8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 31, 2017 4:14 AM by AnatoleBeams

    Is it worth it to be an FBA member?


      Hi There,


      I want to ask a general question to those that are FBA members. Is it actually worth it to be an FBA if you are a small to medium sized company? We have been an FBA for the last few years and to be honest we can't really see the benefit in it. Every so often our account manager changes and the only way we find out is when we get an irate call from our clients who had just been contacted by FileMaker to find out if they require any FileMaker assistance and if they want to renew their licenses. We were under the impression that FileMaker would not contact our clients directly if we were a FBA member. Also we have had it where FileMaker would send our clients the invoice for their new licenses instead of sending it to us, and recently one of our clients gave us grief that the invoice they got from FileMaker directly was cheaper than the price on the website and we almost lost the client because they no have it in their mind that we are just there to rip them off.


      2 weeks ago this all happened again when our client that we are very close with called us to find out who the person from FileMaker was that had just called her. We had no idea because the week before we had been talking to our account manager with regards to renewal for another client, and he mentioned ABSOLUTELY nothing about leaving. So when our client mentioned someone else of course we had no clue who the person was, only to find out that our account manager had changed and the new account manager had been given a list of all our clients and was busy contacting them to find out if they are happy with FileMaker and if they need any support.


      It's great that we get a mention on the website, but last year we were kicked off the website because the reminder to renew the FBA had gone to all the partners except us. When we found out that our FBA membership had expired we spoke to one of the other FBA members here in South Africa and he told us that when he got his renewal notice he was actually of the mind not to renew as he doesn't see any benefit of being a member here in South Africa. When he told us that we were horrified because surely being an FBA has its benefits. Now thinking about the service we have received from FileMaker, we are now also wondering, is it really worth it. Is it worth paying only to have FileMaker go over our heads as if we are not even worth it. It makes me want to start looking at other technologies and start moving my clients away from FileMaker. We just don't see the point in spending the money any more.  


      So I ask again, is there any actual benefit to renewing the FBA membership?

        • 1. Re: Is it worth it to be an FBA member?

          I can't answer your question but wonder if you have provided this same feedback directly to FileMaker inc. and if so, what response you received?

          • 2. Re: Is it worth it to be an FBA member?

            We contacted the manager at FileMaker UK who we normally speak to and as yet have had no feedback.

            • 3. Re: Is it worth it to be an FBA member?

              Hey TSGal,


              you might want to have someone look into this.

              • 4. Re: Is it worth it to be an FBA member?

                This is a common story. FileMaker needs to figure out if they WANT our help selling licenses or not. And make their answer to that question very clear.

                • 5. Re: Is it worth it to be an FBA member?

                  FBA has a few benefits. For me it's important to be listed on the FileMaker website.


                  For the cost, well it's not so high, if you reduce it by the cost of the FMPA license you get included.


                  How much does FMPA license and FBA membership cost in South Africa?


                  And do you benefit from reselling licenses and buying them as FBA for lower prices?

                  • 6. Re: Is it worth it to be an FBA member?

                    To my knowledge we pay the same price as the rest of the world, but at an exchange rate of $1-R13 it works out to be quite expensive.


                    We do get the reselling benefit but it doesn't help us much when FileMaker send the invoice directly to our clients instead of sending it to us first.

                    • 7. Re: Is it worth it to be an FBA member?

                      You could always try to pay in US-Dollar on the US website, if the exchange rate is not good.


                      And for orders, you should put address on the billing address and the customer on the licensee address.

                      As far as I know they can be different and you get the invoice for reselling.

                      • 8. Re: Is it worth it to be an FBA member?

                        Certainly, as  a small FBA reseller ( <$20,000p.a.) I often ask myself this very question.


                        The only thing which really makes it worthwhile, is the percentage discount you get on sales and annual maintenance updates. I do use the server software on my testbed and the extra copy of FMPA is nice, but I had one already.


                        My policy for charging my clients for their software is to charge the standard FileMaker web prices and I take the FBA cut. But I do this on the understanding that I manage the process and keep their system software up-to-date and send each user client updates for their software. This is a transparent policy with my clients and keeps me protected in the event that FileMaker inadvertently let the clients know what I am being invoiced for their software ... something that has happened in the past more than once.


                        The current policy to contact my clients directly is really stupid, downright annoying and a confusing bother for clients, me and also for the FileMaker UK sales department. So why do it? After all, these are clients that we sold the FileMaker option to and are constantly striving to keep them happy with their choice.


                        I can only think that the financial brains at Filemaker Inc. think that we are too irrelevant to matter and that their sales targets are hampered by having to deal through minor agents. But my clients loyally pay up their maintenance every year, so I don't really understand why they feel the need to create all this extra hassle.


                        Of course, they could resolve the whole issue amicably, by giving us access to all the licensing information for our clients online and letting us manage adding, removing and updating licences from their contracts. Then all FileMaker would have to do is get the invoices out to us and this whole issue would evaporate. I think that any one of us could even write the database for them ... in FileMaker!