SaaS Economics: Media Shuttle’s Low TCO and Flexible Pricing Model
For the business process owner concerned with budgets and expenditures, Media Shuttle offers particular advantages not found with competing solutions. The SaaS model has intrinsic advantages that are well aligned with the realities of today’s dynamic business world, and Signiant has developed a unique pricing model to further accommodate customer needs.
The following considerations will be of interest to business stakeholders:
➜ Lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO):
Media Shuttle is sold as an annual subscription, thereby requiring much less upfront CAPEX than purchase of perpetual license software. Savvy customers realize that this also means they can adopt a “buy it to try it” approach. Rather than undertaking the costly and time-consuming analysis that major capital investments demand, they simply buy a subscription, deploy it, and see if it adds value. As a hybrid SaaS solution, Media Shuttle also provides customers with a significant reduction in ongoing software maintenance costs. The time and energy that IT staff must spend to upgrade and maintain on-premises software can be hard to quantify, but it is very real. This combination of SaaS-related economic benefits ensures that customers are purchasing an industrial-strength file movement solution with the lowest possible total cost of ownership.
➜ Pricing Based on Active Users:
Pricing for standard hybrid SaaS Media Shuttle deployments is based solely on the number of active users. An active user is defined as any person (defined by email address) who sends at least one file, or receives three or more files, in a given month. Customer costs are independent of bandwidth, file size, total amount of files transferred, number of portals provided or locations supported, or any other variable (cloud storage deployments can incur overages for high data volumes).
It is important to note that different people can consume the active user subscription every month. Unlike a ‘named user’ model where each person who uses the service needs an annual subscription, this floating license model is optimized for dynamic business environments. Customers typically have many people, both inside and outside their companies, enrolled as members of their portals — and there is no incremental charge as long as the number of people actively using the system during the billing period is within the subscription user count.
This unique pricing model allows for significant organizational flexibility in how customers use the system. Whether it is the same users every month throughout the duration of the subscription, or the active users change every month, is completely in the customer’s hands. Since there is no charge for adding inactive members, Media Shuttle allows for advanced planning and increased business agility — inactive members can become active users simply by using the system. Moreover, unlike solutions that price based on bandwidth utilization, the floating license model ensures that users will never find their transfers slowed down simply because they have exceeded their plan’s bandwidth allowance. Recognizing that it is not always easy at the outset to predict actual usage needs, Signiant will work with customers in the first year to find the subscription tier most appropriate for that organization.
➜ Tiered Pricing:
Media Shuttle licenses are sold in annual subscription blocks of users priced and packaged as tiers (with ten users the base tier). The higher the tier licensed (and hence the number of users), the lower the price per user. Customers select the tier most appropriate for their organization and thereby fix their annual OPEX for the solution. In the event that actual usage exceeds the tier purchased, customers can switch to a higher tier, and gain the lower rates, at any time during the contract. Additionally, periods of unusually high demand for the solution require no action on the client side. The additional usage will simply be added and charged on the next billing cycle at the current rate for the tier purchased, thereby enabling seamless scaling for the customer.
➜ Monthly Statements:
As a SaaS, all Media Shuttle file and user activity is managed and tracked on the Signiant-administered control layer in the cloud. Billing is automated based on this activity and sent to the client as a monthly statement detailing the number of licenses purchased, the active users in that month, and any billable overage for the period. The billing statement makes it easy for customers to analyze on a month-to-month basis the number of active users, and determine whether or not they need to change their subscription tier.