The closure of my local video library and what it means for practice management software: adapt or die
Around 2001 I attended an accounting seminar where the presenter, David Smith told the accountants present to advise any of their clients wanting to open a DVD store, then at their height of popularity, not to invest; the internet would replace it: he was laughed at. My local video library, Video Vision, announced recently that it would be closing. An overwhelming driving force behind it closing was the increase of internet streaming - exactly what was predicted in that seminar 15 years ago.
I attend conferences either out of curiosity or where I am requested to by a client, so I'm not a mouthpiece for Xero, Intuit, Sage etc. This week happened to be Xero in Melbourne, in one session, practice management was showcased; the functionality which was a (very) expensive add on when I was selling practice management in the mid 2000s is now included for free in a system that is, well, free and it was delivered by the presenter in a 'oh by the way we have this functionality and this is how you use it' matter of fact way and not with any hoopla! Whether or not he appreciated the enormity of this, it wasn't lost on some of my old clients in the audience currently spending upwards of $40,000 per annum shaking their heads; the smaller firms had access to better technology than they did.
The concern still remains about the ability of cloud providers to scale up to user numbers typical of large firms. The pitch from what I could gather is aimed at the 20 seat and below market, but this is only matter of time. The current major providers, Reckon & MYOB in particular, are on notice; the old mantra of evolution not revolution no longer applies they need to act fast or end up like Video Vision - in the annals of history; This has now become a transactional business and not one based on relationships.
Tea leaves and chicken guts are the worst predictors; it was once said that those without knowledge predict and those with knowledge don't. It's not hard to see what the future holds though, and beyond what it means for firms.