1 2 3 4 Previous Next 55 Replies Latest reply on Aug 7, 2013 3:31 PM by Malcolm

    Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring

    taylorsharpe

      Bento has gotten the axe and FileMaker is restructuring. Personally, I had a hard time finding a fit for Bento even in my Apple Users Group meetings. So I am not unhappy about its demise. But the following Apple Insider article implies FileMaker is restructuring to become more profitable, implying FileMaker is not doing well. It is hard to tell if the cut backs are mostly to do with Bento or if it also is impacting FileMaker Pro software. I had heard from someone at FileMaker that some of the Bento people had already been moved over to FileMaker Go and that was their focus, which is fine with me. Anyway, FileMaker only has about 200 employees, so laying off 20 is not a small number for them.

       

      Read more at: http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/08/02/rumor-apple-subsidiary-filemaker-lays-off-20-employees-amid-restructuring

       

       

      Maybe things will make more sense after Devcon.

        • 1. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
          jormond

          Restructuring to become more profitable is common practice in large business.  It raises no concern for me.  It's a way to reduce expenses.  20 of 200 sounds like a lot...but sometimes companies get into a position where they have more managers and middle managers than they need.  Not that this is the case with FMI, but it's a possibility.

          • 2. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
            HugoAlvarado

            First I thought that FM were going to use the staff working with Bento to improve FM12 and FM to Go, but now that I read that they were let go, it is a little bit of concern, specially because we are considering investing time, meny and HR for training and certifications in order to attend some clientes. This news forced us to rethink about this effort and return to our analysis abput FM vs sharepoint vs other solutions.

            • 3. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
              CICT

              I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion on this. As a company that is totally reliant on FileMaker our first reaction was to find the Servoy web site.

               

              This isn't the reaction we want our customers to have and we'd like something positive to grasp on to. FileMaker's efforts with FileMaker Go are very admirable and is either part of a future strategy or to drive FileMaker Pro/Server sales. With our company ethos of only dealing with products that run on Mac and Windows, we were never a fan of Bento, but do feel the pain of those that do rely on it.

               

              If anyone else has more info on this, other than the standard press announcements, we'd be very glad to hear from them.

               

              Andy

              • 4. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                intex

                Obviously not too many people/developers think about the situation and/or don´t fear anything in combination with Bento`s sudden death and 20 people leaving the company. So FileMaker is in no need to react to any rumors which could be for example:

                 

                - business is running badly for the whole company

                - Bento cost more money than it should

                - Bento was unwanted internal competition for FileMaker and cannibalized the main product

                - they didn´t have a clue how to bring back the main Bento features of synch with address book, iCal and Mail

                 

                The official argument that FileMaker is doing too well as an iOS development tool is not the truth in my eyes - for this FM12 has had too many problems (speed and redraw issues) and many issues are not solved (no standalone runtime for iOS, no synch, no iCloud for example, no integration with address book).

                • 5. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                  taylorsharpe

                  It is interesting that you don't think FM is doing well as an iOS development tool.  Most of my recent business has been to develop for mobile solutions that will work on the iPad.  I'm not sure how it is with other developers, but mobile solutions have been a very important part of my new business this past year.  What have you other developers been seeing?

                  • 6. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                    intex

                    At least our applications are so much desktop apps that mobility is only a nice and often expected addon. And for real mobility apps FM lacks a bunch of features: Android, standalone, plugins, printing features, synch, iCloud, address book integration and many more.

                    • 7. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                      jormond

                      I agree with Taylor.  Restructuring is a COMMON part of large business.  It is not necessarily an indication that the business is doing poorly.  I've seen businesses that were doing very well, begin a restructuring process to make the business more profitable.  The problem isn't usually Income/Gross Revenue.  The problem is often Income - Expenses.  If you can reduce the expenses, the business becomes more profitable.

                       

                      I know of one company in particular that went through a similar restructure a couple years ago.  They went from 1100 employees to about 600.  Sold off part of the business ( the unprofitable part )...and now the company is stronger than ever.  Revenue is way up...profit is up.  It doesn't mean that FileMaker isn't doing well.  Even Google, who is also doing very well, drops products all the time. I don't see the Google Apps users looking for another service because they dropped support for Google Reader, Wave, or the host of other products they went EOL on.

