Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In the call recording marketplace, competitve replacement programs aren’t always what they seem to be

Are you facing an upgrade of your call recording software?

Every call recording software vendor offers some form of discount on the next upgrade of their software. The upgrade, typically a major new release with added features and often an overhaul of the user interface, varies greatly in their pricing models.

Some vendors charge a reasonable upgrade fee, around 10-15% of the original purchase price. Some of the larger companies charge upwards of 50%. At that point, the customer is locked in and forced into what basically amounts to a re-buy situation.

Some creative vendors have crafted “competitive replacement programs” which basically reward a new customer with a "credit" toward the new purchase.

CSI's own upgrade pricing model, already part of the industry’s lowest cost of ownership, does not include any “competitive replacement programs”.

We don't see a need to extend any special discounts or sale prices, as our prices are already very competitive. It's a unique position to not have to respond to these programs – upon closer analysis, our prospects and customers are also smart enough to cut through the mirage of a “competitive rescue” program and see that the value of Virtual Observer is already far beyond what can be presented with any fictitious discounting.

CSI customers with an active maintenance contract always get free full-system software upgrades, gain robust features with periodic free updates, enjoy rapid implementation and receive world class support.

Bottom line: be wary of special "competitive replacement programs". Fears over recent industry consolidation is valid and creates many questions, such as:

"My software was just purchased by a much larger company. Will they force me to upgrade to their software, which is much more expensive?"

"Will the acquiring company honor existing maintenance agreements?"

"Without knowing much about us, how will they support our own unique needs?"

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