While I am currently fine with testing out the free version for home use, it would be nice if there would be a slightly more powerful version for small business or non-commercial users.
My suggestion would be:
- 10 premium users
- 5 standard users
- 10 Active Sync licenses
- $99 per year
The currently offered smallest “pay” version is just too expensive for small business or home users, but I bet many free version users would like to add features or just a few more users to their installation.
Alternatively to the suggestion above, you could also offer a la carte add-ons to users of the free version. This could work like this:
- $10 per active sync user per year
- $10 for any additional user (up to a total of 10 users)
It would also be nice if the free version would include 5 standard users in addition to the 5 premium users. I mean even when using it for home, I would need one account to store voicemails from our phone system.
In general, I would not underestimate the value of having people using free versions because having a community is very beneficial for product development and free advertisement. I mean the people who do use “home based servers” are frequently the ones involved in the decision making process at work and would probably feel more comfortable to select something that they can play around with outside of work.
Two examples of companies benefiting from strong user communities are 3CX (free PBS without any restrictions) and Sophos (free firewall OS offering almost all premium features except heartbeat). In my opinion, the biggest value is that people who do use “enterprise software” in a home environment are typically very tech capable users. As such, you are getting “premium” testing results and feedback for free.
It should also be noted that getting small companies on board early on, can sometimes result in paid customers when these companies start growing. As you know, most companies don’t really change solutions that just work and give them what they need. it is definitely easier to get small companies to upgrade to a paid version when they grow than it is to make medium companies migrate to a new platform.
Just some free suggestions to consider.