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Just found all you guys by chance...didnt know the forum existed, how bad is that after years in the industry. Will certainly enjoy looking through threads...

We are a small family company, NSI

 

My mission, to find an alternative to Alarmaster, and Cash Mentor.

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47 minutes ago, Sonic said:

Just found all you guys by chance...didnt know the forum existed, how bad is that after years in the industry. Will certainly enjoy looking through threads...

We are a small family company, NSI

 

My mission, to find an alternative to Alarmaster, and Cash Mentor.

Yo

 

Topic thoroughly discussed on trade side, apply and join the alarm gorillas 

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1 hour ago, Sonic said:

Just found all you guys by chance...didnt know the forum existed, how bad is that after years in the industry. Will certainly enjoy looking through threads...

We are a small family company, NSI

 

My mission, to find an alternative to Alarmaster, and Cash Mentor.

We have just moved from AM to Cash, both are a bit quirky but I am overall happy with the change 

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Its the quoted £10K I cant get my head around......which really seems horrendous for this software. Also the monthly costs are pretty high. Its not cloud based which is good.

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36 minutes ago, Sonic said:

Its the quoted £10K I cant get my head around......which really seems horrendous for this software. Also the monthly costs are pretty high. Its not cloud based which is good.

You're lucky £26k was my starting bid 

Oh and you dont want cloud based unless its your own cloud

 

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16 hours ago, PeterJames said:

You're lucky £26k was my starting bid 

Oh and you dont want cloud based unless its your own cloud

 

WHAT !!!!  26K? Heck that's serious money. My buddy who sold commercial software, really big stuff globally, Verbatim etc, reckoned the going rate for ongoing support was between 10-18% per annum. Methinks that because its such a specialized software, they have our leg in the air.

 

I sat down the other night to really take apart Alarmaster, and what it actually does. Apart from being a really rubbish and rough programme, no disrespect to Phil Jackson who built it, and I think we were one of the first to buy the programme, and a couple of hundred a year support, its so fragmented and bitty you can't transfer it from one machine to a new one without intricate changes to the PC operating system itself. That makes tech support essential and at the rate they want to stitch you up for.

 

If it was as simple as just reinstalling it from say Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10, like a Word programme, that would be ok, but it's not. You have to faf about with the advantage database, other deep Windows commands etc. etc. It's a blinking nightmare, and the reports procedure is really junk as well.  Even then, it was easy to ring up PC Data, Steve or someone would hop on team viewer and within 10 mins, all sorted. Now, Avanti who bought out PCData, operate a "support ticket" system, which is a pain and hardly counts as "support" If youve a machine crashed you need support straight away. My buddy in Suffolk waited 3 days for "support", and being linked to Sage accounting you can imagine the hassle. Moral, don't combine different software.

The big insult, as soon as Avanti took over PCData they have jacked up the annual maintenance (Mine was £800 2019 with PCdata, and we never needed them!!!) to £1500, increasing to £5k in 3 years...Well I know where Dick Turpin now works.

It would be much failrer to pay for support as and when you needed it..but then we know the reason why they don't do it.

 

But the long and short of it is Alarmaster is well past its sell by date. Its buggy, claggy and slow, it can't open 2 tiles at once, can't change font sizes, its really primitive now and so many problems and limitations and of course won't run on IOS . Thats annoying as we run several Macs but have to keep windows for Alarmaster...etc...it really is just rubbish and at a premium rate.

We made do with it for best part of 20 years. Now we need to upgrade all the machines and it's going to be trouble with a capital T. Unless anyone out there can sell their skills?

 

Cash for Mentor seems the only choice. Looked at Jobber and loads of software for "trades" mostly American, but they don't tick our boxes, and of course your very valid point of not wanting "cloud" based. If it's not on my own server I don't want to know.

So going back to what Amaster does, its not really a lot, just pulling and pushing from databases, with a user front end. The calculation of monthly NSI stats, Police response etc, could be a problem.

 

There is a specialist opportunity for a good simple software application for our profession, at the moment in my opinion, held captive by Avanti and Mentor.

 

I wonder if anyone still runs an Excel system.

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A few have developed their own solution either because they wanted to move cos of the buyout or historically made the decision to do that years ago.  

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27 minutes ago, Sonic said:

WHAT !!!!  26K? Heck that's serious money. My buddy who sold commercial software, really big stuff globally, Verbatim etc, reckoned the going rate for ongoing support was between 10-18% per annum. Methinks that because its such a specialized software, they have our leg in the air.

