Chris Harvey

PHOTOGRAPHER · SYSTEMS ANALYST · SOFTWARE ENGINEER · KNOWLEDGE ENGINEER

Experience

Project Lead

Service Robotics
2018 - 2019

Activist & Educationalist

Oreddy Digital
2017 - 2018

Co-Founder & Director

Zara Technology Pte Ltd
1997 - 2017

Co-Founder & Director

Singa Sports Publishing Pte Ltd
2016 - 2017

Founder & Director

iotaWave Pte Ltd
2010 - 2015

Technical Director

Veytan Enterprises Pte Ltd
1994 - 1997

Managing Director

Binary Star Limited
1989 - 1994

Founder & Director

Bright Associates Limited
1986 - 1988

Knowledge Engineer

Telecomputing plc
1987 - 1988

Lecturer

Birmingham Polytechnic
1985 - 1986

Consultant

I. P. Sharp Associates
1982 - 1983

Technical Officer

British Telecom
1974 - 1980

Education

University of Aston in Birmingham

PhD Research
Artificial Intelligence: Learning by Analogy
1984 - 1985

North Staffordshire Polytechnic

Bachelor of Science
First Class Honours
1980 - 1984

App Development

Knowledge Engineer

After four decades in the business of 'computing' I call myself a Business Scientist. It's the best (though not perfect) description of my experience and expertise.

The first fifteen years is outlined at the bottom of this page. I still undertake projects that interest me along the lines of my early work. However, the last twenty+ years has been largely devoted to ERP.

ERP

In a parallel development to Microsoft's Dynamics ERP software, I started the ZaraStar project as a single PC-based CRM and accounting system running on Windows. Over the years, it grew to encompass all the fundamentals of ERP. It moved into the cloud and on to mobile, and is now being completely re-written as an open-source project leveraging eCommerce and AI next generation technologies.

ZaraStar did not start out as a software project. It started, and continued, to be a software implementation of actual business requirements. The demands of business organisations came first. In the process, not only did I gain expertise in the full stack of software tools, but more importantly, in the demands and operations of business information flows. My journey has given me experience of many ERP systems, and systems migrations.

So, if you are looking to create, replace, or enhance an ERP system, you need a business analyst who is skilled in information management first. Then you need ERP implementation skills.

Open-Source

The existing ZaraStar code is on GitHub.

ERP Specialist

ERP Basics

Here's a (very) terse overview of the modules within an ERP system with which I am intimately familiar.

Sales Processing

Enquires, quotations, sales orders, proforma invoices, and sales invoices.

Inventory Management

Stock control (including stock checks and stock adjustments); picking and packing processes; delivery notes, and goods received notes.

Warehouse Management

Stock storage and retrieval within a warehouse; and multiple warehouse support.

Purchases Processing

Purchase orders, local requisitions, and purchase invoices.

User Role Management

Categorisation of users (individually and in groups); access rights, and activity tracking.

eCommerce/B2B

Integration of inventory with online webstore; full consumer access to order history, tracking, and financial transactions.

Catalog Management

Product catalogs should be comprehensive and fully integrated with back-end inventory and front-end webstore.

Data Import/Export

Export and import of database data allows use of tools (such as spreadsheets) to add flexibilty.

Data Migration

Often more complex than one would like it to be. But something of a specialty for me.

Financial Management

Statutory accounting (GL, balance sheet, profit & loss, sales tax tracking), and managament anlaytics (ideally in real-time).

Mobile Integration

Fully integrted use of mobile devices for warehouse personnel, slaes people, and customers; amongst others.

Customer Relationship

CRM is the basis for sales and provides the front-line between an organisation and its customers. Maintaining good customer relationships is vital.

Supplier Relationship

In a just-in-time supply chain maintaining good relationships with suppliers is crucial for an organisat ion's profitability.

Analytics

Real-time business anlaytics, for personnel at all levels, should drive the system's operation. Information is key.

Digital Asset Management

As an organisation shifts its focus from automating its back-end, to expanding its customer-facing operations, digital assets increase in importance.

Story Management

Most organisations try to maintain a 'blog'; most are poor. Integration of real-life 'stories' greatly increases an organisation's value.

Digitial Marketing

Pretty much the only kind of marketing that matters. But largely misunderstood to mean Google ads and social media posts. Digital marketing must be the driving force behind any organisation.

Artificial Intelligence

This is the big one! And, it's one with which I have been involved since the early 1980s. This, more than any other, will change the world.

Technologies

There are many technologies that come into play when dealing with ERP. Here's a list of those that come up in my current day-to-day work.

