VT>> FInally got to comment on your post. It was the last one at the time I started replying:)
First up I think we have 2 positive points to remember. Firstly that there is a such a lively and active user and developer base around Sitefinity. I think we are all here because we can see what a good product it is and we all enjoy working with it, especially with the levels of support that Telerik provide to back it up.
Secondly, that we are all really looking forward to working with 4.0. It really looks like a top class product that could change the CMS/application platform market.
VT>> It will be a game changer.
However, I think the new pricing model has caught us out a bit for the following reasons:
Things we were expecting to be in there in the Standard version have been moved higher up the line, things like granular permissions and analytics. I think analytics needs to be there from the start. Everyone is going to manually put them in anyway so the nice integration into the admin UI is a good way to get people to use the product more, a great lost leader if you like. Granular permissions have certainly been long awaited and I think we just didn't think they would only be in the higher priced versions. Maybe we don't need absolute control in the Standard version but we need more than page level permissions, for example image and doc libraries?
VT>> Done. Those will make it.
The concurrent user limits seem to restrict the site to small projects but still have a fairly hefty price tag. I'm trying to get clarification from Telerik as to whether a front end user who has just logged in through a user control and is getting content delivered based on their userID counts. If it does then it basically means to use Sitefinity as a platform for application development you are immediately looking at the full Pro Unlimited version. This would seem to immediately exclude Sitefinity from a lot of projects, certainly the one I'm working on at the moment!
VT>> I gave an example about this and it shows that you need a really large website to surpass the 10 concurrent users and that if you take the time to extend the system you cna make the actual logging, posting/editing, and logging out a short operation that will not get you into trouble. I also shared data that we added more concurrent users than are needed by the majority of our customers. I hope this all makes sense and that most of you feel more at ease with the changes after all the clarifications.
Pricing wise I think Telerik is positioning Sitefinity 4 is in the league of the big CMS players. It's too early to tell if it will compete with the big players like Sitecore, even Sharepoint but this may well be true although it will take time and a lot of extra modules after the release, eCommerce for example and the ability to deploy large web farm versions etc. However I think to require a $20000 outlay at the start of the project is going to exclude everyone but the large corporate clients. This may be strategic, I'm hoping not. I believe that the model needs to accomodate everyone from NFP and community projects, through the SME market (who I'm guessing most of the developers on this forum work with) and then on to the top level of global business websites and applications. Making the product modular should be able to achieve this, we just need to look at the needs of each level, this is sort of what is happening in the current pricing model but maybe not using the right differentiators.
VT>> Even though everyone talks about the PE Unlimited, hard data shows that ONLY a handful of customers would need exactly that version. Most people would do just fine with Standard. And, while some of you may disagree, the # of concurrent users and the webfarm support is the single best measure of whether a site is big or not. Btw, if you take a look at Sitecore, because you are mentioning them, their pricing starts at 10K EURO and that's for 2 concurrent users. If you use Ektron, Sitecore or EpiServer in almost all cases you will need to make a much bigger investment than in Sitefinity.
For example, I think having a page/content item limit is going to put people off from ever using the product. Even if a small charity wants a very simple site they don't want to worry about having to delete things in a year to be able to publish new content. Very bad for their internet presence so they won't start using it even if it is free.
VT>> We did extensive analysis. We analyzed hundreds of small, community and non-profit sites done with the current Community Edition and we found out that almost all of them would fit well within the restrictions. We put a lot of thought in that and in all cases we added buffers above what we found just to be sure we accommodate as many cases as we can.
I think all the basics need to be there from the start but you pay for increased capability as the site grows, for example if a business grows you could buy more modules (eCommerce, newsletters etc) but also add-ons related to traffic, so maybe a Cloud Web Farm capability, external cache support or Cloud storage providers for content?These are things which are not needed for small community project but are essential for a large multinational. They don't stop you having a site that is fully capable at the level you are at and are only required as your site grows.
VT>> If you ask people in a poll, I am sure that everyone would say that Amazon-like eCommerce should be in the SBE Edition. Everyone is looking at our matrix solely from their perspective and the matrix is a common denominator for most customers.
So am I going to do anything or just sound off about it!?
If Telerik, and the community wants, I am willing to put together a questionnaire/consultation for the developer community and collate with them features that are most important and the types of market we are selling into and to liase with Telerik to discuss the results. If Telerik wants Sitefinity to span the market then maybe they can share their thoughts, research and segment data with me (under NDA if necessary) so we can work out a model that works. I believe there is no reason why the model cannot promote a wide uptake of the product without a huge initial investment but then scale up as the business needs scale, to become a top flight enterprise product. This should be very good for Telerik and all us users and re-sellers.
As Vassil Terziev, Telerik CEO, stated in this thread
the Telerik vision for Sitefinity is a ultimately flexible product that can be moulded to suit your business. I hope this can happen over the whole range of business types and sizes.
Interested in peoples thoughts :)
PS Vassil posted while I was writing this. There aren't many companies the size of Telerik where the CEO posts on the forums, I think that is a good sign. I completely understand Teleriks POV and in no way would want "everything for nothing", I hope that with the right model sales/uptake can increase and also there can be a smooth transition from a startup through to a global corporate presence, all using the same basic platform.
VT>> That's the idea. To have a seamless upgrade path as your online presence grows. And I am sure that even an SBE customer who might be worried about the page limit will feel much more secure if they know that when they hit the limit in some time they can upgrade within a day to an edition that meets their needs in full.