Last week, we were contacted by the controller of an agency in L.A., looking for our world-class accounting and management solution for model-talent-artist agencies. This happens all the time now, a result of our marketing, and as word about happy clients using our Model Agency Management Architecture (aka: “MAMA”) continues to spread in the industry. But there was a problem with finding us: the Controller was looking, and had searched online in vain for, our original, OLD software name “WinModel” (often called “Winmodels” by mistake), which existed from 1997–2012!
Luckily, when she could not find “WinModel” using Google, she called a friend (CFO/COO of a NYC agency, and our client), whom she knew would know where to find us… Our client explained how the name of our software changed in 2010 to AgencyMGR, then in 2013 to Agency Manager, and went on to graciously introduce her friend to us via email — looks like we’ll be adding a new model agency client soon!
But how do we help other agency/industry people to find us, who only know the old name WinModel? We only have one original history page on this site, which mentions WinModel, but has not been updated in a long time; we know Google loves and prefers fresh, updated content over old, stagnant content… So, it’s obviously time for a new blog post, retelling our history, using content loaded with mentions, keywords and tags of “WinModel” and related words and terms — voila!!
Here are a few bits of our storied past, and a few stories about our beloved founder, pulled from the history page of our website. In a simplified timeline, it went something like this:
Paris Agency > Big Iron > Glamour > DNA > WinModel > AgencyMGR > Agency Manager > AGENCY SOLUTIONS
Our founder was Jerome Bonnouvrier, whose family owned one of the first model agencies in Paris. Later, Jerome helped to launch the first agency outside of Paris, in New York (FORD), and went on to launch a new agency (Glamour) in Paris, which he later sold to launch another in NYC years later, which became very successful (DNA).
In the early years, Jerome ran an accounting service for all Paris agencies, using an early “punch-card” mainframe computer. He was an industry leader, a trusted friend and colleague to all of them. In 1997 Jerome created WinModel in New York City (with Pierre Charpy coding), as the precursor to the software we call Agency Manager today.
WinModel and its French sister product called “Models”, were both based on the old previous mainframe (punch-card) software and accounting service Jerome launched and ran for years in Paris. Both systems were built upon Jerome’s vast industry knowledge (including agency-specific accounting requirements), from the earliest days of modeling agencies in Paris, and New York.
When WinModel was created in 1997, the core was developed for the Microsoft Windows platform (thus the name), and later used as the common core for the France-only “Models”, to which all the unique French employment and financial functionality was added.
In 2001, WinModel went through a significant architecture change, moving to the Microsoft SQL database platform, which greatly increased speed, and reliability, especially for our big clients with a high number of models-talents-artists, and transaction volume. Our French sister “Models” was moved to the same architecture soon after that.
in 2010, after the passing of our beloved founder in 2009, WinModel was re-named, as sales and support moved to a new company called AgencyMGR. Our website was launched in 2012. We began work on our Booking LINK, Model Agency Management Architecture (aka “MAMA”) specifications, and built several booking system–> AgencyMGR integration tools.
In 2015, in response to our clients calling us (and writing checks to) “Agency Manager” we changed our name formally to Agency Manager. Finally, in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we re-branded as AGENCY SOLUTIONS to cover the full spectrum of technology solutions we provide to agencies…
Currently, AGENCY SOLUTIONS is in development of our next-generation software and service platform, using “smart application” and cloud (web-based) technologies. We will soon have two versions:
- Dedicated (for larger agencies)
- Self-Serve (for smaller agencies)
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