I sent this email to a bunch of Pentaho Consultants today after some discussions we had yesterday with some of them. I will no doubt have missed a bunch of people, so here’s a public version for everyone to flame….
After some feedback from a few of you I figured I’d email you all directly to try and explain the situation and where we currently stand with Saiku and especially the CE version. I’ve also included everyone’s email address in the TO, I hope you don’t mind, we’re all friends(I think), and it gives people the opportunity to REPLY ALL if they would like to have a public discussion about the below. Similarly, if you want to take this email off line, just reply to me and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you.
As you are all aware the CE version is Apache licensed and very permissive, which means you and your clients are all free to do pretty much whatever you like with it, and that is the way we like it. Those of you who know me well will also know that I don’t like the CE & EE model and would rather everything just be open source and free to use and we made money of support and sponsorship instead of license sales but that sadly isn’t the case. Before we launched EE we tried offering support and no one was interested because Saiku “just worked”, we aim to make life simple for people and that is probably the biggest downfall with the application because then the customers you work with aren’t interested in investing because “its working, why pay for support?”. I realise that I have no god given right to make money from an Apache Licensed project, but similarly, I’m also not duty bound to support the open source core if I choose not to, but this isn’t something I’d want.
If you want to see Saiku CE remain in the BI server, we’re going to need the help of the Pentaho consultants to make that happen, because currently we are putting lots of effort into software that we then just give away for nothing, and have no chance of recouping any revenue on to pay myself or Breno. Thats not to say Saiku would go away from the platform, but if things don’t change there is a large chance it would go to an EE only plugin because at least then if people used it, it would generate revenue for us.
Which leads me onto my next point, and one that some people didn’t seem to realise. We are cheap! We are cheap on purpose. Most Pentaho BI server installatoins will be small, departmental installations. Saiku is priced per user per year to keep the cost down whilst generating revenue to continue developing both versions. Harris said to me yesterday “but my users don’t need a cube designer or dashboards”, well thats fine, but it doesn’t mean they can’t use EE or just use CE and pay for licenses anyway. Purchasing EE licenses does also mean the users would then get product support, quicker bug fix releases etc, so it does have its benifits.
If they really don’t want to pay, just suggest they make a donation to the project, we happily accept contributions via Credit Card, Paypal, Bank transfer, or whatever, or ask them to offer some support to the community, just because your client chooses to use open source software, shouldn’t exclude them from contributing. Having spoken to someone who consults for the Belgian Government a few weeks back and they said they couldn’t sell licenses because “they have an open source only policy”, well thats nice for them, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t support the open source projects they use. Look at Mozilla, https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2015/10/23/mozilla-launches-open-source-support-program/ they have realised this and are now giving back.
As resellers you are also entitled to a 20% rebate on any completed deal, we’re not trying to take the money and run, we want to incentivise you guys to work with us to get Saiku into as many organisations as possible.
If every one of those 225,000 users gave 50 cents we clearly wouldn’t need EE!
To make it clear here are the list prices per user per year in USD, EUR and GBP
1-5 Users $300 €240 £180
6-10 Users $260 €205 £160
11-50 Users $230 €180 £140
51-99 Users $210 €165 £125
100 + Users $180 €140 £110
Unlimited $35,000 € 28,000.00 £22,000
Also, I’m not saying people have to give financially, if there were 50 regular committers, I could let the project tick over without spending hours every day maintaining the codebase because other people on the community would be there to help with the chores. If you make changes, push stuff back up stream, if you want to be a release manager, coder, ui guy, whatever let me know and we’ll find a role for you in the community, the code is easy to build and package we certainly make life as easy as possible for everyone.
I know most of you install Saiku then spend 5 minutes hiding the splash screen and removing the CE banners, please remember in doing so you are removing our link with the people who control the budgets and who are likely to have a say in sponsoring our project. So if you do remove those items, please offset it by having a chat with your client and discussing the prospect of contributing money or resource to the project, because as I said yesterday, the other option is JPivot or Analzyer, and that will make, you, me and your end users, very sad indeed I suspect.
Thanks for your time.