AJS South Africa


A then and now story…

The end of a year and a time for reflection. Why do we find ourselves looking backwards at the end of each year. Is it because we want to or because of outside influences telling us to? I actually don’t know the answer – I mean do we automatically reminisce on the 31st and then start looking forward a day later? A topic for another day perhaps.

Anyway – I found myself in a very reflective mood recently. Prompted, I think by meeting, for the very first time, some AJS clients who had been using the system (very successfully I might add) for quite some time and who, until then, had never met anyone from our AJS company face to face.

They had researched, reviewed, acquired and implemented the AJS system all on line. Training and advice also – on line. Quite remarkable, I thought, and I have been thinking and talking about it ever since.

This is led me to a fond and distant memory of myself and the late Simon Spagnoletti (bless his wonderful soul) road tripping through various towns doing demos to as many law firms as possible. We would have to carry a tower case computer, monochrome monitor, keyboard, dot matrix printer, continuous paper and, of course the numerous cables to connect everything together. We did this with a smile of course because we knew that we were going to blow the mind of the lawyers we were about to see with the very latest AJS technology. Direct debiting was revolutionary back then!

On this basis, and with proper planning, we could see and present to 3 or 4 attorneys per day depending on the distances in between. It took us 15 to 20 minutes to plug everything in and 10 or 15 minutes to unplug. This was great for chatting and getting to know the lawyer, (normally Simon did the chatting and I did the plugging and unplugging, being the junior at that time), and the deal was normally sealed during the unplugging phase. A few times the deal was sealed before the demo began (Simon was that good). 

Installation would take place a few weeks later after going back to the office, placing orders for the hardware, installation off site and then again on site – accompanied by training on the job, in the lawyer’s offices. I am pleased to say that there are still a number of people in the AJS company today that remember this process – with much nostalgia and moist eyes – especially when thinking about special old Simon Spag.

A bit different nowadays I would say, right?

I still feel the need for face to face contact – and I have made a point the last few months to visit all of our clients – wherever they are. Nothing can really replace it. Yes, technology is great and we all are thankful for being able to do so much from the comfort of our armchairs – and AJS is now fully designed to do just that – but we don’t want to lose that very, very important and enjoyable personal contact – surely we don’t. 

Not while I’m alive and kicking anyway.

Hope to see you soon on my travels.

All Love and blessings

Digby Vickers
Director at AJS

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