1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply on Mar 20, 2014 4:51 PM by Malcolm

    It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.

    intex

      It just happened again. We could have sold 50 seats of our travel expense accounting program, but ...

       

      customer didn´t want 50 (runtime based) single user editions of the program, which would have been 50*99=4950.- Euros incl. VAT in the worst case for the customer (no rebate).

       

      Instead customer wanted a client-/server based solution, so I had to offer him a FM Server and 50 licenses of FM Pro prior to buying any database solution file from us. This is even with VLA the affordable amount of 17.452,80 Euros incl. tax.

       

      What do you think the customer thought of this offering ? Great? Where can I buy immediately?

       

      Of course nothing of this. We lost this customer, FM Inc. lost this customer due to absurd high prices for network computing. The customer will go to a cloud based solution. Remember - he didn´t want to buy a database called FileMaker, he wanted a travel expense accounting program.

       

      There is a definite need for

       

      a) a FM GO for the desktop or a FM version without layouting capabilities with a "normal" price tag

      b) a much more affordable WebDirect feature

       

      Hate me, but that´s what I think and experience every week again and again since years. And yes, I am bold enough to remind FM Inc. of this situation from time to time.

        • 1. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
          siplus

          Intex,

           

          if the workers of that company produce 80 euros of benefit a day (10 euro per hour) for the company for 20 workdays a month, it's a benefit of 80 X 20 X 50 workers = 80k euros in a month, and I'm staying very low here. In the first 2 weeks of use, that company can payback both filemaker's cost and your solution's cost. For the next - at least - 2years, it's all benefit. Clients that don't get things as simple as this are not the kind of clients I wish for myself.

           

          And if you can sell at least 50 licenses of filemaker together with your solution in a year, you really should take a deeper look into Filemaker Business Alliance.

          • 2. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
            mikebeargie

            "Don't hate the player, hate the game" ?

             

            If you're selling a vertical market solution, why don't you turn it into a CWP solution instead? That way you're only ever on the hook for a server license, and you just reap the rest of the profits yourself.

             

            If you're lamenting over the loss of a potentially large client like that (I feel you, that's rough!), it might be worth the development investment time to come up with viable alternatives that do NOT require the two distro methods stated above. There are many frameworks (IE Zend) that allow for rapid application development that can interface with FMS on the backend. I'm assuming that since your initial deployment option was runtime that you have a solution that doesn't change that often.

             

            You also never mentioned the AVLA option, which would be about 1/3 of that retail price per year, spread out over monthly payments (~500 euro/month for your 50 users/server, and includes all updates for as long as they are subscribed).

             

            Yes, you are right, there is a need for a FileMaker thin client. I think FM introduced WD for this purpose, but it's not there yet (on either price or functionality) for a lot of the heavy-handed solutions to use out of the box. At least not without significant retooling.

            • 3. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
              DavidJondreau

              From your desciption, it sounds like you could have saved the sale by talking to your regional sales rep.

               

              You can get a Site License for 2/3 the price of the discounted individual licenses. You can get an annual site license for $60/year per user. There are a few other ways of discounting the price that I don't know the pricing on (vertical market bundling, FBA customer pricing). Talk to your rep you may not lose the sale next time!

              • 4. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                intex

                Mike Beargie schrieb:

                 

                You also never mentioned the AVLA option, which would be about 1/3 of that retail price per year, spread out over monthly payments (~500 euro/month for your 50 users/server, and includes all updates for as long as they are subscribed).

                 

                 

                Look at the attached screenshot - I know that. But in the end the TCO isn´t getting any lower by renting the software you can buy - and still many customers prefer buying rather than renting software. Might be a mentality thing.

                 

                Due to tax reasons (linear depreciation) people calculate with three years ownership of bought products. So the renting is no buck cheaper.

                • 5. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                  wimdecorte

                  intex wrote:

                   

                  Remember - he didn´t want to buy a database called FileMaker, he wanted a travel expense accounting program.

                   

                  Then why bring FileMaker up at all to the customer? Or slap him with "additional costs" - nobody likes that.  Why not present the user with the "total delivered" cost up front and give him options right off the bat:

                   

                  - here's the cost for individual copies with no centralized data repository

                  - here's the cost per user per month for a cloud hosted version with a desktop client

                  - here's the cost per user per month for a cloud hosted version with a browser client

                  - here's the cost for a "self" hosted version (this too can be calculated to a cost per user per month)

                   

                  The fact that you chose FM as your development platform should be irrelvant to the user, they only care about the total cost.

                  • 6. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                    intex

                    yes I know, but they want the customer data which a) isn´t possible for legal privacy reasons and b) we don´t want to be the sales department of FM without any provisioning.

                     

                     

                    Why are so many here thinking of how we can change and not about how FM Inc. could change ? If they had a WebDirect Server with a pricetag of let´s say 1500.- Euros we would be able to sell and FM would earn some money too. As it is now, we don´t sell and they don´t sell.

                    • 7. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                      intex

                      wimdecorte schrieb:

                       

                      Then why bring FileMaker up at all to the customer? Or slap him with "additional costs" - nobody likes that.  Why not present the user with the "total delivered" cost up front and give him options right off the bat:

                       

                      - here's the cost for individual copies with no centralized data repository

                      - here's the cost per user per month for a cloud hosted version with a desktop client

                      - here's the cost per user per month for a cloud hosted version with a browser client

                      - here's the cost for a "self" hosted version (this too can be calculated to a cost per user per month)

                       

                      The fact that you chose FM as your development platform should be irrelvant to the user, they only care about the total cost.