 

I sat down the other night to really take apart Alarmaster, and what it actually does. Apart from being a really rubbish and rough programme, no disrespect to Phil Jackson who built it, and I think we were one of the first to buy the programme, and a couple of hundred a year support, its so fragmented and bitty you can't transfer it from one machine to a new one without intricate changes to the PC operating system itself. That makes tech support essential and at the rate they want to stitch you up for.

 

If it was as simple as just reinstalling it from say Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10, like a Word programme, that would be ok, but it's not. You have to faf about with the advantage database, other deep Windows commands etc. etc. It's a blinking nightmare, and the reports procedure is really junk as well.  Even then, it was easy to ring up PC Data, Steve or someone would hop on team viewer and within 10 mins, all sorted. Now, Avanti who bought out PCData, operate a "support ticket" system, which is a pain and hardly counts as "support" If youve a machine crashed you need support straight away. My buddy in Suffolk waited 3 days for "support", and being linked to Sage accounting you can imagine the hassle. Moral, don't combine different software.

The big insult, as soon as Avanti took over PCData they have jacked up the annual maintenance (Mine was £800 2019 with PCdata, and we never needed them!!!) to £1500, increasing to £5k in 3 years...Well I know where Dick Turpin now works.

It would be much failrer to pay for support as and when you needed it..but then we know the reason why they don't do it.

 

But the long and short of it is Alarmaster is well past its sell by date. Its buggy, claggy and slow, it can't open 2 tiles at once, can't change font sizes, its really primitive now and so many problems and limitations and of course won't run on IOS . Thats annoying as we run several Macs but have to keep windows for Alarmaster...etc...it really is just rubbish and at a premium rate.

We made do with it for best part of 20 years. Now we need to upgrade all the machines and it's going to be trouble with a capital T. Unless anyone out there can sell their skills?

 

Cash for Mentor seems the only choice. Looked at Jobber and loads of software for "trades" mostly American, but they don't tick our boxes, and of course your very valid point of not wanting "cloud" based. If it's not on my own server I don't want to know.

So going back to what Amaster does, its not really a lot, just pulling and pushing from databases, with a user front end. The calculation of monthly NSI stats, Police response etc, could be a problem.

 

There is a specialist opportunity for a good simple software application for our profession, at the moment in my opinion, held captive by Avanti and Mentor.

 

I wonder if anyone still runs an Excel system.

 

asolvi, pc data was dos based thing by alan norris in the days before I had a pc...

 

IIRC Phil & Ken came along & a move to windows

 

being bitchy, the company set up looked far from "flash", in similar manner that most of my clients have much better premises than I or my competitors have...

 

I suspect bright young things don't want to do alarm software or databases ?

 

 


Mr😀

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I remember Phil well, a great guy. I originally bought our Amaster stations 5 I think, plus a server, from him, we even went up to Hull to look around. Then met Ken, on the IFSEC circuit  another nice guy, think he was to promote sales. The setup wasn't flash I agree, but everyone at PC Data where friendly and helpful beyond. Even Phil would get on the support lines sometime. Halcyon days...

 

Shame its gone down the tube service/cost wise.

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3 minutes ago, Sonic said:

but everyone at PC Data where friendly and helpful

 

they must have been too busy looking after you to reply to me...


Mr😀

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2 hours ago, Sonic said:

WHAT !!!!  26K? Heck that's serious money. My buddy who sold commercial software, really big stuff globally, Verbatim etc, reckoned the going rate for ongoing support was between 10-18% per annum. Methinks that because its such a specialized software, they have our leg in the air.

 

 

£26k was the starting bid I got them down to £18k in the end. I do use the system fully though, from enquiry to quote to purchase orders as well as all the maintenance runs and stuff. I can track engineers and see how far they are from the next job etc,I am still getting used to it but it seems okay, and although its not without its quirks it seems to be more reliable than AM. My admin team love it. 

Once you buy it you dont need to have the ongoing maintenance to keep it working (which is why you dont want something on someone else's cloud) I will keep paying the maintenance on mine.

I dont think it was worth the £18k, but I reckon most people who buy a burglar alarm from me think the same. Not that I am not gvfm, its a begrudged sale. I need software in order to do my job, but its not going to make me better looking, or make my car go faster or my dick grow bigger. Its the same with alarms, though I do try to make customers think their car will go faster with one of my alarms.

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Customers cars will go faster if they get a message from the ARC saying they have an activation.

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