The History of FCI

In the Beginning

R. Joseph (“Joe”) Dale founded Formula Consultants Incorporated in 1978. Immediately prior to that, he was the Chief of Technical Planning and Integration for the County of Los Angeles Data Processing Department, and so he invited some of his colleagues to join him in his new venture. Their first contracts were for COBOL application programming on Sperry mainframes. Soon FCI had acquired the rights to a software tape management system. Joe and his team built it out, documented it and marketed it to become the preeminent package of its kind in the 2200 community. For many customers it became a crucial part of their operating environment.

Concurrently, the growing cadre of FCI developers was also helping other Southern California clients—such as CalFed—achieve their ambitious goals. FCI became known as a company of bright, energetic experts who solved technically challenging problems in the Unisys operating system and application areas—and the company’s reputation for excellence quickly spread throughout the industry.

The Middle Years

Having established itself as best among a handful of nationally known independent software providers for Unisys 2200, FCI attracted the attention of Teradata and StorageTek. Both of these large computer equipment manufacturers wanted to attach their specialty peripheral devices to the Unisys 2200 and A Series mainframes. Working as a remote engineering extension to both firms, FCI successfully integrated these innovative storage products with the Unisys mainframes. FCI’s involvement in product development, integration, documentation, training, consulting and marketing side-by-side with these two vendors helped them both achieve business success on a grand scale.

The Teradata project lasted seven years, while FCI’s partnership with StorageTek continues successfully to this day. During the course of these two projects—both of which had multiple product deliverables—FCI demonstrated the following key strengths:

  • Solving highly technical challenges such as modifying the mainframe operating systems and adapting university code to build the first commercial 2200 TCP/IP stack.
  • Building internal teams in documentation, quality assurance, and training to further off-load the client.
  • Adapting to the client’s engineering practices to achieve the highest levels of quality.
  • Going on the road with the client’s marketing and sales teams to ensure a vigorous business success for the client.
  • Helping clients expand their product offering to generate additional revenues.

Also during this period in technology advancement, several industry trends emerged: vendors and platforms converged into heterogeneous, ad-hoc standards; computing functions migrated toward PC-based, open-systems platforms; and previously-local computing functions proliferated and thrived on the Internet and World Wide Web.FCI’s projects and consulting have embraced all three of these trends, helping customers to not only stay current, but anticipate future industry developments.

The Road Ahead

FCI is not a company that focuses on problems that can be solved by off-the-shelf packages and “cookie-cutter” development techniques. The FCI Team thrives on the challenge of providing unique, customer-centered solutions and the learning process that such an enterprise inevitably entails. FCI Team members are continually expanding their knowledge base to maintain their position in the forefront of emerging technology.

If your problem seems insurmountable due to its absolute uniqueness and large-scale complexity, then . . . 

it’s time to call FCI !