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In the last newsletter we announced the plan to develop IPM Classic, and this newsletter, we're announcing its release! How's that for a fast turnaround!

IPM 10 is now thouroughly in 'enhancement' mode, with major new features on the horizon, including A/P and 'favorite reports'.

That makes the choice of where to go seem more urgent, but we know it isn't really. We're just giving you more options when it's time.

Solutions
IPM Classic or IPM 10? Part II
More on 'Which is right for me?'
The logic of changing from IPM 2007 to IPM 10 or IPM Classic was described in our last article: what can your PC support, what new features do you need, and how clean is your database. You can look at the previous newsletter for that discussion, here. However, there's more to the question than just that!  Here we're going to talk about two less-easily quantified topics: the human cost of changing, and predicting the future!

Let's talk about the second topic first.  The future, is inevitably the "undiscovered country" into which we're always moving (to steal from a bad Star Trek movie).  Fortunately the past does give us some hints about what's next.  In the PC world, we know that it takes a couple of years for new standards to establish themselves, and for manufacturers to "dump" older technologies.  Heck, some cities still have "new" Pontiacs for sale!  The big news of interest here is Intel's 2010 processors, the 64-bit  i3, i5 and i7.  Each of these processors is like a quad-core (4 processors) of just last year's processor.  What this means is that all of us with "relatively new" (2 year old) dual core PCs are obsolete, and anyone on a single core processor has a boat anchor.  Remember what the Pentium did to 80486 PCs?

Now that doesn't mean that buying a new PC off the shelf will make you current: all the PC manufacturers will be "dumping" their dual core and even quad core machines for a while, especially in a sluggish economy. In other terms, think about it as if new 200mph cars were just invented, but you're driving a car that tops out at 80: you know that it'll eventually be unroadworthy, but not necessarily for a while, and maybe not for a long time if you stay off the freeway.  The reason we're belaboring this is because you'll have to eventually deal with it.  In '95, we saw the same thing happen with Windows 95 replacing DOS. Now we know that we're all heading toward 64-bit processors, and new software will be designed for them. And that means everything you use now will be as obsolete as Word Perfect and Lotus 123. (Except IPM 10 or IPM Classic, of course!) 

So how do we get there? For large and mid-size offices, it's a huge issue because obviously you can't replace all your PCs.  In fact, the larger the company, the longer it takes for change to percolate.  A one-person office can be current by buying a single PC, but a 3-5 person office is an undertaking, and anything bigger had better have its own IT guy! And Bank of America still has "green screens".

This brings us to the point of this half of the conversation: plan ahead.  We all have limited resources, and we all plan everything else in our business, but we generally have a fairly vague plan for our technology. If your PC isn't making a funny noise, do you think about buying a new one? You should plan on where you're going, even if that plan changes with every announcement from Microsoft or Intel.  If you want to do paperless reporting and collect your rents online by 2013, the first step is figuring out what it'll take to get there.

Even a changeable  plan will reduce your "technology stress" when something new comes out, and give you parameters to develop an answer when you ask yourself "Do I need to jump on this?" The conclusion here is that just because we've released IPM 10 and IPM Classic, don't feel like you have to jump. What do you need? What's in your plan? Think it through and chill out. Think of the Fidelity commercial: do you want a comfortable retirement, or that shiny sports car? So figure out where you're going before you figure out which IPM fits your company - and recognize that IPM 2007 may be right, right now.

And that brings us to the human cost of transition. Changing PCs and software is often more expensive in people as it is in money. It's stressful, it reduces productivity sharply, and upsets even the best-established apple-carts. If you've been using IPM for years, you've probably built your business around its methods and its processes.  Changing that process puts everything in question, even if the new way is easier or better. If your business is growing or you have a lot of staff change, training can be a big issue. Review your staff dispassionately. If key people are nearing retirement, you may want to stay on IPM 2007 or go to IPM Classic with a transition to IPM 10 after the gold watch.  If you've got new people coming in, we'd suggest IPM 10 so their web-honed skills are maximized and they aren't too frustrated. The key here is to consider people as a element in your technology plan: No use getting the best software and hardware if you lose the staff who know your business!

So, which version of IPM is best for you? It depends on where your business is going, who you've got going with you, and how long you plan to take to get there.  IPM 2007 is good for "staying the course"; IPM Classic will ease the transition, buy time and reduce the stress of change; IPM 10 will take you into the next decade. Now it's up to you to "make it so".
IPM Classic Release Date:
August 1, 2010
The Newest Member of the IPM 2000 Family

We announced IPM Classic in February, had our first beta in April, and now are pleased to announce a general release on August first. So ends the fasted development cycle anyone associated with FullHouse Software has ever seen anywhere! We've beaten our most optimistic plan by releasing the Beta two months ahead of schedule, and the release almost three months before we'd expected. Actually, we could release it a couple weeks earlier if the calendar cooperated!

Part of the reason the cycle was so fast is that IPM Classic is mostly a re-build of IPM 2007 in a newer development environment. This means that all significant concepts, screens and functions are the same as IPM 2007, but you have all the advantages of a newer development language. And of course we learned a few things from IPM 10. Those include online licensing and updates, nicer screens and a better bank reconciliation. Visit here for a complete rundown of what's new and what's familiar.

The big news is that IPM Classic can use your IPM 2007 database with no import. In fact, you can use IPM Classic and IPM 2007 with the same database at the same time! (We've even taken care of the bug on the Tenant screen that popped you out of the program).  It also means you can use long file names, have tool tips, use your mouse's roller ball, change printers more easily, create PDFs faster, etc. Truly the best of both worlds!

 


Free Webinar:
'Introducing IPM Classic'

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
 2PM Eastern

We will be hostng a one-hour webinar to introduce IPM Classic, compare it to IPM 2007, and talk through making the choice between IPM Classic and IPM 10. It will run about an hour, or until Bill runs out of hot air. The webinar will be recorded and posted on our website.

The webinar is available at no additional cost for everyone on the Maintenance plan, so send us an email to reserve your space now: sales@fullhousesoftware.com Space is limited!


IPM 2007 Forever!
No sundown in sight
For the record: IPM 2007 is not going away any time in the foreseable future. As long as you need it, and you pay your maintenance, we will continue to support IPM 2007.  HOWEVER, once IPM Classic is released, we will no longer do updates to IPM 2007 except to fix bugs. We believe IPM Classic is a perfect transition for anyone using IPM 2007 on older PCs, or who are having printing issues or who are using IPM 2007 in a Windows 7 "Virtual XP" environment. 

We know many people won't switch until they have to. We reserve the right to nudge you toward either IPM Classic or IPM 10, and once no one is using IPM 2007, then we'll retire it. Until then, we'll contiue to support IPM 2007. We do hope you switch, but we aren't holding our breath.