Maximum Availability Foresees Growth with 20/20 Program
August 10, 2009 Alex Woodie
If its new 20/20 promotional program has its desired effect, Maximum Availability will have more installations of its *noMAX high availability software suite to look forward to. Under the program, which the company announced late last week, Maximum Availability is enticing users of other System i HA products to switch to *noMAX with the promise that they will pay 20 percent less than they do under their current contract.
Competitive upgrade programs are nothing new in the i OS software market, nor in the IT industry as a whole, for that matter. Before the i OS HA space experienced its wave of consolidation, competitive upgrade programs (really, competitive migration programs) were very common, as aggressive HA software companies battled for dominance in a very lucrative field worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
But now that the bulk of the i OS HA software market has been basically cornered by Vision Solutions (which bought its biggest rivals, Lakeview and iTera), and IBM‘s DataMirror group has scarcely been seen or heard from since the acquisition two years ago, the flurry of words and promises of big savings has slowed to a trickle. It’s enough to make an i OS products editor long for the good old days, when spirited HA software companies could always be counted on to fill some space and shake up a slow summer.
Then along comes Maximum Availability, which has been methodically building its base of customers and partners over the last 10 years, with a focus on SMB customers, as its larger rivals merge. Last week, the New Zealand company breathed some life back into the i OS HA software market with its 20/20 program, which promises big savings when users of competitive i OS HA software products switch to *noMAX.
The 20/20 program is based on the new subscription model that Maximum Availability unveiled earlier this year. The gist of the program is that Maximum Availability is promising that it can lower annual maintenance fees by at least 20 percent for customers who switch to a *noMAX subscription from a license for “a qualifying competitive product.” (Maximum Availability did not disclose what the products are, but they are likely recent releases of the usual suspects.)
Organizations that sign up for the 20/20 program must sign up for at least a 12-month subscription, which includes all applicable fees for software license, support, and maintenance. Maximum Availability doesn’t publish its complete pricing guide, but based on earlier conversations with company officials, a rough estimate of the cost of such a contract on a smaller P10 type box would land in the vicinity of $2,000 per month. If, for some reason, the organizations’ previous annual maintenance fees were cheaper than the *noMAX subscription, then Maximum Availability is on the hook for the difference.
But Maximum Availability is confident that won’t be the case. “We started out 10 years ago to build a replication product for the AS/400 that was designed from the ground up to deliver the best performance, be quick and easy to install, easy to operate, and require minimal support,” Simon O’Sullivan, executive vice president, says in a press release. “This heritage of one core product, designed for ease of use, reliability, and performance, is really paying dividends now and allows us the luxury to confidently offer 20/20 to the market.”
If, for some reason, the new customer isn’t happy with the *noMAX software, they can get a full refund during the first 60 days of the contract. What’s more, the company is waiving implementation fees for customers that sign a three-year contract. (It also offers a short and relatively expensive three-month contract under its new subscription model, but it’s not included in the 20/20 program.)
Maximum Availability is confident it can claim its share of the global market for i OS HA and disaster recovery software. “With 20/20, our aim is to provide customers currently using high availability/disaster recovery software a better solution and save them money,” CEO Allan Campbell says in the press release. “We are committed to the i [operating system]. It is our absolute focus and despite the doom and gloom elsewhere, we are growing, hiring staff, and continuing to develop and enhance our software.”
Campbell, who hails from Scotland, continued with a bit of smack-talking aimed at his bigger competitors–a refreshing change from the Kumbaya-singing currently permeating the market. “We understand clearly that there is a market for quality software at a fair price, especially when it is backed up by a support team that really grasps that it is our customers that pay our wages, and we hope to capture more of those customers with this program,” he says.
As for what the other “20” in the “20/20” program stands for: According to Maximum Availability, it stands for the 20 reasons customers should switch to *noMAX; they weren’t disclosed. For more information, check out the company’s Web site at www.maxava.com.