CASE STUDIES

Family-owned Productive Computing celebrates 24 years of growth and success with the Claris Platform.

A balanced family business 

Shortly after Marc launched Productive Computing, his brother Keith joined the company. In 1998 Keith led the effort for Productive Computing to become a Claris Partner.

“We both run the business, but Keith really runs it," Marc says. “I play jazz by ear, while Keith spent time in the military and plays music from the sheet — that basically illustrates the balance he brings to our company. His philosophy is, ‘If you're going to do something, get the credentials. Do it all the way.’ So, we became a Claris Partner very early on.” 

Claris Partners enjoy benefits ranging from exclusive sales and marketing support to product discounts, co-marketing opportunities, training, promotional benefits, and more. 

In Marc’s view, connecting directly with Claris serves as one of the largest benefits of the partnership.

“It’s so rewarding because they give you a voice,” he notes. “And if you exercise that voice by interacting with the Claris Platform engineers and offering feedback on early features, you have a unique opportunity to impact the products.”

Under the leadership of the Larochelle brothers, the family business has grown steadily over the past 24 years.

Today, the San Diego-based company has 20 full-time employees.

Their client list remains varied, but some projects are special.

One project the brothers are especially proud of is Vessel Service Solutions, a boat assistance dispatch and management product they created. Today, it’s used by dozens of companies and hundreds of towboats across the United States — from those dispatched into the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, to towboats that work on the Mississippi River and Lake Superior. 

“It’s a virtual command center that helps towboat captains manage jobs when they’re called upon to rescue ships at sea,” Marc says. “Before FileMaker, a lot of these captains wrote their logs by hand. They’d go out to sea and have paper flying in the wind, getting wet. A lot of times, they'd lose the paperwork or end up with something smudged and unreadable. And it would cost them money.”

Productive Computing built a custom app to help captains flawlessly manage rescues from waterproofed iPad devices. 

“The app even works without the internet when they’re at sea,” Marc says. “Going paperless has solved so many problems for people all over that industry.”

New adventures in education

As lifelong learners, the Larochelle brothers thrive on the next big challenge. In 2016, Marc had a lightbulb moment while taking a course about Amazon Web Services (AWS) through the online learning platform Udemy.

What if Productive Computing could offer an education hub to teach other developers about Claris FileMaker? 

“I said, ‘‘We don’t have this exact thing in our industry -- a specific course to train and prepare Claris Developers for Certification,’” Marc says. “I wanted to bring that to the Claris Community, and that’s when the work began.”

One year after Marc’s big idea, Productive Computing launched Productive Computing University, a comprehensive, in-depth training about advanced Claris FileMaker capabilities targeted to new and existing developers. Their content is also available on a popular YouTube channel.

Productive Computing University offers online courses like Claris Connect Fundamentals, BaseElements Mastery, and FileMaker Certification Preparation, among others. 

Earlier this year, at the 25th-annual Claris Engage Conference, Claris awarded Productive Computing the 2020 Excellence Award for Education

“Getting that award was tremendous,” Marc says. “Of course, it shines a light on what we’re doing now in education, so it’s great from a promotional standpoint. But more than that, it’s personally rewarding to see a dream I accomplished being recognized by Claris.”

Marc is proud of what he’s built.

"We may not be the biggest company," he says. "But I’m proud of building a family business. I'm proud we've remained profitable, successful, and committed to integrity, and I’m proud that we’ve helped so many people use the Claris Platform."

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