ERP Systems

ZaraStar
ZaraStar
NAV
Dynamics NAV
AX
Dynamics AX
sapb1
SAP B1

Programming

Javascript
JavaScript
HTML5
HTML5
CSS3
CSS3
Java
Java
PHP
PHP
TypeScript
TypeScript
SASS
SASS

DataBases

MySQL
MySQL
SQL Server
SQL Server
Oracle
Oracle
CFS
CFS

Web Frameworks

Angular
Angular

Development

Cordova
Cordova
iOS
iOS
Android
Android
Github
Github
Unit JS
Unit.js
Jest
Jest
Adobe
Adobe CC

Deployment

node.js
node.js
.Net
.Net
Linux
Linux
AWS
AWS
Apache
Apache
Tomcat
Tomcat

APIs and Communications

RESTful
RESTful
XML
XML
HTML5
SOAP
OData
OData

Technical Skills

Over the years, as technology has changed, so has my main focus of expertise. Here are some of the more notable areas. All technologies I am currently using, or have used, and that I particularly enjoy are listed here.

Javascript
JavaScript
node.js
node.js
HTML5-CSS
HTML5/CSS3
Java
Java
TypeScript
TypeScript
cSharp
C#
jQuery
jQuery
Unit JS
Unit.js
LESS
LESS
SASS
SASS
Bootstrap
Bootstrap
Cordova
Cordova
MySQL
MySQL
APL
APL
Pick
Pick
DeltaStar
DeltaStar
CFS
CFS
Algol
Algol
COBOL
COBOL
JavaFX
JavaFX
RPG
RPG
Messenger
Messenger
C/C++
C/C++
PHP
PHP
Fortran
Fortran
Assembly
Assembly
Angular
Angular
Solr
Solr
Meteor
Meteor
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL
Linux
Linux
Shell
Shell
Solaris
Solaris
OS/400
OS/400
SunRay
SunRay
Apache
Apache
Tomcat
Tomcat
Python
Python
AWS
AWS
Prolog
Prolog
ZaraStar
ZaraStar
Oreddy
Oreddy
Couchbase
Couchbase
Lisp
Lisp
Adobe
Adobe CC
Singanix
Singanix
iotaWave
iotaWave
wit.ai
wit.ai
asterisk
Asterisk

Past Projects

Here are a few of the projects I have completed. These are notable for their scope.

London Banks London Banks

I've written AI-based prototypes that leverage traditional business mainframe computing infrastructure to integrate business data with advanced business process analysis. The application requirements analysis involved knowledge engineering.

Applications were written for the financial institutions of Commercial Union, NatWest Bank, and Morgan Stanley.
Oxford University Oxford University

The Surveyor's department of Oxford University is responsible for over 500 buildings across the collegiate university. They had an application based on a system known as Pick.

Working with the university people, I created a specification of how processes were currently handled; then analysed their operational needs (irrespective of how the system currently handled things). We then produced a new requirements specification, along with a feasibility study detailing how they could get from where they were, to where they wanted to be going forwards.

In the end, it was decided to replace the current hardware and software with a new networked-PC architecture. This involved migrating historical data and writing new software (and loads of documentation).
Code Migration Code Migration

DeltaStar was a software conversion tool that grew from a project to migrate software applications from one language to another. At its outset, from RPG to COBOL. I was managing director of the company that developed the product.

We grew in three directions: firstly, what started off as application code conversion, soon encompassed systems software and database procedures. Secondly, we moved from just two programming languages to many, including C and PL/1. And thirdly, we went international; with enquiries (and many projects) from over thirty countries.

We were supplied with (no-cost) hardware and software from IBM, Fujitsu, ICL, Sequent, DEC, Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems, Unisys, Wang, Oracle, Informix, and Ingres.

I led the team that developed the DeltaStar conversion software that allowed the migration of RPG II, RPG III, and (to an extent) RPG IV, applications to COBOL.
File System File System

When PCs became able to support the networked-Windows operating system, sizeable business applications had one major drawback: databases necessary to store business data performed very badly. The database software was written for much larger, more powerful, computers. The software licence fees required were also exorbitant for the SME market. It quickly became evident that our new CRM, inventory, and accounting package would need an alternative.

I took on the task of designing and building a fully functional, performant file system. The CFS file system was based on a reverse-engineered Btrieve architecture. It was written in C and was fast, and compact.
ERP Migration ERP Migration

Here's a typical case: My client, a $50 million a year turnover industrial company, had a requirement to move from an ERP system that had been in place for the best part of twenty years, to a replacement that would see them set for the future.

I performed a year-long detailed analysis of business operations; from accounts and purchasing, to warehousing and sales. In order to identify problem areas, and therefore areas which must be improved, a detailed analysis of business processes (within the overall business systems) is critical. The end-result was a comprehensive Requirements Specification. This specification was used to analyse potential ERP solutions. Of particular concern were timescales, budgets, and the need for additional customisation work to ensure that the new solution fitted the specification.

Working will all concerned parties, we evaluated possible replacement options before settling on SAP BusinessOne.
Data Migration Data Migration

During ERP migrations I am often required to write specialised programs that convert database records. Typically, I have migrated 50,000 SKUs, and fifteen years-worth of business documents: quotations, sales orders, picking lists, packing lists, delivery orders, sales invoices, purchase invoices, goods received notes, credit notes, receipts, and payments.

