[Xtern Software] Our work with Community Housing Solutions

We are thrilled to be one of the sponsors of Community Housing Solutions’ signature yearly event, the Ambassadors Breakfast. 

The mission of CHS is “to make Guilford County homes warmer, drier and safer by providing repairs and ownership opportunities to low-income homeowners.”

In addition to event sponsorship, Xtern recently partnered with CHS on a custom software project. CHS Executive Director Gene Brown and Xtern founder Keir Davis met at a Summit Rotary chapter event. It became apparent that a custom software solution could end Brown’s software search of eight years. It was cost-effective and also developed locally, a huge bonus. 

Project details

The Xtern Software team built a database to track needed information for home repairs. Typically, this type of database is costly and inflexible. Xtern created a database that links three categories together in a flexible manner — Home, Homeowner, and Project. The result is a nimble database that can track multiple projects for a given homeowner or change the homeowner on a particular home. From there, CHS utilizes its skilled construction staff to lead over 900 volunteers each year. This team repairs more than 150 homes, investing over $900,000 in preserving homeownership.

The database is accessible by various user types with various permission levels. The result is that employees can access applicable secure client information. CHS can now access records from outside the walls of their office. And employees have appropriate and applicable access for each type of user.

The result

The improvements have been vital to the success of the organization during the pandemic. With staff working remotely, ordinarily this type of work would have ground to a halt. Instead, work can continue seamlessly, with staff able to access homeowner information, work write-ups, and pictures. 

Kudos to CHS for providing vital services to our community!

[Xtern Software] Cybersecurity Community Challenge

We are looking forward to participating in this year’s tech challenge, hosted by Campus Greensboro. This year’s theme is cybersecurity. We had the opportunity to volunteer for last year’s inaugural challenge, which focused on FinTech.

The Cybersecurity Community Challenge is a virtual, week-long event in which college students studying computer science, information sciences, analytics, engineering, and law/ethics work collaboratively and intensively on a community-minded Greensboro challenge. Throughout the week, local industry leaders will be presenting workshops on trends within the field.

The format is the same — a team of college students (this time, from GTCC) work together, with assistance from their “Sucess Squad.” Success Squads are teams of local professionals volunteering their time and expertise. Xtern Software serves on the GTCC team’s Success Squad, along with a cyber security expert from VF Corp. 

The challenge 

There are two challenges available. One was created with the assistance of the city of Greensboro and focuses on the impact of AI transportation technology and its effect on the county’s citizens. The other was created with the assistance of Guilford County and focuses on phishing emails and their effect on the county’s health department. Our team received the second challenge. 

The Scoring

Teams are scored on the following:

·        Utilization of cybersecurity research and methodology

·        Impact on city/county and community

·        Level of innovation and uniqueness

·        Overall effectiveness of the presentation

·        Engagement throughout the challenge (based on attendance at events)

The winners will be announced at the closing ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday, November 16th. Good luck team GTCC and we are looking forward to working with you!

[Xtern Software] Presenting at Fourth Shift Summit

A few weeks back, we had the opportunity to present at Fourth Shift Summit, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Fourth Shift Summit is a conference focused on manufacturing technology. The conference is put on by our business partner, Innovative Consulting Group. The core audience is manufacturers of various types who use an ERP called Fourth Shift. 

Xtern has roots in Fourth Shift and manufacturing. Our founder, Keir, wrote a number of ERP programs prior to establishing Xtern. Keir met ICG founder, Jeff Bronson, 15 years ago, and began collaborating on products designed to enhance Fourth Shift. In the years that followed, Xtern Software created a number of companion software products for Fourth Shift. These include Sales Manager, Options Assistant, Quote2Order, and RMA Assistant. 

These programs are still in use and Xtern continues to work with many customers in manufacturing. In the meantime, Xtern expanded its scope and expertise. The purpose of this presentation was to share new companion products that may benefit Fourth Shift users, such as: 


HarmonyB2B: HarmonyB2B was designed to meet the very specific needs of B2B customers and is the fastest growing eCommerce platform for Fourth Shift.

CruxDB: CruxDB web-enables legacy ERPs. It is a cloud-based database that provides the foundation for HarmonyB2B.

HaystackCRM: HaystackCRM is the only fully integrated CRM for Fourth Shift. It has a modern, mobile-first platform designed to leverage and access relationship management data on the go.

We were also able to share our new B2B-Focused Digital Marketing service:


B2B Marketing Consulting: Xtern Software offers B2B marketing consulting, alongside our custom software development. This means that all components of a project work together, without needing to pull in additional costly resources.

It was great to share these new products and services at Fourth Shift Summit! We appreciated getting to see current customers and other folks we have collaborated with over the years. Thanks, ICG, for a great event!