About John Yokley
John Yokley is an engineering management and information technology (IT) consulting professional holding over three decades of experience. John Yokley began his career designing and building computer-based simulators and trainers for military applications in the ‘80s. Over the years John has combed his expertise in technological spaces with a keen sense of business savvy as he honed his skills in business development, delivering engineering strategies and innovative solutions for both small- and large-scale businesses.
John Yokley became the founder, President, and CEO of PTFS in 1995 with the vision of providing superior search and discover solutions to the rapidly expanding universe of mater that was being developed digitally and that was being digitized. In those days everyone wanted digital data but the vast majority of information was still physical. John helped advance the state-of-the-art with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Pattern Fuzzy Test) Search. OCR allows searchable data to be produced from scanned paper and Fuzzy Test Search allows OCRed data to be retrieved even when there are mistakes and the text is not 100% correct.
John’s first big break occurred just two years after PTFS was formed with a contract that was awarded by the Chicago Tribune. The Dotcom era was in full force and the Internet provided a mechanism for electronic distribution. Companies with content wanted to monetize their Intellectual Property by converting hard copy to searchable digital information. The Tribune had more than 5 million newspaper clippings dating from the early 1900s through December 1984 that were carefully organized in subject order that had been physically cut out of the printed paper by armies of librarians over the decades. The problem was that the clippings were all folded in 3”x6” envelopes, many were deteriorating and no equipment existed at the time to scan these rare and fragile clippings cost-effectively at high production rates. John used his mechanical engineering background with his IT experience and designed one of the first digital production lines of its kind. The production line performed prep, enhance, OCR, QC, and release. Vacuum-fed scanners were modified with modern 500DPI cameras to allow OCR to produce an acceptable quality image to obtain searchable text from clippings up to 150 years old. In addition, the first of its kind image enhancement software was developed to remove handwriting and stamped information on clippings that prevented the OCR software from doing a good job!
The Tribune also helped John invent one of the first newspaper digital content management systems which were named ArchivalWare. The system used an advanced pattern recognition search engine that supported fuzzy text searching to overcome OCR errors. The system provided the user the capability of searching for information using full-text searches (across the full text of clippings, front pages, death notices, and obituaries), searching on controlled metadata fields, or a combination of both.
After the Tribune project, John pulled from his expertise in developing creative strategies to address the needs of customers via cost-effective solutions for business by genericizing ArchivalWare to become a general-purpose content management system. John leveraged his knowledge and experience of the federal marketplace to provide the product to a host of new federal clients that were struggling with managing exponentially increasing amounts of information. . ArchivalWare was rebuilt on modern Java software and we rebranded as the Knowvation Content Services platform (CSP) in 2015 and now services more than 40 different federal government agencies as well as state and local and academic organizations.
John Yokley of PTFS holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in Engineering Administration from George Washington University. His educational background along with his rich experience in the industry has helped Mr. Yokley gain experience that includes bidding over 1,000 federal proposals and managing over 300 government contracts.
PTFS is a Content and Library Services Platform (CSP/LSP) provider that services defense, civilian, and federal agencies. The company is well-known in the industry for its core products Knowvation® and Bibliovation™ and has developed a reputation for its ability to assist businesses as they address their objectives. PTFS’s technology as well as its expert teams help businesses by enhancing the efficiency of their operations. On average, 24% of a business professional’s time is spent looking for information! PTFS recognized this issue when developing the Knowvation Content Services Platform. Knowvation solves the findability problem by using “federating” technology. This “one search finds all” capability provides intelligent search, thorough data discovery, and finds information that you didn’t even know you should be looking for.
The Bibliovation LSP is a new, web-based, easy to use, easy to manage, solution that cuts your maintenance costs, and increases your staff efficiency. Bibliovation’s simple, secure, and deeply functional LSP allows libraries to take complete control over all resources, including traditional catalog records, your subscription databases, and your scanned or born-digital electronic assets. The built-in discovery layer provides both staff and patrons with a modern web-based system that was built by librarians, for librarians.
