It's October?


Progress turns 40 this year – a remarkable achievement in our industry by any standards. Here in South Africa, it started in the late 80s in Cape Town under Realtime Computer Services, the original distributor, and many of our current partners have been with us since the beginning. (BTW, Gustav has been involved since 1994, four years before my introduction in 1998!)

Although, in many ways, Progress circa 2021 is a very different company, at its core still lies the '4GL and Database', now known as OpenEdge, which remains the underlying technology for so many South African organisations. Over the years we have seen some of our larger customers attempt to move away to international household name software applications, only to find that the reliability and robustness of the local Progress based applications is irreplaceable! We feature one great success story from Lloyd Griesel, whose Mozaic application was repurchased by Tiger Brands for Albany Bakeries after an abortive attempt to replace Mozaic with Oracle. What is really exciting about this story, however, is the fact that a need for a Mobile App front end for Mozaic was identified and Lloyd and Bev took advantage of early lockdown to develop it! This has already resulted in a brand-new customer and 'watch this space' for further developments in early 2022! Who says COVID has only been negative?!

We have also seen the rejuvenation of other applications based on the fact 'they work' and deliver on their promises. The South African Municipal Finance Management arena has been a strong market for Progress based applications for decades but, in recent years, new 'modern technology' applications threatened to dominate the market. In recent months, however, we have seen exciting developments and growth from RData and revitalization of the old ICL application, Promis.

The Progress 40-year birthday got me thinking and reminiscing about my 23 years with Progress and, in the process, was reminded of the user conferences we used to have. This led me to looking at some of the press Cuttings and photographs! I will be interested to know if any of you recognise anybody in the following pictures!

Unbelievably, we are now in the last quarter of our 2021 financial year – where has the year gone?! Traditionally, this quarter has always been the busiest and this year shows no sign of being any different. Thanks to all the hard work and loyalty of you, our Partners and Customers, we continue to grow the business and the prospects are for a really healthy 2021.

By the end of November, we could also see a realistic return to some sense of the previous 'normal', at least from a local travel and hospitality perspective, so I hope to see more of you face to face!

In the meantime – thank you, stay safe and, if you haven't yet been vaccinated, please get it done as soon as possible. A return to some of the good old ways will continue to evade us until we are all 'done'! 

Progress honoured with a 9th 5-star rating in 2021...

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