Important Message from Sam Mauger

Dear Beacon Users and Community,

I am writing to update you on progress – and some problems – with Beacon.

First of all, the existing system continues to perform well, and to provide u3as with a solid basis for administering membership and activities. We shall be continuing to maintain the existing system with help from Siftware, our software development partners, and to fix issues against a priority list determined by the Beacon Team under the direction of Frank Bailey, who along with the Beacon Project Board continue to make an outstanding contribution through their efforts and expertise. We shall be increasing direct support from Siftware to speed up the fixes necessary to make Beacon run smoothly for you.

Secondly, I am sorry to have to tell you that the Beacon Upgrade which we commissioned from the company APT will be delayed, and possibly this delay will be indefinite. APT have not met a series of deadlines, and have withdrawn the support needed to keep the Project on track. This is very disappointing indeed, because our requirements were fully and clearly set out to them at the start of the Project. We are working with our lawyers to ensure that APT meet their obligations under our contract with them if at all possible, as we have met ours to them and continue to be willing to do so.

As a result of this we are actively considering what we might need to do if the Beacon Upgrade cannot be achieved in the timetable envisaged. A report is being prepared by an experienced and independent external IT expert to help us choose the best way forward in that eventuality. I will keep you informed of the approach we decide to take. Investment in the current Beacon system however will remain solid and expect that to include some enhancements while we agree the path to achieve the Beacon upgrade.

If you have any questions about any of this, please let me know.

Sam Mauger
Chief Executive
The Third Age Trust