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Difference between Enterprise and Business license


#1

In the last few weeks we had quite a few queries from enterprises (banks and stuff) asking if we have a special enterprise license available. Currently we don’t and some enterprises have been purchasing the normal licenses happily.

But I’m wondering, what are these enterprises looking for in a special enterprise license. I already talked to a few and it’s so far we’ve come up with a few things:

  • Higher priority support
  • Guarantee that we keep developing the software (for at least a year mostly)
  • Easier licensing, e.g. floating licenses or site licenses

Anybody some experience in the area? What else am I missing? It’s a downloadable software if that helps…


#2

I wonder how large a part a simple package name plays a part? They see “Enterprise” option and click that automatically.

I’m just starting to dip my toe in the water in this area as well, and am interested in what others with more experience suggest.


#3

One must-have for Enterprise is 24/7 support. When we’re doing a Fri-to-Sat night implementation, and the third-party product refuses to start, and we only have 3 hours deployment window – we need someone knowledgeable from the vendor on the phone right away.

Also, for customizable products it is common to request a consultant to come on-site, for a few weeks or a few months.

It seems to me that the landscape is changing in the Enterprise licensing area. I just checked a couple products my clients bought in past. Those products used to have Enterprise license, meaning, in this case, “Unlimited users” and “Unlimited servers” respectively. The price was about 10x to the next lower level license, but the big companies still bought the Enterprise licenses, because it simplified their license management.

Today those very same two companies have per-use licenses.

One is gradually growing the price from 10 to 10000 users, and only than introduces an extra layer Unlimited Users which costs 2.5x more.

Second has removed the Enterprise license altogether, charging purely based on number of used servers.

Both had/have 1st class support for Enterprise (or at least so they say). First one also provided full access to the source code with the Enterprise license (not anymore, apparently).


#4

Enterprise means they don’t have to keep approving more things wasting thousands of dollars in meetings. It means you bill based on usage, not units. It means support is knowable and dictated in a SLA type situation.

“Managers touch it once, engineers manage it from then on” is the “enterprise” tier goal.


#5

Do you have a link to your pricing page handy? I’m curious to check it out.

I remember hearing on a podcast that businesses will literally purchase a package just because of the name. Like if you have the options:

  • Enterprise
  • Small Business
  • Starter

There is a certain type of business that will buy Enterprise without even barely glancing at the difference in feature set or pricing just because it would look weird to their peers/boss to have “small business” on an invoice in accounting.

I’d say for starters - since you’ve already gotten a few inquiries - is just throw an Enterprise option up on your pricing page - throw in some kind of additional support or uptime guarantee (something meaningful but that wouldn’t take you much time at all to actually implement or guarantee), and just see how it goes.

My hunch would be that that’s all they’re looking for - is a plan that says Enterprise. I’m sure if they have specific needs (such as certain SLAs or support levels or features) they’ll ask about them directly.


#6

That’s a funny story Partick loves to tell, but blandly adding an Enterprise package to your tiers may cause you harm, because the customers will expect a certain level of service they get from their other vendors.

24/7 support is a must, I’d say. Hence “something that wouldn’t take much time at all” is not going to cut it.


#7

Sure, it could cause you problems. For my my highest pricing tier (although I don’t have tiers per se) is $500 / month. I probably wouldn’t take on a $2k / month customers b/c I probably wouldn’t want to deal with structure and headaches of that sized business.

But it won’t necessarily cause you problems. And 24/7 support isn’t a must. The word “enterprise” is kind of a buzzword to start with, and it doesn’t require any specific level of support.

I just checked out both recurly and keen and neither of them mention 24/7 support in their “enterprise” plans. In fact, keen’s support sections says they’ll reply back to support ticket within 24 hours.

I’m not sure what line of work OP is in. It certainly may be the case that for his industry, 24/7 is a must. These are just two reasonably established saas apps that happened to pop to mind for me.

And while we’re on the topic of 24/7 support, not all 24/7 supports are created equal. In some cases, you get tier 1 support that’s basically meaningless, whereas in other cases you can get access to high level techs/employees 24/7. Two completely different balls of wax.

I didn’t mean to suggest that you should treat the enterprise plan as something trivial. Obviously these would be your highest value customers and you would want to take care of them and give them value corresponding to what they’re paying.

But I think a good starting point is to simply throw up an Enterprise tier with a few simple differentiations, and take it from there.

At the end of the day, even if all you are doing is charging them more (with literally zero additional features or support), they still may prefer to be on a higher price tier. Because for one, it’s not that much money for them anyways. And for two, you’re always going to pay more attention to issues from higher paying customers.

Businesses of a certain size don’t want to be on a $20 / month plan, because they understand they’re going to get treated like a $20 customer. They want to be treated like a $200 or $2k customer.