13 February 2010 Community after three months

On the first of November last year Business Solutions launched Community, a new model for the relation between the team and our customers. Instead of buying organizational licenses of Calendar Browser, HelpDesk OSP, Public Folder HelpDesk, SP Attach and TimeCard Workgroup, the Community Members pay a monthly (or yearly) fee and have the right to full support and free upgrades without neither part having to worry about a special support contract. At the same time we released all those products for an unlimited number of users within the Member company or organization, and we also decided to allow Members to use other products without any extra costs.

That was a bit more than three months ago, but with the December holidays and with all evaluators that had begun testing with the old system and maybe already had that purchase approved, it actually took until the beginning of January until we really felt that the transfer to the Community model was finished.

How about some statistics for these first three months? We today have Community Members from all over the globe, but 54 % comes from Europe, 38 % from North America and only 8 % from other continents. I am sure we will get more Members from other parts of the world now when our products get full support for Unicode.

What has surprised us is that as much as 80 % of the Members only use one of our products, but that might also change later. For now it seems as if the new Members follow our advice to only implement one product at a time, but that is not the whole explanation, since nearly half of the Member organizations are old customers. It will be interesting to see if there will be an increase in the number of products per Member. Today only 15 % use two products and 5 % use three products. The possibility to use more products does not seem to be an important factor for most of the Community Members. Instead they have probably opted to be a Member because they liked one of our products and wanted the security a Membership gives. And even if you use only one product "The $150 fee is an outstanding value!" (Jeff Sandy, Dunlap Industries, USA).

We are of course very grateful for the confidence the Community Members show us. We will do our outmost to make you all feel that it was a good decision to invest in a long time relation with Business Solutions.