It’s one of the most common questions we hear at Yurbi.
While there are numerous reasons why we price Yurbi the way we do (which we’ll explore in more detail below), ultimately, the reason why our pricing is structured this way is because we wanted to create software that’s affordable for small businesses.
Most of our competitors aren’t very transparent when it comes to pricing. They keep those numbers pretty close to their chest. They often require that you sign up or call them in order to learn more.
Download a demo or trial from their website to discover the full price on your own, and expect to be hit by phone calls and emails from a rather aggressive sales person.
They’ll give you the usual song and dance, such as, “We need to understand a bit more about your environment before we can discuss pricing.” They don’t understand your environment right away, so they bring in an engineer. This requires yet another meeting. The engineer doesn’t know what to make of your environment, so they bring in yet another engineer.
So on and so forth.
Meanwhile, you’re wasting time and you still don’t have a firm idea of the cost yet. A couple weeks later they finally give you a price. Cue the sticker shock. The price is beyond anything you expected!
So you look for a different product. And you jump through similar hoops hoping to find a solid (and fair) price for your BI tool.
The Yurbi Philosophy
By the time people find Yurbi they’ve usually researched 4-6 different business intelligence tools. They’re pretty frustrated at this point. One of the first things they tell us is, “I don’t want to waste any more time. Just tell me your price. I need to know if this will work with my budget.”
They become cautious. They expect some kind of “gotcha” gimmick—additional support costs, hidden implementation fees, expensive bonus features. Or they think our price is low because Yurbi isn’t a good product, that it’s missing some major features or is riddled with bugs and sloppy coding.
“Why is it so cheap?” they ask.
I always reply with the honest answer: We know our pricing is low. But there’s a couple of reasons why we price Yurbi the way we do.
Being publicly traded and having large amounts of investor funding comes with a lot of expenses and limitations. These companies need to hit big targets on a regular basis. They have a large marketing budget and overhead to manage. The concept of running a lean operation is practically thrown out of the window.
They must constantly look for bigger deals to satisfy the growth required to please stakeholders and investors.
We don’t have those pressures. We’re one of the rare bootstrap companies in the BI industry. As a small and lean operation, we’re beholden to a single stakeholder: the customer. Everything we do drives value for our customers (and we state as much in our Company Values statement).
2. Money changes the product (and not always in a positive way)
You would think a vendor having more money would be a good thing, right? In theory yet, but in practice what happens is more money turns into larger development budgets and a quest for new feature after new feature in the pursuit of growth. What happens is a disjointed software application with lots of power and lots of complexity. The BI tool becomes bloatware, with lots of features that only apply to a small portion of the customer base.
Microsoft is a great example of bloatware in software. In the BI space, what happens is an acquisition to fill software gaps. And the newly purchased software never gets integrated well which causes more implementation cost, maintenance cost, and training.
Bigger business intelligence tools have more bells and whistles than Yurbi. When it comes to certain dashboard features, such as GIS mapping or being able to report directly from API feeds, we don’t have that. We don’t have 130+ chart types like Tableau, we purposely keep our chart options to a few, but we admit, there are a few more we need to add. We’re missing some of the slick features, like the associative dashboards that Qlik made popular, dashboards that automatically updates based on selecting certain bars and metrics (we leverage a drill down and global filter approach).
Naturally, there’s a trade-off. We have things the bigger BI vendors don’t have. We have a security model, a semantic layer (our Yurbi App concept), and a white label model that tends to be one of the best in the industry. And we have the best level of support you’ll find anywhere.
Sure, there are things on our roadmap we’d love to implement. If we had more resources and more money, we could tackle these projects and add them to Yurbi faster. But at the end of the day, we can say, “We meet the business intelligence solution that 90% of the market needs.”
The additional bells and whistles might be important to the remaining 10%, and if they’re important to you, we’re probably not a good fit. But in most cases, the competition is 2-5x more expensive than us.
We just don’t think those features are worth the price hike.
3. We know we don’t charge enough compared to other business intelligence tools
We steadily increase our pricing at a rate of about 2-3 times a year. While that may seem like a lot, we’re still well below the cost of the competition.
Our customers enjoy the benefits of a grandfathered pricing philosophy. As we mature our product, build our reputation and bring more customers onboard, current customers gain additional perks at no additional cost. Not only do they not see an increase in pricing, but they can add and remove licenses at their grandfathered rate.
Our customers grow with us and gain extra features at no additional cost.
4. Investing in a BI tool has to be a win-win scenario
Most of the companies we see are looking to solve a problem within their organization. They see business intelligence tools as the solution to their business woes. Unfortunately, as time goes by they usually end up spending more for dashboard and reporting software than the original cost of solving the problem.
In other words, they bought a bulldozer just to dig a three-foot hole.
This happens in different ways. Small businesses tend to over-purchase, buying software that has more features than what they actually need. They waste time and labor in order to understand each feature. Although the software seemed like a good investment at the time, when all the costs and spent resources are considered they end up losing money.
On the other hand, medium and large companies will purchase more licenses than they need. They think BI will magically solve all of their use cases while improving efficiency and productivity, so they equip each employee with a dashboard license. As much as BI vendors want you to think this is a practical idea, that’s simply not how BI works.
In general, it’s better to start small and hit use case by use case.
5. We recognize that there’s a point of scale
The cost of business intelligence tools has to hit a point where it stops raising as a company scales. If our price continued to grow on a per unit basis every time you added a new unit, eventually you’d be better off building something yourself.
Big vendors don’t see it this way. They see enterprise customers as a lucrative opportunity. When a large company calls a BI vendor, the vendor gets excited because they know they can back up a truck, load it with gold and take it away.
When BI vendors go public, they abandon smaller organizations because they need to forge bigger deals and haul off more gold. But we believe small businesses deserve this technology at a fair price.
For larger businesses, we charge more per license because we think they gain more value from our software at that point. They pay a premium based on the value they receive. We cap our pricing at a certain point because when you start to scale, you have to weigh the cost of the software versus the cost of the solution you’re solving.
Even in a large enterprise operation, you have to weigh the cost of the solution, too.
At Yurbi, we strongly believe in pricing our business intelligence software in a manner that’s fair to both the size and scale of a company, as well as the technology and benefits each one will receive. Do we have the bells and whistles found in larger business intelligence tools? No. We freely admit we might not be the best choice for certain organizations.
However, we think Yurbi can solve the majority of pain points businesses face. And we like a good bargain when we see one.