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    Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch

    chuting

      I just tried to price Filemaker Pro on the filemaker website. Nothing. Put in a 1 (I just want one) and eventually got a $299.00 price. Pricing was hidden. Why?

       

      The actual application programmers of Filemaker Pro are geniuses. The Marketing Arm of Filemaker are Apple IIe 'Lemonade Stand' flunkies.

       

      Bundle Filemaker with new Apple Computers. Give it to Educational institutions. Use a Grant from Apple, Inc to get it rolling (same company?). Typical Windows users are turned off by the price - figure out the critical mass price.

       

      Everyone then can use it. Critical Mass will be reached. The Marketing Arm has been squashing critical mass for 20 years, since Claris. Windows users, the 'normal' ones, ignore it as a very expensive option. Which it is.

       

      Thinking that 'Bento' solves this is ignorant. Every School District in the United States would use it for Common Core standards data analytics (Federal), if it wasn't so-oo dang expensive. We need data analytics (and you should talk to Dr. Mark Edwards to then develop it, or pay the wonderful Filemaker Developers you have as part of your Forum! to set it up as useful templates for our young up and coming adults). You make it too expensive. Dr. Mark Edwards is our Nation's Superintendent of the Year by the way. Data Analytics is part of his tremendous educational results.

       

      Please have your Pricing and Marketing people play 'Lemonade Stand' simulation from the Apple IIe days (a bundled app back then) to get a concept on how 'seeding' can create a critical mass to generate at least 10 times current sales.

       

      just my 2 cents,

       

      - Chuck

        • 1. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
          intex

          considering Apple´s current price tags for Aperture, Final Cut etc. the Euro price for Filemaker (roundabout 400 Euro incl. VAT) is way too high for most users - it´s a dinosaur price ... either the main product is reduced in price or we get a FM GO for the desktop or a full fledged IWP function.

          • 2. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
            larsheise

            I agree,

             

            Prices seem in Europe to differ from country to country.

             

            In England I found a price of £ 219 ≈ US$ 335

            In Sweden I found a price of SEK 3.500 SEK  ≈ US$ 534

             

            A price in Sweden that is 78% higher than in USA.

             

            How can FileMaker justify this ?

            • 3. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
              ibrahim_bittar

              I'm not sure but I recall that when the Euro was released, it was at 1:1 exchange rate respect with the US dollar. Then the FileMaker Price list was simple "translated" into euros.

               

              When the exchange rate started to move then the price tag was moving but in the wrong way. I mean it should be less that 300€ but it's quite the opposite.

               

              I'm not sure that reducing the price tag would make more sales.

               

              Competing products like 4D are more expensive than FileMaker, see: http://store.4d.com/us/article/4DDS13.shtml

               

              Other products like Omnis Studio (which back in version 3 looked like FileMaker, 20 years ago) cost around $2500 for a server + developer software suite. See: http://tigerlogic-germany.de/public/files/Pricelist_2009_V5_en.pdf

               

              Access 2013 costs around $150 but that's another breed...

               

              So, it seems to me that FileMaker is not too far from its competitors in terms of price/benefit. Finally, what makes the difference is the development cost.

               

              Other platforms have a way higher development cost, compared to FileMaker and this when you can make the case for it.

               

              if you have tha chance to go to Devcon, you should attend Stephen Gallagher's session about making the case for FileMaker.

               

              My 2¢ of mexican pesos is: if a customer can't pay $300 for a license then he/she is not my customer. Simple.

              • 4. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                intex

                but your comparisons go wrong - 95 percent of possible users never would want to program any database. They would like to add data, analyze data, print given reports and search for data. They would just need a networkable runtime or browser frontend or FM GO for the desktop. For these people a price tag of 400 Euros for just using a database is ridiculous.

                • 5. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                  ibrahim_bittar

                  I see your point, I agree that 400€ is a lot of money.

                   

                  If someone asks me: what's your business?, I'd answer: I'm in the business of creating database solutions based on FileMaker Pro.

                   

                  If you ask FMI what's their business, they'd answer: We sell database software.

                   

                  What's the point of selling database software if you're going to give to 95% of your customer base a free, networkable, shortened version of FileMaker?. Let's suppose it's not free but really cheap, say $30. You're still giving away most of your business. On the other hand, multipliying by 10 your user base will increase your tech support costs (you'd need more people). Reducing your income and raising your expenses doesn't sound like a good strategy to me .

