Developer's death leaves support question mark

Tauranga District Council says it has no immediate concerns about ongoing software support following the death of the developer of its corporate systems.

Tauranga District Council says it has no immediate concerns about ongoing software support following the death of the developer of its corporate systems.

The council is one of four which uses local government applications from Origen Technology, a Tauranga company whose founder, Tony Dixon, died last month aged 39.

“We’re pretty well covered in the short term,” says Tauranga information systems manager Robyn Dines, “but we’re still waiting to discuss future arrangements with Origen.”

Dixon’s father, Barry, has taken over the running of the company, which he describes as his son’s life work. “Origen was his life but we have every intention of carrying on. The main thing at the moment is to make sure we support existing customers, who have stuck with Tony.”

Dines says the council uses a suite of about 30 Origen modules covering the full range of financial and regulatory functions. The system has been in use “for a few years” but requires modification from time to time as council processes change.

“We’re in the middle of a water meter upgrade so that will require water billing functionality to be added to the software.”

Dixon’s death will have a “very significant” impact. “He was a brilliant man,” Dines says.

Carpet maker Cavalier Bremworth, of south Auckland has been using Origen development tools for more than a decade. IS manager Mark McElroy foresees little change for Cavalier for the next “two to three years”, but beyond that, ongoing use of the tools will depend on Origen’s fate.

Origen is based on IBM-owned Universe, a multi-value database related to the Pick language.

Another New Zealand Pick market identity, Robin Scholes, died last month. Scholes was a former partner in one-time Pick distributor Recom Systems. He was in charge of IT at Auckland clothing store Max Fashions at the time of his death, aged 56.

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