                       

                      I've seen the same thing as Taylor, a lot of businesses entering the mobile front because of what they can do with FM GO.  There are a lot of businesses going Android too...but that's all part of competition.  iOS as a platform for business is still doing really well.

                      • 8. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                        jormond

                        What do you mean by "standalone"?  Are you referencing the ability to create an app that doesn't rely on the FM Go app?  My guess is that the "advertising" that comes with opening a FileMaker app, will actually help your business.  But I understand what you mean.  An easier way to access your solution is important.  We will see where FMI goes with this in the future.

                         

                        Syncing is such a custom thing, it's really hard to make a 'default' syncing process.  But this is something you can build into FM GO solutions...you just have to either work through the process yourself, or pick up on one of the existing syncing solutions provided by FileMaker development companies.  I'm not sure I want FMI to take over the sync process for me.

                        intex wrote:

                         

                        And for real mobility apps FM lacks a bunch of features: Android, standalone, plugins, printing features, synch, iCloud, address book integration and many more.

                         

                        Overall, it's a tough battle.  You have people complaining that FM doesn't natively do X or Y, but then also complain that FM doesn't do Z the right way and they should just give us control.  Thus far, I think they have done well, and I look forward to seeing where they go from here.

                        • 9. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                          HugoAlvarado

                          We are developing solutions for salesforces, the lack of sync with FM Go is a real issue. For that matter we need to integrate a 3rd party solution which cost $500!!! for 1 DB. I really hope they incorporate this solutions pretty soon, specially now that they are "more focus" to FM12.

                          • 10. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                            intex

                            Difference may be that we are doing mostly standard business applications with no customization. Then for "only buyer" customers the whole FM GO thing is too complicated.

                             

                            Standard telephone call with a customers might go like this:

                             

                            C (Customer): Your app can be used mobile?

                            H (Helpline): Yes, on iOS devices.

                            C: No Android?

                            H: Sorry, iOS only.

                            C: OK, where can I get your mobile app in the appstore ?

                            H: Sorry, there is no mobile app from us, you have to get FileMaker GO.

                            C: What? What is this?

                            H: Well, that is the database program we use and which you need to open the database file on your mobile device.

                            C: Ah, I see. And how do I get the data file on the device?

                            H: Oh, that is a complicated process where you need iTunes bla bla bla

                            C: How about synching the file then with iCloud instead ?

                            H: Sorry, no synch via iCloud. You could use Dropbox instead.

                            C: Could I use the data in my office then?

                            H: Yes, but then you would have to install FileMaker PRO or Server instead of our Runtime based software bla bla bla

                            C: What the hell ?

                            H: Ah, yes, sorry, but for this you have to spend another 400 Euros at least ...

                            C: Ah, come on, you are joking. I just want to have a look at my data on the road.

                             

                            How should we win any battle this way ?

                            • 11. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                              intex

                              surely restructuring is common in business and has to be done from time to time.

                               

                              But the argumentation in the press release is odd in my eyes:

                               

                              Read: We want to concentrate (i.e. do more for) on FileMaker. Fact: We fire 20 people (who could concentrate on FileMaker). We don´t hire anybody for FileMaker instead. So focusing is only throwing away anything else but not doing more in the focused area.

                               

                              Read: FileMaker is doing so well in the mobile business that we can and want to focus on FileMaker. But why then skip Bento? If FileMaker Inc. is doing well or even better, why kill five years of Bento development and loose all or at least most Bento customers over night ?

                               

                              To me this doesn´t seem to be the truth ...

                              • 12. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                                LyndsayHowarth

                                That is not entirely true...

                                 

                                You send one email with a link to the FMGo download page on iTunes with perhaps a warning and link to iTunes and either in the same email or a close followup supply a link to the database or attach a zipped copy with a warning that they need to have first downloaded the FMGO app...

                                 

                                I know a surprising number of idiots who have managed to do precisely that... on both Mac and Windows.

                                I mean... I have just spent the last 24 hours downloading Logic Pro X... and found out I needed to upgrade the OS first... so you step back for a moment and do the first thing necessary and then the next. It is not rocket science...