                   

                  Do you really think that there are millions of people just waiting to have a software to create databases for commercial or personal use and that they expect to have it bundled with their mac or PC or iPad? (may be you should look in the past history when Macs came bundled with Claris Office. In those days a was a tech support manager at the largest Apple VAR in Venezuela and had lots of people asking me to create databases for them because they didn't have the time or knowledge to do it).

                   

                  I don't think so. I believe there are millions of people looking for a solution for his/her problem. A solution created by someone else, a developer. That's the success of the App Store: tons of already created solutions just waiting to be downloaded and used.

                   

                  This solution has a cost, which include licensing, development, deployment, tech support, etc. That's the whole forrest, licensing is just one of the trees.

                   

                  If someone wants to create a simple database for personal use then he can go with Bento, even Access. Or he can choose to use this: http://database.myezapp.com

                  • 6. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                    LSNOVER

                    Ibrahim:

                     

                    There are some good points, but if they were all valid, why is Filemaker GIVING FM Go away for free?  It must be expanding their customer base, or they wouldn't be doing this.

                     

                    There is a line, no doubt, but the current $300 per seat pricing, does make FM unattractive to customers who need to roll something out in large volume.   FM Does have developer programs for better pricing, but it is very narrow in focus.   Personally, I think if you can get essentially a runtime down to the $100 range, it would make FM more attractive.  For our particular app. the costs is not an issue per say, but we could provide it to more people if the costs were lower.  Finding that sweet spot is the key.

                     

                    Based on what FM is doing with FMGO, I would say they are aware of the situation.

                     

                    Cheers!

                    Lee

                    • 7. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                      ibrahim_bittar

                      Hi Lee

                       

                      There are some good points, but if they were all valid, why is Filemaker GIVING FM Go away for free?  It must be expanding their customer base, or they wouldn't be doing this.

                       

                      It would be great to have someone from FMI and ask what's the cost of doing it. My guess is that sales of FMGo 11 were not exactly successful and they want to ride the iPad wave.

                       

                      Based on what FM is doing with FMGO, I would say they are aware of the situation.

                       

                      I agree, and there must be a reason because they are not doing it, and that reason – i believe – goes beyond greed. There must be something else. People has been asking for a networkable runtime, a-la-FileMaker 3, for years and nothing has happened.

                       

                      I know I can be strong opinioned sometimes, even beyond reasonable limits , but my point here is that assuming that FMI will increase their sales by times 10 just by releasing a networkable + cheap runtime it not true.

                       

                      I understand Chuting frustration but finally FMI has been making money since the very beginning and this means they have been doing something right, we like it or not.

                       

                      Saludos

                       

                      Ibrahim

                      • 8. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                        ibrahim_bittar

                        If I meet with Ryan Rosenberg atDevcon I'll ask him .

                        • 9. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                          LSNOVER

                          Yeah, I'm sure he's got a good canned answer on that one. lol.

                          • 10. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                            intex

                            might be, that they (FileMaker) don´t sell more or would have higher profit with a networkable runtime or better IWP, but the other way round they are going to sell less at least in the future (in my eyes already today). A price tag of 400 Euros per seat compared to webbased solutions, any mySQL solution and so on is just ridiculously high. Sadly enough for FileMaker, most people don´t want to buy a database but a solution for their problems. The database is only the technical vehicle transporting the solution. People out there don´t even know about FileMaker, don´t have in mind investing in FileMaker. They want an ERP system, an inventory or whatever.

                             

                            And there is the comparison problem. Why in hell is the database runtime FM GO for iOS completely free and doing the same thing, which on Mac or Windows should cost 400 Euros ? I can't tell and convince anybody on this discrepancy.

                             

                            Or: Why can Bento be a networkable solution for up to five seats for less than 79.- Euros all in all and FileMaker will be 2.000 Euros ? Keep in mind - most people don´t want FileMaker, Bento or whatever that weird database thingy is called - they want a solution. So they more and more go for something in the cloud, if they need more than one seat.

                            • 11. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                              jormond

                              Great discussion. 

                               

                              I disagree that marketing is out of touch with the market.  It is however, an Apple zone.  Think personal computer for > $1100 vs the rest of the market < $1000 for base models.  I do agree that FileMaker Pro pricing is a little high.

