Roba Realty

David Chapman

Factomize
Thank you for the application. To get started:

A.
Roba has also formed key strategic partnerships to help promote the Factom protocol to the widest audience possible. We have partnered with DGC international, an international company that provides services in logistics, transportation, construction, training, education and research. DGC International is a leading U.S. prime government contractor who has been awarded over 200 million dollars in contracts throughout the last several years and was ranked 20 on INC. Magazine’s 5000's list of 2017 fastest growing companies. Roba also has consulting agreements in place with experts in the areas of healthcare, cybersecurity and marketing. We will leverage these consulting agreements to pursue specific opportunities in these areas, using this expertise on an ad-hoc basis when needed to minimize overall costs and maximize the value of our consultants’ time.
Was the partnership with DGC International formed after you began looking to run an Authority Node and it is specifically related to utilizing the Factom Protocol?

How will you leverage your existing consulting agreements in a manner that will be beneficial to the Factom Protocol?
 

David Chapman

Factomize
C.
A primary mid-term opportunity is promoting the Factom
protocol to help modernize property and land records. Specifically, Roba has leveraged its
experience and contacts in Kabul, Afghanistan to pursue applying the Factom protocol for property
and land records across Afghanistan.
Your campaign document outlines how Mr. Hakim had to travel to Afghanistan and find someone who had an old crumpled up piece of paper that proved his ownership of land. How do you see the Factom protocol helping resolve this problem?
 
B. What pros and cons (if any) do you see operating an Authority Node as an S Corp with multiple owners?
We think the fact that an S-corp eliminates double taxation is a strong plus. Since the profits and loses are passed to shareholders, taxation occurs only once. This leads to more revenue being available for our authority node, and more for development and promotional purposes. The potential downside is the fact that shareholders are required to have salary requirements. While in the past several S-corps would pay their shareholders a "0" salary, this is ill advised. Naturally, if the price of factoids is very low, we would like to have the option of holding off on salary payments, with an S corp, this can be more difficult. That being said, Roba has only 1 shareholder, so we believe this is manageable.
 
Thank you for the application. To get started:

A.

Was the partnership with DGC International formed after you began looking to run an Authority Node and it is specifically related to utilizing the Factom Protocol?

How will you leverage your existing consulting agreements in a manner that will be beneficial to the Factom Protocol?
Roba formed the partnership with DGC after we decided to pursue an authority node. The CEO of Roba, has a personal friendship/relationship with the CEO of DGC. They knew each other long before either of them had their own companies. We are hoping to use DGC in a specific capacity that deals with land records in Afghanistan. DGC has extensive experience working in Afghanistan and has strong connections there.

In terms of our consulting agreements we intend to use them in a variety of ways. We want to leverage them in ways that will help us with introductions and ways that will better educate us on potential blockchain opportunities. For example, we hired a proposal writer to help us with our campaign document. We have used his services for several years, in addition to being a part time proposal writer he is a solutions architect for a government contractor with years of experience in the healthcare industry. Our agreement with him not only includes proposal services for things like federal grants, but also an educational element. He understands what the healthcare's industry's attitude toward blockchain is, and he has specifically worked with and written proposals for agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). We intend to use his insight to better understand where we should be focusing some of our attention and resources, and we hope to leverage his federal proposal writing skills for targeted opportunities. We are seeing more and more federal and state/local agencies receptive to blockchain technology. DHS has already been working with the Factom protocol for two years, our intention with some of our agreements is to further penetrate this environment and introduce the Factom protocol to more players.
 
C.

Your campaign document outlines how Mr. Hakim had to travel to Afghanistan and find someone who had an old crumpled up piece of paper that proved his ownership of land. How do you see the Factom protocol helping resolve this problem?
Our intention with that story was to show three things:
1. The current system is archaic and in desperate need of change.
2. There is a real appetite for change coming from high levels (https://www.tolonews.com/index.php/afghanistan/govt-defines-first-ever-five-year-land-rights-policy)
3. We have first hand experience with this issue, and understand just how inefficient and frustrating the process of proving land ownership is.

We would want to use the Factom protocol to build a proof of concept in a small area first.

