EnergySys have announced a new pricing model for the Production Allocation Cloud. David Petherick spoke to Managing Director Peter Black about how this model works, and how it will affect new and existing customers…
1. What’s new, Peter? Can you outline the new pricing model for EnergySys?
We want everyone to enjoy the benefits of the cloud services available at energysys.com, including Production Reporting and Production Allocation. We want it to be easy to buy and use subscriptions to the service, and to build your own applications. We want customers to be able to give a subscription to every member of staff, so that information is shared widely but securely. For that reason, we are now going to be selling twenty-five subscription packs at an average cost of £100 per subscription per month, equivalent to only £2,500 per month. Those subscriptions can be standard users, reporting users, or full application builders; it’s the customer’s choice.
From the beginning, our goal has been to pass on the benefits of the cloud to our customers, and this change is absolutely strategic for us. We’re able to do it now because of the explosive growth in subscriber numbers. Our commitment to operational excellence means that we can continue to offer unparalleled technology with unbeatable service levels, and do so at a price point that our competitors can’t match. The equivalent of just £100 per user per month for the best solution on the planet, as I’m modestly inclined to say.
2. It appears you’re encouraging customers to share more allocation information across their organisation – is that the case?
Yes, but that happens anyway, via email or shared drives or sneakernet. The difference is that we are now offering an environment where that sharing can take place securely and in a controlled fashion, under version control and tracked via the audit history. More than that, we are also placing great tools in the hands of users, so that they can analyse and investigate data, look for trends, and generate their own reports, all under the control of their company administrator.
3. How will the model work for larger organisations, who might have a need for, say forty or so people to have access to Production Allocation resources?
We’ve designed it to work for large and small companies. Many of our smaller customers have around five to ten subscriptions, and under the new pricing model they get twenty-five subscriptions for the same price or less. That’s great value for them, as they can spread the benefits of access to energysys.com to other people in their organisation, or in partner organisations. For larger customers, it’s even more compelling. Remember that energysys.com is not just about Production Reporting or Production Allocation; you can build your own applications on the platform and create new and powerful tools for your users. So, for the company with forty users, they’d buy two twenty-five subscription packs, and they’d be able to use the extra ten subscriptions for wider use of the core applications, or to create new applications for trading or environmental data management or whatever. They could also use the extra subscriptions for additional users on new assets, or to implement corporate reporting. It’s absolutely fantastic value.
4. Doing the mathematics for a couple of customers, it seems to me you might actually be charging less than with your old model? Can that be the case?
Exactly right. And we’ll continue to push aggressively on price, though we do understand that cost is not the top priority for our customers. However, we really do believe that our service can bring value to all parts of the organisation, so we want to get to a price where it makes sense to give a subscription to energysys.com to absolutely everyone in the company.
5. So in many cases, you are offering better value than before. You are lowering your prices. That’s quite unusual for a software company!
True, but I don’t regard us as a software company; we’re a cloud services company. I truly believe that cloud services represent a revolutionary way for all companies to buy their IT, which is a fundamental shift away from buying bits and towards buying a service. While the goal of cloud services is not cost reduction per se, it is a fundamental tenet that customers pay only for what they consume. If you have servers in-house they will be idle much of the time, and you will have to pay for and maintain the specialist skills to support these systems. Further, you have to think about backup and storage management and disaster recovery. We have extensive skills in all of these areas, and we’ve been using virtualisation for seven years, so we really know what we are doing.
Our job is to create revolutionary software and deliver it to the widest possible audience on a consumption-pricing model. That’s it. As far as possible, customers can just forget about the problems of IT and get on with their day job.
6. When will the new pricing model become effective for existing customers?
Existing customers will be able to use up to twenty-five subscriptions for the remainder of their current subscription term. At the renewal date, they can choose to remain on the old model, or upgrade to the new one. Because of the benefits of the new pricing model, we expect that costs for most customers will fall, and subscription numbers will rise, so we think the majority of existing customers will make the switch.
7. Is there any change in the way the Production Allocation Cloud will work?
The Production Allocation Cloud is always changing and evolving, offering new features and new capabilities on a regular and on-going basis. As an example, our disaster recovery service is in place, with data replicated across two secure data centres in the UK. Currently, this data replication occurs overnight, but we’ll shortly be upgrading the data centres to give us extra bandwidth between them, and that will mean that we can replicate data in real-time. Ultimately, we should be able to instantly failover from one data centre to the other in the event of a major catastrophe, with minimal or no loss of data.
Customers won’t necessarily see these changes in the way they use their applications at energysys.com, but they are examples of our on-going commitment to the creation of truly outstanding service capabilities.
8. Are there new features being planned for EnergySys’ software?
Absolutely! We have a new release coming in the next four weeks that will significantly enhance the scalability of the energysys.com platform, and will be the basis of some truly great end-user administration features that are coming at the end of the year. Everything we do is about placing power in the hands of our users, and that’s going to be one of the big focus areas for our work this year. Beyond that, we’ve got some really terrific stuff going with web services, due next year, that will make us a first-class player in supporting customers who want to create service-oriented architectures across multiple applications and providers.
Most importantly, no customer is ever left behind. Due to the unique nature of our cloud service, we can upgrade everyone, and offer great new features, without disturbing existing applications. No upgrades or patches to worry about; we just keep improving the service seamlessly behind the scenes.
9. Anything you want to add in conclusion?
If you’ve seen what we’ve been doing in the past few years, or spoken to me, you’ll know that we’re absolutely focussed on our strategy and crystal clear about where we want to go. We’re trying to make complicated, expensive IT go away for our customers, and instead give them the power and tools to do an even better job. And there’s much more to come.