When John Stanisic, a former analyst at IDC Canada, coined the term “Good enough computing” back in 2001, he did not mean that old computing was still an effective way to operate a company.
Good enough computing, as an IT strategy, is still effective today. There are several vendors offering very good total cost of ownership scenarios for customers these days. As for channel partners, they have come to live with this cost-saving model and have developed better money-making services plans to make up for the hardware shortfall.
But, some customers are taking good enough computing to new levels of inefficiency. Here are a couple of examples.
Craig Downing, the Canadian-born GM of Sage’s Accpac division, told me that Accpac Plus will be discontinued as of September 30 of this year. No earth-shattering news here, since Accpac Plus was a DOS-based product. You read that right. That is not a typo. It is a DOS-based product.
Remarkable as it may seem, there are companies out there still using this DOS-based payroll system. I wonder if they are running it on a 286 AST PC? Downing shocked me again saying that there are thousands of customers still using this system. The problem for Sage is it really can’t properly support it. Their support people just aren’t trained on old technology. And, why would a support technician want to learn about old stuff when the new stuff is what makes him or her employable?
Accpac Plus on DOS has lasted an amazing 24 years. God bless it, but folks, we are living on Internet time today.
The second story happened the day after Downing told me about Accpac Plus and it involves Public Tire of Toronto. My car got a flat tire by running over three nails on the road. So I brought it over to Public Tire, a place my family has used for decades. They checked the tire and said I did not need to replace it. A patch job would do just fine. The tire technican looked at my other tires and said the treads would more than likely last another year before they would need to be replaced.
I said great and went to pay. Now the owner did not know who I was or what I was paying for. I had to tell him it was a patch job, which costs a little over $22. He wrote me up a receipt on carbon paper. I gave him my Interac card for direct payment from my bank account. He processed it and handed it back. I said to, him, don’t you think you need a PC. He said: “What for?” Well, for one thing you can link up your credit and debit card systems to a point-of-sale PC. That PC can run either Simply Accounting or QuickBooks and you’d be able to know how well or how poorly you are doing on a daily basis.
His response: “Oh!” So I didn’t bother telling him about CRM.