                       

                      We already do that for our larger solutions, but people always will ask for the reason of the price difference.

                       

                      In this case it is:

                       

                      version a) is 99.- Euros per seat, buy license

                      version b) we don´t offer rented software

                      version c) we don´t offer rented nor WebDirect based solutions

                      version d) would be 499.- Euros for each seat with FileMaker plus 1200.- Euros for the Server. And of course people will then ask why the hell networking is 400.- Euros more expensive. Technically it isn´t that much more ...

                       

                      Normally we don´t offer d) as well, only when asked, since the chance to sell this tends to zero thanks to the pricetag of FileMaker.

                      • 8. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                        wimdecorte

                        The reason for the price difference is the difference in features, not in "because you have to buy FileMaker".  If the user sees no value in those features (like central data repository, browser access, cloud hosting, centralized security, backups,...) or thinks the price for those features is too high then that is an entirely different conversation.  The conversation is not about FM but about value for money, features.

                         

                        Seems like you lost to a cloud-based competitor / subscription model, you say that you don't offer a browser version or a cloud-based FM offering.  That may be something to look into?

                        Those are totally different models.  Some clients are getting used to hinking in a "x per user per month" cost of their software and getting them to shell out thousands of dollars up front does not appeal to them.  That goes for buying SQL Server / Oracle as well as FM.

                         

                        Not trying to tell you how to run your business

                        But for me, FM is a development framework.  It allows for quick development but requires whatever it requires to run the solution.  Other frameworks don't have that "deployment invenstment" but are more expensive in the development cycle.  Total value is what counts: does the client think they are getting value for what they pay?

                        • 9. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                          LSNOVER

                          FM = Big fish

                          You = Little fish

                           

                          Little fish can only ask.  (I'm a little fish so I empathize)

                           

                          Have you tried discussing the Customer info. policy with FM to see if they may be willing to work with you some how?

                           

                          What do you mean by "without any provisioning"?    They are providing a nice discount. 

                           

                          Your desire to see WebDirect Server with a price tag of 1500 is unrealistic.   I really hate to say it, but you may be better off with another product, say something like RealBasic and MySQL where you don't have to cough up per user fees.  It will be more work, but that's the trade off isn't it?

                           

                          Cheers!

                          Lee

                          • 10. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                            jormond

                            What software do you see doing what you are asking?  I don't see anything on the market that does what you are asking, for the price you are asking, with the feature-set that FileMaker comes built-in with. Networking is an expensive piece. A lot of software has that difference. For example, Quickbooks Pro is $249 USD, up to 3 users. Quickbook Enterprise is $899, up to 30 users. The feature set is built, regardless of the final product used by the customer. Most times it just unlocks features if they upgrade later.

                             

                            And that doesn't include it being custom software. We quoted out a system for our office. Off-the-shelf solutions that didn't quite work, $1,000-2,000 USD. A pre-made, somewhat customized solution, $21,000 USD. Full custom write of a new solution, $60,000 USD.

                             

                            It sounds like your office would greatly benefit from an on-staff Web Developer to help craft a PHP based solution.

                            intex wrote:

                             

                            Normally we don´t offer d) as well, only when asked, since the chance to sell this tends to zero thanks to the pricetag of FileMaker.

                            • 11. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                              hjgunn@mmedia.is

                              Joshua, you talk about a PHP based solution?

                              I would like to hear from those reading this whether PHP is a better/preferred option than using FM's new web options offered in version 13.

                              • 12. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                                jormond

                                "Preferred" is a very subjective thing. Both approaches have it's pros/cons. Hopefully we will get a number of views on it from other developers.

                                hjgunn@mmedia.is wrote:

                                 

                                Joshua, you talk about a PHP based solution?

                                I would like to hear from those reading this whether PHP is a better/preferred option than using FM's new web options offered in version 13.

                                • 13. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                                  intex

                                  Joshua Ormond schrieb:

                                   

                                  What software do you see doing what you are asking?  I don't see anything on the market that does what you are asking, for the price you are asking, with the feature-set that FileMaker comes built-in with. Networking is an expensive piece. A lot of software has that difference. For example, Quickbooks Pro is $249 USD, up to 3 users. Quickbook Enterprise is $899, up to 30 users.

                                   

                                   

                                  Well, competitors for travel accounting offer:

                                   

                                  - market leader: Server and three clients for 599.- Euros incl. tax, buy price, no renting, no year limitation

                                  - startup cloud solution: 4 Euros max per traveller and month

                                   

                                  For this we could only offer 1/2 a server or a little more than one FM PRO, which does "nothing" for the user interested in travel accounting.

                                   

                                  We could beat these competitors in features easily using FileMaker, but without any reasonable pricing for networking it just doesn´t work.

                                   

                                  And I don´t give up hoping, that some time FM Inc. will see that they are loosing lots of users, customers, turnover and potential.

                                  • 14. Re: It happened again - 50 users/licenses lost for us and FM Inc.
                                    intex

                                    wimdecorte schrieb:

                                     

                                    Seems like you lost to a cloud-based competitor / subscription model, you say that you don't offer a browser version or a cloud-based FM offering.  That may be something to look into?

                                     

                                     

                                    we looked into WebDirect and hosting services deeply. But how should we compete with an offering "max. 4 Euros per traveller per month" (www.hrworks.de) for a travel accounting software, if our hosting alone costs 15 Euros per month plus additional 5 Euros per each WebDirect user? If I compare 5 users, we would have to ask for 40 Euros compared to 20 Euros without earning any money ourselves ...

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