A Mission Statement:
What does the Santronics acquisition of
Mustangs Wildcat product line mean to you - our Customer!
Hector Santos, President
Santronics Software Inc
As you probably heard by now, Santronics Software has purchased the rights to the popular Wildcat! and WINServer product line, including all the Wildcat! add-on modules and Offline Xpress (OLX).
Both Jim Harrer of Mustang and myself Hector Santos, fully understand the nature and importance of the deal. We also understand many customers will have many honest and sincere questions and concerns about the acquisition.
I would like to take the opportunity now to address most of the key concerns and also give you a feel for some of our future plans.
In short, I would like to say that Santronics Software is going to give our new products the fullest attention, commitment and support in order to make them very successful products in the market place. Santronics has a reputation towards producing quality products and customer satisfaction and we will undoubtedly extend the same "company attitude" towards our new WINServer products.
Jim and I have structured the acquisition and transition so that a "minimum" hit is placed on customers. The Mustang computers which handled both the AUP and Online Support Service (BBS) are being shipped to Santronics as I write this. Mustangs engineers are flying down to Florida to help Santronics complete the electronic support installation. Hopefully, there will be little disturbance and down time in the electronic support system. As part of the transition, Mustang performed one last AUP a few days ago to get out the latest changes, but more importantly to also "program" the AUP client software with the new telephone numbers and URL for the next AUP from our new location.
The way I see it, Santronics will maintain a "status quo" with the WINServer product operations during the early months and transitional period. This means that nothing will change during the early period as far as pricing, support, AUP resellers, etc, including special programs, such as beta testers. All customers should not exhibit any concern about this.
For the most part, I believe Mustang provided a solid product operation with WINServer. However, we intend to analyze the parts that need improvements. It should go without saying that we will review everything about the WINServer product line and see what has to be done. Im talking about voice and electronic support, product manufacturing and packaging, marketing, distribution methods, product pricing, beta testing, AUP update system, resellers, 3rd party developers, etc. Of course, our goal is keep what worked and change/improve what didnt.
Among the top considerations we need to make is to lower the product manufacturing cost and support overhead while at the same time improve the communications with customers for support and future development.
In short, we need to make WINServer the "Best Internet/Intranet product in the World". I have a cute belief about WINServer. Microsoft mottos is "Where do you want to go today?". Well, I would like to tell the world "WINServer is where Microsoft wants to go". I truly believe WINServer has alot to offer. It was definitely ahead of its time and Santronics believes it's among the best solutions out there for the internet and/or as a pure modem online server system. Even though the internet has created such a revolution of new ideas, the market is starting to show that they need a Online Server system like WINServer.
Some of the plans we intend to work on are related to customers support and relations. One plan is to create a "Electronic Town Meeting" very shortly so that we can talk and see what the customers have to say. Another plan is to have a "Wish List" web site which will allow customers to define the "direction" of the product line as far as features are concerned. We also plan to improve the AUP system. How? Not sure, but one thing I heard from some people was that the updates were sometimes too big to distribute over long distance modem calls. So maybe we might use a patch system.
What about Wildcat/DOS? Let me just say that my inclination is to "pump some air" into it and bring it back to life, but mostly for support for the time being. At the moment, we have no plans to create any major version update. But no doubt, we will look at that aspect of the product. I guess alot will depend on the DOS customer marketplace. Obviously, if there are no new customers for it, we are not going to place too much emphasis on trying to create something that isnt there.
What about Offline Xpress, the QWK offline reader? Our initial plan is to extend the format support for OLX by adding the OPX, Silver Xpress mail format and newsgroup reading. OLX is still a great product for offline mail readers.
What about Platinum Xpress, the Fidonet System for WINServer? Not much at the moment will be done. Its already a great product that works great with WINServer. However, some of the things to look at is improved integration.
What about other High Technology future plans? There is alot going on the marketplace. So we must see what our customers are saying and what they are currently or planning on doing. I can say this, "We aint seen nothing yet". We are going to work on things such as improving and creating new remote connectivity methods, improving and creating new database integration methods and improving and creating new electronic commerce methods. In addition, we plan to create 32 bit versions of Wildcat Navigator, including a Windows CE version. So there is much in the future for this product line.
What about 3rd party Developers? This is one area I plan to improve. We need to get more developers involved. I have a good plan here and that basically means showing the developer community the powerful programmability of WINserver and how WINServer can be used as part of a "Total Solution" with other technologies.
All in all, I made this deal for one reason - I believe in the product and I believe you believe in the product too. Jim sold the product to me because he believes I was the best person to take his original baby and go all the way with it. I have talked to many people in just the past day and except for some expressing some "What now?", not one person was negative about the deal, All people ranging from customers, beta testers and resellers expressed the same comment - they are very happy to see WINServer will finally reach a new level and presence in the market placeunder the control of an organization who is fully committed to the product line.
My promise to all customers is this: We are committed to producing the best quality product and we are committed to making sure you are happy with your WINServer system. WINServer is our primary focus now and there is no reason to believe I made the wrong move. I dont see this as a gamble but rather a new, exciting and promising beginning. Our goal is to make sure we stay on the right track, dont lose focus and make sure our #1 asset, the customers, are happy with the product line.
Finally, Santronics is looking at the possibility of having a WINServer Sysop and Developers Conference sometime in 1999 in sunny South Florida. This will give us the opportunity to meet some of you who attend.
In the meantime, please bear with our transition and understand we are doing our best to create the best environment to continue the development of this product and the support of our customers. With the holidays coming, we are going to be very busy for the next few months. We welcome your support and understanding.
It is my pleasure to make this statement to my new customer base. I invite you to send me your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 305-248-3204.
Santronics Software, Inc.