How Not to Transition an Acquired Company's Site
In my current workplace, we use AccuRev as the source/version control system. I’ve recently found out that the company who is/was behind the product, presumably called “AccuRev Inc.” based on the “About” dialog of the product, was acquired by Borland, who was acquired by Micro Focus a while back (specifically 2009 for those so inclined to the details). Yes, the COBOL company.
For tech people, or people who have been around technology long enough, especially in the software field, we all know that Borland, the onetime leader/pioneer/trailblazer in software and software development tools, is now pretty much where software goes to die. It’s like a nursing home, but with less care, less baths, but more makeup. I could come up with a dozen examples if I set my heart (and search engine) to it, such as: Turbo C, Turbo C++, Turbo Pascal, Delphi (which had promise but never really came through), dBase, WordPerfect (especially RIP v5.1 for DOS), and the list goes on.
As for Micro Focus, they’re great at billing for the same bits over and over, until nobody, or not enough people, want said bits anymore. So our brief discussion turned to the operations team most likely having to find a replacement, since we’d also been running into availability and performance issues with the product as it was (from a version dating back before Borland took over, so they’re off the hook for this one instance).
What prompted me to write this, however, is nothing I’ve already mentioned, because I’ve clearly just scratched the surface! No, what prompted my ire was attempting to research a specific situation, which I know I’d encountered before and [foolishly] didn’t document a fix. So back to the GoogleBing to find my prior solution. Simple query, start with “accurev”, since, obviously, this is an accurev question! some more magical keyword, hit Enter, boom. Second link looks promising and sounds familiar, like I’ve read it before, and is from “accurev.com”. Clearly the obvious choice.
Wind up on a Borland branded sales/pitch page for Accurev. Looked a lot like the summary, so I figured I’d miscalculated my clicking accuracy, writing it off to being Friday afternoon. Close tab; double check. Nope, seems right. Maybe the GoogleBing had a problem. Hover over link; read URL. Hmmm, that’s right too. Let’s try this again…
Same page again. Ok, seriously, who’s screwing with me here? Where’s the camera guys? Let’s try a different query, maybe something’s screwy. Reset, type type type. accurev.com helpful link.
Seriously? Already up to your old crap Borland? Are you telling me that, as a software/technology company, you have gone and BROKEN EVERY SINGLE SEARCH RESULT LINK to the company you acquired? Their sales site/pages? Company/about pages? Totally understand, you’re the chief now. Product support documentation, manuals, guides and forums? REALLY??? Everything? From the AccuRev homepage to User Guide pages, to what should/could be a 404 page and what obviously would be a 404 page of some sorts.
So @Borland, if you’re listening, this is exactly how NOT to transition an acquisition. I get it, there is no more “Accurev Inc”. You’re Borland, you own the product now. So you know what? Own it, and own up to it. It’s like the expression “there’s a reason for the stereotype”. You are the reason you are your own stereotype, and there’s only one entity who can break that mold.