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Article: 30
From: Eric Sauvageau
Date: 2004-09-15 09:17:35 -0400
Subject: Business model?

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(I'm back after switching to a different email address I use for all my
mailing lists)

Anthony, I see a tendency to move into reselling services more than
software these days.  I've seen quite a few companies on the Internet
offering professional services for the installation of softwares such as
Webmin or MailScanner.  I'm sure quite a few people would be willing to
pay someone (in this case, you) to have him compile, install and test a
milter or an Apache module on their server.  I think this might be an
easier model to implement than selling software, albeit this would move
you back into the sysadmin game :)

As a technician working for a computer reseller myself, I can tell you
that over the past 5 years we have shifted our main business from
reselling hard/software to reselling service.  This was the only way we
could survive in a market overcrowded by the major competitors.  The large
retailers might sell cheap PCs to our customers, but we are the one
installing them in network at their offices.  And this is where the profit
margins are the most interesting.

The other option could be to go with something similar to Sendmail: have a
plain, do-it-yourself free product, and offer a bundled product with
professional service.  Maybe some easy to use GUI installer for your
milter for example, going as far as fetching the sendmail sources to
compile libmilter if required (this is just an example).  The only real
support for those using a free version would be community-base (i.e. this
mailing list).

Just my two cents.



-- 
Eric Sauvageau
mtl.meplus.com Administrator.



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