SaaS providers increasingly find that customer love is not enough to make a living nowadays, but the road from free to premium is bumpy. The search for revenue leads to introducing premium services, starting to charge for previously free ones or shifting focus from the consumer to the business market. The transition is anything but smooth – case in point: here at CloudAve we got into a little debate, presented in point-counterpoint format over Jott’s scrapping their free model:
Jott has studied usage patterns, had a long dialogue with customers, and in my opinion their decision was inevitable – and yet the “betrayal” feeling lingers around…
That’s why it helps to develop new pricing plans, business services in a collaborative manner with your customers. I was really pleased to receive an email from Syncplicity, my favorite sync and online backup service:
1) San Francisco Focus Group
We’re looking for a small number of Bay Area business people for an in-depth discussion about Syncplicity, data management and business. The focus group will take place next month at Syncplicity’s offices in San Francisco, and will be followed by dinner and drinks at The Thirsty Bear in SOMA.
2) Early Adopter Program
Businesses that wish to use Syncplicity’s business functionality as it becomes available have the opportunity to join the Syncplicity EAP. The program is designed for companies which have adopted or are considering adopting Syncplicity within their enterprise. This program requires review and approval from Syncplicity, and has the following advantages:
Syncplicy did show flexibility and customer focus in the past, when they adjusted their initial pricing plans based on forum feedback, as they were preparing to leave beta stage. It sounds like they are doing the right thing again, but hashing out new business plans together with their customers. Of course a little “secret sauce” helps, too: