Many businesses that have moved to software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions often encounter difficulty determining if they are really getting their money’s worth because of a lack of visibility around solution fees.
It’s ironic because one of the main advantages of SaaS over traditional delivery models is supposed to be competitive prices compared to on-premise software and more predictable billing, according to the head of an Ottawa-based cloud service provider.
“We hear the complaint many times from users. Very often, SaaS or cloud companies change the game once the product is implemented, or pricing was not made sufficiently clear from the onset,” said Allan Wille, CEO of Klipfolio, who is advocating a per user monthly fee structure. “Customers deserve better than vague or misleading SaaS pricing.”
Klipfolio is a cloud-based Web and mobile dashboard tool that helps users monitor business performance by enabling them to pull together cloud-based and on-premise data and view the information on real-time dashboards.
The business intelligence dashboard vendor has launched a pricing model that starts single users at a $20 per month fee. Under the new model, volume pricing can see customers with more than 1,000 users pay as little as $5 per user, per month.
SaaS vendors typically price applications based on usage parameters, such as number of users accessing an application, or how much a customer uses an application or computing power. Since customer data in a SaaS environment often resides with the SaaS vendor, SaaS companies also have the opportunity to charge per transaction, event or other unit value.
This situation injects an amount of complexity into the billing model which confuses many customers and tends to “make the bill a mystery,” according to Wille.
“This is why we decided to use a simple self-serve pricing model based on per user, per month usage. No surcharge fees for number of dashboards or number of data sources,” he said.
Wille said the simplified pricing structure can also be passed on to customers by partners who resell Klipfolio or offer it as part of their portfolio to customers.