If the countries land records were verifiable through blockchain based technology like Factom's, it would cut down the process significantly. Nothing is electronically stored, its all hand written and there has to be an authorized 3rd party present in the flesh, as you buy/sell your land. You also better make sure you either have the original certificate, or remember very specific information down to the courthouse that has a duplicate certificate. This verification and retrieval process is very time consuming and has resulted in many people losing their land. If the land records were stored and verified using blockchain, it would be as simple as making sure the cryptographic hashes match. This endeavor would of course be far from simple, but we believe we have the connections and ability to attempt to pursue it
 

Matt Osborne

Go Immutable
Exchange Working Group
Legal Working Group
Secondly, we have found and reached out to a reputable OTC provider and confirmed that they support FCT transactions.
Hi Ohakim. Which OTC providers have you reached out to? Thanks you
 

Matt Osborne

Go Immutable
Exchange Working Group
Legal Working Group
By being a part of the Factom community, as well as an
established real estate firm, we strongly believe that we can
introduce the Factom protocol to the local, as well as the
national real estate industry.
How do you envision real estate agents using Factom?
 
How do you envision real estate agents using Factom?
Roba see multiple ways real estate agents can benefit by using the factom protocol:



1. Performing a title search and documenting title records is part of every real estate transaction, it is done after agents, buyers, and sellers spend weeks finding a property, negotiating price, ratifying a contract. It is not uncommon for real estate deals to completely fall apart for issues with title. With the fragmented way of title records (in various court houses), agents and buyer rely on expensive settlement companies to perform the tedious task of performing a title search and documenting history. A Factom based blockchain title recording system will enable agents, brokers, or anyone else to perform a simple search and see title history and save many of hours of time and money. Cook County, Illinois is one of the very first counties in United States to test block chain based methods for title records.
http://cookrecorder.com/ccrd-releases-blockchain-pilot-final-report/
https://illinoisblockchain.tech/blockchain-cook-county-final-report-1f56ab3bf89

To quote from the after action report "
CCRD has successfully used components of blockchain technology (file hashing and Merkle trees) to secure government records on a site maintained by an authorized non-government reseller."

There is a real need and market for blockchain based solutions in this field, and small proof of concepts are happening around the country, with positive results.

2. Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is realtors’ main software/database. MLS contains listing, client, commission, tax and many more details; however, MLS is extremely defragmented, and mostly restricted from non-agents users. A Factom Based blockchain solution can pull public data from fragmented MLS systems and publish a ledger of information that can you be used/viewed by anyone.


3. Smart Contracts: Settlement companies exist mostly for one reason, to be the independent trusted third parties to close a sale. They are trusted with the funds transfer of title activities. While settlement companies are an absolute necessity today; this very expensive service can be improved or even replaced by a Factom based solution where terms are executed by smart contracts.
 
Hi Ohakim. Which OTC providers have you reached out to? Thanks you
We reached out to one particular OTC provider, thanks to a tip from a Factom community member, and confirmed they place FCT orders. This company has not publicly stated that support FCT transactions, so in order to respect their privacy we would prefer not to out them in a public forum. We would be happy to share this information with the selected authority operators who are interested in OTC transactions.

I am elaborating more on this in a private message to MattO and Dchapman
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
Thank you for your application

NK01)
Roba has been involved with the test net community and has run both an audit and federated server with over 99% uptime.
Since you mentioned it. Could you be a little more specific? What is the exact amount and how did you measure it?

Ok later you mention 99,9%. Could you still answer the above questions?
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
NK02)
Could you elaborate on the production servers your team has managed (amounts, OS-types, purpose)?
From your answer to the above question and your application document the following things are not clear to me:

How many years of Linux administration does your team have?

Which 2 team members will perform the system administrations (one is obvious to me)? Please include the amount of years of experience
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
NK03)
We will have 3 POCs available for contact through email and phone and have all members of our core team capable of handling network issues. We will also have a 24/7 specialized company monitoring our servers, who will be capable of coordinating restarts and updating servers as needed.
Could you be exact about "handling network issues"?
Could you also be exact about the 24/7 company. You are talking about servers. Are we talking about Factom for instance? If yes, how do you make sure these people know what to do?
 
Thank you for your application

NK01)

Since you mentioned it. Could you be a little more specific? What is the exact amount and how did you measure it?

