Software Assurance Explained
wjm at wjm.org
Tue Nov 17 11:46:44 CST 2009
RunRev does have a unique policy of updates and upgrades compared to,
say, Adobe. Instead of paying on a per-version basis, one gets
essentially annual subscriptions to new versions, after the three-month
window you get with new purchases expires.
The reasoning behind this is to even out our revenue over the year, to
put more of a focus on giving attention to what is truly needed by users
(as opposed to coming out with versions "synthetically" on our own
financial timetable), to make it easier for customers to get the latest
versions right away (instead of having to make multiple purchase
decisions frequently), to ensure products built with Rev are always of
the highest available quality (so our customer's customers are happy),
and to eliminate destructive debates over what should constitute a free
"update" versus what warrants a for-fee "upgrade."
I think it's actually a pretty amazing value for the money. If you
bought Rev 2.9 on Sept 1, 2008 and a software assurance pack on Dec 1,
2008, you would have received Rev 3.0, 3.5, *and* 4.0 as part of that.
Three major new versions for "a single low payment!" Sorry to sound like
a TV pitchman, but isn't that truly remarkable?
Under traditional software upgrade models we could probably have charged
four or five times as much for you to keep current over that time
period. Compare us with, say, FileMaker Inc., which is earning a
reputation for gouging customers with ho-hum upgrades priced quite close
to the new-copy retail. Compare us with the percentage of retail you pay
to upgrade your Adobe software.
We call it software assurance because you are assured that your software
will always be up-to-date. That's something we think professional
developers value. With the addition of the new automatic updates
functionality for all editions, that is becoming even more of a reality.
For revEnterprise users, it also means access to pre-release builds and
admission to our exclusive "Improve" list (a forum that perhaps needs to
be renamed at some point, as we are now better at acting upon input for
improvement from all corners).
[The term "software assurance" isn't as non-standard as you would think,
by the way. Microsoft calls their similar program exactly that.]
Although new purchasers are entitled to three months of updates and
upgrades free (so you can be sure you'll get bug fixes, etc.), they also
have a full year of eligibility for the "Early" assurance pack price.
After that, the cost for an assurance pack essentially doubles.
The exception we made for select customers with the offer below is a
very short-term incentive to encourage people who mostly have been stuck
in the 2.9 or even 2.6.1 era to try out the new, much-more-usable and
much-more-capable Rev 4.0. (It's time to come back to the fold!)
Quite honestly, the behavior we want to encourage is for customers to
purchase Rev, then make the annual assurance plan purchase more or less
automatic. I suppose a downside is that there are some people who are
always going to "kick the tires" before they spend any more than they
have to, but having an assurance plan not only works out best for you in
the long run, but is the best way to support RunRev's continuing efforts
to deliver great software.
p.s.: Think about it: $99/year and you could have gotten three fantastic
new versions ... and support a company that's working really hard to not
only earn a spot on your desktop, but also change the way the world
thinks about software.
Richard Gaskin wrote:
> Bill Marriott wrote:
>> The Order Now button directs to to the "Early" software assurance
>> package page for your edition of Rev.
> How many people looking for "upgrade" will think of "assurance"?
> When I think of "assurance" I think of the Crimson Permanent Assurance
> Company. ;)
> I had a client confused by this recently, and when I upgraded
> ("assured"?) my own license a couple weeks ago I experienced the same
> People are accustomed to paying for software upgrades (point releases),
> with the occasional free update (point-point releases). Some specialty
> software is sold by subscription, in which a fee is required annually.
> RunRev's pricing is a unique mix somewhere between the two, and while I
> assume there are good reasons for this unusual pricing structure and I
> wouldn't advocate changing it, if unique nomenclature is used it may be
> helpful to translate RunRev's terms into industry-common-speak.
> Perhaps "Early Software Assurance Pack" could be renamed "Early Upgrade
> Assurance Pack" for clarity.
> And FWIW, the front page of the Store section doesn't show upgrades at
> all; only when you click to buy what is marked as a full license do you
> find the "assurance" (upgrade) option.
> If the pricing is working well for RunRev don't change it; the prices
> are quite reasonable once they're understood.
> Just a little honing of the terminology and layout in the store would
> make it a bit easier for folks to give RunRev money.
> Richard Gaskin
> Fourth World
> Rev training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
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> revJournal blog: http://revjournal.com/blog.irv
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