Author Topic: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions  (Read 8534 times)

nachico

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Hi everyone,

you might have already seen the news in the .com site about the repackaging of our commercial offering. Until now it was based on Professional and Enterprise subscriptions as well as a series of extra services such as security updates and technical support.

We have realized that although our offering was very flexible and allowed to select just the needed services, it was actually too complex for our customers. So we have simplified it and bundled most services together in two options, targeting very different customer profiles: Small Business Edition for small businesses using Zentyal as a standalone server, and Enterprise Edition for medium businesses with more complex IT environments.

The other change has been semantic: many of our customers did not understand very well the concept of an open source, community software that got commercial services in the form of a subscription. So, despite the fact that we are not eager to separate community from commercial editions, we need to call them that way in order to make our offering understood. The good news is that it is just a semantic change: a commercial edition uses the same source code than community edition but it is bundled with commercial services (support, software and security updates, disaster recovery, etc).

In short, we have repackaged our commercial offering and changed its name, but that's all. I know it is not such an important announcement for the community forum but I just wanted to make it clear. If you have any questions or doubts please ask.

Cheers,

CEO at Zentyal

Sam Graf

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 08:20:23 pm »
Very useful information, thank you.

klein

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2012, 09:12:59 am »
What about the user number limit and VPN tunneling between sites feature? It will be possible connect more than 25 users or tunneling between sites with the Community edition?

robb

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 09:48:25 am »
The community edition is not limited to 25 users or amount of VPN tunnels. But the community edition doesn't have the commercial advantages either. (like reports, cloud databackup, support by eBox technologies with an SLA of Next Business Day or 4 hours etc)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 09:50:35 am by robb »

DogManCat

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2012, 10:15:44 am »
Hi everyone,

you might have already seen the news in the .com site about the repackaging of our commercial offering. Until now it was based on Professional and Enterprise subscriptions as well as a series of extra services such as security updates and technical support.

We have realized that although our offering was very flexible and allowed to select just the needed services, it was actually too complex for our customers. So we have simplified it and bundled most services together in two options, targeting very different customer profiles: Small Business Edition for small businesses using Zentyal as a standalone server, and Enterprise Edition for medium businesses with more complex IT environments.

The other change has been semantic: many of our customers did not understand very well the concept of an open source, community software that got commercial services in the form of a subscription. So, despite the fact that we are not eager to separate community from commercial editions, we need to call them that way in order to make our offering understood. The good news is that it is just a semantic change: a commercial edition uses the same source code than community edition but it is bundled with commercial services (support, software and security updates, disaster recovery, etc).

I am totally confused at this announcement as there seems very little difference between the previous subscription charges and the current apart from name changes and a short sighted 25 user limit on a reduced service offering?
It would be interesting if you would put a comparison of the previous to the current and justify the above?

Zentyal is a modular service based product and many use it as a simple firewalled router with really good network control. At this level your subscription charges in my opinion are ridiculously high. The previous subscription charges where never service based and the only confusing point was the manner they where presented.

Zenyal Feature List
    Networking
        Firewall and routing
            Filtering
            NAT and port redirections
            VLAN 802.1Q
            Support for multiple PPPoE and DHCP gateways
            Multi-gateway rules, load balancing and automatic failover
            Traffic shaping (with application layer support)
            Bridged mode
            Graphical traffic rate monitoring
            Network intrusion detection system
            Dynamic DNS client
        Network infrastructure
            DHCP server
            NTP server
            DNS server
                Dynamic updates via DHCP
            RADIUS server
        VPN support
            Dynamic routes autoconfiguration
        IPsec support
        PPTP support
        HTTP proxy
            Internet cache
            User authentication
            Content filtering (with categorized lists)
            Transparent antivirus
            Delay pools
        Captive Portal
            User authentication
            Bandwidth limit
        Intrusion Detection System
        Mail Server
            Virtual domains
            Quotas
            SIEVE support
            External account retrieval
            POP3 and IMAP with SSL/TLS
            Spam and antivirus filtering
                Greylisting, blacklisting, whitelisting
            Transparent POP3 proxy filter
            Catch-all account

