Citizen Developer Spotlight: ColoAdvisor


Data is the new currency. Sure, we tie it to monetary values and pretend like money is the endgame, but data is the real king. We seek storage space that is cool, comfortable and dry and protect it with layered virtual armies who are always increasing their arsenal. For data center real estate company, ColoAdvisor, finding the right safe space for their client’s data also meant simplified management of their own internal information. And by joining the Citizen Developer movement, ColoAdvisor was able to fund two years of a new online database system equal to the cost of just one major change from their database architect.

The long way ‘round

Founded in 2007, this Livingston, NJ based agency takes their client’s ‘must have’ lists, and personally interviews and vets potential data storage centers. In the beginning, the company achieved this goal by tracking interview and search data about potential storage centers in Excel. After suffering from the fatigue and omissions that inevitably accompany manual data entry, ColoAdvisor co-founder, Shirin Elkoshairi, moved to FileMaker. But according to Elkoshairi, “Every time I got another idea or I needed a new table or a field, I had to go back to a developer and that was slow and costly. If there were certain fundamental things I left out of my database diagram for our developer, it limited what I was able to do with that data in the future.”

The ripple effect

After slow developer turnaround times and sticky work arounds, Elkoshairi hit a turning point. One day he deleted an empty record only to find the changed eliminated an entire search field. Unable to roll the database back one hour, Elkoshairi was forced to go back to the previous day’s version. This simple deletion of an empty record caused the loss of some 400 changes—an unwlecome ripple effect indeed.

“We were never going to be as good of a company to our clients if we always needed someone to help us with our database,” says Elkoshairi.

After again exploring new options, ColoAdvisor tapped TrackVia to build the simple, user-friendly applications the company needed to be at the top of their game. Suddenly users could add fields and make changes on a whim while receiving expert guidance and support the same day. Free working sessions with TrackVia Account Execs and Solutions Architects helped Elkoshairi and his teams build solid skills that didn’t leave them at the mercy of a developer. “After those combined sessions I felt like I could do it myself”, says Elkoshairi.

Citizen Developers rejoice!

Today, ColoAdvisor has been using TrackVia service for 25 months for the cost of one major change with their old DBA. An everyday component of their business operations, TrackVia helps ColoAdvisor understand the products, people and countries that are a good fit for their clients before a single phone call is ever placed. Now adept Citizen Developers, ColoAdvisor is using TrackVia to constantly gather and capture data center information to use in the future for all of their clients. This makes the entire process much less overwhelming for the client and the company. 

To learn more about Citizen Developer, ColoAdvisor, and their deployment of TrackVia, click here