Jeff, I agree with the difficulty in justifying the ALFs each year, especially when I am requested to see "where can we cut back on expenses?". It's a bug chunk of money each year. The on-going financial outlay for ALFs makes it harder to get new stuff put in - my R/F project has been deferred for going on 3 years now, and I can't get approval for another programmer. I seriously think my only saving grace is that senior management realizes how tightly integrated our entire operation is into using MAPICS - it literally controls our entire plant except for maintenance, and all our office departments work with MAPICS to do their jobs (except for Sales and Marketing - they just feed MAPICS orders). We view it as a cost of doing business. And since we continually look for ways to improve processes, and whatever we do almost always involves the ERP system, I can show value. But that doesn't mean I don't wince when I approve the annual invoice....... Incidentally, I think I should jump in to defend Konrad's point of view. If our company was a "static" user of MAPICS; if I didn't have the management team that our company has that I get to work with on continual improvement projects, the ALFs would really be an ouch to my department. We view MAPICS Browser (and R7) as an important upgrade path - if we were going to just stick with the older applications the ALFs would really be tough for me to justify. As I understand it (and I could easily be wrong), green screen MAPICS is pretty well going to stay at R6, with some enhancements added as time goes on - sort of like the old MAPICS II (we got "Multi-Mod" enhancements about 1987 or 1988). I wonder if MAPICS could offer a "tiered" ALF? One level (at a lower cost) for companies that won't move to Browser, and another (current cost) for "active" customers that are using Browser. They could set the pricing by what modules are owned? That might help a lot of companies out. I wonder how many (if any) companies quit using MAPICS because their license expires and they won't pay the ALFs? I pay a percentage of software purchase cost as annual maintenance for a number of packages we use besides MAPICS. That's pretty well standard (and Microsoft is trying to get on the same bandwagon - boo!). The MAPICS invoice just seems so large because of how many modules we have and use, and they all come due at once. Konrad, I don't always agree with everything you say, but you DO make me think, and you have really helped me on a couple problems over the years. Keep reading and posting! Dale Gindlesperger IT Manager/Special Projects Leader Fleetwood Folding Trailers, Inc. Somerset, PA "Jeff Green" <jgreen@xxxxxxxxxx To: "'MAPICS ERP System Discussion'" <mapics-l@xxxxxxxxxxxx> om> cc: Sent by: Subject: RE: ALF Expense Analysis mapics-l-bounces@m idrange.com 11/10/2003 08:32 AM Please respond to MAPICS ERP System Discussion I've been lurking here for awhile, so I guess it's time to throw my 2 cents in. I don't think Konrad is the only frustrated customer out here. I know I am asked frequently what we receive for the ALF money we pay each year and I have a hard time justifying it against the 1 or 2 PCM's we load and the 10 or so support calls we make. I agree with Dale in that there are intangibles that are there, but it is difficult to illustrate those to management. I think MAPICS could accomplish quit a bit if they would start 'giving' away a piece of client software to replace one of your existing applications every time you pay your ALF. This would spread a lot of goodwill among the existing customer base (who help fund the development), and help reduce MAPICS support costs for older legacy applications. Jeff Green ERP Manager Metal Sales Manufacturing Sellersburg, IN www.mtlsales.com -----Original Message----- From: Jeff Snyder [mailto:jeffreygsnyder@xxxxxxxxxxx] Sent: Friday, November 07, 2003 8:36 PM To: mapics-l@xxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: RE: ALF Expense Analysis Always good to hear at least one customer out there is happy with MAPICS Sometimes i get sooo fustrated from all the bashing on this thread...maybe the grass just looks greener on the other side ??? Thanks again Dale, for the breath of fresh air. Konrad never ceases to amaze me. Jeff Snyder, CPIM Mapics Consultant From: DaleGindlesperger@xxxxxxxxxxx Reply-To: MAPICS ERP System Discussion <MAPICS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxx> To: MAPICS ERP System Discussion <MAPICS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxx> Subject: RE: ALF Expense Analysis Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 15:43:10 -0500 Hi Dale, Yeah, I think the ALF is pretty steep myself - it's easily the largest single item in my budget. But I think I still get decent value for it, especially as I plan on upgrading to R7 as soon as they finish CSM. We've used Browser since 1999, and we are increasing our usage, and at least it's a lot more stable than it used to be. Of course, that could be because of the newer versions of Winwoes being a little better than the old versions. I was initally concerned about the mismash of languages, as Konrad mentioned (I think he missed a couple, like PowerBuilder for those of us running MDCC, and probably some others), but they seem to work fine. I am, however, very much looking forward to running in a full Java environment on R7.x when we convert. One thing to keep in mind is that our ALFs don't just fund existing application enhancements. They also fund e:Info and the folks at the response line, which is worth a lot to some of us. It's great to get a speedy response via e-mail, and generally fast response via phone when I or my people need to talk to a human bean on something weird that is happening. There is also continuing enhancement to some older modules, like the Offline Shipping Enhancement, and such. Also, it costs a lot to fund R&D for the new hardware, modules, and languages (WebSphere and such). On a tangent - Konrad, I noticed no one said they have loaded 5118 yet. I have it sitting in my drawer, waiting to see if it's OK. Hasn't ANYONE put it on? Dale Gindlesperger IT Manager/Special Projects Leader Fleetwood Folding Trailers, Inc. 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