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Trusted Partner
Zappy
Posts: 333
Registered: ‎13-11-2007
Australia

Re: Is MYOB in Good Hands

Barry mate, you are a genius! How simple was that? Alright MYOB, off you go now. The survey results should be very interesting.

 

Peace 

 

 

Kevin V Russell

Zappy Business Services
Box 5014
LPO East Geelong
Victoria 3219
t: 04 07744914
f: 03 52231480
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Experienced User
sprout
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎12-12-2011
Australia

Re: Is MYOB in Good Hands

[ Edited ]

Greetings Tim,

 

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to respond.  I am not sure what I was expecting, but frankly I felt saddened by your comments - so let down in fact that I have waited a few days before responding to gather my thoughts.  I was hoping for a more open dialogue but I guess that can't happen.  I understand that these words presented on this forum are likely not even to be yours - perhaps they were yours originally, but I am extremely confident that your comments have been fully reviewed, edited and vetted by at least one PR / Media specialist and several lawyers.

 

So perhaps we are reading what MYOB PR manager and/or lawyers want you to say.  So in response, here is a sad and disappointed voice from one of your customers.

 

"AccountRight is MYOB’s flagship product and we’ve invested significantly in it over the past 20 years."  That maybe the case, but with all due respect it is only the latest release of your 'flagship product' that we are talking about here.  In producing commercial software (similar to film making and warfare) you are only as good as your latest success - your customers really don't care that you were great 20 years ago, or even 5 years ago (and MYOB was great) .  Right now you are a long way from being 'great', or even 'adequate'.

 

It is the here and now your customers are focused on and right here and now you, MYOB, have a huge problem. You have a trust problem.  You have an credibility problem and you have a major commercial problem.  Your latest 'flagship product ' software release is embarrassing,  you are seemingly unsure how to fix it and you are unable (or unwilling) to communicate meaningfully with your customers on the issue. 

 

What is worse is you are using  your customers as beta testers to help you debug and update your product.  A rude privilege that your customers have paid for.  No-one expected AR2011 to be flawless.  Software always has bugs, but your release is no where near up to a commercial Alpha release standard.  You know it, and your customers know it.

 

However, MYOB management are singing from the same hymn book.  I have now read from both Julian Smith and your self that "the vast majority (of AR2001 users) are having a great experience” <http://www.boxfreeit.com.au/Finance/users-protest-at-myobs-bungled-upgrade.html> .  But where are these thousands of mythical and happy users?  Frankly I struggle believe this to be true - given the facts that we know and the issues we have experienced.  Whilst it maybe possible (although unlikely) that not all users are having the performance and memory issues with your product - how on earth can any deny (or avoid) the multitude of bugs and UI issues that have been reported to date?  Have they actually used the product?  Have you actually used the product?


With all respect - If I was you I would be checking if you are being told the truth of the matter from your internal researchers, rather than them massaging the data to produce a more favorable result.  Perhaps there are KPI metrics tied to performance rewards relating to 'number of satisfied customers'?  All I can say is I am incredulous at your (and Julian Smith's) claims that these issues are only impacting minority of users.

 

Given I have read other incredulous claims from Mr Smith in public, for example;  "The product database will optimise itself based on local operating conditions. What we’ve learnt is managing client expectations that it’s going to take a few reboots of the system to optimise the database. It gets better as you reboot your system a couple of times.”  <http://www.boxfreeit.com.au/Finance/users-protest-at-myobs-bungled-upgrade.html>  you perhaps can forgive me for my cynical tone here.


Let me repeat that for you.  "It gets better as you reboot your system a couple of times"???  Excuse me??  Before I added another 2 GB of RAM and installed SP1, I  rebooted many times a day as your software would regularly crash my system.  And let me tell you Mr Smith and Mr Reed - it DIDN'T and hasn't gotten any better with frequent reboots.  Even after SP2.1, there are still plenty of bugs, UI annoyances and woeful performance.

 

It also concerns me how MYOB, in an attempt to reassure their customers have "increased resourcing to manage this situation,"  Oh my - you are a software company and should be aware of the concept "Mythical Man-Month" <<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mythical_Man-Month>>.  Rapidly employing new resources to fix your existing software problem is likely to cause more issues and delays - not less, plus is likely to introduce a whole host of new issues.  This has been known about for decades so you are playing a high risk game taking this approach.  Given your software is "mission critical' for many business you are taking quite a risk with your customers here.  Can you be trusted to get this right given you knowingly released a flawed product to market to begin with?

