support all of the insurance-based payroll and sales computations for all US companies, from $100,000 home offices to $100 billion, 1,000 location corporations like Delta Airlines and General Motors.