Date: Wed, 30 Jul 1997 08:03:45 -0400
Reply-To: Anthony Ayiomamitis <ayiomamitis@IBM.NET>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From: Anthony Ayiomamitis <ayiomamitis@IBM.NET>
Subject: Re: Missed opportunity?
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> Anthony Ayiomamitis wrote:
> > John Whittington wrote:
> > >
> > > I often wonder at the PR wisdom of SI's licensing policies, since so many
> > > people get 'hot under the collar' about this. If they *did* offer
> > > licences, with a charge for technical support after the first year, and
> > > *full* (not renewal) prices for each upgrade, then I strongly suspect
> > > their turnover would be just as great (quite probably greater), but most
> > > users would be much happier because they felt 'in control' of the
> > > choices/decisions!
> > >
> > John,
> > A real and unfortunate consequence of the current policy is that a
> > firm (or individual) can go to great expenses to develop systems,
> > applications and SAS data repositories and, when the license expires
> > because a decision was made not to renew, all of the firm's programs and
> > data is lost since the programs will not run without a renewed license
> > and the SAS datasets can similarly not be accessed.
> > Now, it is obvious that a firm will make plans for a "conversion"
> > project before the expiration of the license but the part that upsets me
> > is that you cannot run YOUR programs (written in SAS) to access and
> > process YOUR data (also in SAS) ....
> > Anthony.
> Sorry Anthony, but I think I have to jump in here. Remember my list of
> errors made by sites? Well I present number 5.
> 5) Buying a product, which has a (known) annual license fee that the
> contract makes clear will have to be paid year by year to keep the
> product running, going to 'great expense' to create programs,
> repositories, etc, then planning an even _more_ expensive conversion
> project for twelve months later to convert the whole lot into
> something else!
> Not paying the license fee and paying for a conversion project is the
> biggest waste of money in history. Just imagine the payback period!
Without doubt a conversion project is a huge undertaking. However,
with a license that must be renewed annually, you are held hostage by
the vendor as they can dictate pricing policies without fear of
reprisal. What is there to stop SI from raising prices every year by x%
knowing that Firm ABC cannot drop SAS due to the great investments made
by the latter with respect to software, data architecture, support staff
and personnel, projects underway, budgets approved etc etc.
Granted that it would be very unusual for SI to adopt such a
strategy as they would immediately turn off new or recent clientele (if
nothing else), the risk is there in that once you jump into bed with SI,
you almost have to expect a longterm commitment and relationship for the
reason cited above.