Progressive Technology Federal Systems, Inc. (PTFS): Advancing the State-of-the-Art of Content Management with Exclusive and Efficient New Offerings

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Best known for providing knowledge management, geospatial, and declassification solutions, Progressive Technology Federal Systems, Inc. (PTFS) was founded in 1995 by John Yokley to serve Federal customers’ Content Management, Digitization, System Integration, and Technical Support needs. John co-founded PTFS and has served as President and CEO of PTFS since the company was founded.  He has a long history of successfully developing creative strategies and translating them into cost-effective solutions like Content Services Platforms (CSPs).

TechTarget defines CSPs as:

A Content Services Platform is cloud-based SaaS software that enables users to create, share, collaborate on and store text, audio, and video content. Content Services Platform, or CSP, (not to be confused with the cloud service provider) is a relatively new term that is gaining acceptance as a successor to Enterprise Content Management software.


Fueling Vision to Shape Future

John (BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland and an MS in Engineering Administration from George Washington University) began his career designing and building computer-based simulators and trainers for military applications and subsequently worked as the director of business development for a small defense contractor.

In 1997, just two years after PTFS was formed, the Chicago Tribune awarded PTFS a contract to convert more than 5 million physical newspaper clippings organized by subject order and physically cut out of printed pages to digital media.  The Tribune wanted to monetize its Intellectual Property by converting hard copy content to searchable digital information, so John transformed ArchivalWare into one of the first newspaper digital content management systems. Using an advanced pattern recognition search engine, now web-based end users could find information from the full text of clippings, front pages, obituaries, and more.

In 2015, ArchivalWare was rebuilt, redesigned, and rebranded as Knowvation™ –a portmanteau of Knowledge and Innovation to support modern Content Services Platform (CSP) requirements.  The result was an affordable, general-purpose CSP that can support almost any content management requirement. In 2010, PTFS purchased LibLime with its significant Integrated Library System development experience, brand recognition, and talented staff leading to the development of the Bibliovation™ Library Service Platform (LSP) a web-based, easy-to-use solution reducing customers’ maintenance costs and increasing their efficiency.

Today, PTFS is well-known in the industry for its core, efficiency-increasing products: Knowvation and Bibliovation, which developed PTFS a reputation for accelerating business objectives cost-effectively.

CSPs Efficiently Managing Information

CSPs have only increased in relevancy as the digital transformation of businesses has occurred. Many businesses large and small are not fully informed of the benefits of these platforms. Below are some of the benefits of CSPs as they make vital information readily accessible.

Help Companies Implement Digital Workflow

CSPs can provide data used in automated workflow processes freeing up administrative time. Knowvation’s new Business Process (BP) module fully or partially automates workflows customized to specific requirements and easily managed by the company or PTFS Engineers. Knowvation BP integrates seamlessly with external services and any of the Knowvation family of CSP products.

Provide a Solution for Combining an Organizations Dispersed Data and Information

On average, 24% of a business professional’s time is spent looking for information! Unique to the Knowvation CSPs is federating technology that discovers disparate and geographically dispersed data and builds a federated index. Businesses can connect and access data regardless of source, repository, or location through an easy-to-use GUI. Federating technology reduces the time needed to access crucial information by reducing the time and effort required to find content across multiple repositories.

Facilitate a Modern Infrastructure for Businesses

As companies perform digital transformation and as the quantity of information they produce grows rapidly the need for comprehensive solutions to manage their data becomes more and more important.  Companies need to understand all the information they produce to:

  • Prevent duplication of efforts
  • Leverage reuse
  • Collaborate in the creation, editing, and production of new digital content
  • Save time with efficient data discovery
  • Leverage automated, data-driven workflow processes
  • Allow the organization to understand their complete data picture
  • Provides a platform for analytics of all the data that make up that picture
  • Provide a mechanism for Data governance and records management with compliance mechanisms

Knowvation utilizes modern technology to make non-searchable data searchable. Federating technology provides a complete picture of the organizations’ data. Knowvation CSP was created with compliance in mind, so the platform is also an excellent way to mitigate compliance risks while helping companies make secure future investments in development.

Include Processes for Protecting Data

Moving physical documents to online repositories can be a source of anxiety as organizations move to use modern, efficient ways to manage content. In this regard, PTFS has built Knowvation DX™: a product that finds and redacts Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI). Knowvation DX is a document sanitization workflow software solution combining Knowvation with advanced semantic indexing and workflow tools to enhance document and information security. The development of Knowvation DX is a result of PTFS’ experience meeting requirements from the DoD and other Federal agencies for PII removal, declassification, and FOIA operations.             

Utilizing the Vision for Success

Knowvation and Bibliovation were built around the importance of users finding full data sets of information quickly and efficiently while supporting the needs of users performing research and analysts developing analytics.

Distinguished by Advantageous Offerings

Currently, PTFS is marketing 4 unique Knowvation software solutions: Knowvation Core, Knowvation GS™ (a world-class enterprise geospatial CSP), Knowvation DX™ (increasing the speed and accuracy of PII/PHA identification and redaction and FOIA/Declassification processes) and Knowvation RM™ (providing the next generation of records management using records governance).

The Bibliovation LSP was designed specifically for libraries and information resource centers; it’s simple to use, powerful search and browse tools to reach a library’s full universe of physical and digital assets. It transforms the frustration of multiple database searches for physical and digital content into a single search combining relevant results from unified indexes, independent databases, library catalogs, and local digital collections.

Dominating Competition in Domain Areas

PTFS’s Geospatial Content Services Platform, Knowvation GS CSP has dominated the competition.  The ability to geo-tag non-geospatial data in combination with full-text and geospatial queries sets Knowvation GS apart. Knowvation query tools include Pattern, Concept, or Boolean search that works across full text and metadata and is integrated with geospatial search. Intuitive interfaces find data fast resulting in more time to analyze information.   Geospatial analysts can then develop better decisions and high-quality geospatial products quickly and accurately. In 2021, PTFS was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the USAF to add Taxonomy/Ontology capability, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning (AI/ML) to Knowvation GS. 

Continuing Strategic Investments in Future

In the past few years, PTFS continued to make strategic investments in software product development.  The company has several upcoming products currently in the design works:

  • Retriever is a stand-alone Knowvation build deployed on desktops, laptops, and mobile tablets providing users access to Knowvation functionality with no connectivity required for emergency responders, utility crews, military special forces, and more. Records are then synchronized with the Knowvation cloud or network servers, ensuring seamless access to data.
  • Knowvation BP enables organizations to automate business workflows including document creation, editing, data retrieval from outside sources, automated and manual approval processes, alerting and communication, employee tasking, and more.
  • Knowvation RM adds scheduling capabilities to manage document life cycles of any type. It is flexible and can be configured with any disposition schedule or workflow, even after deployment, ensuring compliance with any current or future records management requirements.
  • PTFS’s Bibliovation PAC-RMS is a cloud-based service for public, non-profit, and academic libraries to pro-actively engage with their patrons and to find and engage non-users of the libraries –to make more patrons.
  • Knowvation Capture is a tightly integrated digitization solution that converts paper to searchable digital files while auto-generating metadata in the process.

How to Become One of the Leading Companies in the Industry?

Work to live don’t live to work!  After 26 years in business at PTFS, John Yokley has found that employees who have outside interests, hobbies, and families are happier and more productive when working.  “I tell employees that your family is #1 but work should be a close second”, John stated. When the benefits of good compensation are combined with employees that can enjoy life employee engagement and enhanced productivity are the result.

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