Written by Mike Terning, Greenstone’s Product Portfolio and Category Manager

The Tune

One of my favorite artists is Country musician, Brad Paisley.  Many of his songs put a smile on my face because they are either funny or authentically true.  One of his songs is titled “Welcome to the Future”.  It reminds me about some of the things I used to dream about when I was a kid, like watching TV in a car or playing a game like Pac Man anytime I wanted.  What Paisley failed to mention is what happens when you’re not quite ready for the future! Working and adapting in the ever-changing ag-tech industry, this song inevitably bounces around in my head quite often.

Real Life

I recently read a blog that asked about the age of mission-critical software in use by businesses (ref: http://www.feedandgrain.com/blog/mission-critical).  That blog referred to examples that include issues reconnecting the legacy system to modern systems after something fails within the system (e.g., power, hardware).

This lead me to think about the systems we use every day.  According to Reuters, approximately “$3 trillion in daily commerce flows through” legacy systems.  We rely on legacy systems daily for our bank, credit card, and mortgage accounts.[1]

Why don’t we hear more about our reliance on this old information technology and the “need” to replace it?  I think that there are a few reasons, including:

  • It’s expensive to invest in replacement systems.  It is often difficult to quantify a return on such an investment, as long as the legacy system is reliable, secure and able to adapt to new business needs.
  • Probably because it works!  We still get the accurate information that we need on a timely basis.  The systems may not be new or trendy, but the provide lots of value to millions of people each day.
  • Legacy systems have been joined with “systems of engagement.”  The mobile applications allow information from the reliable, proven, time-tested core legacy systems to display on screens nearly anywhere.

But the form of how you get that information from those core legacy systems has changed.  You used to rely on monthly, quarterly or annual statements mailed to you.  Now you have the ability to login to our accounts any time from any place where you are that has data services, via your mobile data devices.

Greenstone’s Investment

Here at Greenstone, we continue to invest in our proven, reliable, core business systems (i.e., AGRIS and CINCH) that have robust abilities to enforce rules within agricultural businesses.  However, we are also investing in systems of engagement, with a new platform we call “Quantum”.  This allows us to build new systems of engagement that leverage data from the core AGRIS and CINCH systems.  Some of these new applications include Insight, MyGrower and RAPIDS.  Expect more to come moving forward.

Leveraging core systems with systems of engagement provides customers with the ability to achieve a greater return on their information technology investment.

Welcome to the Future!

Written by: Mike Terning, Greenstone’s Product Portfolio and Category Manager


Connect with me: LinkedIn


[1] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-banks-cobol-idUSKBN17C0D8