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The future of PRO-IV


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#1 Dan Shannon

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Posted 03 November 1999 - 06:32 PM

Take a look at http://wwws4.uk.mdis...ain_inter99.htm - MDIS's half-year report for the 6 months to June 1999. It's depressing reading (although it's probable that a lot of PRO-IV's short-term problems stem from the Mercedes Benz 'disaster').

What's worse is the auditors' comments about whether MDIS is a going concern or not. This is a shock and now it looks like Fujitsu are buying PRO-IV and Glovia. What does this mean for PRO-IV? Will Fujitsu plough money into PRO-IV or turn it off? Will they wield the sword at Glovia and/or PRO-IV Systems?

I'd be interested to hear people's opinions on the matter.

Cheers

Dan Shannon

#2 Rob Fantini

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Posted 03 November 1999 - 07:46 PM

I do not know about the 'Mercedes Benz 'disaster''

Could you tell me about that?

#3 Dan Shannon

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Posted 03 November 1999 - 11:15 PM

I don't know the whole story, having only heard bits and pieces from various people... BUT

PRO-IV had a LARGE contract with Mercedes Benz to write a new dealership system for them which was to be an all-singing, all-dancing affair. There were lots of contractors on board for the whole thing, and a load of permanents were involved too. All of a sudden (apparently)
Mercedes cancelled the whole thing, which has obviously cost PRO-IV a lot of money (otherwise the MDIS directors wouldn't mention it in the Interim Report).

When projects like this go wrong they seem to go really horribly wrong... it's probably a hefty part of the losses that PRO-IV made in the first half of the year, especially when revenue is up! It seems to have had a lot to do with the Chrysler merger too, since apparently the Chrysler dealership system was pretty flash as it stood (meaning that Mercedes didn't need another one)

#4 Ralph Gadsby

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Posted 04 November 1999 - 03:57 PM

With the new man in at the helm of MDIS, Glovia and PRO IV are going to be sold. As Fujitsu have a major commitment to the Glovia project, which is written in PRO IV, they would seem to be the most likely candidates to take over PRO IV in order for Fujitsu to protect the Glovia product from extortionate service charges from some third party.

In my opinion unless Fujitsu see some commercial viability for PRO IV they will just sit on it, or develop it solely for their own use. The same fate is probably due for Glovia as well.

#5 Gareth Thomas

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Posted 04 November 1999 - 07:23 PM

Dan,

its no surprise to me whatsoever that Fujitsu would buy Pro-IV, you have to look at the revenues Glovia can generate compared to Pro-IV licensing - its like comparing apples and oranges. Glovia is becoming a serious competitor to SAP and Baan and everybody in the ERP world knows it.

Pro-IV problem has always been myopic leadership at the company, the have always had a product with a lot of potential that has NEVER been realised, and it is frustrating to watch.

Personally if it happens, then I think its a good thing, if it was up to me the first order of business would be to give John Letham the boot.

Gareth

#6 Dan Shannon

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Posted 04 November 1999 - 09:26 PM

Glovia's turnover of 17.4 million pounds in a half wouldn't seem to be terribly huge in world terms. SAP's turnover for the first 9 months of 1999 was EUR3.46 BILLION (over 2 billion pounds).

The ERP world knows it's not working as well as it used to be - figures suggest that the ERP solution may be on the way out in general, not only Glovia. The AVERAGE SAP contract in Australia apparently runs over 9 months late and $1M over budget, which is not something the market stomachs for very long.

But you're right - PRO-IV has a lot of potential, but the leadership has seemed somewhat blind at times. We can only hope for some vision from Fujitsu.

#7 Chris Pepper

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Posted 05 November 1999 - 09:26 AM

I think Dan has summed up the ERP market pretty well.

At the end of the day I think what we are seeing with MDIS and the product is what I have been predicting for several years (and this is not just sour grapes because I didn't get my coveted job as PRO-IV Product Manager a few years ago!). Basically the underlying technology is past its 'sell by' date and the R&D effort has mainly been wasted on 'bells & whistles' outside the main engine (I can elaborate if you want the gory details).

No-one in their right mind would actually buy the product for new development unless they bought it as part of a application package. This means that the main way of making money is through selling the odd run-time license, enhancing the code with customer funded enhancements and selling a few add on services. With a low cost operation you can actually make a profit out of this. This is basically what happened when the joint venture PRO-IV company was established the other year. MDIS, however have never been a low cost operation and they just lose the plot.
They saw it turn a profit, bought it all back again and started losing money all over again!
Look at the way the newsletter changed (for example).

Still, as a PRO-IV user for more than 16 years, it's not dead yet and some how has hung on for much longer than much of the orginal competition!



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