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    1. Top | #1
      FruitLoop is offline
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      Table Tennis England vs TT365 Thread

      Mainly of interest to UK based players.

      Context:

      https://tabletennisengland.co.uk/new...s-for-leagues/

      https://www.tabletennis365.com

      Thought I'd start a thread to hear some thoughts about this. There's a lot of chat on Facebook but none on forums it seems.

      Personally I think TTE is a rip off. What you get for your fees and the cost of tournaments. There is no value for money there at all. A free league manager system which works incredibly well is basically the main benefit. Which will now disappear. So what's the point? I struggle to imagine how they will replace this before next season. In fact I'd say it was impossible. There are other alternatives out there but the costs would be far far higher than what they are currently paying and they can't program from scratch in time.

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    3. Top | #2
      NDH is offline
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      OK, I’ll do a tl;dr version for interested parties who can’t be bothered to read everything.


      TT365 has been managing the TTE (Table Tennis England) membership and “back end services” for a few years now. TTE paid TT365 a fee for this…..


      On top of that, TT365 also created a “league manger” where local leagues could organise schedules, input results, work out averages, league tables - The whole lot.


      TTE subsided this for leagues, which meant it was virtually no cost to the local league (who don’t operate at a profit anyway).


      In October 2018, TTE announced that Sport 80 had won the right to manage their membership and back end services (Sport 80 have great experience in this area, and they do the same for a number of other sports). TTE also said that the TT365 league manager system would be unaffected.


      Fast forward to now, and TT365 have said that their fees would need to increase by around £7 per player, as TTE have withdrawn a huge amount of their income, and they can’t simply “not use” that part of the system, and be covered by the rest.


      TTE have conceded that talks have “broken down” between the two (basically, they are both slagging each other off), and TTE will “continue to provide free, basic software for leagues to manager their systems”.


      So, that’s pretty much it - Feel free to read it all if you want.


      My opinion…..


      I love TT365, I like the ease of use of the websites, I like the rating system, I like the fact you can play in multiple leagues but see all your results in one place.


      As a player, it’s just a good servicer to have.


      I wouldn’t actually mind if TTE provided an alternative - I can look past an ugly website if I have to.


      But the biggest shame is the rating system which TT365 had, will now be obsolete.


      It looks like TTE will only “rank” people if they play in TTE branded events (the bigger tournaments across the country, and not local league stuff).


      It’s all a little disappointing to the average player, and looks very unprofessional looking in…….


      That being said, if TTE can bring it in house and do everything well…. I wouldn’t have a problem.

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    5. Top | #3
      FruitLoop is offline
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      Additionally people have been using it for so many years now you lose a lot in an archival sense if you move away from the system.

      You are also correct about the rating. TTE has not had a good rating system whatsoever that actually works for the average players. They have a ranking but it's pretty useless outside the top few. Unlike prominent TT countries such as France, Germany and even the US! TT365 were independently making great strides in this regard and that work will presumably be lost.

    6. Top | #4
      NDH is offline
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      Yeah, that for me in the biggest shame.

      League management software isn't hard to come by, but the rating system took a lot of work and data - Something you can't replicate.

      The problem with outsourcing it is that you have zero control over price increases.

      365 were creating such a monopoly, that this was always going to be a problem at some point.

      Bring it in house, but do it well (something I'm sure they won't!)

      I feel sorry for Chris (TT365), but I fear the writing was on the wall.....

    7. Top | #5
      FruitLoop is offline
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      Competition is fine. It's actually good for the consumer if it exists. But this is a niche industry. Other countries use centralised systems also but as far as I am aware the associations run it themselves. TTE will have to be super quick to come up with the impossible here. Otherwise leagues will be up shit creek. Licensing software which actually works for all those leagues to use I guarantee will cost a fortune and more than what they currently pay TT365 total. So they'll have to build one themselves. That will cost not only a lot of money but more importantly time which they don't have.

      The only solution I can see is TTE buy TT365 outright to bring it totally in house. Can't see that happening though.

    8. Top | #6
      NDH is offline
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      Yeah, I don't see that happening either.

      TTE will come out with some poor attempt at a league manager which will be shocking.

      Maybe by 2021 it might be OK.......

    9. Top | #7
      FruitLoop is offline
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      Microsoft Excel League Manager (TM).

    10. Top | #8
      vvk1 is offline
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      Personally, I sincerely hope that more leagues and clubs will follow Oldham's lead and challenge TTE.

      Setting aside issues like leagues that use TT365 love it (just read the posts full of frustration of outraged league admins on the TT365 forum) or that the majority of players appears to equate TTE membership fee with getting access to TT365 (because no one cares about "insurance" rightly or wrongly), it is simply beyond belief that TTE made a decision that impacts a vast majority of their player membership with no consultation with the leagues and clubs using TT365 software. And what about SBL/VBL/JBL ... they all use TT365.

    11. Top | #9
      FruitLoop is offline
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      I've just got round to reading the Oldham chair's full post and found myself agreeing with almost all of it. He seems to care about the rank and file above all else which is key and hopefully his challenge to take over as head of TTE is successful. That was a very daring double whammy. They do not seem to be very competent. Given how many full time members of staff they employ and their total budget it's very disappointing. They're nearly as bad as TTW.

    12. Top | #10
      Suga D is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by FruitLoop View Post
      ...Other countries use centralised systems also but as far as I am aware the associations run it themselves...
      Just ftr:

      as for Germany i can confirm that this is not the case.

