Sage has been declared preferred bidder for Aussie small biz and accounts firm MYOB. The Geordie firm is bidding A$1.3bn (£823m), which tops offers from Bain Capital and Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts and Co. The two private equity/asset stripper firms were stymied by the downturn in debt markets in recent weeks. The offer is a …
MYOB and Mamut
Let's hope that Sage can reverse Mamut's intentions to force the UK customer base into taking out unwanted support contracts with them.
MYOB users have a licence granted to them by the Australian MYOB company to have their data files validated by one of their local agents. This enables them to continue to use the software they have paid for... if the validation isn't carried out the data file (i.e. the company accounts) goes into read-only mode.
MYOB UK offered upgrades as recent as March 2008. The company was then sold to Mamut. Without consultation or notification Mamut recently announced the unilateral decision to end the file verification that the software is dependent upon, even though this is a system they took over and continued to operate. There's not technical reason why verification cannot continue.
The decision to stop this service without any recourse to alternatives, such as software patch, a small service fee to cover costs, or handing over to another provider is purely based on their desire to convert the UK customer base into hard cash. The annual fee is around £100. There are estimated to be 20,000 MYOB users in the UK. They stand to gain £2m.
However the software licence for the UK product clearly states that the Australian MYOB company is the one that is granting the licence to use the product together with the required activation of data files. This means that despite the confusion caused by Mamut in the UK market the Australian MYOB company is still involved in the debacle.
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