5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 4, 2012 4:31 PM by eshoshin

    Selling custom solutions to non FMP clients, is FMP right for a SW start up?

    GiancarloMeak

      It's difficult to sell my solution using FMP platform.

       

      Problem 1

      If I want to let my potential client to try the software I need to install the demo version of FMP

      - every time that the demo version is opened is prompting the client to take action to go to see other solutions and how easy it is to do things by themselves using starter solutions

      - filemaker pro can be a simple tool to use but actually we are selling software based on years of experience and work.

      - this cause also lose of sales for FMP.

      Solution to Problem 1

      - When selling custom solution we should have the possibility to install a demo version without the dialog who tell the client to look for other solutions and that FMP it's very easy to use.

       

      Problem 2

      - when selling a custom solution, often the price for the client to purchase FMP + the solution is to high

      - that as been solved by FMP with the FBA Software Bundle Agreement, but to access FBA you need to have one year of history that is not possible for a start up

      - this days, start ups are very interesting for big IT companies (I can mention Amazon, Google, Microsoft), I've been invited from Microsoft at an event for start ups and they are giving for free at qualified start-ups all their technologies (including DB, servers, storage...) for three years.

      - Filemaker seem to be not interested at start ups.

       

      During the selling process with non filemaker clients of a custom solution, having to talk in deep of FMP technology, add a level of complexity because many IT managers prefer to use other solutions that they know. And asking the client to sign a AVLA contract with FMP it's again another thing to explain, that causes loses of time and of possible mutual clients.

       

      Solution to Problem 2

      I think that you should consider of eliminating the rule that you have to be at least one year on business to join FBA, you may give the opportunity (at least) to a certified developer to join FBA (maybe you may add a silver level, not being listed on your website for marketing for the first year) but giving the possibility to access to the Software Bundle Agreement and all the other advantages of other FBA members.

      You may consider some sort of agreement for helping who is trying to use FMP technology to develop custom applications and new clients.

       

      Problem 3

      - If a developer want to let potential clients try the software with the runtime, unfortunately also with FMP 12 it's not possible to generate PDFs that is a crucial feature of FMP and, this days, almost every software is PDF enabled.

      Solution to Problem 3

      - enabling PDF feature on runtime (like on iOS)

       

      I have invested on Filemaker Pro a huge amount of time in the past 20 years and I think that is an excellent platform for producing and selling custom software solutions, the free Filemaker go it's an interesting step toward the future, I'd like to see something more in the direction of small business start-ups.

       

      I attach to the screen of FMP Demo ;-)

       

      Thanks

      GiancarloFilemaker_Demo.jpg

        • 1. Re: Selling custom solutions to non FMP clients, is FMP right for a SW start up?
          Lemmtech

          FileMaker is not and never has been a platform to develop custom solutions to sell. There are not really interested in this and probably never will be. I feel your pain and have developed products in FileMaker but I truly think it's a dead end in the long run. Good luck with your product development.

          • 3. Re: Selling custom solutions to non FMP clients, is FMP right for a SW start up?
            GiancarloMeak

            Thanks for the good luck!

             

            I hope that I will win my bet.

             

            In the past I've managed to sell a simple software based on runtime, downloadable from Internet in many countries in the world. It was a proof of concept.

             

            Now I'm trying something more complex.

             

            With FMP12 and the new Filemaker GO I think that Filemaker could do a lot of new clients letting the incredible business knowledge that is embedded in the Filemaker Pro developer community (that often is formed by knowledge workers that felt in love with filemaker, not computer programmers) to reach the market paying a royalty on every sale (that is, in my opinion, the FBA software bundle agreement).

             

            This can be done, and modern IT companies are helping startups with the focus of doing more business and rejuvenate.

             

            The FMP platform have evolved a lot and now it's amazingly powerful, and the new FMP GO let you arrive to speak to the top management during a sale process (something that before was difficult, and a completive advantage that will disappear soon).

             

            Giancarlo

            • 4. Re: Selling custom solutions to non FMP clients, is FMP right for a SW start up?
              Lemmtech

              I was just on a webex call today with the FileMaker Product Managers today and they reaffirmed that their goal is not to create a developer based product or to create a platform on which to create commerical solutions but rather to continue to empower the "knowlege worker" to solve their own unique data management problems. As long is this thier primary focus choosing FileMaker as a commercial software platform for your product is going to be a challange.

               

              Many have done this over the years with varying levels of sucess (myself included). Sure make a runtime and sell it no problem, but selling a multi-user cross platform vetail data management solution using FileMaker is another thing all togeher. FileMaker is a great platform for internal custom data management solutions and will be for a long time to come but as a platform for commercial software development that remains to be seen and there are still a lot of challanges there that I don't think are a very high priority for FileMaker.

              • 5. Re: Selling custom solutions to non FMP clients, is FMP right for a SW start up?
                eshoshin

                Lemmtech wrote:

                 

                FileMaker is not and never has been a platform to develop custom solutions to sell. There are not really interested in this and probably never will be. I feel your pain and have developed products in FileMaker but I truly think it's a dead end in the long run. Good luck with your product development.

                 

                I'm going to respectfully disagree with this.  I see it as the opposite.  In response to the OP: I think FM does focus on startups because the cost of entry is much lower than competing platforms, not to mention an easier learning curve.  If I wanted to start developing a custom solution, I'd only need a few hundred dollars and I'm in business (cheap laptop + FMA License).  Can FM do more for startups?  Sure.  But that can be said for any business.

                 

                /2¢

                 

                Ethan