30 years of Software Changes

An account of the software history from Michael Ericksen, WAC Solution Partners- Midwest

When I started my company 30 years ago, the computer landscape was much different.  Microsoft Windows existed, but it would not be become popular until version 3 was released in 1990.  IBM had just released the PS/2 with the 3 ½” floppy disks that were capable of storing 1.44 MB.  The first version of Microsoft Office would not be published until 1990.  Computers were running MSDOS.  Word Perfect was the dominant word processing software.  dBase was the database software to use along with Paradox from Borland.  Lotus 123 was the spreadsheet of choice and Intuit was still Quicken.  QuickBooks would not be release until 2002.

It would be many years before Great Plains Software would develop Dynamics and Microsoft would acquire Great Plains.  Computer Associates Accpac DOS would be the leading accounting package for companies that required multi-currency.  According to Wikipedia Accpac’s name is an acronym for ‘A Complete and Comprehensive Program for Accounting Control.”   Sage Software would acquire Accpac from Computer Associate in 2004 and later rename the product to be Sage 300.

What I have learned in the past 30 years is that software will come and go.  What is a dominant product today may be gone in a few years.  Changing software is a challenge, but not impossible.   Business software is just a tool to be used to make a company better.  The success or failure of a software project is more dependent on the implementation than the software choice.

When implementing a feature you have to consider the effort required to capture the data versus the benefit it provides.  If it is difficult to get the data, the payback better be high, otherwise people will not do a good job of capturing the data and the results will not be very good.

Finally, software changes are inevitable.  You would not want to be using software from a company that is not periodically updating their own software.   Change is difficult and in most cases you do not have to make every change, but you should stay somewhat current.  If you are using a software version that is no longer being supported by the software publisher, it is time to upgrade or find new software.

Michael Ericksen started his business as Michael Ericksen P.C. 30 years ago.  He is celebrating this milestone in 2017.  As referred to in the article, Michael was one of the first Microsoft Dynamics GP partners.

GP 1    GP 2

This is a gift given to all the first ever Microsoft Dynamics GP partners, where all their names were printed on it.


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