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November 2002

To the Editor:

Your Graceland University story in the September issue really caught my attention. It didn’t surprise me one bit that the IT staff at a university pulled off a data migration that the vendor recommended against. What really jumped out at me was the part about Jenzabar’s support fees increasing so much that Graceland is actually considering a return to a home-grown system. I think there’s another story to be told. Developing a system is incredibly expensive and usually requires more time than an administration is willing to wait. (I’ve heard rumors that the Jenzabar support costs increased as much as 26 percent from last year to this year.)

Thanks to the saddest day in computing history (11/14/01), many people will look to software packages as they are forced off the 3000 platform. Perhaps there is a story or two regarding the costs of software packages and the “hidden” costs of training and on-going software maintenance. Many small organizations choose to delay hardware upgrades of home-grown systems until their budget allows. With a software package, that may not be an option if you want to remain on support.

Dennis Barnes
Director of Information Technology
Wharton County Junior College
Wharton, Texas 

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