Ok later you mention 99,9%. Could you still answer the above questions?
We are running an instance on AWS, according to our dashboard we have been up since 02/28/2018, during this time period our server has been up continuously, except for times when we had to do take it offline for scheduled updates, or network issues such as stalls. Our testnet server is in the Ohio region, and there have been no downtimes in that region since we have been up and running, that is how we calculated the 99.9%. Please let us know if this answers your question
 
NK04)
How are you notified in case there are troubles with your servers?
For our testnet server we have alerts and monitoring enabled on our AWS dashboard, in case of any issues in that region. We have also monitored our server through Factom community resources such as the slack channels, telegram alerts and factoid.org. We hope for the main net and in addition to all this, the community can agree on some sort of mechanism that sends alerts to all poc's to multiple devices such as phone/email in case of server troubles/necessary updates.

Our notifications through AWS includes something we setup called, CloudWatchAlarms, and informs us if there is any issues on our instance and Ubuntu server.

if CPU usage goes above 40 to 50% we get an alert and same with memory and storage
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
Thank you. Please do not forget NK02 and NK04

You mention some potential development projects in your application. I see also development experience in your team introduction.

NK05)
Do you have experience developing applications, it's project management and budgets in house?

NK06)
You mention several external grants. Will you be using node income and/or grants from the pool as well?
 

David Chapman

Factomize
D. Let's say you get an Authority Node. How it performs will be easy to monitor. However, as part of your campaign you also discuss additional consulting/development/marketing type work which is important despite your single node Efficiency being set at 50%. The Standing Parties will likely want to see what progress you're making since it was part of your campaign. My questions are:

1. How would you communicate with the Standing Parties. Examples would be blog, twitter, Discord, Reddit, etc.
2. What would you communicate and how often?
3. What metrics should be used to gauge your success?
 
NK02)

From your answer to the above question and your application document the following things are not clear to me:

How many years of Linux administration does your team have?

Which 2 team members will perform the system administrations (one is obvious to me)? Please include the amount of years of experience

Our system admin who has been managing our authority node has previous experience with Unix. He has two years of experience with a unix based IBM system in a data center at the American Red Cross, where he was part of a team that managed and monitored more than 20 servers 24/7. He performed server backups, checked log files and created/sent batch files.

When he joined the Federal government in 2000, he managed a unix based operating system for three years as a system admin, due to the confidential nature of the work specifics regarding the OS are unavailable.

The company that we intend to use for our 24/7 monitoring provider has been in business for over 12 years and has extensive experience with Linux server management.

In addition to this, as we get off the ground we have plans to hire another system administrator on an on-call basis who would be capable of managing the server in case of emergencies that would require immediate updates, coordinated restarts, etc as an added redundancy.



The following individuals are both capable, with Eqbal Hakim being our main system admin who has been managing our authority node

Eqbal Hakim (our system admin managing our authority node) has 17 years of experience as a system administrator. He has managed Exchange servers (2003 & 2008), Domain Controllers (DC), and Windows member servers 2003, 2008 and 2010. He has experience building, configuring and connecting them to the DC. At the server level he has dealt with Active Directory (AD) managing user accounts (creation/deletion/transfer), user groups, and Distribution Lists (DL). His work duties included continuously updating/upgrading servers and pushing patches and definition files. He was also responsible for keeping the system secure and making sure ant-virus apps were up to date, and unused Cisco ports were closed. He managed the information system centers in embassies in a variety of countries.

Ferdous Hakim has his BS degree in Management Information Systems, an MBA with IT concentration and Oracle DBA certification. From 1999 to 2010 he was involved with production support and systems administrations, since then he has been in a managerial and oversight role, with oversight of major software systems and systems administrators. He is a seasoned programmer with extensive experience in COBOL, Small Talk, and JCL programming languages. He is also experienced with C++ and Visual Basic programs. He has overseen the implementation and maintenance of major custom built case management software suites for social and healthcare services. As a software engineer with Verizon Communications, he was in charge of maintenance and production support of Verizon’s critical Express Track billing system which billed about 150 million dollars a year in land line phone bills. As a senior IT manager for Fairfax County Government, he oversaw multiple software systems including Credible, Harmony IS and Documentum Document Management systems used by over 1000 social workers, case workers and healthcare professionals.
 
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NK03)

Could you be exact about "handling network issues"?
Could you also be exact about the 24/7 company. You are talking about servers. Are we talking about Factom for instance? If yes, how do you make sure these people know what to do?
By network issues we are referring to two things. First and foremost making sure our proposed servers in the Oregon and Northern California region are up and running. We would would monitor them through our AWS instance dashboard the same way we do with our authority node. As part of our package with AWS, we have 24/7 technical support availability and we have already used this option multiple times. In the event of any issues in that region we would be able to reach out to them very quickly to determine what is going on. The second thing we mean by handling network issues is on the Factom community side. Occasional updates are needed, restarts, nodes being taken online/offline, brainswaps. In other words interacting with the servers through Ubuntu, to ensure all the authority nodes are operating in sync.

