Hosted Services

Streaming services. They are all the rage. Music? Television? Movies? Yeah – why not. However increasingly there is a push to move from monolithic pricing structures to a subscription based model.

This has a number of things going for it with software – these are usually put “into the cloud” (bite tongue – count to ten). A better way of putting that is that the software runs on their platform, and is managed by them.

The advantages to this are two fold (at least) for the end user. The server runs on a spec that is managed by the people who (hopefully) architected and wrote the software. Equally updates will be applied by the engineers who wrote the update code… and that is a GREAT thing – for anyone who has prematurely aged updating a platform that was running just fine to a new version with that constant image of a steaming pile of rubble once it has completed and customers noticing uncharactoristically immediately.

However – they pick up the cost for all of that. As such – the price goes up. Equally you are no longer looking at the monolythic – at all – as in its not pay once and use. It is pay once, and continue paying… for software you are happy with this – this is a big issue.

I know of at least one company that has an “unlimited” license for a piece of software… and have developed a great deal ontop of this to customise it. Upgrades cost. Versions change things. So “shhhhh” – lets stay on this version and “take the necessary steps” to be seen to be mitigating threats.

So lets run through a scenario very clear and present to me right now:

A licensed piece of software – with a reasonable bundled seat fee per anum, with upgrades included – so you are getting secured, patched, improved, feature rich code as you go.

They decide to move to “the cloud” (*mutter*) with their hosted version.

They announce they are no longer going to support the other version, or update it.

They wait.

We wait.

Both parties, and a lot of other people play the game cats play in my garden… who flinches first.

They flinch – and announce they are giving the platform a reprieve. The crowd goes wild. They even throw in another update.

Have they seen the error of their ways as the take up for the hosted solution is minimal? Ofcourse….. ….they have not. They now decide they will support the package moving forwards for 4x as much.

People look at that and wince. But they like the product as is.

They cease live feature development on the platform.

They move to Software Assurance as a fee on top of that.

You are now paying a Kings Randsom to maintain a product you liked, on your own platform, with an option to migrate to their cloud platform (for more than you were paying, and less control).

So – you obviously cave in?

No – you move to another platform that the rest of your solutions are tied into. Sure, in comparison it is a huge step backwards in terms of UI, UX, and functionallity but it does neat little things like listing the products the customer has with the tickets.

This.

This is happening all over the place.

This is not the future.
This is not a means to keep the share holders happy.
This is not a means to increase your market share.
This is not you cutting down on support load.
This is alianation.

Why would I pay that much for the same product, with the necessity of assurance to move from it should I want to, and for it not to be developed?

WHY on EARTH would I want to do that?

I dont mind paying a streaming service for the convenience of streaming TV. For my damned coffee actually. …however software… EASY NOW – you are breaking up a beautiful home here.

So – I feel better for letting that out.

…and yes – I *am* looking at you Kayako – you delicious thing you.

I miss you.

Can we just kiss and make up – I am 2 days into WHMCS, and … well … she is just not you…

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