Vesica Blog - Taking museum and art collections to the cloud

May 14, 2012

Pricing Museum Collections Software per Object

In the last few weeks, I’ve been asked on more than one occasion about what it is that lead us to pricing Vesica per piece / object in a museum’s collection. It’s true that this is a rather unorthodox  pricing model, not just in the museum / art collection sector, but for Software-as-a-Service solutions across all industries.

If you look at any SaaS or cloud based solution, the pricing is a combination of storage, a unit of some relevant measure (be it number of projects, number of domains, number of sites, etc.), and number of users. There’s a reason why many of these applications are priced this way – it’s generally due to the way public / private clouds are typically priced. For example, if you have a look at Amazon EC2 or S3 pricing, Microsoft Azure Pricing, or Heroku’s pricing model, it might begin to make some sense. These pricing modules are generally wrapped into some kind of algorithm based on the number of users and projects, etc. that the application might provide to a typical user to then come up with SaaS pricing, which the consumer pays.

To me, really, most of that is gibberish that is not always relevant to the user. Why, as the consumer of a B2B application, should I be bothered about things like storage in Gigabytes, or the number of users when it does not directly correspond with my business? A larger number of users does not always translate to increased revenue for businesses, certainly not in sectors like museums and heritage, where volunteerism reigns supreme.

So, for Vesica, we decided that our pricing has to be relevant. A museum’s collection is its heart and soul. If the collection is growing, it’s a good sign – the museum might generate revenue with the new addition to their collection over time. Perhaps the museum also has funds if it is acquiring. In any case, it’s a relevant measure for a museum, just like number of projects would be for a web development agency or number of companies would be for an accounting business.

When speaking with curators or museum directors, it is extremely difficult to strike a common cord if you start talking Gigabyes, Terabytes and number of users. It’s worse, if you sell desktop based museum software, and you have to work in the type of hardware you would need, along with setting up networks and what not.

We wanted to make Vesica simple and relevant – and I think we’ve done that.

Not only is the pricing relevant, it will save over 90% of the museums 30% or more when compared with any other solution in the market with similar functionality. The fact that we’ve grown to almost 150 customers in over 30 countries since the Vesica platform was launched just over a year ago is a testament to that.

Would you like to see Collections Management Software priced differently? Let’s hear your thoughts.

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