The powers that be at Sage did not understand what they bought from Michael McCafferty and Remote Control. Sage had also acquiered Dac Easy and Timeslips and the three became Sage US, headquartered in Dallas. As accountants, they understood accounting software and knew the value of cutting costs and the synergies to be had by combining several smaller companies into one new entity.
Then they dramatically mismanged the development of the TeleMagic Enterprise for Windows product (see Michael McCafferty's Web site for complete details). Instead of porting the successful TMdos V14 features and functionality to the first Windows version, they embarked on a more ambitious product and dramatically understimated the costs in doing this. They did not spend enough on R&D, Sales and Marketing. They released a windows 1.0 product that did not work and was enough different from their customers successful dos product, that many users took one look and decided to stay with the dos version.
Upgrade revenues fell dramatically as everybody was waiting for a Windows version that was better than what they already had. After a series of premature releases, it was version 3.5 that finally took off but by that time momentum had been lost. By version 5, which was again dramatically more powerful than version 3, the accountants again knowing how to cut costs, decided that since TeleMagic sales had underperformed (compared to other Sage products) it was time to cut their losses. Sage US failed in any number of ways as a business, but they did in the end, produce an amazing piece of software that does some incredibly useful things.
Many, if not all of the R&D and Support team from California did not move to Texas and the Texas bunch failed to perform and numerous people were replaced numerous times. Ultimately with a fabulous product, a strong and talented reseller community and miserable sales, Sage made the decision to stop developing and supporting TeleMagic entirely and with accounting magic, transferred the brand to Interact Commerce Corporation.
Interact was also acquired by Sage, and since they already had Sales Logix and ACT brands, and as TeleMagic fit somewhere in the middle it became the odd-brand-out. Then Interact became part of Best Software even more titles have been acquired and Best Software is once again becoming Sage. May the circle be unbroken.
Again being accountants, quite a number of their telemagic customers have switched to the other sage products (upgrade them to one of our other products). Quite a few have gone outside the family, and quite a substantial number however have continued using TeleMagic. Now that they have figured out how to use more than 20% of it, many have found that it is hard to beat for many custom applications, and that a bird in the hand is worth more than promises and claims from all the birds in the bushes. And it's kind of nice to own it and not need annnual maintenance fees and support contracts and to not have to deal with a perpetual chaning of buggy releases of each and every sexy sounding new version.
In fact, TeleMagic has become somewhat of a cash cow and accountants like cash cows. Sales even two and a half years later have continued to exceed expectations, and costs have practically gone to zero. Sage has announced that they will continue to sell upgrades and new TeleMagic licenses for as long as people want to buy them.