John Yokley of PTFS Addresses Why Companies Benefit from Content Services Platform
John Yokley consistently speaks to how Content Services Platforms are important for businesses, especially organizations struggling to manage their information. Recognizing the diverse needs of businesses as they look to better streamline their methods for accessing content was a driving force for Mr. Yokley as he designed Knowvation in 2007- and since then the need for efficient platforms for managing and organizing diverse and disparate content has only increased.
Mr. Yokley notes that, while Content Services Platforms have only increased in relevancy as businesses shifted to more digital approaches over time, there are many people who are not fully informed on the benefits that these platforms can have of businesses large or small. Here, John Yokley of PTFS explores a few of the benefits Content Services Platforms provide for businesses as they work towards making necessary information more accessible.
Helps Companies Better Manage Workflow
One of the largest benefits of comprehensive Content Services Platforms is that they can help better manage workflow by freeing up administrative time among teams. Knowvation’s new Business Process (BP) workflow module is taking the next step in evolution by adding the power of business process management to an already dynamic and powerful solution. Knowvation business workflows can be applied in any instance. Fully or partially automated workflows can be customized to any specific need on an ad-hoc basis and easily managed by an agency or PTFS Engineers. Customers familiar with the Knowvation interface will feel comfortable knowing their workflows can be operated and maintained. A separate GUI-based interface is used to create and update business processes. Knowvation BP workflow functionality can be tightly integrated with existing applications using flexible Web Services. Knowvation BP integrates seamlessly with external services to retrieve data and drive business functions with full reporting and logging. Virtually any workflow can be automated in Knowvation BP.
Provides Features for Connecting Content Globally via One Search Finds All Capabilities
Many companies have difficulties finding the information needed for their work because they are using an enterprise content management concept. This points to the need for these businesses to have the means to access their data quickly and efficiently. Unique to the Knowvation Content Services Platforms is federating technology that discovers disparate and geographically dispersed data and builds a federated index. This allows businesses to connect and access data regardless of source, repository, or location. The “One search finds all” capability provided reduces the time needed to access crucial information by reducing the time and brainpower needed to find content across multiple systems.
Facilitates a Modern Infrastructure for Businesses
As companies grow and develop, the need for comprehensive solutions to manage their content for easy access increases. Content Services Platforms are a great way for these businesses to remain compliant by staying up to date with the leading technology for managing infrastructure. Knowvation utilizes modern technology to make non-searchable data searchable, giving the platform the ability to store data through embedded optical character recognition, geospatial search, and more. Because the Knowvation CSP was created and maintained with compliance in mind, these platforms are also excellent ways to mitigate compliance risks while helping companies make secure investments in their future development.
Includes Processes for Protecting Data
Information security is a notable priority for any company doing business in the digital age, and the process of moving documents to online databases can be a source of anxiety as they move to more modern, efficient ways to manage content. One of the benefits of the Knowvation Content Services Platform is to provide safe and secure hosting, which prevents sensitive documents and data from falling into the wrong hands. In addition to the technology needed for protecting data, John Yokley of PTFS recognizes that CSPs retain staff that has experience handling Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and sensitive data as well.
John Yokley realizes that there are many people out there who want to learn more about the robust business landscape for IT, engineering management, and the federal government marketplace. To this point, Mr. Yokley hopes to use this website as a resource for sharing information on his industry and areas of expertise to help those interested gain a more developed, high-level understanding of the tech space and its rapidly evolving needs.
Future posts will cover information such as steps for developing innovative engineering strategies for businesses, findability, government contracting 101 for small businesses, geospatially enabling non-geospatial data, the importance and the future of content management for both large and small businesses, handling highly sensitive data, and Artificial Intelligence and machine learning as it relates to big data archives. If you are interested in learning more about systems integration and content management solutions from a veteran in the industry, be sure to check back for more comprehensive posts from John Yokley of PTFS.