Cloud Fears: Quicken Online Users Shut Down
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Pointing to one of the dangers of putting all your eggs into one, uh, cloud, Intuit last weekend cut off all its Quicken Online users, encouraging them to set up Mint.com accounts instead. Intuit acquired the cloud-based personal finance application provider Mint.com a few years ago, acknowledging the momentum behind cloud-based solutions.
But if you are were a Quicken user with both business and personal accounts in the cloud, you found your provider no longer able to integrate your business and personal accounts. In a communication Intuit sent to its Quicken Online customers, the company informed them: "For the past several months we've been working hard to combine the best features of Quicken Online and Mint.com into a single online personal finance solution - Mint.com. As a result of this, Quicken Online will no longer be available as of August 29, 2010.
"No action is required on your part. Your account and all the data stored in it will be deleted and securely removed from all Intuit databases. If maintaining a record of your data is important to you, you can export it to a CSV file before August 29."
Intuit goes on to recommend that customers try Mint.com.
"Creating a new Mint account is easy-simply visit Mint.com to sign up. You can add your accounts and see your financial picture in just a few minutes. Of course, if you prefer to use a desktop solution, we encourage you to check out our other Quicken products."
Frustrating if your go-to tool had been Quicken Online. And while Intuit encouraged users to move to Mint.com, it offered no easy way to migrate their existing data. They could download it to a CSV file, but that file was not uploadable to Mint.com.
Now, with cloud-based applications, there is always the fear of lock-in to a single vendor, removing your options to easily move. Here's the flip side of that. You are locked in and your vendor decides it won't offer your tool anymore. Meanwhile, all your data and reports are based on that tool. You may think you can avoid such problems by going with a large vendor rather than some small start up that might not be around next year. But apparently not, as Intuit's action shows.
Coincidentally, Intuit also suffered a mass site outage in June, leaving many of its online services customers without access to their data and accounts.
Have you encountered instances of your go-to cloud tools being discontinued? How did you manage the situation?