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Announcing Paid Plans for FlashPanel

David Politis

June 5, 2013

6 minute read

Greyed out pricing table

Today, I am pleased to introduce paid plans for FlashPanel, which will go into effect September 12. For those of you who were customers back in February, you’ll remember the survey we sent regarding pricing – we read every single response (upwards of 2,700) and have taken that feedback to heart. This feedback has helped to ensure that our plans are affordable, simple and most importantly provide value to our users.

Table of Contents

Why Now

It was never a question of if we would introduce paid plans, but when. And it was always our foremost consideration to only start charging for FlashPanel when we could provide paying customers with the level of functionality they need and the support they deserve.

In fact, when we launched FlashPanel in the Marketplace last July, we knew we would be incurring the cost of providing a product to tens of thousands of domains for free. When running a business, especially a fast growing startup, there are times when you feel pressured to start charging, but there were three milestones we needed to reach before it made sense to release paid plans.

1. Mature, Enterprise-ready Product: We’ve always built FlashPanel with the customer in mind and carefully take feedback into consideration when we build and deploy new functionality. When we first launched FlashPanel, there were many areas of Google Apps the product did not cover. Now, we touch almost every aspect of the suite and are focused on providing additional capabilities in those existing areas.

FlashPanel has matured tremendously since its launch and has proven that it can scale – the product has been installed by more than 20,000 organizations serving over 10 million end users in 133 countries. And it has evolved into a true enterprise application that saves IT administrators time and money by streamlining day to day tasks and providing insight into potentially costly exposures.

2. Well-equipped Team: We’ve more than tripled our team in the last year, focusing specifically on building out support and development efforts, to better serve our ever-expanding customer base. We now have the engineering power to continue to innovate and expand FlashPanel’s functionality – we release features on a bi-weekly basis – and the support resources to fulfill the level of expectation that comes with a paid product – our average first response time to customer submitted tickets is now less than 1 hour.

3. Third-party Privacy and Security Certifications: FlashPanel has the power of a true enterprise application and now it has the security credentials to back it up. I’m pleased to announce that FlashPanel is now SOC 1 SSAE 16, EU Safe Harbor and TRUSTe certified. Our customers can rest assured that we take data security very seriously and have gone to great lengths to protect user information.

Our product and team are now providing functionality above and beyond what is provided natively in Google Apps and by any other Marketplace products, and I believe the pricing we’ve laid out is reflective of the value FlashPanel delivers on a daily basis.

Pricing Plans

FlashPanel Basic

FlashPanel Basic will go above and beyond the native Google Apps Admin Console by providing organizations with a full inventory view of Drive, Sites, Calendar and Mail as well as user and group management tools. If you have a simple need that cannot be completed in the Admin Console, FlashPanel Basic aims to provide you with that functionality.

FlashPanel Basic will help smaller organizations thrive on Google Apps.

FlashPanel Enterprise
*See link to pricing table below

As organizations grow, IT systems often become more complex. This growth usually requires a dedicated IT team and powerful enterprise solutions – that’s where FlashPanel Enterprise comes in.

FlashPanel Enterprise will include policy automation, bulk actions, in-depth Drive and Sites security and much more. We’ll also continually add new functionality to FlashPanel Enterprise.

FlashPanel Enterprise’s broad feature set will truly save Google Apps administrators time and money by allowing administrators to scale management and security efforts.

To view FlashPanel pricing plans, please visit FlashPanel.com/pricing

Pricing Explained

Since day one, we’ve made a point of taking customer feedback to heart. So when we set out to build pricing plans, we went straight to our customers. Through a survey of our user base, we were able to determine a fair price point for business customers, educational institutions and nonprofits.

The survey also revealed three important factors when it comes to pricing:

1. People want a price point that is easy to understand: Since we’re selling a product exclusively built for Google Apps administrators, we wanted to emulate the simple pricing structure of Google Apps – a structure customers, resellers and Googlers have grown accustomed to and by all accounts love. While other vendors in the Apps Marketplace provide piecemeal plans that you have to put together to actually get the product’s full functionality, we’ve provided plans that are all-encompassing and easy to understand.

2. The price needs to be affordable and fair: At $10 per user per year, FlashPanel Enterprise actually works out to cost less than $1 per user per month. While there are many single point solutions on the market that together comprise FlashPanel’s functionality, paying for just one of these solutions can cost more than FlashPanel. So, even if you use just one of FlashPanel’s features, you’re still getting an equal or greater value than you would from a point solution.

3. EDUs need special consideration when it comes to pricing: We understand the challenges educational institutions face where budgeting is concerned and have addressed this by offering FlashPanel to EDUs at the lowest price possible. Hopefully our EDU pricing works with everyone’s budget and accounts for the disparities between different types of EDU users – students, faculty and staff.

*If you’re a business domain with over 1,000 users or an EDU domain with over 10,000 users, we’re happy to set up a call to discuss volume discounts. Please email enterprise@bettercloud.com.

While we are announcing pricing plans today, we won’t actually start charging until September 12. For anyone who installs FlashPanel on or after September 12, you’ll receive a free thirty-day trial from the day you install.

What’s Next

When pricing goes into effect this September, we’re not going to sit back and relax. We know there’s still so much more we can do with FlashPanel – we’ve really only scratched the surface of what’s possible.

Take for instance the amount we’ve been able to achieve in the last year alone – in the pricing table below we’ve greyed out features that wouldn’t have been included had we started charging for the product immediately. If we accomplished that much in our first year, just imagine what we have coming in the next year.

updated-greyed-out-pricing-table

Diving Deeper with Existing Functionality

We know that when it comes to the cloud, security and oversight are top of mind for enterprise customers, so we plan to dive deeper into areas like:

  • Security – PII and PCI oversight and prevention (search documents by regular expressions for patterns like SSN and credit card numbers)
  • Reporting – scheduling reports, automating alerts and more
  • Insights – providing more visibility into the day to day activity occurring within your domain
  • Provisioning and Deprovisioning Workflows – allow customers to save workflow templates and then kick them off for specific users or groups of users through APIs

Broader Coverage of the Google Apps Suite

Organizations are adopting more and more of the Google Apps suite and we want to make sure we have every area covered in FlashPanel. While we’ve expanded our application to cover much of the Apps platform and have features coming before September around Sites and Calendar Resources, there are still several areas we plan to integrate into the product like:

  • Google+ (estimated release Fall 2013) – view what users are posting and how posts are being shared, set alerts for IT staff and users around sharing policies
  • Chrome OS and Mobile Device Management – features will be added to provisioning and deprovisioning workflows to give admins the ability to standardize settings across users
  • Third-party App Management – view which third-party applications have been installed by admins and end users and set policies around those applications
  • Localization – over the next year, we’ll be working on localizing FlashPanel to better serve our international customers

And as Google releases more APIs, you can count on us to build functionality on top of those as well.

Final Thoughts

Announcing paid plans marks a milestone for BetterCloud. While we’ve always pushed ourselves to listen to and support our customers as best as possible, internally those expectations have changed and we’re prepared to do even more. We’re so thankful for the support we’ve received up until this point and hope to continue to work closely with our customers and partners to deliver even better tools for managing and securing Google Apps.

For more information on pricing and product updates, please join us for FlashPanel Live on June 27. Register here.

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