Print Software Versioning and How it Causes Vendor Problems

September 18, 2013 Mike Thomson

As a professional in the print world I have seen my fair share of software releases. From the minor tweaks between full releases to the major full releases themselves, there is a recurring theme that takes place – your biggest client upgrades before you do. So, what's the problem? Well, the problem occurs when the client upgrades without telling you.

Here's the scenario: there is a new release of a software critical to the workflows and the file formats shared between you and a client, but you haven't upgraded. Then your top client submits a rush job. Guess what happens next? You got it, the client has upgraded, sent you the files and you have no way of opening them.  As experts in syncing brands with their network partners to automate local marketing we know how frustrating it is to be out of sync with a client, our organization’s livelihood is resolving that frustration every day between brands and local marketers.   

In this particular case it is something as mundane as an incongruent file format, now you have to go back to your client with the request to save the files to an older format. This can lead to delays in the production timeline and also make you look less professional to the client.

So, how can you avoid this from happening? The obvious answer would be to upgrade immediately, but that is not always the best answer. Most major releases will have some issues that will need to be sorted out. I'll avoid the term "bugs", since that is a rather negative term.  It's not uncommon for a software company to release an update to correct newly discovered issues or performance enhancements within a few months of a release. The best approach is to notify your client base of impending releases and inform them that you will upgrade at a later date, avoiding the unforeseen issues. You can ask them to provide the files to you in the format you require even if they choose to upgrade their software.

Staying on top of your software and being proactive will help you avoid the unnecessary headaches that can sometimes occur. It will also reinforce to your clients that you have their best interests at heart.

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