    Webmail
    Web server
        Virtual hosts
    Certification authority

    Workgroup
        Centralized users and groups management
            Master/slave support
            Windows Active Directory Synchronization
        Windows PDC
            Password policies
            Support for Windows 7 clients
        Network resource sharing
            File server
                Antivirus
                Recycle bin
            Print server
        Groupware: calendar, address book, contacts, etc.
        VoIP server
            Voicemail
            Conference rooms
            Calls through an external provider
            Call transfers
            Call parking
            Music on hold
            Queues
            Logs

    Jabber/XMMP server
        Conference rooms
    FTP server
    Zentyal User Corner for self users info updating

    Reporting and monitoring
        Dashboard for centralized service information
        Monitor CPU, load, disk space, thermal, memory
        Disk usage and RAID status
        Summarized and full system reports
        Event notification via mail, RSS or Jabber
        Bandwidth data usage

    Virtual Machines management
    Software updates
    Backups (configuration and remote data backup)

Many of us (community) use Zentyal in a specific way and would like to use and pay for the services required. If I only use a small subsection of the services available why should I subsidise someone who uses all?!
Also why 25 users as basically many will be forced into either enterprise pricing or like myself at that level self support for free. The current pricing is over double current competitive products such as ClearOS and I would like to know how Zentyal can substantiate this?
The current per server subscription with a 25 user limit is ridiculous from the standpoint of more users than 25. On higher demand networks it would be a logical methodology to partition across several servers that provide specific functions (services).
In my opinion it would seem that Zentyal has shot itself in the foot and lowered its potential revenue. Instead of receiving a large qty of reasonable price subscriptions they will receive a few overpriced ones.
Quite frankly there is only one way I can describe the choice of offering and subscription level and that is brain fart.

nachico

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2012, 10:31:30 am »
What about the user number limit and VPN tunneling between sites feature? It will be possible connect more than 25 users or tunneling between sites with the Community edition?

Sure. Nothing has changed in the community edition, apart from the label.

The reason for limiting the Small Business Edition to small companies (up to 25 users) using Zentyal as a standalone server (no VPN tunnelling between sites) is because they demand way less support than larger organizations with a more complex IT infrastructure and thus they can have a lower price for the services.
CEO at Zentyal

DogManCat

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2012, 10:50:06 am »
Firstly I wasn't talking about the community edition. Would you kindly compare the previous subscription charges with the current apart from name changes and the 25 user split there is little difference.

Then when it comes to common network methodology with above 25 users could you explain why you have such a rigid and costly subscription service. RHEL premium levels with longer response times? In fact it looks like you have used their price levels and copied them rather than thinking about the usage and pocket of the community that uses Zentyal? 

nachico

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2012, 10:51:22 am »
Hi DogManCat,

thanks for your comments. I will reply briefly.

The previous offering allowed the customer to select the kind of services he would require, but it forced him to foresee the need of support and security updates (among others). This has proved to be a big mistake, as it disgruntled many customers who realized too late they actually would have needed these services.

Moreover, the offering was very confusing for end customers who actually had a hard time understanding the value proposition and they often needed a personal explanation and support to select the right packages.

Well-informed customers ended up selecting either professional subscription + advanced security updates + essential support, or enterprise subscription + advanced security updates + disaster recovery + standard support. These were the packages we have used as a base for current editions.

The limit for 25 users is not an arbitrary one: the vast majority of our customers and users are within this limit.

If you are using Zentyal only as a firewall, which is not the use case where it provides the biggest value, the best two options are either using the community edition (if you do not require support for it) or the small business edition (if you do not use the users module, there is no user limit).

Moreover, having a very low entry-level price might seem a good idea, but we have realized it is dangerous: if it is too low, customers perception is that the service cannot be good. During the last months, we stopped pitching our entry-level pricing (195€/year) and we started pitching our current Small Business Edition price (including support and ASU), as it felt righter in the mind of the customer.

As a personal note, I would like to ask you to refrain from insulting or being too aggressive in your posts, and to try to keep a respectful tone of conversation.

Thanks.
CEO at Zentyal

DogManCat

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 11:15:07 am »
Well I apologise for my perceived tone but my response is reflective of my opinion.

