More than anything else, doctors want certainty. It’s no secret that doctors don’t have it now and they are nervous. VSP is embroiled in a potential change in market direction that will profoundly future overall revenue. Any change in the fortune of VSP will also affect Eyefinity.
The Eyefinity product line of Officemate and ExamWriter is still at the top of the hill, but cloud application vendor, RevolutionEHR has exposed potential weaknesses in Eyefinity’s basic architecture. Being a traditional local server-based software, the onset of cloud application and storage has pushed Eyefinity to the brink of obsolescence As many doctors know, technology that can make software easier and cheaper to own and operate makes more sense than one that cannot.
Product life cycles (the life of a software product or technology) is not more than a year or two at most. That means that Eyefinity needed to start planning in earnest to introduce new product architectures as far back as 2010 or even 2009. Whether such a development is occurring is still unknown as Eyefinity is reticient, as most companies are, to review its future plans.
However, for the doctor who has invested in Eyefinity products such reticence is not relieving doctor anxiety. Because patient records are the heart of any practice how their Eyefinity products can lower the cost of operation and lower the medical risks is uppermost in their minds. Any competitor who can proffer a better value than the Eyefinity product risks switching to the competitor.
Product management isn’t a mystical science. In the enterprise software market as a whole, thousands of software products have gone through the process of product management. One way product management can dispel customer anxiety is to hold product map shows or meeting where a vendor can sketch out or hint at the future direction of its software and the potential time frame they will occur. Without such predictions, the customer is adrift and ripe for the picking by a competitor.
Eyefinity is the market leader and users should take heart that any market leader has sufficient technology and capital resources to survive on its own. But such market leadership is also tenuous. Customer uncertainty is the bane of software vendors and such uncertainty can be managed. But it has to happen sooner more than later.
Disclaimer: If anyone who has read this has deeper insight, commenting on the blog post will be most welcome. I do not have any fiduciary interest or have any business relationship with any software vendor who markets eye software to the optometry market place.