If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it’s a little bit broken, tape it back together. And if it’s severely broken, salvage the scraps into a somewhat functional facsimile of the old thing and continue using it.
That’s how I was raised. Of course this type of advice came before computers and software.
I mention this because I like to produce music using a 2007 version of Pro Tools. It still works, so when I think about upgrading, I hear my grandpa’s voice in my head asking me why I’d want to do something like that.
But I’m curious what the newest version can change about my production experience. Maybe my time spent editing would be shortened and yield a better result. I know the newer version offers (and allows me to use) more plugins for effects, and I would love to have those options and capabilities. I’m really tempted—those improvements would make my upgrade totally worth it. (Plus, if I buy now, I bet there are good sales!) But to be honest, I’m scared. Whew, wow! It feels good to finally talk about it. Yup, I am scared.
What if I can’t figure out how to work the new version? Will I have to buy all new hardware? Can I transfer my old songs into the new version? Do I really want to research the differences between my current version and the new one?
Well, I started that research, and in the middle of it, it hit me—this process is exactly what I’m telling our older-version users here at BQE to try. I get it now! I feel your pain! This is awful—all this analysis, weighing, note-taking—it’s all tedious and nerve-wracking. I’m a ‘just get it over with’ person when it comes to tech/software upgrades. I typically enjoy the new thing I get, but the process of getting it up and running? Never fun.
Well, since I’m in the thick of the same process as some of you, I thought I’d try to make it easier, since I think you’ll actually, truly enjoy the improvements included in our recent versions. The Project Center, Collection Center and the automated payment receipts could be your equivalent of the faster, better-sounding production I hope to find in Pro Tools 10.
So I asked Shafat Qazi, BQE’s CEO and Founder, what I could say to assuage your fears, since I wouldn’t wish my own current uncertainty on anyone. This is what he had to say about the process of upgrading to BillQuick 2012:
- Will your custom reports still work? Yes. BillQuick has been supporting custom reports since its inception in ’96. Over the years we have made sure that the hundreds of thousands of custom reports developed by our customers would continue working seamlessly as we upgrade. We’re aware how important custom reports are, so it’s something we keep in mind as we develop upgrades, and we make sure that the reports created for previous versions of BillQuick still work in new versions.
- Will you lose your current version? No. Installing the new version doesn’t replace your current version. Not only does it leave it alone, it leaves the company file intact. Instead, it makes a copy and converts that copy into the latest version.
- Will integration with your current accounting software suffer? Not at all. We maintain the integration information in our [BillQuick’s] company file, not in your accounting file, so your accounting software can’t detect that a change has even occurred.
- But the conversion process will take hours, right? Not typically. Over 80% of our customers’ company files are upgraded automatically by the new version within 30 minutes. Start your conversion before you go out for lunch and by the time you return, you’ll be ready to work with the new version.
- Does the new user interface require re-training? No. Every improvement to the new interface was made with the intent to make the program more intuitive. Our interface designers do their best to ensure that the legacy users will be able to navigate the new design without re-training.
- Will your hardware be compatible with the new version? It depends. If your hardware hasn’t been upgraded within the past four years, this might be an issue. In our small defense, most new applications don’t work well with hardware that’s that old. Call our techs at (310) 602-4030 and they’ll help you figure out where you stand.
Hopefully these answers will put your mind slightly at ease. To see all the features we’ve added since your version, check out this awesome resource page!
And if there happens to be a Pro Tools user reading this, feel free to tell me what the upgrade experience was like. Comment here or shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!