Guest Post from Big Bang Sales Director, Kelley Burian
I’ve made a huge mistake.
Some of you may recognize that as a popular line from the TV show Arrested Development. Unfortunately, my love for the show is not the only reason I’ve had that line running through my head all week.
I’ll back up. My name is Kelley Burian, and I am the Sales Director with Big Bang LLC. I am guest-blogging this week in place of our usual Thursday Big Bang Blogger, Nate Bauer. Nate is off tending to the needs of his newest offspring, who is thankfully happy, healthy and appears to have inherited her looks from her mother. (Nate’s joke, not mine.)
Back to my aforementioned huge mistake.
Adam Murphy has spent more than a few bytes writing about pricing recently, and that train of thought didn’t come from a vacuum. Just over a week ago, we released our new product for driver management in SCCM, the Universal Imaging Utility System Deploy Plug-in, or UIUSD. Much thought, research and discussion went into how to license and price the UIUSD, and we changed our minds on how to do so at least twice in the months leading up to the release date.
We had three specific goals in mind, which I have listed below:
1. Set a fair price for existing and future customers.
2. Set a fair price for us.
3. Make it as simple as possible.
While admittedly the first two are the whole ballgame, the third was an important extension of #1. For those not familiar with enterprise-level software licensing, #3 isn’t easy to find. We often joke about the need for advanced degrees in both law and applied mathematics to purchase the most basic, everybody-needs-it-gotta-have-it software. How can the customer determine if they have received a fair price if they don’t fully understand how that price was calculated?
With those initiatives in mind, we took stock of what we already knew. It’s not as if we hadn’t successfully licensed software before. We have been doing just that for several years with much success. Our customers have been happy to pay the price we set for the software, and we were in turn successfully growing a small business. Yay capitalism!
So why not just stick with the tried-and-true? We certainly considered that, of course. The problem was, without getting into the specifics of each product, we developed two different pieces of software for two different kinds of customer. In the end, we decided to change things for this product based on what we learned from both market research and direct input from our beta testers—the few outside of this building that were knowledgeable on the software prior to its release.
Instead of licensing the software per computer, as we do with the UIU, we decided to license the software per user. In doing this, we aimed first to get in line with the growing trend of multiple computers per user. As these devices get more affordable and more mobile, a single employee may have a desktop computer in the office, a laptop at home and a tablet for travel, and a per-user model would only require one license for that one user. This model would also allow for quick and easy math on the part of the software buyer—the number of licenses you need is simply your number of employees. Easy right?
Find out why it didn't work out so well next week.