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Next year to be PM Systems's last

June 1, 2003
PM Systems, after almost 20 years of providing computer systems to electrical distributors, has told its customers that the company will close down by

PM Systems, after almost 20 years of providing computer systems to electrical distributors, has told its customers that the company will close down by Sept.1, 1999. To help customers make the transition to new operating systems, PM Systems has formed a strategic alliance with Trade Service Systems, Blue Bell, Pa.

PM Systems president David Pratt has begun working with Trade Service Systems to build some of PM Systems' features into Trade Service's Array system. By doing so, Trade Service hopes to entice PM Systems users to migrate to Array and at the same time to entice David Pratt to play a larger role in Trade Service's future, said Mike Wentz, director of marketing, Trade Service Systems.

PM Systems decided to close down after confronting the prospect of rewriting its software for a new platform, said Eve Pratt, vice president. The year-2000 problem pestering so many software vendors didn't really play a role, she said. A more pressing factor was the need to offer client/server capabilities. PM Systems' software, which runs on mainframe computers, had been developed incrementally over the years, and some of its programs were almost 20 years old. Meeting the rising demand for client/server systems would require a complete rewrite.

Pratt said the alliance with Trade Service will make it easier for PM's customers to move to a new system. PM Systems will provide technical support until the Sept. 1999 deadline and key support people have agreed to stay on until then, but there will be no further enhancements to the product, Pratt said. "We felt that a year and four months was enough time for our users to both find another system and convert to it," she said.

About the Author

Doug Chandler | Senior Staff Writer

Doug has been reporting and writing on the electrical industry for Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Marketing since 1992 and still finds the industry’s evolution and the characters who inhabit its companies endlessly fascinating. That was true even before e-commerce, LED lighting and distributed generation began to disrupt so many of the electrical industry’s traditional practices.

Doug earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Kansas after spending a few years in KU’s William Allen White School of Journalism, then deciding he absolutely did not want to be a journalist. In the company of his wife, two kids, two dogs and two cats, he spends a lot of time in the garden and the kitchen – growing food, cooking, brewing beer – and helping to run the family coffee shop.

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