We have a niche open source product with a rigid (closed) subscription service that seems to be following the Stella Artois marketing racket of being reassuringly expensive.
From a business logic perspective lumping all your services into a monolithic product is contrary to modern business practise. This negates any purchase feedback as your weak products will be buried with the strong.

Personally I don't subscribe to the "It's expensive so it most be good" in the similar vain "Open source must be bad as it can be free".
For me that is a ridiculous notion and a complete misinterpretation of the current economic and technology climate.

nachico

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 02:27:07 pm »
Firstly I wasn't talking about the community edition. Would you kindly compare the previous subscription charges with the current apart from name changes and the 25 user split there is little difference.

Example:

* Before: professional subscription (195 €) + ASU (95 €) + Essential support (245 €) = 535 €/year
* Now: Small Business Edition 495€/year

Then when it comes to common network methodology with above 25 users could you explain why you have such a rigid and costly subscription service. RHEL premium levels with longer response times? In fact it looks like you have used their price levels and copied them rather than thinking about the usage and pocket of the community that uses Zentyal?

We have not changed the licensing of the software, so the community users have not been affected. Like I said before, all we have done is repackaging our existing services based on the feedback from our customers and prospects.
CEO at Zentyal

Sam Graf

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 02:36:48 pm »
International pricing is probably more art than science. While it's possible to discuss "too expensive" and "too cheap," I think a broad consensus is about the best we could do. Market forces will do a better job of defining the right pricing than we will, as a community, I think.

Beyond the pricing conversation, I find the changes nachio has outlined to be positive and sensible. The old pricing structure, in my experience, made it harder to sell to management in a small business environment. Too much "fine print," so to speak, relative to the alternatives. There is at least some segment of the market where fewer choices is going to make sense.

What is perhaps more important to me is to see eBox Technologies actually adjusting things as they go. Even if I felt that the current direction was a mistake (meaning the shape of the offerings, not the price), I think there is evidence that eBox Technologies is working to find that pricing sweet spot where what they offer has both wide appeal and sustainability. That almost certainly means they are reacting to (paying) customer feedback as well as their costs model. I don't see how they can be reasonably faulted for that effort, but, of course, that's just my opinion. :)

nachico

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 02:37:57 pm »
Well I apologise for my perceived tone but my response is reflective of my opinion.

Ok. Please keep in mind that we all need to be extremely respectful on written communication. Otherwise, it is really easy to end up in senseless flames.

We have a niche open source product with a rigid (closed) subscription service that seems to be following the Stella Artois marketing racket of being reassuringly expensive.
From a business logic perspective lumping all your services into a monolithic product is contrary to modern business practise. This negates any purchase feedback as your weak products will be buried with the strong.

Personally I don't subscribe to the "It's expensive so it most be good" in the similar vain "Open source must be bad as it can be free".
For me that is a ridiculous notion and a complete misinterpretation of the current economic and technology climate.

Thanks for your opinion. Our decision was taken after a lot of analysis and thought, based on plenty of feedback from customers and prospects. I can assure you that we have taken good care on being based on solid facts and advice before taking this step. Anyway, we are human and we might be wrong, only time will say.
CEO at Zentyal

DogManCat

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 04:03:09 pm »
This is it as its all about opinion and thats why I posted. Apologies if my Lancashire dialect is sometimes strong "Brain Fart" is something that makes me smile when explaining a mistake :)

My long term goal is to be providing a Ubuntu based server / desktop environment. I am hampered in this already due to M$ dumping products into my educational / charity arena.
M$ have a very clever ploy here where the next generation are force fed product through very clever discount pricing. If you would visit http://www.ctxchange.org/ then you will see how I am struggling to justify non M$ products.

Then I am looking at a common install of three servers firstly firewall / remote access / proxy / filter this will be partnered by a PDC (prob ldap master) file server and a application server for mail and Web / Intranet. Hardware is quite inexpensive nowadays and by partitioning across three servers I can stay with run of the mill inexpensive components. It works well for me anyway.

