Bill Reid | Director of Software and Development
When Ben Franklin used this expression in the 18th century, it was in reference to fire prevention. Specifically, how the city of Philadelphia could be better prepared in the event of a fire. Few sayings better epitomize the purpose of the insurance industry than this one. So, also, technology decisions are made where prevention is the main driving force.
Wealth in Motion™ (WIM) is a software product developed by a third-party consulting company for Leap Systems nearly 14 year ago. The first iPhone had yet to be released and WIM was being developed using technology which, at that time, was considered state of the art. But as everyone knows, technology moves fast and, unfortunately, WIM did not keep pace.
When the consulting company which developed and maintained WIM approached us in the fall of 2020, we were in for a bit of a surprise. What we were told was that Adobe’s Flash Player was going to “end-of-life” at the end of 2020. That didn’t concern us until we were told that large portions of WIM used Flash Player for its functionality. At that point, we basically had three options:
Do nothing and hope that WIM continued to work after 2020.
Contract with the consulting company to fully test and transition WIM to use non-Flash technology in a holiday-shortened three months.
Proactively notify the WIM users and have them start transitioning clients from WIM into the Leap online application by year end.
We chose the third option. As part of this choice, we also committed to providing a tool within one month which would make the transition of user’s clients from WIM to Leap as automated and easy as possible. This meant that the team had to reverse engineer the encoding algorithms employed by WIM for data storage and then implement and test a solution which properly decoded the data from WIM and exported into a format which could be read by the online system. I’m proud so say that the team accomplished this commitment and provided that tool on November 1, 2020. If you’re a current WIM user, I hope you have already used this tool. If you haven’t used it yet, you can still use it even if WIM is non-functional.
So, what happens to the WIM software today in 2021? Would it still be usable if the licensing were kept in place? If you have tried to open WIM recently on an updated Windows machine, this is the only thing you would see:
If you’re wondering, that’s the Flash Player logo. Looks like we have chosen…wisely.
Just like with insurance, technology choices may require some sacrifice and cause inconvenience initially, but the benefits will become apparent in the long run.