Pay as Needed Floating License

01-26-2011 10:43 AM
Status: Open
New Contributor II

As a small business manager, we don't have the budget to buy anything more than ArcView.
So here is my idea.

Perhaps it would be wise to implement a "Pay As Needed" license for ArcEditor or ArcInfo...or Extensions for that matter. Sure, you wouldn't get that ma$$ive check from your users....but I think you would promote the Jack Dangermond idea that GIS should be for everyone (not just those with the big wallets)! 

So here is what I am thinking...

I have the need to build a new Geometric Network file 3 to 4 times a year tops.  This requires me to have the ArcEditor license, which is way out of my price range....For that amount of money; you will likely never have my business. Plus, how do I justify spending that much money for something I use maybe 10 hours a year total?

However, if there were a way where I could "Pay As Needed" to use a ArcEditor or ArcInfo license for a few hours, or for the day, I would sign up.  (Given that the pricing is reasonable). This approach would only work if you really consider the price in which a small business could afford to use the software.

I could just simply login with my ESRI account, and pay for a License by the hour or by the day.  The same principal would be great for extensions too!

This approach would allow the smaller guys to have just as much of a competitive advantage with ESRI software as the big guys with big wallets.


Promoted. Recently, a friend working for local government mentioned the same issue--needing to do a few tasks a year with an extension and not being able to cost-justify the purchase. Participation in the Local Government ELA was too expensive. I don't know if various negotiated ELAs are "all-you-can-eat" affairs. But Pay As You Go would seem to fit better with the spirit of the Cloud.

The shorter term ArcGIS Server licenses--e.g. 1 month, 3 months, etc--are a nice improvement. It would be terrific to see the same implemented for extensions if metered licensing for ArcGIS is not implemented. A utility or on-demand pricing model may work for GIS software. It does for Infrastructure in the Cloud.

To the original Idea posted, would ArcGIS Online subscriptions help you do on-demand geoprocessing of various kinds? I'd be interested to know if ArcGIS Online for Organizations (?) and/or ArcGIS Online for Enterprises (a subset of the former?) would allow you to send workloads to the Cloud and pay as you go. This seems like something more customers will demand as a logical consequence of, and acclimitization to, paying for metered Infrastructure. I'm hoping to learn more about those offerings over the next few months--possibly at the 2012 Int'l UC.

Here are some similar license-themed ideas:

Offer ArcGIS Desktop through the Software As A Service (SaaS) Cloud model for both deployment and licensing

Offer metered licensing for ArcGIS Server in the Cloud
I fully agree!! This is my biggest frustration with ESRI. The products are great, but the cost of entry is prohibitive if you are not an established full time business with enough cash to throw at software. I am transitioning out of full time emplyment next year and will be studying, travelling, etc. I want to freelance my considerable GIS skills, but how the heck can I afford the software??? I think ESRI is missing out on a large user base of ultra small businesses, and especially entrepreneurial freelancers who simply can't afford the expensive yearly purchase/maintenance fees. I'd love to be able to win a job knowing I can estimate the amount of time it will take and roll the cost for that into the cost of the job! That would be awesome! Then, if I gain more clients I could work up to buying annual licenses for the products I use most while pay as you go would get me by when I need to "level up" to complete a special job. Please, if GIS is for everyone, then those of us without thousands and thousands of dollars to throw at software need some options, and soon!
It will be great if ESRI will give free extensions for atleast  educational purpose...