 

The reality is MANY of your customers have had issues with the new release and have chosen to roll back to the old version - or give up on MYOB entirely.  This is bothersome, costly and time consuming for them.  There is also a human impact over and above the technical and financial costs you have inflicted on your customers.  I have seen people in tears as they struggle, long after business hours are over, attempting to make your buggy software release perform to an acceptable standard. These people are trying to run a small business - they shouldn't be wasting days (and it has been days) trying to resolve your issues.  They shouldn't have to spend hours performing basic functions that used to take minutes.

 

I have not found one member of your OWN partner network or 3rd party vendors that will publicly recommend your new software.  Indeed due to the failure to release a operational ODBC driver for AR2011, 3rd party vendors cannot even use AR2011.  This is a stunning revelation and should be a major wake up call to yourself and MYOB in general.  These are people with a vested interest in helping promote your product and they are advising their clients to stick with the old version (at best) or even to move to one of your competitors.  For me, that speak volumes more than your internal surveys about the success of your current AR product.

 

Your business survives on trust, reliability and credibility .  MYOB have lost the trust of many of your customers.  Releasing quotes publicly such as

 

"Performance issues had affected 10 percent of users and were largely due to teething problems as MYOB shifted its software to a new technology platform"

And

“A small number have raised issues via a number of our support channels. To be honest that's not unexpected when we make a substantive technology change that we will see some clients having issues.”

<http://www.boxfreeit.com.au/Finance/users-protest-at-myobs-bungled-upgrade.html>

 

Doesn't help MYOB's credibility with it's customers.  It is well known this release is flawed.  We have heard nothing beyond SP3, yet it is highly doubtful you are going to resolve all of the known issues in SP3.  Is there going to be SP4?  SP5?  You might get lucky and pull a rabbit out for the hat, but Mr Reed, you and your organisation are running of time and goodwill to get this issue fixed.

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Ultimate Partner
Clive
Posts: 3,261
Registered: ‎11-01-2007
Australia

Re: Is MYOB in Good Hands

Hi Tim

 

Thank you for your post.  I certainly agree that it was time for the software to be moved to a new platform.

 

As I had no clients to visit today I thought hat instead of playing with the Clearwater file I would upgrade my own datafile from Premier V19.6 to AR2011, which it did as I have not used multi-currency.  After the upgrade I had to change the file from AR Standard to AR Plus.  I found this strange as there are a lot of time billing invoices and activities in the future, current and prior years and expected that the software would recognise their existence and set the file as a Plus type automatically.  As I was involved in the original Beta in January/February last year I thought I would check on some of the bugs I reported at that time.  I tested 4 and they are still there:-

  1. In an Activity Slip you enter a start time in the relevant box and press [Tab] - you move to the Clear button instead of the finish time box.
  2. When creating a Time Billing invoice the Ship To field remains blank.
  3. The Time Billing invoice converted from 19.6 is still missing most of the data fields.
  4. Recurring Purchases upgraded from 19.6 will not record with a popup error window advising to "Please select the {1} account" - to use your recurring transaction you have to delete the upgraded transaction, find a previously recorded version and save that as recurring - it works then.  I have clients with hundreds of recurring transactions, I doubt that they will be upgrading any time soon.

Having found that the old bugs haven't been fixed I have decided that there is little point in me doing any further testing until SP3 is released.  I suppose I could be cynical and say that this is an example of MYOB's attempt to "deliver at the quality level to which you have become accustomed" but I will refrain.

 

As has been stated by many others, the sampling used for your survey appears to be flawed.  Perhaps you should ask a reputable survey company to do a large sample on satisfaction with the new release - I doubt that you will find the "vast majority" as satisfied as you think.  You have said "The release was tested and went through the process that was outlined.  The scope of those tests, however, were insufficient and that is what we’ve worked to rectify to ensure a better outcome going forward."  As MYOB has not fixed reported bugs from 12 months ago do you think that the process is working?

 

You have previously asked me what MYOB could do to make the clients happy.  I told you then that you should give users the ability to convert their files back to V19.  I am still very strongly of that view.  MYOB has seriously failed the customer base - if you don't do something soon you will lose more of them to the opposition.

 

Regards

Clive Williams

 

 

MYOB Certified Consultant & Accredited Trainer; Ostendo Consulting Partner
Cert IV Financial Services (Bookkeeping); Cert IV Training & Assessment; BAS Agent 92620 006
Providing on-site MYOB support in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury
Remote support available for MYOB throughout Australia
Mobile: 0418.657.833 AH (02) 4754.4151
email: clive@crwservices.com.au website: www.crwservices.com.au
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MYOB Staff
EmmaMulquiney
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎07-12-2011
Australia
0 Kudos

Re: Is MYOB in Good Hands

Hi everyone

 

As Tim mentioned in his post, we have updated our AccountRight 2011 page with some details about Service Pack 3, which will be released over the coming weeks.

