This next in the series is actually not technical in nature. It is much more complicated than architecture and features. It is all about money.
One of the biggest issues I have when working with clients is helping them understand what they have purchased and helping them figure out what they might need to purchase. As I make zero on software sales, I do not even take a perverse joy in telling them about the fact that they need one MORE, or more than one, product.
Then there are the times when I point to an item, usually between the 15th and 20th item on the list, and ask them what they planned to do with that component. They look at it and don’t even know what it does.
The price list for Documentum related products is well over 100 items.
Pricing Simplicity Pressure
The driving force here is the Open Source and SaaS offerings that are growing. It is simple to price those out.
Open Source has different models depending on the vendor. A common one is that you get one version of the product for free with zero support outside of the community. Then, by paying for a certain level of support, you may get extra tools and/or a version with more features, not to mention SUPPORT!
With SaaS, brought to you by the Cloud, you pay for what you need and/or use. Need BPM, flip switch. Want our collaboration interface, flip the switch. Simple line-item pricing.
I’m over simplifying this a bit, but lets face it, EMC over complicates pricing.
Infinite detail, infinite complexity.
Breaking it Down
When I talked about Focusing on the Core of Documentum it covered, in a fair amount of detail, what should be in the Content Server. So let’s move on…
What about the other two product types?
Applications are simple. Want to collaborate? Buy CenterStage seats. Want to do some heavy Transaction Processing? Here is TaskSpace.
Want more power, add the tools. Want thumbnails in your interfaces? Buy the Thumbnailing package which has Thumbnail server and the transformation engines to support it. Need real BPM? Buy the BPM package and get the advance designer, forms, and analysis engine. Have more stringent retention requirements than RPS can provide? By Records Manager and own the certified version.
With this approach, say I want to create an Correspondence Management system for an organization of 400 people. I would need 2 CPUs of the platform, 5 imaging applications, and maybe 40 seats of TaskSpace. The other 360 users could get by with the default interface. Throw in Document Transformation Services to create PDFs automatically and electronic signatures and you are done. That would be a simple application.
Now say I needed to add eDiscovery capabilities. That will be 10 seats plus the core search appliance. Want to collaborate in the organization? 400 seats of CenterStage. Need to integrate into the ERP system? Already covered because DFS is part of the core.
People can look at the list and figure out what they need, and more importantly, what they already have.
Pricing is a different matter and I’ll let the market drive that.
I think I end this with a simple kiss for EMC…Keep It Simple S_____?