My time last week learning about the new features in OpenInsight 9.3 and the plans for version 10 and onwards was motivational to say the least. As the team pile more and more functionality into the version 9.x releases for both end-users and developers, it pains me to have discussions with people still running version 8.0.8 (and older) and who are missing out on all of the good things in 9.x. However, I understand and respect the reasons for continuing to use these older versions. Reasons which, all too often, revolve around the annual license fees and the upgrade process itself.
The later is something that is not too difficult, but I appreciate that it does involve some work in applying the upgrades and then QA testing before creating and releasing the upgrade. Stepping up from 7.x to 9.x can involve some form issues, but SRP has a nice utility to assist with that issue. I’ve personally kept my OpenInsight system up to date with the betas and subsequent commercial releases and my applications have upgraded without any issues. That said, my contact manager (my main application) was written initially in version 9.0, so the upgrade path through the 9’s has been flawless and issue free.
Anyway, the question of justifying the annual license fee is the topic of this posting. It goes without saying that end-users like a one time license purchase and then the option to purchase upgrades as and when, but that business model is now behind us. The OpenInsight 9.x licensing model enables Revelation to continue to invest in the product suite, develop new features as you need them and to plan future development. At the same time, it enables you (our WORKS subscribers) to, amongst other things, have the freedom to maintain your deployed systems without the overhead of buying upgrades from Revelation for each client every time you want to upgrade them. At the very least this would invoke extra administration for everyone and worse still it might result in you having to support multiple versions of OpenInsight where some users upgrade and others do not.
So, to help customers with their decision to upgrade, Revelation has packed the 9.x releases full of brand new technology and new features. Along with a myriad of fixes, these new features go a long way to enhancing the user experience and empower users to do more things and more easily. It is a number of these new features and enhancements that I have pulled together into my updated Summary of the Benefits to End-Users in the OpenInsight 9.x Series white paper. Touching on the more salient points that are of most interest to end-users, this document is designed to offer Revelation VARs with a bulleted list from which they can pick the golden nuggets that will appeal most to their end-users and then the VAR can expand on those points when discussing, negotiating or marketing the upgrade to the wonderful world of OpenInsight version 9.x.
The white paper will not be applicable to new customers and for that reason I will not be posting it online for download anywhere. So, drop me a line and I’ll email you a complimentary copy in .pdf format.