New Licensing for Kentico CMS 5.0
We are going to introduce new, more flexible licensing structure with Kentico CMS 5.0 release.
As you may know, we plan to release Kentico CMS 5.0 in December. The new version will bring not only new features, such as widgets or user interface personalization, but also huge improvements in performance and scalability. Version 5.0 will be optimized for large number of documents, sites, users, etc. It will also support database replication in a web farm which means you will be able to scale it practically without limits. Version 5.0 will move Kentico CMS to the enterprise Web Content Management segment and some of the recent projects built with Kentico are a valid proof that Kentico CMS belongs there.
Important: if you're a partner, please visit Partner Portal to learn more about new partner pricing.
New Licensing Structure
The new licensing that will take effect with 5.0 release in late December consists of a Base License that covers content management features and additional packages that you can purchase based on what you need. It makes the licensing more flexible since you do not have to pay for everything if you need a feature that is only available in the top edition. You can also purchase Ultimate license that contains all features at a discounted price.
Please note: the packages cannot be purchased separately and they cannot be used with Free License.
The licensing is still based on the number of web sites and number of physical servers. However, there are two changes in server licensing:
The new Server License can only be used by a single organization and entities controlled by this organization by at least 50%. It means that web design companies that purchase version 5.0 can no longer use single Server License for multiple clients. We decided to make this change because we are looking for long-term on-going business with our partners. Please note: This change doesn't affect existing clients and partners who purchased Kentico CMS 4.x or previous version - they can still use Kentico CMS Server License or Unlimited License for any number of organizations.
There are two types of Server Licenses:
- 1 Server License for 10 Sites - this license covers up to 10 Web sites owned by a single organization and running on a single physical server. It's intended for small and medium businesses that plan to have multiple sites, such as main site, extranet site, community site and several product micro-sites. With this license, you can get 10 Web site licenses for the price of 3, but you can only use them for a single organization and on a single server.
- 1 Server License for Unlimited Sites - this license covers unlimited number of Web sites owned by a single organization and running on a single physical server. It's intended for clients who have special needs and want to run large number of sites or want to have the option of running any number of sites without worrying about number of licenses.
Again, I would like to mention, that the new rules for using the Server License for a single organization do NOT apply to clients and partners who purchased Kentico CMS 4.1 or earlier versions or who purchase version 4.1 before 5.0 release.
New Price List
The following price list will take effect on the date when version 5.0 is released:
Example: If you want to build a corporate site with community features, you will purchase 1 Web Site Base License with Social Networking Package ($1,999 + $1,499 = $3,498). If you decide later that you also want to sell products on your site, you can upgrade to the Ultimate License just for the price difference ($1,001), which means you save $498.
Maintenance covers unlimited support and free upgrade to new versions (it was also called "Subscription" in the past). It will be included for the first year as it is now. Maintenance renewal for the next years is 30% of the total price you paid for the license and for the packages. Maintenance renewal date is based on the maintenance renewal of the Base License, so if you purchase additional packages later after the Base License purchase, their maintenance period will be identical with Base License maintenance period.
New Feature Matrix
The following table shows what is included in the Base License and what is included in additional packages (click to enlarge):
As you can see, the Base License now supports higher number of products in the E-commerce module and it supports unlimited number of languages.
Web Farm Licensing
The Web Farm support is now available in the Base license. If you want to use Kentico CMS in a web farm, you only need to purchase additional Base License. It means you do not have to purchase additional packages or the Ultimate license for your second, third, etc. server in the web farm.
Upgrades for Existing Clients
If you have a valid maintenance on the date of 5.0 release, you will receive the following upgrade:
- Professional, Enterprise and Free Edition owners will keep the same feature set as in 4.1 plus new Widgets and UI Personalization features.
- Social Networking Edition owners will be upgraded to the Ultimate License for free
If you decide to upgrade your edition after the 5.0 release, you will be able to do that by paying the price difference between the price you paid and the new price. For example, you will be able to upgrade Professional Edition to the Ultimate License for $4,499 - $999 = $3,500. As you can see, it's a good idea to upgrade your Professional Edition now, before the 5.0 release, because you will pay only $2,000 for the upgrade and save $1,500.
If you decide to enhance the Professional Edition with some of the packages (e.g. with E-commerce Package), you will need to switch to the new licensing model and you will pay the price difference. For example, you will upgrade Professional Edition to the 1 Web Site Base License + E-commerce Package for $3,498 - $999 = $2,499.
5 Reasons why we are increasing prices
If you compare the current and new prices, it's obvious we are increasing the price with 5.0 release. If you compare for example the current top license (Social Networking Edition) and the new top license (Ultimate License), you can see there's 50% price increase ($4,499 instead of $2,999). It might look like we are greedy, but we have several reasons for that:
1. We keep improving the product and services around it. Version 5.0 brings many improvements in functionality and also in scalability. We have also started to provide a unique 7-day bug fixing policy, which is something that even some $100,000+ solutions do not offer.
2. There's no other .NET-based CMS solution on the market that would provide same functionality and unlimited technical support at this price level. The current Kentico CMS prices are actually lower than commercial editions or annual technical support for some open source content management systems.
3. We are going to introduce 24/7 support with guaranteed response time in the second half of 2010 which will require enhancing our customer care team.
4. We are going to hire more developers so that we are able to keep up with large number or requirements for additional features and improvements we are getting from our clients.
5. We are increasing our marketing efforts which is something our partners will benefit from, but it also comes with extra costs.
In short, we want to keep improving our product and support which comes with price.
The new licensing structure will take effect with Kentico CMS 5.0 release in late December 2009. If you need to purchase Kentico CMS for the current price, please contact our sales at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 888 225 2767.
If you want to ask any question about the new licensing, please post your comment below this post.
Additional notes for partnes:
Thank you for your feedback. The reason why we are increasing prices is to make our business model sustainable and allow us to keep improving the product and services.
We actually did a small survey on the new pricing model among chosen partners and the results were positive. Still, it seems we didn't choose a representative sample of partners and I'm open to discussion how we can keep supporting small agencies.
I can see there's a significant demand for small business CMS among our partners. Let's consider together what kind of license would work for you and us, too. Let's call it "Small Business License". This license would be available only to our partners, not for direct sale. It would have limited number of content editors so that it cannot be used by large companies and so that we do not lose money we could make on big deals.
Could you please submit your suggestions using the form at http://devnet.kentico.com/Blogs/Petr-Palas/October-2009/Small-Business-License-for-Partners.aspx
Petr Palas, Kentico