SERVICE: The problem with “cloud” services; they “disappear”

Ahh, yes, a plaxo competitor, but not as obnoxious, is going down.

First they stopped performing the service in January. Then, they told folks at the end of March.

It was a useful service (i.e., update your email once and it told every one who had your card). It was originally tied to the business card scanner. No word if they are going to stop selling those. (Who uses business cards today?) I doubt it.

Sigh, an idea who’s time has past.

BTW, their product still had the same fatal flaw it’s always had: YOUR data was locked in their database with no way to extract it.

I blogged that they needed to be open. Interact with Google contacts. Instead of keeping their own database, use people’s GMAIL contacts as their database. Require some innovative business and technical thinking, sure.

Go to Google and offer to make GMAIL’s contacts “social”.

I think their problem was in their thinking — memes and paradigms again — they thought they were selling business card scanners. What they should have been thinking was “we enable communication”.

They could have been LinkedIn, ACT / Salesforce, or something else.

Their thinking did them in.

RIP CARDSCAN. “Ya coulda been a contender”

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CardScan @ Your Service Discontinuance notice

Dear At Your Service user,

We are contacting you because, after careful consideration, DYMO CardScan has decided to discontinue our At Your Service program effective Dec 31, 2011. Due to the cost of the hardware and network bandwidth up keep, a business decision was made to discontinue the no cost CardScan At Your Service online database program.

The first step in this process was to stop sending out the update service email notifications which just happened at the end of January 2011. We apologize for the inconvenience but users of AYS can continue to use it to back up their contacts, as well as to access their contacts remotely over the web, until the service is completely shut down at the end of this year.

Just as a reminder, our End User License Agreement specifically states that services provided in addition to the CardScan software application can be modified or discontinued at any time.


The DYMO team

DYMO, a member of the Newell Rubbermaid family of brands.

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4 thoughts on “SERVICE: The problem with “cloud” services; they “disappear”

  1. According to the DYMO Website, the new version of the CardScan software will have an ” Outlook Add-in that gives the user the ability to manage his contacts directly within the Outlook application!”

    Wow! Outlook?!

    Yeah, while everyone is migrating to Google Apps (even MS is creating their own cloudbase system) DYMO is going to the hottest thing in 1998!

    I agree with the blogger:

    RIP CARDSCAN. “Ya coulda been a contender”

    DYMO’s thinking did them in.

  2. I recall getting a survey from them. They asked what I would pay a year, and I told them “ummm…. nothing”. Like most people did, I expect. I think the problem was that they wanted to monitize it, the weren’t able to do so, and no one would buy advertising on such a limited platform. Given the storage and upkeep would *gasp* cost some money, they have pulled back.

    REally too bad, although I only used it for backups. It will be nothing for me to back the database up to Dropbox or some other service; I have instant access anywhere through my Blackberry and Outlook, which I sync the program with.

    And to the blogger: business cards will be around in many industries for some time to come. Once NFC is enabled on all mobiles, then they will go away – that’s still 5-7 years. Until then, paper.

  3. I fully agree. I really do not understand why they are stopping this “cloud” service.
    The next step might be that they start selling Rolodexes again instead of the Cardscan software… (I agree, this statement is a bit too cynical).
    The point is, I really have doubts that somebody at Cardscan is doing some in depth analysis on the users needs …
    I hope they are flexible, and change their mind (which would be a good thing). A connection with Google or Yahoo contacts would be a good alternative. They could “sell” that solution to Google and Yahoo, and get some extra income from it.

  4. The only reason I bought cardscan hardware was the fact that have a cloud where this information is secure and accessible from anywhere..
    It is sad that they are stopping this service. Though I am not sure if they can do stop this service, if they are charging a premium in selling their hardware because of this service.

    I would like to understand if legally they can withdraw the service despite a promise to provide the service when they sell the hardware.

    Any comments are most welcome…

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