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20 TOPDESK MAGAZINE - MARCH 2017

George Cox
… is Office Sales Consultant at TOPdesk.

Why would I want to
subscribe to anything?
It’s no secret that everything from consumer technology to business services are moving
towards a service-based, or subscription-based model. Now, it’s not uncommon to
bemoan this as a method of industry maximizing revenue (which of course, is certainly
one way of looking at it). However it is important to recognize this trend for what it
delivers to the consumers: value.

The success of consumer When services such as Netflix and Spotify that one option, they continuously refresh
subscriptions started to emerge, there were many their offerings. Take Amazon Prime. When the
If we truly want to understand the value worries. What would happen to CD and DVD service launched, it was based around the idea
of subscriptions, let’s start by looking at sales? Well, time has told that sad story, of free one-day delivery on any eligible items –
the biggest players in the consumer sphere unfortunately for those industries. However, which was often considered valuable enough.
– Spotify, Amazon and Netflix. Although it has resulted in consumers being able to Then Amazon acquired LoveFilm and produced
these are essentially entertainment options, access the content they want more easily, an instant video streaming service, now
with the partial exception of Amazon, it is quickly, and affordably than ever. So, when we including proprietary content, like Netflix, such
interesting how many and how much people ask ourselves why we spend our disposable as The Grand Tour. After this success, they also
are willing to spend their hard-earned cash on income on these services, the answer is bundled in a music service to rival both Spotify
these commodity services. obvious. They deliver more value than any and the less successful Apple Music. However,
Spotify had 40 million paid subscribers as other delivery method, and give continuously the important part of all these additions is that
of September 2016. Amazon Prime had a add to this. it at no point affected the membership cost.
healthy 63 million customers as of July 2016, So, customers were continuously offered a
with an increase of 19 million from the more valuable service simply as part of their
year before. This figure is so high now that Same buck, more bang existing subscription.
it is estimated that Prime members now The beauty in all of these services is that unlike Netflix recently added $800 million of
outnumber non-Prime members. buying a DVD or CD and being stuck with debt to help fund more and more original
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TOPDESK MAGAZINE - MARCH 2017 21

content, leading to hit shows such as “Narcos”, organisations need to worry about paying to back up to speed? Especially when, for a lower
new series of unrenewed shows such as upgrade to the next numbered product, when level investment, the business can stay at
“Black Mirror”, and many more original ideas. it just updates automatically. the cutting edge with the ever-expanding
Suddenly, Netflix is not just a streaming site for And this trend is ever widening. Most portfolio of functionality. You have already
all the TV shows you love, or movies you want business support systems, whether they be switched to this at home, why not in your
to see – but a channel in and on itself. Hooking ITSM, CAFM, eHR, ERP, accounting software home away from home – the office?
subscribers with the promise of new seasons of or what have you, are starting to offer robust
content that can’t be obtained anywhere else. service-based models. Not so long ago, for
The point here is that these subscription- any of these systems, a business would be
based services deliver value to the customer urged to pay a huge capital expenditure, with
by continuously improving their offerings, an operational expenditure support contract
bringing out new features, and delivering more to use these systems. Now at the time this
and more of this value to subscribers. was all fine and dandy. Budget was found,
used, and a shiny new system was installed.
Great. Now it’s 4, 5, or even 8 years later. The
What does this mean for world has moved on, but the way of working Benefit from TOPdesk
businesses? hasn’t changed. Was that investment really subscriptions
It’s no secret that businesses tend to lag behind as valuable as it seemed at the time? Being Did you know that TOPdesk has moved
consumer trends. Legacy systems scattered cutting edge for a year, but then what? to a subscription-based model? Gone
throughout an organisation usually ensure this, And then the other issue raises its ugly are the days where an environment is
and the requirement for due diligence over head: the sales person – like me – on the out of date, or in need of an overhaul.
every penny spent. However, we can already other end of the phone trying to get their Gone are the days where you pay huge
see some parts of this shift occurring – namely hands in the business’ pockets to move from upfront costs for a perpetual licence. We
in Microsoft’s Office 365. Office is of course one version to another and then rinse and offer and apply updates on a fortnightly
the industry standard for word processing, repeat. Trust me, I hate that conversation as basis to bring you the freshest features,
spreadsheets, PowerPoints. The fact that even much as you do. meaning any woes from using a legacy
a non-Microsoft presentation will still be called It seems it might be time to learn from the system can finally be put to bed. Want
a PowerPoint is evidence of this. consumer model. Lower op-ex expenditures in to know more? Discuss the possibilities
This suite has taken businesses into the first a subscription format to produce the Amazon of SaaS and subscriptions with your
step of cloud reliance, with a 70% increase Prime of business support systems. Why account manager.
in subscribers, bringing its numbers up to allow departments to stagnate until they are
18.2 million. No longer do those 18.2 million forced to spend all their budget just getting