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Last login: Monday, March 25, 2013
All,Thank you for your comments. I felt it was necessary to post a comment in hopes of providing more transparency with regard to this transaction.
Morford was in fact an employee of USD 348 and built this software for the benefit of USD 348 about 7 years ago. This software allowed USD 348 to avoid costly ongoing support for several years; significantly more than offsetting Morford's salary.
A little over 2 years ago, we created Reflective Group (RG) working on custom software projects in the evenings and weekends, after our full time jobs. As RG grew, we had the capacity to take on a full-time engineer. However, we hired another engineer full-time before hiring our own partner because of a heart-felt obligation to support our local school district. Fortunately, we continued to grow and needed to have Morford full-time. Unfortunately, this left the USD without the ability to support this home-grown software. For months, both parties agonized over the uncomfortable situation.
The software needed ongoing maintenance to continue automating the non-value added administrative tasks of running a school district. USD 348 would need to switch to multiple software packages to come close to matching the functionality of Morford's home-grown software. The licensing and support of the multiple packages would easily run into the several tens of thousands of dollars per year. The impact of the soft costs of changing business processes and re-training staff would put further negative pressure on school funding.
We love our small town. Our kids go to USD 348. We kept asking the question, "how can we help?" Having USD 348 hire RG to maintain the software would be a clear conflict of interest, so we never considered the option. Instead, we offered to take over all current maintenance and future development at no cost to USD 348 during the first year. Internally, we're assigning one software engineer, one computer engineer, and a user experience engineer to completely re-write the software from the ground up. The software was never designed to support multiple clients. In order to commercialize the software, we need to re-write it. The $1.60 per student rate mentioned in the article is the maximum rate USD 348 will pay for year 2 and 3, which adds up to roughly $2k per year. Clearly, not enough to cover 3 engineer salaries.
Why are we doing this? Because we love small towns. We believe education is a critical component to building vibrant communities. And we're willing to "put our money where our mouth is."
Mike BoschPresident & CEOReflective Group
March 25, 2013 at 5:28 p.m.
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John and Monica, you guys rock! Great peeps.
@notwhatyouthink point taken. From my understanding, the dinner train will be much needed jobs and a slight boost to the local economy. That's a good thing. I thought the $25K was a loan, but I'm not sure.
@countrygal I went recently and was pleasantly surprised by the friendly staff, fast service, and really good food. You should check it out.
I get excited about local entrepreneurs bucking the trends, creating jobs and doing more than just dreaming about a better tomorrow. Thanks for making it happen. To say thanks, I'm planning on being a regular at Moni's.
August 26, 2012 at 9:56 p.m.
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