 

Cheers

 

Emma Mulquiney
Online Editor

MYOB Australia Pty Ltd

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Experienced User
sprout
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎12-12-2011
Australia

Re: Is MYOB in Good Hands

[ Edited ]

Hi Emma,


Whilst I appreciate you are trying to communicate things here, that is honestly a pointless bit of information you have made available.

 

And I quote - here is all I know about SP3 from your information:

 

  • Improved performance due to memory optimisation
  • Stability enhancements to transactions
  • Usability improvements to lists, auto-population of fields and customised forms.

 

That's it???  Wow - It tells us nothing about what has actually been fixed and which exact issues have been resolved.  A perfect political response.  You have answered the question, but told us nothing.

 

Sorry - this is not a personal jab at you, I know you are just doing your job.  Actually I feel sorry for all of you folks on the help desk and forums - it can't be easy having to deal with the reality gap between what MYOB are telling you to say and what your customers are experiencing.

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Experienced User
JaneB
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎11-07-2011
Australia

Re: Is MYOB in Good Hands

Re. the 'satisfaction surveys' - thanks for clarifying how this is done and where Tim was drawing the information he quotes in support of customer satisfaction.  It isn't a method that I have confidence would yield reliable data, nor that I'd care to rely on as it appears somewhat flawed on a number of counts, which other posters have already outlined.

 

As for the communication about SP3, words (almost) fail me.  Like Sprout, I was distinctly underwhelmed.  It doesn't actually provide any information beyond that which is so generic that it's useless.

 

Overall, I feel disappointed, sad and very let down by MYOB over this whole failure of the Nov2011 Upgrade.  The strategy appears a good one, moving to the new platform, but the execution was not.

 

I'm a small business owner - I just cannot spare the time from what IS my core business to fiddle faddle around with a flaky, bug-ridden program.  I can only extend my empathy to those who (often through sheer ignorance, or not being well advised) have become stuck with it. 

 

It's been interesting - but again, very disappointing - to see how MYOB has responded to the customer backlash.  Not well.  Please note, this is not a criticism at all of the support people - as has already been said, it must be hard for them, dealing with the chasm between the official line and the actual reality. 

As for the rest - I'm still getting cheerful communications from MYOB telling me about a 'MasterClass' coming up to learn about the wonderful new features of the new program, and link to an equally upbeat article from the MYOB trainer person on why he's excited about the new MYOB.  They must be functioning in some alternative reality is all I can think. 

Jane Bennett
Quality Management Consultant
Mapwright P/L
www.mapwright.com.au
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Valued User
boba
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎01-07-2010
Australia

Re: Is MYOB in Good Hands

www.BoxFreeIT.com.au have published another article today on V2011. It actually refers to this thread.

 

It probably only summarises what many Forum users have been saying for weeks.

 

Bob

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Experienced User
JaneB
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎11-07-2011
Australia

Re: Is MYOB in Good Hands

There's a couple of articles, and yes, they do largely summarise what Forum users have been saying.  

 

http://www.boxfreeit.com.au/Finance/questions-swirl-over-botched-accountright-beta.html  dated 21st Feb and http://www.boxfreeit.com.au/Finance/myob-ceo-fails-to-win-friends-in-response-to-critics.html dated 22nd (today).  The titles pretty much say it all.

 

There's also http://www.boxfreeit.com.au/Finance/myob-answers-technical-concerns-about-accountright-platform.html which lists answers to (some of, at least) a bunch of questions posted by Boxfreeit  and http://www.boxfreeit.com.au/Finance/bain-didnt-force-early-release-of-buggy-software-says-myob.html.  Both dated today - the writer has been busy.

 

 

Jane Bennett
Quality Management Consultant
Mapwright P/L
www.mapwright.com.au
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Experienced User Gaz
Experienced User
Gaz
Posts: 301
Registered: ‎12-01-2007
Australia
0 Kudos

Re: Is MYOB in Good Hands


boba wrote:

www.BoxFreeIT.com.au have published another article today on V2011. It actually refers to this thread.

 

It probably only summarises what many Forum users have been saying for weeks.

 

Bob


Hi Guys,

 

It has also made it into the mainstream media as well.

 

http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/backlash-against-myob-despite-free-upgrade-20120222-1tn1c.h...

and

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/it-pro/business-it/backlash-against-myob-despite-free-upgrade-201202...

 

Cheers

 

 

 

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Experienced User
JaneB
Posts: 64
Registered: ‎11-07-2011
Australia

Re: Is MYOB in Good Hands

And the Age, WA Times and links from various other sites...

Jane Bennett
Quality Management Consultant
Mapwright P/L
www.mapwright.com.au
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