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Faxon's new business system Teri Harrison 09 Feb 1996 16:15 UTC

Recently a number of questions have been asked over the SERIALST listserv
regarding the new Faxon business system, its capabilities, and our decision to
introduce it this year.  I thought this would be a good time to share with you
the logic for this decision.  I will try to keep my marketing bias and
enthusiasm in check.

Faxon's previous system (CICS) was developed during the infancy of the computer
age (Faxon was the first agency to automate) and as such, had early year
computing technique and architecture.  These older systems tended to mechanize
manual systems and did not take advantage of automation as we currently know
it.  Networking and relational database management simply did not exist.  This
resulted in systems that were very difficult to amend and cumbersome in
execution.  To fully understand the era in which I speak, Faxon had an
operational system 20 years before the IBM PC was introduced.

Faxon made a decision to install a new business system (Source) this past fall.
The decision followed five years of design and analysis with particular
emphasis on where the industry is headed, not where it is currently.

The new system is a relational database structure providing open architecture
and ease of use for the end user.  Given it's modularized construction, the
system can be amended to respond to the rapidly changing needs of the
information industry.  The system also addresses the well-documented problems
associated with the millennium date change.

While there were some short-term performance problems (that typically occur
with the installation of a new system of this magnitude) these issues have been
resolved.  However, they did create a temporary slow down during our peak
ordering period.  We are working quickly to minimize the impact of this
situation, and appreciate the support we have received from both our client
base and publishers.

Information technology has changed and will continue to change.  We now have a
system that is capable of leveraging the opportunities this creates for our
clients and for ourselves.  While we apologize for any temporary difficulties
this may have caused our clients, we would have been negligent in not
diligently planning for the future.

We hope that if our clients have specific questions regarding their account
they will contact their client service representative, so that we may quickly
address and resolve their concerns.

Roy J. Reinalda
Executive Vice President
Sales and Marketing
The Faxon Company