Founded in 1975 by Judson B. Van Dervort, Sr. “Keystone Data Systems” started as a regional “Microdata Realty” hardware re-seller (one of the first super-mini computers in production) and a service-oriented software developer / systems integrator for a variety of business uses, specializing in use of the “Pick” Multi-value database technology. Reincorporated as Keystone Information Systems in 1979, the company began to transition to other system platforms and also began its focus on packaged software solutions for the public school and local government business administration needs.
Keystone assets are its customers and employees, which have led to the scope and depth of application software we offer in our present markets today. Both groups have a long relationship with Keystone that is uncharacteristic in the volatile software industry. Keystone’s staff at all levels in the organization possess deep subject matter expertise, gained from personal involvement in automating our customers’ organizations. And many of our customers have been very collaborative and generous with their time and knowledge of their profession.
In 2005, upon Mr. Van Dervort, Sr.’s retirement, his son Judson, Jr. moved into the role of President/CEO, after 18 years’ service with the company in a variety of marketing, sales and management positions. An internal stock transition plan is in place as the company looks forward to building upon its strong foundation, and continuing to foster this successful community of employees and customers, highly beneficial to both groups over so many years.
Keystone’s Mission can be summed up as: “We want to exceed our clients’ best expectations.”
More specifically, it is:
Keystone’s management has as a core and guiding philosophy, the desire to provide highly efficient and cost-effective systems to our public sector customers. We view our customer’s successes with a source of pride, as if our own successes. Our focus on providing systems to smaller organizations is a source of pride for us, as we find we can provide comprehensive and practical systems to these lower-resourced organizations, effectively, and for an appropriate price point. As local taxpayers ourselves, we view this as a worthy pursuit and an accomplishment in every local community we serve.
With regard to our present product suite and market focus, Keystone has, over time, provided versions of Financial, Payroll, Human Resources, Tax and Utility Billing/Collection systems to over 150 school districts and local governments, ranging in size from 5,000 population to 250,000, and student enrollments of 200 to 20,000.
Also, with regard to our public sector markets, over time Keystone has also been involved in a greater number of states, and software applications. By the mid-2000’s we became convinced of the benefits in being focused on fewer differing needs (as occur in different state markets) and in becoming more expert in the state-specific needs of a limited set of states, while also refining our software to more acutely address those specific needs. The result is our present product set, and our current state/market focus. For many years Keystone also offered a comprehensive Student Administration software suite to its public-school customers, and a Public Safety software suite for local government use. For the ability to become stronger and more specialized, in 2005 Keystone ended marketing its Student Administration products, and in 2006 sold its Public Safety system division to the newly incorporated “Keystone Public Safety, Inc.
In 1998, Keystone had acquired from EDS, (Plano TX) the assets of the former "Infocel Inc.", a Raleigh, N.C.-based mid-range local government business unit, and a former competitor. This move resulted in a significant increase in Keystone's local government presence and a new-found presence in the states of North Carolina and Virginia, as well as some functionally-mature software applications we did not already possess in Land and Real and Personal Property Tax Assessment, Billing and Collection, (which was also developed using our same basis, Multi-value technology). Along with this acquisition came several expert employees who began Keystone’s local office presence in the great state of North Carolina. By 2002, Keystone had applied its modernization tools to the Land and Tax software, deploying a Windows Client graphical interface and web browser extensions, and re-deploying onto the Windows Server platform, and integrated these applications with our FIS and KEMS product suites while not sacrificing proven and state-specific business logic. It is from this basis product that we have moved forward with offering our “PAAS” property tax applications in the markets of North Carolina and Virginia.
Throughout its history, Keystone has also maintained a base of non-public sector clients who look to Keystone for technical consulting and application development services. Keystone continues to be one of the nation’s most experienced and respected consulting houses in the "Multi-value" relational databases, and especially the “U2" products now of Rocket Software
Keystone’s products and our services to implement and support enterprise-wide information management systems, have proven effective in a variety of customer organizations.
Our current software products have been installed in multiple states, meeting state, and local standards and requirements.
Keystone’s customers today fall mostly into the following size ranges, however, there are examples of successful implementations on either side of these ranges.
- Public School Districts with a student enrollment between 1,000 and 20,000
- Municipalities and County Governments with populations between 10,000 and 150,000
- Taxing authorities with parcel counts between 10,000 and 100,000
Here is what some of our customers have said about us:
Director of Business Services, 2,000 student Pennsylvania School District
Director of Business Services, 6,000 student Missouri School District
Finance Director, Virginia County government with 60,000 population
Business Administrator, 2,000 student New Jersey school district
Director of High School Guidance, 5,000 student Pennsylvania school district
Tax Administrator for a North Carolina County with over 40,000 parcel count
Along with a supportive customer base, Keystone’s greatest assets are its employees. Keystone benefits from a higher than average retention rate of employees with its average employee having a greater than five year tenure with the company.
Keystone’s staff, at all levels in the organization, is a technically oriented group of professionals with deep subject matter expertise in their application areas of specialization. Nearly all employees have some level of interaction with our customers during a system implementation and/or on-going support and product enhancement activity.
Keystone has employed an on staff CPA for over twenty years with duties that include product planning review and input, and direct client consultation and support of specific financial and reporting needs.
Keystone also retains the services of two retired, certified school business administrators (one from Pennsylvania and one from Missouri) as well as a retired County Tax Administrator from North Carolina.
It is not uncommon for previous users of Keystone products to join us as full or part time employees or consultants, which not only provides us with invaluable insight for the betterment of our products and services, but also offers a testimony of the quality of relationship that Keystone enjoys with its clients.
Keystone successfully transitioned to the next generation of management in 2005 with Judson B. Van Dervort, Jr. taking the role of President and CEO. Judd had spent the previous 18 years, since 1987, working for Keystone in a variety of sales, marketing and management roles. Judd is the son of Keystone’s founder, Judson B. Van Dervort, Sr. An internal stock transition plan is in place as the company looks forward to building upon its strong foundation, and continuing to foster its successful community of employees and customers, highly beneficial to both groups over so many years.
Keystone’s Senior Vice President for Product Development is Stephen D. Juliana. Steve joined Keystone in 1984, just out of college, and quickly became one of Keystone’s lead technical personnel. Over the course of more than twenty years, Steve became the key designer and developer of a number of Keystone’s major product sets. Steve has held a variety of management positions and today is responsible for oversight of all product development, and is a shareholder in the corporation.
Keystone’s Vice President for Client Services is Michael J. Liggera. Mike joined Keystone in 2007 to head up customer relationships, project administration, implementations and support operations, which includes oversight of Keystone’s “Client Care” support team. Mike has a degree in computer science and a background in large scale system development and implementation projects.
To act on its mission, "To draw upon our deep experience…using the best and most appropriate technologies, to provide our customers with functionally superior, efficient, and cost effective information management systems," Keystone integrates the application software products we develop, with other "best of breed" products and services available in our markets.
With a combination of re-seller agreements, formal business partnerships, and some more casual business referral arrangements, Keystone places before our customers the best and most appropriate products and services to meet their needs and to complete and compliment a Keystone system.