The Value of Software

Feb 17, 2015

 

It's hard to put a value on software when we are now used to so much of it being almost free. The key is separating business software from personal.

 

Once at meet up of software developers there was a discussion of what tools everyone used to help build better solutions. One person mentioned the very popular OmniGraffle, a graphics program for Mac that excels at creating wireframes and flowcharts. A few people murmured in agreement, but another complained about the price (at the time $79.99). There were a few others that felt the same way.

That seemed really sad. The app economy might have led many “civilians” to believe that all software should be free, or cost ten dollars or less on the app store, but this was a group of people that make and sell software for a living. If they didn’t see the value in an almost perfect piece of software (OmniGraffle is almost universally beloved) that could help them be more efficient and productive in their work what hope is there for people that sell software?

So many personal entertainment apps are now free, or almost free, that it's easy to think that all software should be almost free. But business software, software that helps you make money, is very different. You don't get Oracle licences for free.

Recently we were evaluating the current pricing for the FloristWare POS system. Is it a good value? Would we pay for it?

We looked at all of the different tools that we use to get the same kind of functionality we provide to our clients in FloristWare:

 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) $480/month

This is the software where we keep track of all our customers, contacts etc. These same kinds of CRM tools are found in FloristWare.

 

Marketing Add-On $400/month

We pay an additional $400 a month for a marketing add-on that integrates with the CRM mentioned above. There is nothing exactly the same in FloristWare (selling flowers is really different from selling flowers retail) but there are tools designed to help bring about the same result.

 

Support Add-On $75/month

Another $75 or so goes to another add-on that helps us deliver better support to our clients. Again there is nothing exactly the same in FloristWare but there are other tools designed to deliver the same end result (better customer service, better informed users, etc.)

 

Billing $100/month

This gets a little complicated because we use a few different systems. FloristWare on the other hand includes an excellent Accounts Receivable module that eliminates the need for any kind of billing package or additional AR software.

 

When you add it all up it comes out to over $1000 a month. The average FloristWare user pays $125 a month, but that isn’t really a fair comparison because we need more seats than our typical client.

It would be more realistic to use our Enterprise pricing, which allows for ten or more seats for $295 a month. Still a great deal in comparison – for $295/month that client gets roughly the same features and functionality that cost us well over a thousand.

 

Footnote

It’s worth noting that about $300 a month also goes into our website, and it is not even ecommerce enabled. FloristWare doesn’t sell websites (instead we help our clients by integrating with the best ones out there, sites like Strider, Epic and Flower Shop Network)



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