The 24/7 monitoring company we intend to work with has been in business for 12 years and has extensive experience with Linux administration. We have spoken to them directly and laid out our situation, we believe they will be able to accommodate our needs. We explained the fact that we will possibly be managing servers as part of a decentralized global network, and that some level of coordination will be necessary on their part. This is how we intend to use them in our process:

Hypothetical scenario, for whatever reason all the authority servers have to be updated and/or restarted, and the restart has to happen as close to simultaneously as possible. Our first form of response is to take care of this in house, members of Roba are closely tuned into discord discussions and will continue to be responsive.(we do hope that the community can agree on a mechanism where alerts for emergency restarts are sent to all POC's through multiple channels). In the event that Roba is unable to restart the server in house in a timely manner, our 24/7 monitoring company would step in. Ideally all members of Roba would get an alert that a coordinated restart is required at xx oclock. We have confirmed that we have the option of listing the company as a POC in such an alert system, meaning all members of Roba and the monitoring company would receive the alert, and someone would always be available to provide server support in a timely manner. Our specialized company has a package that includes a 10 minute response time and is able to implement updates/restarts at a specific time of our choosing. We believe this system would ensure our authority servers are managed in a highly reliable manner.
 
Thank you for your application

NK05)
Do you have experience developing applications, it's project management and budgets in house?
NK06)
You mention several external grants. Will you be using node income and/or grants from the pool as well?
Just to be clear and transparent let me elaborate on the development part. Our proposal was not development heavy and we don't plan to be deep in the weeds creating applications in house, at least initially. There is a lack of technical talent currently available for the factom protocol and given the current costs of really creating an application from scratch it's not financially feasible given the current budget constraints. But a big misconception is that small companies need specialized technical talent to start creating and implementing blockchain based solutions. The technology has reached a point where there are simple API's that allow companies to integrate their systems and create blockchain based solutions. For example we intend to recreate our website, and in our proposal we mentioned one of the things we intend to do is present a blockchain based solution for securing our customers closing documents. From our understanding companies like Sphereon have an API that we can use for this. Factom also has solutions that we are looking into that would meet our needs such as the digital vault which would allow us to use their platform to secure an entire record catalog of each loan file and every document related to a closed loan. As things progress and the protocol grows, we do intend to hire software developers to help us, but even then there are cost effective solutions. For example Factom has a sandbox that allows devs to create and implement quick proof of concepts that would be applicable to our business.

In terms of your question as stated in NK05, we do have in house talent that has experience with software development and project management/budgets.

Ferdous Hakim has managed Roba's budget and finances since 2012, in addition to this as a Software Quality assurance team lead and project manager he Supervised a team of project managers and software engineers responsible for software testing. Responsible for overall development and delivery of software projects to clients. Worked with internal clients, designers, architects, programmers, testers, and management address project issues and ensure timely delivery of software. Participated in all phases of software development life-cycle to ensure timely completion of complex software and product updates. Attended design walk-through sessions, held meetings, provided timely project reports to management, and occasionally issues in order to assure successful completion of the deliverables. Served as the lead liaison among clients, designers, and developers to increase communication and increase project success rate. Ensured proper testing and other quality control activities took place in a timely fashion, and provided status reports to senior management. Worked in CMMI level 3 certified organizations. Led acceptance testing sessions and other qualify control activities such as regression testing, stress testing, integration testing efforts. For multiple initiatives, tracked project life cycle and provided status for weekly meetings. Documented strategic billing accomplishments, and created weekly project status reports. Trained and supervised junior project managers
Supervised a team of project managers and software engineers responsible for software testing. Responsible for overall development and delivery of software projects to clients. Worked with internal clients, designers, architects, programmers, testers, and management address project issues and ensure timely delivery of software. Participated in all phases of software development life-cycle to ensure timely completion of complex software and product updates. Attended design walk-through sessions, held meetings, provided timely project reports to management, and occasionally issues in order to assure successful completion of the deliverables. Served as the lead liaison among clients, designers, and developers to increase communication and increase project success rate. Ensured proper testing and other quality control activities took place in a timely fashion, and provided status reports to senior management. Worked in CMMI level 3 certified organizations. Led acceptance testing sessions and other qualify control activities such as regression testing, stress testing, integration testing efforts. For multiple initiatives, tracked project life cycle and provided status for weekly meetings. Documented strategic billing accomplishments, and created weekly project status reports. Trained and supervised junior project managers

