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Variable Subscriptions - INSIGHTS 2018 Discussion


Gerry
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@Keith @nasimg @Lyonel

Following up on a discussion that was started at INSIGHTS 18 with regards to subscriptions to Collaboration, I said this was something I would take away and look at and I am aware that you guys have been pro-actively asking about where we are with this.   To recap, my recollection of the discussion was in relation to Collaboration users and making it easier to subscribe to collaboration, and there are a number of things I recall were part of that discussion.

* Ease of adding/removing subscriptions -  As much as we want to add a self-service here there is still some work to do, in the meantime I believe its as simple as we can make it currently, you can simply ask, we can give you a quote for the difference and once you e-sign its applied pretty much within a few minutes most of the time. 

* Cost of subscriptions -  I think I mentioned this before, in relation to collaboration/process users, the volume discount curve on these users is very aggressive as volume goes up, although they start at around £7.5/user/month, with volume in the 100's these fall to around £2/user/month reflecting the idea that those that wish to expand the use of Hornbill beyond the application (Service Manager, Customer Manager etc...) power users, the cost of enrolment for collaboration/process/ authorizer/email/task users becomes very economical. 

* Difficulty of knowing how many subscriptions are required and budgeting/raising PO's for the same. - I looked that the possibility of having some kind of variable billing here, I believe one suggestion was to have a "bill for whats used at the end of each month" type approach. There are a number of things that make this type of thing difficult for us to implement, firstly our billing systems are largely automated, charges and volume discounts are applied across all users for any given billing level, so trying to do the math here would be erroneous and difficult to explain to people, so I have no practical way of implementing such a scheme at this time.  Secondly, and probably more importantly, in the vast majority of cases our customer base cannot handle the notion of variable billing, many organizations need to know exact costs up front, and then need to raise a PO that will exactly match the invoices we send out, when there is a mismatch we are often burdened with the task of trying to navigate each individual customers purchase ledger processes. Based on the difficulties we currently have in dealing with invoices that match customers PO's I cannot imagine how it would be even possible to transact on this basis, I would suggest, while not all, a significant number of our customers own procurement and accounts payable processes could not tolerate variable billing.  Finally, our contracts/terms of service also do not cover this type of arrangement so there would be some work to do there too - the whole thing would be quite a task. 

The truth is I am not sure where to take this next so I wanted to open the discussion as I am obviously keen to make it as easy and frictionless as possible for our customers to transact with us - I an looking for ways to improve and meet these types of requirements.  Please let me have your thoughts?

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Same. Although it is not perfect, I think in my case we are keen on waiting for a few months, see where we are going with Hornbill and then readjust our licenses if necessary (with regards to approvals).

But thanks for taking the time to think about it and come back to us @Gerry!

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Hi @Gerry , thanks for giving this some serious thought. I can see why it is problematic for you (and us). Like others, I think we need to give little more thought about how we can leverage the collaboration license more effectively. The main issues I had previously were surrounding the potential volume of licenses needed. I think rather than trying to provide everyone with a collaboration license we need to look at specific use cases more closely. One of my main concerns was the fact that these users would have to use a different app to the portal so your efforts to combine the app may be of help here when its ready for prime time.

The purchasing issue is one that really impacts me even now with Service Manager licenses as I need a PO for each addition which makes turnaround really slow (due to our processes, not Hornbill's). 

Its a shame there are no positive steps to move this forward but as always, I appreciate the effort in assessing this and in the transparency.

 

Keith 

 

 

 

 

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@Keith

I know I have had similar conversations myself internally and it is not always easy, but it might be worth talking to your purchasing/accounts department. SaaS is obviously very common now and the old PO way of working does not really fit with SaaS billing.  If you think about it, your account people have no idea what the cost is for your telephone services, I presume your organization does not raise a PO for the BT bill.  You might want to talk to purchasing about that and see if there is anything they can facilitate to make it easier for you.  Perhaps they could work on an annual budget like I imagine they do for telephone and other variable PAYG services.  Just a thought...

An alternative might be to come up with a number of collaboration users you think you need and just subscribe to create a pool, you could then allocate/deallocate them as needed. That way you have a known fixed cost for which you can raise a PO internally. 

Gerry

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