      Yes, the websites are run by the regional associations, but all German players' data that can be seen at Click-TT.de is kept and stored and provided by a private company from Austria going by the name of "Nu-Datenautomaten-GmbH" and there have been very big and long discussions about this.
      The ranking list itself based on all this data is sponsored or 'powered' by JOOLA.

      Regarding your issues, from my point of view as an external bystander it would mostly make sense if TTE would buy TT365 and make them 'inhouse'.
      But that's just my personal opinion.

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    14. Top | #11
      FruitLoop is offline
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      Thanks for the info! I think looking to other countries for best practice is good. I wonder what the German association pay and what comparisons could be made.

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    16. Top | #12
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      https://tabletennisengland.co.uk/new...8PcvRd44ikN8Oc

      An update from TTE. I don't have much to comment here except what I have already said. They are lying through their teeth here that they can get it done on time or for a fraction of the proposed cost. I know a bit about software development from where I work and between putting out to tender, hiring, development there is just zero chance. They are completely absent of detail on it and yet say they are still open to chat to TT365 which tells me they have done exactly nothing and have just put this out there to try and reassure and save face whilst scrambling in the background. If they had anything substantial done already then that door would now be closed because it costs a lot of time and money just to look into this stuff.
      Last edited by FruitLoop; 03-15-2019 at 01:35 PM.

    17. Top | #13
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      It's been all downhill since Richard Yule left TTE!

    18. Top | #14
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      Sad news

    19. Top | #15
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      I've only seen what is currently posted on the TT365 and TTE websites and trying to read between the lines. This is my own simplistic interpretation of what is happening.

      TTE wanted to switch to an alternative for their membership manager and it looks like they just wanted to take the portion of money they were paying to TT365 for it and redirect it to another supplier, whilst at the same time retain league manager at its current cost. Overall their objective was likely to keep their net cost of switching as close to zero as possible.

      Since TT365 were faced with a gaping hole in their finances and it sounds like they attempted to resolve this by charging TTE more for the existing league manager. From TTE's point of view, their costs have suddenly increased unexpectedly and they feel like they are being asked to pick up the shortfall in TT365's business model. I can sympathise for TT365 since they need to somehow secure funding to keep league manager running but going to the TTE for it was always going to be a hard sell.

      I certainly agree that TTE will never be able to build a replacement league manager in time for the start of the next season. TT365 has been around for a long time and they have spent a lot of time ironing out the issues. While losing TT365 is a big loss and would be an inconvenience, I think that leagues can still run. They will simply revert to the old email and spreadsheet. In the league I play at, this is still the way it is managed.

    20. Top | #16
      NDH is offline
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      I've been told that the relationship between TT365 and TTE has been...... a little sour shall we say, for a few years now.

      But it certainly seems like TTE assumed (wrongly), that TT365 costs wouldn't increase, because they thought that if they withdrew 60% of the funding, TT365 could scale back by the same 60%, and the ratio of costs would be the same.

      A little short sighted to say the least.......

      Interested to see what they come up with though.

    21. Top | #17
      vvk1 is offline
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      "revert to the old email and spreadsheet" - well, the leagues I play in have refused to do so. My gut feeling that the majority of leagues/clubs on TT365 will refuse to go back to the dark ages either.

    22. Top | #18
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      The whole situation is so sad.
      TT365 is a brilliant website. I would go as far as saying that I have not seen anything better in the TT world.
      But I know that there's some relationship strain between the personnel in TTE and TT365 beyond the matter of the software.
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    24. Top | #19
      AndySmith is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tinykin View Post
      The whole situation is so sad.
      TT365 is a brilliant website. I would go as far as saying that I have not seen anything better in the TT world.
      But I know that there's some relationship strain between the personnel in TTE and TT365 beyond the matter of the software.
      Totally agree - 365 is a great site and incredibly useful resource. Developing a like-for-like replacement in the timeframe TTE are talking about is highly dubious, and TTE's official statements look very bad-faith to me. Misleading almost to the point of outright lies. That said, I don't know how their relationship ended up in the current state so hard to point fingers.

      TT365 have said on their admin thread that they will offer to reopen negotiations with TTE tomorrow. I hope they can come to some arrangement to save having to duplicate all of the hard work put into the solution over the years, and the inevitable disruption to all the league admins who use TT365 at the moment.

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    26. Top | #20
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      I can't see how Table Tennis England can deliver a useful replacement for TT 365's excellent product in time for next season. Will it be a case of "Here it is, like it or lump it", or are they going to do the right thing, which is to have an iterative process by coming out with a Beta version (soon!), collect feedback, update the Beta version, collect more feedback, and so on? I understand it's going to be 'simple', but does that mean simple for the developers or simple for the users? 'Simple for the developers' is likely to mean such things as teams can only have exactly 3 players in a match, all play all, plus one Doubles leg. 'Simple for the users' might mean any number of league formats are catered for, including the format my League uses!
      The other possibility is that TTE have been working on a replacement for some time and it's ready to go after extensive user testing. Unlikely, but at least it might mean they already have something that's fit to offer!

      The idea of TTE taking over TT 365 looks appealing, but takeovers in the software business often result in the star developers taking their skills elsewhere, leaving the product in the hands of slightly lesser mortals. The star developers will only stay and continue being stars if they're paid plenty, especially in this case where there's already been a significant breakdown in the relationships between TTE and TT365.

      It's possible TTE haven't recognised what an excellent product TT365 have produced. I won't feel comfortable about their alternative solution until I've seen it - and it'll need to be unexpectedly good!

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