Although the software has evolved into a stable and robust set of rapid application development tools, looking back, the conversion from dos to windows was mismanaged from the acquisition. Sage's release of the first few versions of TeleMagic for Windows (conversion from the number one dos based system to windows, proved seriously flawed, Versions 3 and 5 were too little too late.
Now 3 years "Officially" left for dead on side of the CRM database information superhighway, (customers to be scavenged by and integrated into other Sage CRM products lines), TeleMagic applications have been quietly out living and out-performing expectations. Many of the custom business applications developed in TeleMagic have refused to die. Research and Development and Sage corporate level product support are both dead, yet independent resellers, developers and end users continue to quietly purchase new licenses and find new things that TeleMagic can do.
Many successful applications take advantage of the customizability and the original TeleMagic organizational models in outbound and inbound customer contact centered applications that still run circles around other models. Now three years after the Official sunset, Sage runs out of printed manuals. They must have printed a fairly large run and they are not likely to print any more but the point is that new licenses continute to be deployed.
The days of the boxed and bound product are over yet TeleMagic lives on in companies everywhere. A new Outlook 2003 module is about to be released by Bruce Durrant, a Canadian developer (who supplies TeleMagic with Hot Buttons Enhancement Software to the White House), with the companies blessing (they allowed him access to the source code for a tight integration), but not with any backing.
And the Sage TeleMagic saga continues. The software lives on, inspite of any efforts to convert users to other Sage titles. I personally look forwared to the release of the outlook 2003 link as this essentially brings TeleMagic up to date with all the features and security enhancements found in this corporate email standard that is supported fully by USA.NET hosted exchange services.
Now that TeleMagic has officially been "Sunsetted" by the powers that own it, it is proving to be pretty hard to kill it. Many users are just now figuring out how to use all the stuff that is in there. We 've even had some users switch to brand x and then switch back. New seats and upgrades are still being sold and registered daily. Best Software is continuing to sell and register new licenses for new and upgrade users. End user support continues to be handled by the 100 or so successful resellers who support thousands of users over the 20-year-old client base.
The custom business applications developed in TeleMagic are refusing to die. Research and Development and corporate product support are both dead, yet independent resellers, developers and end users continue to find new things that TeleMagic can do. Our TeleMagic technology has served us well these past 20 years. TM5 will live on for the foreseeable life of the Windows XP/2K/NT/98 platform. For TM users, version 5 is the end of the Windows line. Or is it? TeleMagic is dead; long live the TeleMagic money machine applications we have built.
TeleMagic is Dead, Long Live TeleMagic Applications.
Best Software (BS), the current owner of TeleMagic, has announced that it will continue to take orders for upgrades and new TeleMagic users for the indefinite future, while gently but firmly encouraging users and dealers to switch to Act or Sales Logix. Customers for life -- constantly buying (and debugging ) something new.
In contrast, we have quite a few applications developed back in the Dos 12-14 platform that have been running for more than 10 years. In other cases, we have be working with Windows applications that last for 5 to 7 years and more or for what seems now like a "lifetime" in the software business.
For those that have figured out how to use TeleMagic to support their business processes, it is not something that is easily replaced. Now even while BS is not developing or supporting a TeleMagic Version 6, Gary Bagheri , Bruce Durrant and other developers continue to provide enhancements. TeleMagic with the Hot Button enhancements could be considered a version 6. TeleMagic Online represents a fully implemented and outsourced solution. TeleMagic and Win-Batch have been combined with effective results. It remains for the users and the developers to work together to build their own new versions. (Which can actually be done within the existing software.) Few TeleMagic systems that I've seen over the years can't be tweaked a bit for increased productivity without upgrading anything except the way you look at your business processes and apply the TeleMagic tools to automate the work that needs to be done.
The TeleMagic platform has been extended to do a variety of incredible things by a loyal almost cult-like following. Now that the equipment that runs TM is paid for and that TM itself is paid for, it remains to make the applications adapt and better support our business process. There continues to be a demand for new and better ways to do things. We need to redouble our efforts to make the best and the most successful of our solutions available to more end users as niche market business solutions.