The biggest mistake that businesses make in upgrading systems is not putting enough effort into analysing the business information flows, before even exploring replacement systems. Management seem to make the assumption that an IT department understands detailed business requirements, and that replacement software is certain to meet those requirements.

In this case, my expertise is the ability to engage with levels of company staff, and understand each of their job requirements. I don't wear a suit.
TRFC Sports Digital Marketing

I was Head of Digital Marketing for the year that Singapore's top club travelled from Singapore to India to Vietnam to Malaysia to the Philippines (as part of our AFC Cup campaign). My team and I published over a thousand photographs and over a hundred videos covering travelling, behind-the-scenes, training, and match-day activities.

Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram marketing channels grew our average-1,000 match attendance to a full 5,000 attendance when we moved into our new stadium at the end of the year. These marketing and promotional activities involved supporters, youth, women, and senior players, as well as the alumni community; plus club management.
WebStore Boutique WebStore

I used programming APIs to upgrade an online sales business dramatically. This was achieved by writing specialist code to import 10,000 stock items into a database that sits behind an Internet webstore. The exciting thing here is not the ease of stock management but the use of APIs that link the sales module directly into eBay and PayPal.

Previously it took the business owner on average of 20 minutes to add an item to eBay; now they can do it in seconds. That is how you leverage eCommerce on the Internet. The business is now able to concentrate on building up their marketing network over social media. It is important to make use of the functionality that the big guys use.
APL London Financial

I spent a year in London working for the world's premier financial database company: I.P. Sharp Associates (subsequently taken over by Reuters). I was responsible for a complete re-write of their Eurocharts Customised Plotting System that was used by major financial institutions in the City of London.
WWW Wired With Wireless

In 2003, the Singapore government invested heavily in a mobile infrastructure program to boost the use of mobile devices and application usage. I put together a consortium that added mobile capabilities to the ZaraStar ERP system that we had developed. The consortium involved Palm Computing and three of our clients. Not only was our proposal accepted but we received the largest award of any of the thirty consortia.
Training Training

With my technical and operations knowledge, I have been able to formulate and present customised training courses to many clients; including Hitachi Chemicals and Yokogawa Electric.

In addition, I have taught degree level Business Information Systems and Computer Science at colleges.
Wilson Mobile

The Singapore car park operations company, Wilson Parking, needed specialist help in the design and development of a mobile solution that would allow the capture and subsequent analysis of car park attendance data. Running car parks for long-term contracts, on behalf of their owners, is a risky business.

I wrote the system that allowed workers to gather that data with mobile devices (this was in the days before mobile phones and the Internet) and upload it over its RS-232 serial port to an analysis system that calculated car park rates and charges to allow Wilson Parking to provide accurate quotations to the car park owners.
Wilson System Integration

When the Singapore government started the process of automating car park operation, I wrote code and integrated remote servers with real-time cameras. Every vehicle that enters a car park is photographed, and its details entered into a database (along with its in-car unique identification).
Video Arts Video Arts

The management training company founded by John Cleese needed software which would allow a trainee to control, through the swiping of barcodes, the playing of video sequences stored on laser discs (a forerunner of compact disks: CDs).

I designed and wrote the code that interfaced between the barcode input and the laser disc itself, over its RS-232 serial port. There were different (competing) standards that had to be supported - from Sony, Pioneer, and Philips. Written in C, the whole program suite had to reside in 4k of memory.
Linux Linux From Scratch

LFS is a set of documentation to build your own Linux OS distribution from source code.

I actually did this twice in three years. The first time took about three months; as did the second time (mainly because I went further by adding in many application programs, in addition to the base operating system).

The second creation was released to the local Singapore community as 'Singanix'. -- the first independent Linux distribution in the country.

At the time, we were working as partners with Sun Microsystems who had just released their Solaris operating system as OpenSolaris. However, not all our customers wanted to align themselves with Sun, so we had a demand for a customised Linux distribution. Singanix satisfied that need.
iotaWave iotaWave

In 2009, Google launched a platform that provided real-time conversational capabilities. Multiple users could see fellow conversationalists typing one character at a time. It was all very wild but it was clear that the code had been hacked together from multiple sources and was clunky and slow.

So, although the idea was very advanced, Google decided not to proceed with the project. They did, however, release the outline specifications and sponsor the open-source community to develop a replacement. After spending time with Google in San Francisco, I led the design and development of an open-source implementation.
Players! Players!

To learn the print magazine business, I co-published a sports magazine. In particular, how the marketing of a print-magazine could integrate with online marketing. At the presentation level, we were offering content in a printed form that could also be offered online. Players! was used in conjunction with a digital marketing campaign.

In the process I made extensive use of several Adobe CC software programs, including: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom.

Football

Photography

Over the past decade I have covered (as an AFC-accredited photographer) 1,000+ matches from schools, youth, and professional leagues, over south and south-east Asia.

Management

I was Team Manager of Singapore's Tampines Rovers Women's team; and Head of Marketing for the senior and youth teams; handling digital marketing, media relations, and community projects.

It was this interest in football and my own children's education that lead to the development of a range of apps (under the brand Oreddy).