I am passionate about Zentyal as it fits my choice of Ubuntu but I am now looking at a subscription price that has me worried. It has me looking at a price which is twice the cost of ClearOS but I don't want to go the CentOS way. This means that I will probably support the servers myself and not give Zentyal a penny which isn't my first choice option. I don't want to kill the hand that feeds me but I can't afford what is on the menu.

I am not going to use Asterisk which must have huge support requirements, I am not going to use the proxy or filtering as there are to many SSL exploits, neither jabber or captive portal.  I doubt I will use advanced DNS, Radius, FTP or Virtual machines in fact there is a lot that I might never go near.
Quite often I will be breaking the 25 user barrier or be expecting in the future, expansion and I don't want to be breaking my budget because I am subsidising some of the few who do use the above!

When you are organising new pricing or packages why not consult the community? Why not ask what they use and what would be applicable. You don't have follow the communities demands but you might find the feed back of value and you might increase the community because they value your transparency on such matters.
 

Sam Graf

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2012, 04:51:29 pm »
My long term goal is to be providing a Ubuntu based server / desktop environment. I am hampered in this already due to M$ dumping products into my educational / charity arena.
I have no control over the desktop choice (it's necessary that we use IE and Office, so really no one in our organization can decide to move from Windows without seriously complicating work flows). And with the cloud slowly but surely turning Windows into a device-independent commodity, it seems to me that the benefits of migrating from Windows are diminishing significantly faster than the release cycles of possible alternatives.

But I agree completely with your point that Microsoft charity and educational pricing on the server side significantly hinder making an internal business case for alternatives. I think projects like Zentyal mitigate the situation somewhat by offering a robust bundled solution. If providers can improve their server products to the point that they are transparent "drop-in" solutions for a range of possible real world use cases, it would be easier yet to argue in favor of the costlier solution--low maintenance (i.e., not requiring long-term customizations across product releases), feature-rich "one-stop-shopping" solutions that deliver higher value than the competition.

The alternative is to offer educational and charity pricing, is it not? And that potentially is going to adversely impact revenue and/or the pricing structure, where some customers (or the solution provider) are subsidizing other customers. Sounds fiscally unattractive to the Zentyal project at the moment, to me--speaking my opinion just as another member of the community.

DogManCat

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Re: New offering packages - Small Business and Enterprise Editions
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2012, 05:32:58 pm »
The charity and educational pricing is cynical and not an option I propose for Zentyal. Then again subscription is for support services and not product. So that is really going off topic.
It does have an effect on my bargaining power to utilise non M$ product. If you are stuck with M$ Sam then that is your problem and not mine.
I am trying to stress the point from my perspective the current subscriptions will gain them zero revenue and I actually want to Zentyal to be a success.

I say cynical as the educational students and many underprivileged learner is caught in a catch-22 of being able to learn cheaply, but to use expensively. Why we are training especially the underprivileged, packages that they will never own, whilst free perfectly good alternatives exist has been somewhat of a mystery to me.

Free software doesn't mean that it doesn't create revenue from MySQL to Avast antivirus. Avast is free for home users and this means for paid business users that there is a huge pool of bug hunters and viri collators. Ubuntu trading might not be the exchange of cash but it does in some form create value.

If you have chosen a cul de sac of M$ and have no reverse gear then that is your problem, its not one that exists for me. There isn't a business logic that I can't find an open source solution for. When there isn't a ready made solution because its open source the code will usually allow a simple bridge to a solution. I don't need M$ and thats all I am saying, its not part of the argument.

If Zentyal want to provide inroads into the charity / educational arena by subsidies for subscriptions then good on them for there social conscious, but in no way am I suggesting that they should.

Zentyal in essence is a strange product in that its a web based control framework for a collection of "Best of's" in the open source arena. Zentyal is just a façade to the likes of Squid, Samba, Dans... to the linux core and all are freely available. I just want to be able to pick and chose what I use and stay clear of the insurance scam of all-in-one subscription charges.

At least allow me to provide a nominal amount that isn't a donation. I can't go to my clients and ask for donations, but I could justify a one off incident "get out of the shit" subscription.
Say a €100 a server, multiply that by your downloads and compare it to your current revenue.

Just an example but the current scheme is way to rigid and way to expensive for me!
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 05:51:46 pm by DogManCat »