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Attn: Adam, Fred and others in Colorado

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Attn: Adam, Fred and others in Colorado

Postby KMFrye » Sun Jan 01, 2017 12:12 am

Adam, and anyone else at MM who may be reading this, call this my eulogy for an excellent way of doing business.

It's likely far too late now, but you surely must be aware that you have angered and annoyed a large piece of your customer base with this action, particularly with the very heavy-handed effort to "force" nearly 35,000 users of your product to come to this, substantively weak and very flawed shadow of a forum.

I have no idea how large your actual customer base may be, but those who spent time helping (at no cost to the company, I must add) as well as those who took advantage of their time asking for help should be considered among your more dedicated users, with a great many of them real world experts who have lengthy histories with your products, myself included (since 2001).

Further, the old "I told two friends, and they each told two friends, who each told two friends..." canard works extremely well when it comes to making the choice of which widget to buy and where. So the 35,000 mentioned earlier may wind up being exponentially much higher as word continues to circulate. I have personally made sure that I told everyone I encountered who was considering a notation product that the MM Forum made Finale and PM a better "bang for the buck" because the level of service through the forum was unsurpassed. Now, I can no longer say that, MM has seen to it that I can't say it.

There were a number of excellent reasons that the closing boards worked, and worked very well. The ability to interact reasonably quickly with others, to ask and to answer follow-ups, have an online "conversation" and to have other users chime in with good suggestions are among them. Also, very high on the list was the ability to post attachments to your notes. All of these have been greatly weakened or eliminated outright in the "new" forum. As one example, it was very common for a user to post a snippet of their actual file to the forum, have it downloaded and "fixed" by one of the others and re-posted, all within hours. Can I post a problematic snippet of my new oratorio here and expect the same?

Somehow, I doubt it. If the problem is one of composition and not software, can I still ask the question here? At the Finale Forum, I would likely get an answer, as some pretty good composers visited regularly, but would you even open a ticket for a theory issue regarding slurs in alternate notation? Highly unlikely. Not only that, thanks to its literally global nature, the MakeMusic forum is -or rather, was- open 24/7. Are your people available whenever we users need help while working to a deadline?

Moreover, the Finale forum has already registered more than 300 separate entries asking, pleading, and demanding that you change your stance and leave it well enough alone. Given that statistically, only 10-15% of upset consumers actually take the time to voice their concerns to any supplier, those 300 entries point to between 3,000 and 4,500 Finale users who are truly upset by this move. Again I ask, can MM afford to alienate many of their experienced, high-end power users?

I have been loyal to MM for over 15 years, but I find it very distressing that despite the outpouring of objections by a great many of your most loyal, educated and indeed dedicated users, you would not so much as consider our points in your decision making and insist on a "*** the iceberg, full speed ahead" attitude that completely ignores us all.
It’s an attitude that bespeaks a significant alteration of MM’s corporate philosophy, something we were promised would not happen when Peakware took over. Sadly, we hear these promises too often these days. Takeovers of smaller companies by large corporation that place far too much emphasis on the bottom line instead of on quality intone it just about every time they buy up another entity. Perhaps it was simply too much to hope that this time, it was made in earnest that would be adhered to. Is MM still a principled, responsive organization? Perhaps, but as of today, that’s in serious doubt.

The Notation business is very much a niche-market thing as opposed to say, making and selling widgets to JC Penny, and while actual sales may show a higher number of units annually due to a certain percentage of "one-time" buyers, to risk the goodwill of tens of thousands of dedicated, product-familiar users to me seems to be one of the most dangerous chances a company this size can take. Who can withstand losing thousands or even tens of thousands of largely satisfied customers in this environment, many of whom have used the products since before many members of your current management team were out of Business School?

In closing, I will note here that within a day of the announcement I sent a personal letter to Adam expressing many of these concerns. A full month later, he has yet to respond, and at this juncture, I don’t think he will, which is very sad. I asked him if perhaps there was something I was missing, if there were perhaps features in the new Forum which were for want of a better word "hidden" away which would bring it operationally up to the level of the MM version.

I believe I was respectful, a worried and upset client asking for an explanation from a company that I have been very loyal to for over a decade. But it seems that my loyalty has not been returned, nor does it appear to be respected. And I am but one of tens of thousands who are feeling abandoned by this change to something largely unworkable which appeared from the outset to be of a format designed to discourage discourse, forestall creative and original problem-solving amongst members, yet replaces an excellent product which by its very existence saved the company a great deal of time and money over the years, and which has now been consigned to the scrap heap. That Adam apparently has chosen to completely ignore my concerns which were expressed to him personally and not in a public forum is deeply troubling.

And hear me now, if you read nothing else I've written, you need to read this- if an equal or perhaps better product comes along that includes the kind of assistance we have become used to, I will be leaving. Service -good service- is a big part of why I choose certain products over others, and a responsive, dynamic operation will get my vote over one that seems hell-bent on customer alienation any day.


Happy New Year!
KM Frye
Victoria
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KM Frye
BVStudios
Composer, Arranger, Performer
Living on the Wild, West Coast.
current work- "Culloden:1746", an oratorio, using
Finale 2014.5
GPO 4
JABB3
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KMFrye
 
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Re: Attn: Adam, Fred and others in Colorado

Postby Credo » Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:17 am

Well said, and I agree. The new setup is quite substandard compared to this and the Finale forum.

I also miss the true book-style (or pdf) documentation with GPO5. It's quite difficult to simply read the whole thing from cover to cover, and some parts of it don't even show up unless you run 'searches'. If I didn't have manuals from older versions I'd be totally LOST in GPO5.
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Re: Attn: Adam, Fred and others in Colorado

Postby Derrek » Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:17 am

Does Mr. Frye realize that this is not the new forum and indeed is also scheduled to shut down?
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Re: Attn: Adam, Fred and others in Colorado

Postby KMFrye » Sun Jan 01, 2017 1:12 pm

Yes, he does.... but I posted it here as well in hopes that someone from MM or Peaksware is trolling around this holiday weekend and may recall his Victorian British writers.

(And that last phrase is an edit, as the name of the author of "Oliver Twist" and "A Christmas Carol" kept being censored out of the sentence!!)
  • 0

KM Frye
BVStudios
Composer, Arranger, Performer
Living on the Wild, West Coast.
current work- "Culloden:1746", an oratorio, using
Finale 2014.5
GPO 4
JABB3
World
REAPER DAW
User avatar
KMFrye
 
Posts: 56
Joined: December, 2013
Reputation: 4
Software Owned:
PM since 2001, Finale 2014.5,
Garritan Personal Orchestra IV
Garritan Jazz and Big Band 3
Reaper DAW

Re: Attn: Adam, Fred and others in Colorado

Postby SysExJohn » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:07 am

You're absolutely correct but, I suspect, the decision has been made by management and, in my experience "management are never wrong", "they never make mistakes" and "we, the end users, will benefit in the long run."

In actual fact, due to the appalling nature of the disregard for the end user of this decision, it's more likely that we will all abandon MakeMusic sooner or later and do our business with those with a more caring attitude in the future (sorry, in commercial speak I should have said "going forward" rather than "in the future").

The reason you cannot use the name of the author is because it contains the word d-i-c-k.
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