                                 

                                I agree with Taylor... Lotsa interest in FMGo. There is a lot of real life functionality in many of the databases I've seen and built...

                                 

                                Synching is the big one... but given that FM Server is open to all kinds of access, it is all very achievable.

                                I have a solution which is 100% synched to the server... in this case using a bit of PHP...

                                 

                                Frankly, I am glad Bento is gone. It will give all of those Bento users a kick in the pants and make them realise they really need FileMaker. FMI SHOULD BE PUSHING THIS IN A BIG WAY!!!!!! (for us;-) It will allow FMI to concentrate on their multifaceted product range  in FileMaker... their raison d´etre and the product that Apple has always owned whether it be Apple or Claris or FMI.

                                 

                                FM Go is a masterpiece and providing it free was a master stroke! It's clean, it's consistent and reliable and Apple knows they have command. Android smandroid! It is no competition and not for the foreseeable future. Apple have something like 97% of iOS platform users on the latest version of the OS. Android phones span from very early versions that are years old to the latest version with less than 25% (ish - I don't have access to the article right now) using the current platform. Good luck... they will need it!

                                 

                                People lose their jobs... it is a reality of business. I've even worked for the public service during a restructure where everyone lost their jobs and had to reapply and some didn't get a new job. Get over it! FMI and Apple have a plan. Given that FM is clearly now in the spotlight, it is in our interests and will impact our businesses.... but the detail of it is not our business... so why try to second guess. I got better things to do with my time. ;-)

                                 

                                That's my 2 cents worth.

                                 

                                On that subject, I wish we still had parity on the exchange rates. I just bought $450US for $530AU-ish. It makes a big difference! 2 more sleeps until my flight ;-)

                                 

                                - Lyndsay

                                • 13. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                                  CICT

                                  It is the lack of clarity within the announcement that is unsettling. They can a product they do get revenue from, we're discussing a product that they give away for free and they are aiming to become more profitable!

                                   

                                  We're in a slightly different situation as we can run FileMaker on Android, IOS, etc. via our cloud Citrix servers and people do expect to pay for mobility: iPads, laptops costing more than desktops but are less powerful etc.

                                   

                                  I believe it a commercial mistake to believe you won't have to pay more for the convenience of mobile access when compared to traditional LAN solutions. I've just reconfigured a server from my iPhone while sitting in a bar on a Greek Island, with a cold beer in front of me. Yes, I'll pay for that type of freedom.

                                   

                                  However, when announcing restructuring, it is normally combined with some morale boosting clarity. I haven't seen any major negative's to Microsoft's recent changes, but there was extensive explanation alongside.

                                   

                                  A wee bit more information would have negated this thread, unless there are problems.

                                   

                                  Also a word of warning. As someone who has had an independent professional relationship with Apple since 1985, beware other operating systems at your peril.

                                  • 14. Re: Apple subsidiary FileMaker reportedly lays off 20 amid restructuring
                                    jormond

                                    I didn't read anywhere that said the Bento team consisted of 20 people.  We are reading it that everyone released was directly related to Bento. But that isn't what it said.

                                     

                                    Companies, big, small, Software or otherwise are NEVER going to give you much info on the release of personnel or their future business plans related to those decisions.  That's business.  If you released staff from your business, would you send out a bunch of info to your clients about the changes? You, personally, would may give them more info...but the releasing of staff is neither related directly to the perfomance of a product, nor is it an indication of their business plans.

                                     

                                    It may be that we aren't getting the full story...but I wouldn't really expect to.  Doesn't mean they are lying to us.

                                    intex wrote:

                                     

                                    But the argumentation in the press release is odd in my eyes:

                                     

                                    Read: We want to concentrate (i.e. do more for) on FileMaker. Fact: We fire 20 people (who could concentrate on FileMaker). We don´t hire anybody for FileMaker instead. So focusing is only throwing away anything else but not doing more in the focused area.

                                    ...

                                    To me this doesn´t seem to be the truth ...

                                     

                                    @CICT - I think if they provided more info, people would complain about that.  But FileMaker's announcement on the support site is fairly clear.  The confusion seems to be coming from the community's "reading between the lines".

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