Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rest In Peace SMA

Listen to Announcement Declaring the Death of the SMA (Software Maintenance Agreement)

For Immediate Release

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Serotek Announces an End to Software Maintenance Agreements
Industry Standard SMAs No Longer Standard

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn - January 28, 2009 - Serotek Corporation, the leading provider of internet and digital information accessibility software and services, today announced that it will no longer require a fee to upgrade or maintain any software in its product line.
Software companies traditional have charged fees under a contract, commonly known as a Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA), to upgrade to newer versions of their software packages. Serotek will continue to provide regular upgrades and software improvements but will offer them free of charge to all Serotek customers.
The announcement was formally made today at the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) annual conference in Orlando, Florida, with the company’s “RIP SMA” campaign. The first such offering of its kind, the news was met with great user enthusiasm.
“True to our belief that accessibility is right, not a privilege, we are excited to lead the industry in pronouncing SMAs are dead.” said Mike Calvo, CEO, Serotek Corporation, “Users of our System Access product line can now enjoy one price, one time, forever. And we encourage the industry to follow suit.”
Reactions to this news can be found on the company’s podcast, Serotalk, which is being broadcast live from the conference’s Internet Café, which is being sponsored by the Serotek Corporation. Those unable to attend the conference can listen to the Serotalk podcast by going to Serotek Corporation

Serotek Corporation is a leading technology company that develops software and manufactures accessibility solutions under the System Access brand. Committed to the mission of providing accessibility anywhere, Serotek began with the launch of the first online community specifically designed to meet the needs of people with visual impairment. Since then, Serotek has introduced several powerful, affordable solutions that require minimal training and investment. For more information, visit



TheBlindTech said...

I have to ask. Was Mike drunk or high when doing this podcast? Calvo really sounded like if he was on something, or just extremely imature about the whole thing.

and oh yeh, when you put out a mac interface or bring back your linux interface to your network, theen and only then will I be impressed.

Yes, you spout off about accessibility for all but linux or mac users don't get access to the network.

What a crock

Gabe Vega
The BlindTechs Network
A Division of Commtech LLC
623-565-9357 (office)

Anonymous said...

Honestly, are you negativity personified?
I can access most of the network with Firefox in Linux, and Safari on Mac. Serotek does not need to provide System Access for those platforms, they already have their own access solutions--free of charge, I might add. What Serotek has done here seriously ups the ante for Windows screen readers, other platforms have not been faced with this issue as the screen readers for Gnome and OS X are free of charge anyway.
For one who claims to be a blind tech, you seem to have little knowledge of the situation. Serotek is concentrating on Windows, and I can think of two reasons why they would do that. First, as I've already stated, there's no need for system access on UNIX or Mac, which are the two other platforms common in the blind community. I say that as a full-time Mac user, by the way. At the most, a browser plugin to samnet is all that would be needed on these platforms (listening, Serotek?. Second, and very much related, is the fact that it is the Windows world that needs a low-cost screen reading solution. It is the only major platform without one, not counting NVDA which is nowhere near its full potential yet.
Please, Mr. Blind Tech, (I won't reveal your name out of courtesy) take a step back before you open your fount of injustice, and look at the picture as a whole. This is seriously a big move by Serotek. Appreciate it for what it is, have a cup of tea, and chill out. As for this move, good going Serotek! I just hope you can keep it, and you get enough income from other products and services that you don't have to go back on this one day. A business needs to keep itself afloat.

Michael Feir said...

Wow! Serotek certainly has a way of making profound moves. As usual, I definitely applaud this one. It's terrific news for the average home user as long as the income from subscriptions to the mobile network is enough to offset development cost. Even if the worst happened, you'd still presumeably have a licensed screen reader which could be installed on future computers and would never expire. This should certainly help Serotek capture more of the unemployed market. As all these Internet applications take hold in the business world, it could turn into a pretty big advantage in that sphere also. For now, I'm quite happy with Jaws version 9 but they'll have a very hard case to convince me not to switch over to System Access if anything happens to make version 9 no longer do what I need it to. Hats off to you, Serotek.

Peter Bossley said...

Outstanding move, Mike and crew.
@gabe, (AKA the blind tech) is this you coming back to insult my friend Mike again? I thought we had established last time that your comments were generally unprofessional and lacking in the respect due a fellow CEO, let alone another human being.
Furthermore, I must once again point out that spell-check would have been a good idea. If you purchase System Access, and the SA Mobile Network, you will get a good spellchecker and, as we've just seen as a bonus, the updates for free. And since you are such a rich CEO dude, the price shouldn't bother you too much.

For your information, the SA Mobile network works fine via browser access both on Linux and Mac with the only exception being the copyrighted content. Get real man, grow up a little, and check your facts before you open your mouth and make yourself look like an idiot.

Mike Calvo said...

Well Michael I can assure you that you'll be using SA in the near future. That is, unless you want to stick to IE 7 (no IE 8), a 32 bit OS (a big problem considering that 64bit is quickly becoming the industry standard for new computers), and never want remote support. This is just to name a few of the things you will miss out on within the next 12 months or so.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations serotek! First of all mr. Blind tech, I am very well notified as to what freedomscientific, GW micro and serotek are doing. Both fs and gw charge for upgrades. I'm personally as a college student, and as one who's VR councilor does not provide no assistance, am glad that serotek has made this move. Hopefully subscriptions to the mobile network do not rise to high, but that's a bridge I will cross when the time comes. As for creating sa for the mack, have you tried voice over? I am doing work study in the services for students with disabilities office at pelissippi state technical community college, and as my main job, I am learning the mack, voice over, and I will be teaching it to others. Personally, I find the mack a bit more responcive than windows, and if I wasn't so unsure that mack supports certain programs, and allowed access for muds, I'd switch and have at least one mack. Personally, since microsoft has released another opperating system, or is going to so quickly after vista, is driving me closer to buying a makc, but keeping my windows laptop. All that to say this, all sa would have to do to make mack users have full access to the sa mobile network, is to create a plug-in for the mack. Seriously, try voice over.

TheBlindTech said...

1. I use a mac and so does my employees
2. 95% of the computers on our corp network are macs not counting the sun server, bsd server and the windows 2003 server.
3. I not only use a mac, but my staff and I support the use and train in voiceover, mac and windows, jaws, window eyes and serotech products
5. Because I am blind I use voiceover and I use it well, but just as the post above stated, we have access to "Most" of it accept the copyrighted stuff, which isn't full access to the network is it?

Gabe Vega
The BlindTechs Network - A Division of Commtech LLC