                               

                              I suppose I see a model like this, with Server remaining as is:

                              • Develoment Plus version - Advanced plus networkable Runtimes. $ 599.
                              • Development Version - Everything Advanced does now. $ 299.
                              • Pro Version - some development features, but limited. Basically you can make a db. $ 199.
                              • Lite version - FM Go for the Desktop.  Runs a database, no development. $ 99.

                               

                              You would lose probably 40% of your pro licenses.  But you would potentially gain "critical mass" for those those have a number of workers that need nothing more than to run a database someone else made.  An example, one office I know of would go from 5 licenses to 10.  Upgrades for Pro are $179 straight from the store. $179 x 5 = $895.  10 Lite Licenses x $99 = $990. ( yes, I know you can get it cheaper through volume licensing, just making an example ).

                               

                              The idea is that small shops are always going to need to develop, or have someone there purchase Pro to make changes to the db.  Some of them will used Advanced. Developers will sell a ton of Lite licenses to more people.  It is a barrier to many businesses.  Especially with the recurring upgrade costs.

                              • 12. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                                ibrahim_bittar

                                That would be true if the solution was made solely of FileMaker.

                                 

                                I agree that the European price list is wrong and that it should be based on the US dollar, not the other way around. This is: the € price should be $299 converted to Euros, not 299€ multiplied by 1.3078, which is the exchange rate from Euros to US Dollars as of today.

                                 

                                However, I insist that the total cost of a solution – what experts call TCO or Total Cost of Ownership – is made of many things, licensing among them.

                                 

                                When I engage in a negociation with a prospective customer I give my solution price as a whole. I have a price tag that includes many things: licensing, training, setup, tech support, traveling costs, etc., however, I don't tell the customer "you have to buy FileMaker, when you're done please call me and we can continue". Finally, FM licensing is just a part of the mix inside your cost structure.

                                 

                                May be my case is different because I'm a commercial solutions developer. I don't do custom development but I think that the model can be easily ported.

                                • 13. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                                  ibrahim_bittar

                                  THAT sounds great!, I'd just put the lite version in the $30 or even free tag, finally we could create networkable runtimes .

                                   

                                  For example, in my case, I have signed a SBA with FileMaker, which means that I pay $99 for each FMPro license and $429 for each server license. Both of them are absorbed into my cost structure.

                                   

                                  My solution sells for $1490 + Tax for each user, with a minimum of four users in a sell. The price includes the following:

                                   

                                  1. One FileMaker Server.
                                  2. FileMaker Pro for each user.
                                  3. Setup and data migration.
                                  4. One week of onsite training (not including airplane ticket, when the setup is more than 250 miles away).
                                  5. One full year of internet and phone tech support.
                                  6. The solution, of course.

                                   

                                  So, when my customer pays $5960 for a solution, he/she is paying for a lot of things, including FileMaker. If FileMaker costs more or less, he doesn't care. I do care of course.

                                   

                                  Translating this model to a custom developed solution the "includes" would be something like this:

                                   

                                  1. One FileMaker Server.
                                  2. FileMaker Pro for each user.
                                  3. 100 development hours (or whatever number you have).
                                  4. Hiring a testing service for both the solution and the website.
                                  5. Setup, documentation and training.
                                  6. Tech support.
                                  7. The solution.

                                   

                                  You can add to the list whatever else your project would involve. Finally FM licensing it's just a part of the whole structure.

                                   

                                  Let's say this custom solution has a final cost of $10000. When you bargain with the customer all the discussion will be around the $10K, not the FM licensing. If FileMaker is more expensive or not that won't affect your final price, it will affect your profit margin because the price will be set by the customer / your competition / budget / etc.

                                   

                                  That's my point.

                                  • 14. Re: Filemaker Inc, Genius, Marketing is out of Touch
                                    sporobolus

                                    on 2013-06-04 14:58 intex wrote

                                    A price tag of 400 Euros per seat compared to webbased solutions, any mySQL solution and so on is just ridiculously high.

                                     

                                    i wonder what you think the hours (and hourly rate) would be for a web-based

                                    solution, particularly at the low end, comparable to what you can get from

                                    FileMaker?

                                     

                                    on the whole i am hard pressed to understand FileMaker's pricing, but i think

                                    it has probably been studied to death, with more info than any of us have, by FMI

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