2012 was a fantastic year for Centercode. We gained many incredible new customers, grew our team with some very smart people, and built some new exciting partnerships.
We also paid close attention to our market, and the shifting needs of our audience, which included a growing number of small and mobile-focused companies — in addition to our traditional target of larger and enterprise companies. In response, we’ve reshaped our offerings to better meet the needs we’ve identified. Over the next two weeks I’ll be writing a series of posts announcing these key changes.
To kick it off, I’ll be using this post to outline the key changes we’re making to Centercode Connect, our beta test management platform. Note that these changes reflect our licensing model, rather than our upcoming software features (which we’ll also be previewing shortly).
First, I’d like to discuss the “why” behind each of these changes. Our primary objectives in remodeling our software offering for 2013 were:
- Simplify our offering (easier for you, easier for us)
- Lower the fiscal barrier to entry for all of our new customers
- Provide a better solution for smaller companies
- Provide a more reasonable (and attractive) upgrade path for everyone
- Design a licensing and service solution truly aimed at large enterprises
- Give all of our customers more reasons to stay with us
In order to accomplish these goals, we’ve renamed our editions, updated our licensing model (both price and parameters), and introduced a major new licensing feature.
Connect Project Edition
Connect Standard Edition is designed for companies with “seasonal” needs for a beta testing platform (generally three to nine months out of the year). These are generally smaller or single-product companies, or individual product managers who are responsible for a single product. Given this focus, we’re renaming this edition to Project Edition.
Connect Project Edition (formerly Standard) will now be a flat $500/month per license, as opposed to the former $600/month, plus $300/month for each additional license. This change addresses our goal of lowering our barrier to entry, thus widening our potential audience to include more and smaller companies.
With this change we’re introducing another new and important feature called Community Mode. This feature allows companies to maintain their beta community at no cost between projects. In other words, once you’ve finished your first project you can keep all your data, templates, and community members at no cost until your next project. This way you can continue to build and engage with your community between tests, ensuring that when your next test begins you’ll be ready to go. We’ll be providing additional details about this special feature in an upcoming post.
Connect Program Edition
Previously, our higher-end offering was named Connect Enterprise Edition. This offering was designed to scale from medium-sized companies with multiple products all the way up to very large global enterprises. We’ve found, however, that the needs of our true enterprise customers can vary substantially. With that in mind we’re renaming the previous Enterprise Edition to Program Edition, given its intended focus on beta programs as opposed to individual beta projects.
Connect Program Edition (formerly Enterprise) will now be a flat $5,000/year per license, with each license including a single concurrent project. Prior to the change, this edition started at $25,000/year (and $12,500/year for each additional license), but included five concurrent projects. With this new development, the price for five projects hasn’t changed, but rather the barrier to entry for the features in this version has been reduced dramatically (by 80%!).
We believe this change makes this edition a much more attractive upgrade path for companies who’ve used Project Edition to establish and prove their beta program and are now looking to expand on that program as a crucial part of their development process. It’s important to note that this version still includes all of our previous Enterprise Edition features, just at one fifth the previous entry price.
This new price introduces another key simplification of our new offering. While previously each edition was available either monthly or annually, each edition is now logically linked to a single term. Project Edition is only available on a monthly basis, while Program Edition is available solely for annual use. So what used to be called Standard Annual is now simply Program Edition. Given this change, all of our previous Standard Edition Annual customers will now receive all of the functionality previously restricted to Enterprise Edition.
Connect Enterprise Edition
While we believe these changes better align our offering with the needs of small to mid-sized businesses, much of our audience are larger enterprises. To address this market we’re introducing a new Enterprise Edition. This offering has been redesigned to be true to its name, offering a great deal of flexibility in the services with which it’s delivered to our customers.
Our new Connect Enterprise Edition will be priced to quote (starting around $50,000/year) based on the needs of each customer. Given that we’ve been delivering Enterprise implementations of Connect for nearly 10 years, we’ve put together a list of the types of services which will generally be available for these implementations.
No More User Limits!
Our last big licensing announcement is a change I’m personally very excited about. In the past, Standard Edition included a limitation of 1,000 beta testers/customers, along with 10 team members, and three administrators. Enterprise Edition only limited the team members (25) and administrators (5). We’re now removing those limits entirely — encouraging our clients to invite more of their customers to join their beta program, further increasing the quality of the beta candidates available to them.
To Our Existing Clients
You mean the world to us, and we’d like to demonstrate our appreciation. With that in mind, we’re giving you the choice of staying with your existing license (which we’ll be honoring for the next two years), or moving to our new licensing model.
Regardless of your decision, previous monthly Standard Edition (now Project Edition) clients will immediately gain access to both Community Mode and unlimited users. Similarly, our current Standard Annual clients will be automatically upgraded to Program Edition, granting them access to our full suite of features, in addition to unlimited users. These changes will be rolled out to your licenses shortly (or you can request them immediately). Our previous Enterprise customers will receive the same high-touch service under our new Enterprise Edition, along with a few additional features that we’ll be announcing soon.
Thank you for your continued support and business,
P.S. Stay tuned over the next two weeks for information about our new offering for mobile app testing, a preview of Centercode Mobile, and much more.