As a software engineer at Verizon, Ferdous Hakim Served as a software engineer responsible for development and maintenance Verizon’s ExpressTrack billing system. Provided technical analysis, performed programming tasks both for maintenance, as well as, development of new software modules, and was responsible for unit and application testing of the system. Attended JAD sessions, general design sessions, detail software design walk-throughs, and worked with clients, architects, other programmers, and management to drive issues to successful completion. Performed unit testing, supported system test, integration test, implementation, and post implementation activities. Performed root cause analysis of software bugs, and implemented software fixes to ensure continued operation of the billing software. Analyzed database and data impact of application changes and worked with BD2, and Oracle DBA’s to coordinate development efforts.

And for fairfax county government, as the division director in the Physical Resources and Information Technology section he has had years of experience directing the operations, management, and maintenance of over 250 human services residential leased and county owned properties on behalf of the Community Services Board, the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, and The Department of Family Services. He has also overseen direct project specific budget, staff, contractors and contract services related to construction and Information technology projects.

NK06)
You mention several external grants. Will you be using node income and/or grants from the pool as well?

This is going to be a mixed bag. Some of the opportunities we would pursue would be state/federal grants/contracts, and these, if awarded, provide their own funding from the government. We would use our node income for things like proposal writers, technical writers, etc. In our proposal we mentioned several promotional projects such as running ads in a popular real estate magazine, we would see no need to submit grant proposals for this type of stuff, and would be using our node income. We would also be using node income for things like our servers on aws, aws technica assistance, 24/7 monitoring support. For some of our longer term efforts, like the Afghanistan land registry, we would submit grant proposal requests since that would be a bigger effort requiring more funding and multiple developers/project managers.
 
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D. Let's say you get an Authority Node. How it performs will be easy to monitor. However, as part of your campaign you also discuss additional consulting/development/marketing type work which is important despite your single node Efficiency being set at 50%. The Standing Parties will likely want to see what progress you're making since it was part of your campaign. My questions are:

1. How would you communicate with the Standing Parties. Examples would be blog, twitter, Discord, Reddit, etc.
2. What would you communicate and how often?
3. What metrics should be used to gauge your success?

Regarding your concern about us doing the work we proposed with a node set with 50% efficiency, please see our response to NK06. We have a mixed bag approach that we believe address's this. Also, we fully believe the factom protocol will grow, and it doesnt take much for node incomes to become pretty impressive. At just 1 billion marketcap, a node set at 50% efficiency would be generating approximately 63,000 usd per month. This is a very reasonable amount that provides ample opportunities.

1. How would you communicate with the Standing Parties. Examples would be blog, twitter, Discord, Reddit, etc.

We are deciding on the best avenue of communication, we will be active on discord, and we do intend to create a twitter for Roba Realty. In addition to this we are considering adding a blog to the Roba Realty website after we revamp our website. We do have a suggestion regarding authority node communications. Ultimately, there will be over 60 entities managing this global decentralized network around the world. It may get challenging trying to keep up with some of the major updates. It may be a good idea to create some sort of avenue where authority operators can provide updates in a centralized way so that it allows ease of access to others, where the information is aggregated in an organized format, perhaps something like a forum.

2. What would you communicate and how often?
Ideally we would like to provide biweekly updates, but we dont want to provide an update just for the sake of saying something. In the beginning it will most likely be slower, but we would like to provide updates on what we have discussed in our proposal. Any ads/articles we are able to run in magazines, any grants/contracts we may win, updates on a revamped website/etc

3. What metrics should be used to gauge your success?

This is going to be harder to gauge, we are all in unchartered territory. How we intend to measure success as a community is subjective and we will all need to come together to determine how we define that. Is it burning ec's, partnerships, creating applications, getting other companies to use Factom Harmony, perhaps all of it?

At least for Roba Realty, we have laid out several initiatives in our proposal, as a starting point we think we should be held to what we have proposed, and provide timely updates that show clear progression towards attaining our proposed goals
 
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