One only has to see a custom legal documents system built with TM for dos, WP5.1 and TMDocs developed over 10 years ago to understand the elegant combination of power and simplicity that is built int to every version of TeleMagic. This unique application created and refined over the years still runs circles around other solutions. It never locks up the computer or otherwise fails to perform. The fundamental CRM concepts underlying the Dos application that started it all 20 years ago, have been improved and refined over years of customer use, feedback and development and can all be found in the TeleMagic Enterprise for Windows Version 3 and Version 5 products.
One can easily and quickly take a demo of TeleMagicOnline or MarketMentor Online to see what TeleMagic Enterprise for Windows looks like and can do when fully implemented. Few users in my experience have ever used more than 20 percent of what is in TeleMagic. The remaining 80 percent of the stuff offers incredible opportunities and benefits. TeleMagicOnline uses closer to 100% and is a totally outsourced solution. No fancy hardware required, no network or application software. No network maintenance or support. It's all included. It's linked to a mailing house. It's linked to a professional telemarketing service. It's web based, infinitely configurable, interactive and real time. It's based in Atlanta and available from anywhere and can do most anything any other web based contact or CRM system can do and more because of the configurability of the underlying TeleMagic engine. It's a totally out sourced contact management, customer relationship, and opportunity management solution.
Or purchase a turnkey system, add Help Desk, add Hot Buttons, add some custom Visual Fox code, add Win Batch, or add an accounting system or a quoting link. Sure you will see this kind of technology in the new versions of SalesLogix and Act! and in other CRM/Contact offerings. Except that the stuff is already in TeleMagic, part of that 80 percent that has been under used.
There is a dedicated number of TeleMagic die hards offering continuing support (those in the TM-AMP reseller community who enjoyed success with the software) to the organizations who use TeleMagic. TeleMagic applications did not magically quit running on January 1, 2004 nor will they quit running in the foreseeable future. On the contrary, if the "impossible to kill" Dos version is any indication, these TeleMagic applications may still be running in 2014 and beyond.
These independent TM-AMPs, (TM Resellers that have figured out how to make it work over the last 20 years) are loosely organized in a CRM-PRO forum. This independent TeleMagic reseller support forum at last count numbered over 100 professionals from all over the world. All the participants support TeleMagic, and each other to some extent, and have tons of real world experience with TeleMagic and a host of other applications. They continue to support TeleMagic applications where none of the other choices really looks any better, or in many cases are also supporting the best of the myriad of software choices in this category.
These are the people that know how to make TeleMagic work. And there are still countless opportunities to build a competitive information advantage, to sell more in less time, to organize and simplify, and most of all to build money making machines with TeleMagic.
We, the users and resellers, are now self-supporting. So what has really changed anyway except that in the past, we had to spend a disproportionate amount of our time and resources debugging new versi ons. Now we have solid platforms from which to build, we have built strong relationships with other creative and knowledgeable professionals and we should be able to continue to support our TM clients as if nothing has changed.
The sales reps for the other companies will continue to tell the prospects and customers that the TeleMagic is dead. "The product has been discontinued", they'll say, then ask, "Why would you buy something that has been discontinued?" This will inevitably leave the customer who has been conditioned to believe that the only good thing is a new thing, thinking that it must therefore be broken and does not merit further consideration. Meanwhile those of us who have built TeleMagic money machines just sit back and smile and come up with additional ways to make the most of an amazing piece of work.
Thanks to MM for inventing it, to GB for implementing it and to Sage for not killing it (although the deserve credit for trying so hard). Thanks to FF for keeping the lines of communication open, to BS for whatever is to come of it, and to the CRM-Professionals for their cooperation in keeping it alive in spite of all our best efforts. And most of all, a special thank you to my past, current, and future customers. It has been fun, and it will continue to be fun no doubt.
Give me a call or send along an email if you need help with TeleMagic. We'll still be here next year and the year after that or until the last slick and dirty, no good, not broken TeleMagic system retires or dies or both.