Pricing may seem fair,; however is this per camera or per site pricing? If per site is that unlimited amount of cameras? Also what happens when we exceed the monthly recognition limit. Does the system just stop? What if there are bad reads. Does that count against our monthly total?
This pricing is per API call...or recognition request. You have an account with a unique key that can be used by any camera you want use regardlesso where that camera is located / or site.
The is no concept of good read or bad read...any read request is billable whether correct or not. There is no checking against a database.
If you exceed your tier by 1 recognition a month you get charged at the next tiers price level. There is no governor on the monthly tier meaning it doesn't stop working once you hit your plan max. You may get a notification to let you know that you exceeded your limit.
Novume (now Rekor) is not a profitable company so they had to do something, plus they have a lot of debt service to pay off associated with borrowing $20M for the OpenALPR acquisition and other purposes (working capital and to pay off other debt.).
I doubt there was much thought given to existing customer impact. It would be nice to grandfather existing customers' price levels (if they signed up for multi year commitment for example) as these are the customers who have built businesses around the OpenALPR service and helped get a good SaaS valuation for OpenALPR...now they are stuck with either raising their prices on their customers or diminish profit if their customers have signed multi year commitments with them.
It would be nice to grandfather existing customers price levels (if they signed up for multi year commitment) as these are the customers who have built businesses around the service
While I don't know the company's motivation nor grandfathering strategy, I have seen various infrastructure SaaS providers raise prices significantly over the past few years with the understanding that given the cost, complexity, and risk of switching to a new service, generally, customers stay and just eat the extra costs. They may not be happy (justifiably) but there is a bit of being trapped.
It may be risky to change but what is more risky is that there is no concept of a SLA or guaranteed uptime for the OpenALPR service or price lock so they can raise prices anytime which is more concerning if I were using it in my product/service.
I suspect these prices will increase as OpenALPR is about a 1/2-1/3 the cost of an inferior PlateSmart offering. You used to be able to buy licenses directly with a credit from https://license.openalpr.com/ but not anymore...so much for that frictionless buying option.
You can test it out for yourself... well, at least OpenALPR lets you submit an image to their Cloud API (as does Sighthound) and test the results...while Plate Smart does not. If Plate Smart were confident in there solution is better, they would allow customers to freely test/compare against other solutions. The reason why OpenALPR is superior is because the big data set that it was trained on - from all over the world - all those customers that use the Cloud API service are contributing hundreds of thousands of images to make the software superior. Plate Smart has no such access to such as large data set of plate images to train its algorithm.
We are OpenALPR users using their per-camera pricing plan, which is currently $39/mo. for the "Basic" service. That gets you unlimited reads per camera. They retain 30 days of plate metadata in the web portal, but offer a WebHooks service where they post the metadata for each plate read to your own server so you can have whatever retention for which you want to allocate enough disk space. We have not heard, yet, of a price increase for this service offering. Our installs currently aggregate to about 500,000 plates a month. That would put us in the $2,000 tier for the API service, but we pay only about half of that using the per-camera model, so the API price changes are making us nervous.
We reached out to OpenALPR/Rekor to ask about other price increases. While they would not discuss future pricing increase plans, they confirmed that the pricing on the site, including the $39/month rate for the Basic-Level Cloud Stream service is current.
The Cloud Stream service ($39/mo/camera) is different from the Cloud API service ($49/mo/25K requests). I would expect an increase in the Cloud Stream service to follow. After all, you have to pay debt service and management team's high salaries.
"their own hardware" is a stretch. This is probably a Dahua camera with a Jetson TX2 in the housing. This strategy is domed to fail, lacks differentiation and flies in the face of what OpenALPR was all about. Stick to software as a service... the margins are much better.
Stick to software as a service... the margins are much better.
Margins are undoubtedly better, however, they may be able to drive much higher top line growth and more total margin dollars since this is an easier 'thing' (literally in this case) for less tech savy users to buy.
alienate their OEM partners who have far greater reach
Seems plausible to me, though I am not an expert in this area. But is it worth trading off 'reach' for greater 'depth'? In other words, sure if you have a bunch of partners, you can do software revenue of say A x B (where A is partners and B is per partner revenue) but if you offer your own turneky solution maybe you do A/10 x 20B (i.e., you have fewer partners but the deals you do get are so much more revenue that it's a better model?
In my experience companies who do this type of price increase in a niche market are dealing with supply vs demand issues..... are they trying to slow down sales while maintaining revenue?? (seen this before in other markets) It can come around and be a problem when you (the supplier) fix the supply issues and don't really want to roll back the price hike to improve sales.