Mailing List SIMS@mail.stalker.com Message #14855
From: Dave Pooser <dave-cgpro@pooserville.com>
Subject: Re: SIMS replacements (was: two other topics!)
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2004 12:35:31 -0600
To: SIMS Discussions <SIMS@mail.stalker.com>
> My current feeling is that I should bite the bullet and go for Communigate
> Pro. Partially to say thanks to Stalker for SIMS, partially because it is
> effectively platform-agnostic, and partially because if it is as reliable
> as SIMS I will sleep at night.

<warning: rant ahead>

Stalker recently significantly changed their pricing structure to enforce
groupware on customers <30,000 accounts, and upped their prices
significantly. (I have a 200-user license that cost $1000; today a 100-user
license costs $2300ish.) They also started charging an 18% annual
maintenance fee after a one-year period, and holders of previous versions
who wanted to get back on the upgrade train had to spend 35% of the current
license price. (In my own case, I was able to shave my accounts down to 100
users, which meant I had the option of paying $805 up front and $414
annually after the first year to maintain my $1000 mail server.)

    But the part that really made me rethink dealing with them was that they
applied those changes retroactively. Their license had always stated that
they reserved the right to charge for upgrades starting two years after
license purchase; however, when they applied the maintenance charge they
also insisted that anybody who did not pay maintenance was obligated to
downgrade to the current version as of the expiration of their two years'
free upgrades. In fact, Vladimir Butenko suggested those of us who were
using current versions of CGPro that came out more than two years after
initial license purchase were analogous to people who tried their door keys
on other houses in their neighborhood hoping to find a match.

They later relented, and decided that those who purchased CGPro before
November '01 could upgrade to version 4.1.8 at no charge, while those who
purchased after that point could upgrade to the current version as of
November 30 2004; however, their earlier statements and the completely "out
of the blue" nature of this announcement made me reluctant to work with such
an unpredictable company. I'm currently setting up Exim as an SMTP front end
and while in the short term it'll be handing mail off to CGPro for local
delivery in the longer run I'll probably migrate to an open-source backend
as well. Free-as-in-beer isn't a huge advantage for me, but after watching a
vendor go irrational free-as-in-freedom has a great deal of appeal.

</rant>
--
Dave Pooser
Cat-Herder-in-Chief
Pooserville.com
"This administration cannot be trusted to govern
if it cannot be counted on to think and, having thought,
to have second thoughts."-- George Will 5/4/04


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