how to maximise the conversion rate to 11

Posted by jmls on 16-Dec-2011 17:29

What do we need to do (progress / developers / users) to encourage the uptake of 11 ?

What stops you from upgrading to the latest and greatest ?

All Replies

Posted by Thomas Mercer-Hursh on 16-Dec-2011 18:14

I'll bet that the top two reasons are:

1. I am running a package from an ISV which is on support and they won't certify any version past X.Y.

2. We stopped paying maintenance because too expensive/didn't think our platform would ever change/some other short-sighted reason.

Posted by jmls on 17-Dec-2011 03:16

how about a "free upgrade week" where there is some sort of amnesty ?

Posted by Thomas Mercer-Hursh on 17-Dec-2011 12:49

The problem with that kind of amnesty is that the real goal is to get them back on maintenance, not just to get them on a more modern version.  For that, one needs something more like a program where people can get back on maintenance without having to pay for years of not being on maintenance, especially at 2X so that the cost to get back on becomes similar to buying everything again.

The amnesty isn't going to help all those people who are being held up by their ISV.  For that, one needs to beat up on the ISV.

One of the classics for the no maintenance types is somebody who figured they would stay on their current platform "forever" and so went off maintenance.  But, years later, that platform is dying and enormously expensive to maintain, but they are stuck because they can't just trade in for the new platform.

Posted by jmls on 18-Dec-2011 11:11

I meant an amnesty on the maintenance - something that would not be prohibitive , or perhaps free if they commit to pay maintenance for the 1.5x same period of time that they missed paying.

You have to be careful not to alienate or annoy the folks (like us!) who have paid maintenance year in and year out for the last 20 years ...

Posted by Thomas Mercer-Hursh on 18-Dec-2011 11:51

It has always been possible to negotiate special deals.  I have gotten the 2X for lapsed time reduced to 1X myself.  But, those deals only come up when someone gets in a bind, like needing a platform change, and it is a question of getting back on maintenance or moving to a new product.  People don't end up very happy at things like that.  Even if they get a reduction, paying 50% or more of the original license fee to cover back maintenance is going to grate.

Frankly, I think the whole thing is too punitive.  The 2X penalty would seem to create a strong motivation to stay current, but I'll bet it doesn't, in fact.  I think support and access to new releases are a strong enough motivation to stay current for those it is going to work on at all.  For the ones who haven't used support in a long time and who are either locked into a release by their ISV or feel that the current release is good enough, that "it might cost me in the future" doesn't seem very effective.

What is the downside of being more lenient?  I don't think one is really going to annoy those who stay on maintenance because those people are getting support and new releases.  Why not make it friendly to stay in the family?   Why not make it easy for people to do a platform change or upgrade so that they keep being happy with Progress?

Posted by jmls on 18-Dec-2011 12:49

I don't think that a platform change should ever be charged at

anything but media costs. What does it matter to Psc if I run on Linux

or Windows ?

the problem with even a 1x penalty is that pretty soon it becomes uneconomical :

If maintenance is £20k per year, and I don't pay for 3 years (10.2 ->

11 timeframes) then to upgrade would cost 60k, which is approaching a

"large sum". Now, if I then commit to 3 years going forward, everyone

wins: Me, because I can get a platform change / upgrade and PSC

because they are going to get 60k that they wouldn't have done if I

didn't upgrade because of the minimum 60k upfront charge

On 18 December 2011 17:51, Thomas Mercer-Hursh

Posted by Thomas Mercer-Hursh on 18-Dec-2011 14:16

Since 10.x, platform changes don't cost ... *if* one is on maintenance ... and excluding some special cases where it is not really possible to provide the same product on the new platform like as yet unmodernized unlimited licenses.

The economics of this are interesting.  With 18% maintenance, it takes 5.6 years to pay an amount equal to the original purchase price.  One can imagine a company deciding that life was stable enough that they didn't need any new versions or platforms during that period so that it made economic sense to not pay maintenance.  If circumstances force them back on maintenace after 4 years and they can't get around the 2x penalty, then they spend more because they are rebuying before the 5.6 years, but not a lot more because they are only paying a year and a half more than they would have by staying current.   If it turns out to be 6 or 7 years or more, then they actually come out ahead.

With the 2X for any lapsed period, then it takes only 3 years before it is cheaper to rebuy.

I have no idea if this is still true, but Siebel had an interesting take on this in that they charged 10% for the right to upgrade and 10% for being supported.  This meant that a company which felt that it had strong internal resources could elect only the right to upgrade and it would take 10 years before they had paid for the product again.

I like this split for a couple of reasons.  One is that it provides an almost no-brainer low cost to remain eligible for upgrades and platform changes so that people are much more inclined to keep current with the product and extend it.  Even if one was forced to pay for any lapsed period, as long as there was no 2X penalty, one could upgrade after 5 years and only have spent 50% of the original license, whether in annual increments or all at once.  I.e., that is the cost and one can spread the charge or not as one prefers.  For support, there is no reason for a penalty or for catch up.   If someone hasn't used support for 4 years, they haven't used support.  So, let them sign up for support again for the same annual fee.  This seems like a friendly policy that would keep people in the family and allow them to rejoin the family without having to make any difficult financial decisions.

The theory behind the 2X penalty, as I understand it is that PSC has not had the use of the money to pay for maintenance and improvement during the lapsed period.  I think this theory somewhat specious since the cost of borrowing that money would be a *lot* less than 2X for the whole period.  I'd like to see that policy go away, at least.

Posted by jmls on 18-Dec-2011 14:41

10% for support and 10% for upgrades seem a great idea.

it certainly makes the platform change / upgrade cost catchup fee much more palatable.

perhaps Gary Conway should be pointed to this thread.

Posted by jmls on 18-Dec-2011 14:45

Email sent to Gary.

Posted by Tim Kuehn on 20-Dec-2011 08:23

In addition to 10% for support, 10% for upgrades, I'd add "18% for both" - which matches the current maintenance cost.

For people like myself who spend more time helping PSC TS than in resources I consume, does this mean I should get paid for my time?

This thread is closed