Global Mapper Pricing Goals – 2016 and Beyond
It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to the end of the year, the holidays in most parts of the world, and hopefully a new beginning where we all work together for a better tomorrow for all of us. Here at Blue Marble Geographics we are gearing up for our fiscal year end and planning for 2016. We have much to be thankful for; we have a great customer base, we have great software tools that solve interesting challenges and we feel really lucky to be in the GIS business at a really compelling time. Whenever I have the opportunity to talk about our software or our company I always take a moment to point out the important changes we have seen in GIS over the past decade. The combination of such innovations as the release and relevance of Google EarthTM across industries, the prevalence of GPS in our everyday phone devices and the development of LiDAR have all conspired to both complement what we do and present great challenges to GIS software vendors like Blue Marble. I love Google EarthTM for simply being the calling card for explaining what it is we do in GIS to any novice. I love the utility of a decent GPS in my iPhone. And most importantly of all, I love the challenge and opportunity that stepping up to the LiDAR data challenge has presented for Blue Marble. As a software developer we really have to innovate to deliver tools that both accurately represent this data in 3D while giving the user the tools to render and process all of that data, the way they want to, with the immediacy they need. The Geographic Calculator and Global Mapper have continued to deliver in this arena in ways that traditional GIS tools, still as of this writing, cannot. But I digress…….
I wanted to take a moment with this blog post to update our customers on our pricing strategy for Global Mapper. Pricing for Global Mapper for us has been both an opportunity and a challenge. It has been an opportunity because we are committed to keeping the software affordable and we believe the GIS software market needs an affordable option. We also do not require users to upgrade. Yet we proactively support and develop the product with multiple releases throughout the year. It is challenging because we are under great pressure to raise the price to offset those costs. It was four years ago November 3rd that we acquired Global Mapper. We have not only resisted the temptation to raise the price but we have embraced it. I feel that we have done a decent job of honoring the pricing model while advancing the technology and the accessibility of the original software product.
Over that time we have introduced new licensing options for Global Mapper and they too provide good value. Traditionally Global Mapper was only available as a single user license. The base price of the product had only ever been raised $50 every other year. That is something that was established prior to Blue Marble ownership but we have carried it forward and today the single user price is still less than $500. Sometimes customers investigate our Network or Dongle pricing options and jump to the conclusion that we have raised the price of the software. However, our pricing for network licenses are simply a factor of two per seat off the base price, in fact less than two. So for a two seat network license Global Mapper is actually a great discount off of multiple single user seats. However, that two seat license can serve many more users than two seats, which of course is another great deal.
Admittedly we have changed some of the licensing process and that was something we had to do in order to try and stem the tide of piracy. It is a very difficult thing to stop and really feels like a losing battle but we are doing our best with that with minimal impact on our loyal customers. Some companies combat piracy with subscription or cloud licensing. We have resisted that temptation because we feel that at this point, time out licenses are not in the spirit of Global Mapper. After a user purchases a seat of Global Mapper, they are under no obligation to ever upgrade. It is our challenge to add the features and functionality that make them WANT to upgrade. So this is how we feel we have added licensing options to Global Mapper while keeping the pricing affordable and the software accessible. Yet piracy of our software continues stealing value from paying customers. It’s a shame. If you ever run into anyone using a pirated copy of Global Mapper let them know they are breaking the law and they are hurting the accessibility of the software for everyone else.
Another change we did introduce over the past couple of years is to offer Enterprise License Agreements. These ELA’s are intended to give our customers that have large numbers of seats of the software the option to lock in a contracted price, they provide volume discounts and include additional packages of interest to them such as training, the Global Mapper Lidar Module, and the Global Mapper SDK. Admittedly we have struggled a bit with this pricing but we have recently confirmed our pricing model for ELA’s and it will scale directly with our base list pricing. Our ELA pricing will be as transparent as our single user pricing. We are also now offering Maintenance options for companies that need to budget to maintenance instead of upgrading to new versions. If you have had a past interest in an ELA and were not happy with your quote I encourage you to reach out to your sales representative and learn about these new contract models.
We are also committed to our International resellers and partners and our system integrators everywhere. These companies are helping us reach local international markets by providing ‘boots on the ground’ for customer support and services to complement our software offering. We have introduced a Certified Global Mapper Training program and our resellers are now being certified to provide quality training, certified by Blue Marble, to you in your own country.
We may introduce other slight changes or tweaks to pricing in the future but in the end we are committed to keeping the software affordable. We will be retiring the option to upgrade a single user license for $199, but that is only being raised to $299 for consistency across product pricing. If you have a special deal or large group of single user licenses there may be some restrictions to that offer. Please send us an email to verify that you are eligible.
Lastly, the spirit of Global Mapper, and the Geographic Calculator, is in our customer support and our customer feedback development approach. We are 100% committed to being available to our customers and to providing the best possible support we can. We have never swayed from that and if your experience has been less then positive please reach out to me personally. Our approach to development is directly tied to customer requests. We do introduce our own ideas, but the vast majority of what we add to our software comes from customer feedback. We look forward to the New Year and we are committed to driving Global Mapper, the Global Mapper Lidar Module, the Global Mapper SDK, the Geographic Calculator, and the GeoCalc SDK to be the best they can be while still being affordable at the same time.
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