UltraVideo Software Inc. is a computer software company that specializes in Point Of Sale programs for retail video rental stores. The value of UltraVideo Software products is found in their unusual ease of operation and advanced features that unleash the power of today's PC computers.
A message from the President:
UltraVideo Software is committed to the success of our customers in using our products. We will stand by you to insure that your investment in UltraVideo Software is a profitable one, that you have no unanswered questions, and that your system runs reliably on a day to day basis. Throughout the years, our competitors have charged premium prices for their software under the premise that when buying there software, you were "paying the price for continued development and enhancements". At UltraVideo Software Inc., we didn't talk about it, we just did it. We took great care to make our program the easiest to use Windows based Point Of Sale program you've ever seen. Take a look, and you'll find that UltraVideo is really "The Clear Choice Of Those Who Compare!" Thank You for your interest in UltraVideo. -- Bill Roman, President, UltraVideo Software Inc.
What Our Customers Say Joe Nestasia from Video Stop & More says that, as a novice computer user, UltraVideo has allowed him to computerize his new video store with a minimum of effort. UltraVideo Support Staff installed, set up, and did training for the whole system at no extra charge over the Internet! He advertises UltraVideo's Picture ID system as a way for his store to guarantee that children won't rent things they are too young for, which brings in new customers he wouldn't otherwise have. UltraVideo custom bar coded labels lets him label his inventory using his color ink jet printer, as easily as using any other Windows program!
Company History UltraVideo Software, Inc. is a partnership of Bill and Ken Roman. Our company traces its roots back to 1985 to our video store, UltraVideo located in Fairhope, Alabama on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. Bill has successfully marketed and supported our original program, UltraVideo for DOS to over 300 Video Stores nationwide. Our hallmark has always been a very high level of customer service to independent video stores, with a great deal of customer acceptance among new computer users because of our training and refusal to allow anyone to not get full use of our products. Whether its Point Of Sale computer hardware, Network Operating Systems, or general operations of our software, a call to UltraVideo for support has always been a pleasant experience.
Bill Roman is a graduate of Ohio University, with a Bachelor Of Science Degree in Communications. Since the late 70's he has been involved in business equipment sales of all kinds. In 1990, Bill founded UltraSystems Computer Center in Fairhope, which has given our Video Software customers the added advantage of having a one stop source for support with all kinds of computer related service. Even if the computer hardware was not bought from us, we have always pointed our customers in the right direction toward resolving their problems.
Ken Roman is a graduate of the State University of New York at StonyBrook. He holds two Masters of Science Degrees in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. Through the years, Ken has worked as a computer programmer for such companies as Eastman Kodak and Xerox. As early as 1992, Bill and Ken have worked together of various software development projects. In 1996 the began to develop UltraVideo For Windows by using the already established DOS program as a template.
One of the key problems with the DOS version of UltraVideo was that, because of limitations in the programming language used, UltraVideo could not be modified beyond its current state with any new features. Several attempts were made to grow our program by upgrading to newer versions of the language being used, but lack of quality support from the language developer and bugs in their system frustrated us at every turn.
When we finally set out to create UltraVideo for Windows, we were determined to not ever let that happen again. We decided to use a computer language that was universal to all computer programs, Microsoft Visual C++ and the nationally known database engine, Pervasive SQL 2000. The combination of these two development utilities has insured us that there will never be a limitation in what we can do with our software. We call it "Future Compatibility". Because we chose to use the same program that Windows itself is written in, and a database engine that could support 16 Million customers and films as easily as 1600, we were able to develop software that is applicable to small independent stores and national chains alike.
Our Compete History:
UltraVideo, established in 1985, looked around as you are doing now, for video store management software for our IBM XT computer. We were quite underwhelmed with what we found. The prices were either too expensive (well over 15K) or were programs for other industries that were converted to handle generic rentals. We needed more.
We thus set out to write our own software to suit our needs. Our primary concern was to make it easy to use. The wife of the owner was running the store, and while she was an attorney and knew exactly the needs of the store, she didn't know anything about computers (and didn't want to know either). So what we made had to be extremely easy to use. We came up with a method of doing a transaction that "walks" a clerk through a transaction. Available throughout this, we made available "quick lookup" pop up windows that were designed to answer quickly questions that would arise from minute to minute, such as who has what movies, when were the due, and so on.
We made transactions work on the theory of a "baseball diamond", as opposed to putting the entire transaction on one screen. By doing it this way, we intended to put only those items on the screen that the clerk needed to focus on at the time. By using allot of "negative space", we would minimize the confusion of having so much information on one screen, that the clerk would tend to either ignore, or overlook some of what was being displayed. First, the clerk looks up a customer record. On the customer display, everything they need to know about the customer is shown, including the ability to change information, edit late fees, look up past billing and charges to the account, and more. After pressing enter, the receipt screen is displayed. Here is where the clerk would need to focus on the actual transaction. The receipt screen was designed to look like a receipt, once again, making it easy for the clerk to easily see and understand the rental process taking place. Once a receipt is printed, the screen returns to the main menu where another transaction may be started.
While the "front end" of the program was kept very easy to use, advanced management capabilities were located on the "executive" menus. We designed the back office parts of the program to be able to immediately return to the main menu if the ESC key was repeatedly pressed. This was done so that, if at any time, the clerk was working on a mailing list or viewing a report, they would immediately know what to do to start that rental transaction without the customer having to wait. Even entering new customers can be done "on the fly" so that just entering their name would be enough to move on to the rental and get that customer out the door. Throughout all of this, if a customer called asking "when are my movies due back?", the clerk could break out of the transaction by pressing a quick lookup key, answer the question accurately, and get back to servicing the customer in the store before they started tapping their fingers on the counter.
Video store owners and clerks alike loved our software. Other computer programmers though, consistently told us we were doing it all wrong! Why not put everything on one screen that stays on the display all day? Well, programmers aren't novice computer users, and they're not clerks either. Our customers have always been our best reference.
We developed UltraVideo for Windows using the same principals used in our DOS program because we knew that we had a high level of user acceptance and wanted to continue that into a Windows product. The challenge was to make any Windows point of sale program work as smoothly as our DOS program!What we did was to spent almost half a year making sure that all cursors landed in the expected places, that scroll boxes moved up and down with the arrows, that when enter was pressed, the program proceeded to the next step instead of executing whatever was highlighted, and so on. In this manner, we insured that minute to minute transaction activity could be accomplished without ever touching a mouse. In fact, it is easily possible to rent videos in 7-10 seconds without ever touching a mouse!
To be continued . . .