Why licence to script? (charge for hardware, not software...)


#1

Hi,

I’ve been looking for devices like this for a long time and I could see our company getting one for each of our embedded developers!

…but! an annual licence to be able to script the device? this is absolutely out of the question for us, so until you reconsider and making your money on the hardware itself, we’re on the waiting-list.

Take a look at Saleae. By far the best EE/SW debug tool out there. An ultra-fast logic analyser that beats the expensive keysights and such. You pay for the hardware once, that’s it. You buy another one, and then another one.

If a lab-device like this reuquires registration, logins and such, it would end up unused in a box somewhere I’m afraid.

Sorry to be a bit negative but I really believe such a nice device could benefit a lot by staying away from the subscription model.

Instead I suggest you offer sponsored features, like ‘add support for scripted annotations: $999’ + hourly support for those who need it.

Thanks Jdo


#2

Hi Jdo,

thank you for your honest and constructive feedback! We always welcome such.

We are sorry to hear that you don’t like the subscription model approach, despite liking the product.

Regarding the registration and login procedure, this is a rather simple and quick task and our ambition is to always make it very convenient for our customers.
If you have one premium license per user, who is most likely always on one and the same computer then when the user logs into the Otii application, Otii will automatically reserve the purchased license assigned to that account. After that you never really need to do anything else. For the case of more users and sharing one or few licenses have a look at this blog post where we describe how it works.

Regarding the subscription model, would you mind contacting our folks here who would love to ask you for some more feedback on the topic.

Thanks and have a great weekend!


#3

Hi Chrfle,

We’re standby until the day the seat-licence is removed. It’s not really about the cost, it’s about convenience. I know how it is. Our old Scopes, Logic analysers would end up unused in a box if there was a login requirement to use them.

How you guys reconsider.

best Jdo


#4

Speaking from the point of view of someone who uses Otii’s near daily, as we have two at the office, and one subscription for Premium - There is very little pain associated with the login process, and juggling between whomever needs the scripting side is very easy.

Do I like subscription models? Not particularly.
Do I like the multitude of logins I have to remember these days? No.
But charging a subscription model for the desired features very likely directly funds the Otii’s software/firmware/hardware development. Resulting in allowing them to provide an unheard of level of support, so I don’t have a problem with it.
Especially as I have been a recipient of said support with custom pre-beta builds of both SW and FW, pre-release battery modelling scripts…etc.

If this particular anti-subscription model attitude of yours is set in stone, I can only pity your developers, as the Otii’s versatility and capabilities would quite literally make their lives easier immediately.

Frankly, I don’t rate Saleae gear at all. I’d have an Otii with scripting over their stuff…

My $0.02


#5

I like the Otii hardware and “standard features”, but have little interest in anything that requires a subscription. Fortunately, the box is pretty useful as it is with no account login… As it should be!

Requiring an account or internet access to use features on a lab instrument is a liability, IMO. In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Qoitech decides to get out of the Otii business and shut down the license servers, those features would be lost. Using Otii on a production line (in China) is entirely out of the question.

I was a little concerned to see that an internet connection was required to update the firmware on the box. Of course one needs internet to download the new firmware, but once in your possession, the update process itself should be stand alone.


#6

There’s no need of internet connection when upgrading firmware. You select a local file to upgrade into the Otii Arc.


#7

Well, I just did the update earlier this morning. It failed the first time. I opened up the firewall to let Otii.app traffic through. On the next update attempt, it worked.


#8

There’s no communication at all with the server when doing firmware upgrade. It must have been something unrelated.


#9

totally agree. gear like this is used in the lab as well as on the shop floor, the firewall of china would make this unit unusable as scripting would be needed but logging in to unlock the sofware frontend would be a challenge…

again, I really think you should choose your business model. open-source hardware, charge for software or vice versa… Charging for both feels really wrong in modern times.

why not increasing the price to 599 of this unit and get release the complete software package free!?


#10

I completely agree with jdo, this business model is really bad.
I just bough one since I thought that surely, writing your own programs for your own hw can’t need a subscrition.

I’m now considering using my 2 weeks open purchase and return the hw.
My main concerns are the fact that the company is less than a year old, will you even exist in a years time?
Will my time and money spent on developing scripts be down the drain as soon as the company goes down? Also, as been pointed out, we can’t use this on production in china or poland, we simply won’t get stable access to the net for that.

Please consider changing this asap or I will return the hw unfortunately, or at least change your licens agreement so that if something happens to Qoitech, we are still able to run stuff we rightfully paid for.

/hj


#11

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We welcome such!

The scripting feature is only available with the yearly Premium license.
In order to make clear the difference between the different offerings we list all our features at our product comparison page: https://www.qoitech.com/comparison, with links to this page in two places on the landing page. It might be that those links are not visible enough? If so, we would like to improve this, so your feedback is very valuable.

Regarding the Otii solution, the package purchased at one time cost is customer’s to use with perpetual SW.
Regarding the subscription model, you are very welcome to contact us here so the folks at our B2B branch can help you and your company with the questions regarding production and end-of-life migration, since we do have customers using our tools and service for the purpose that you are mentioning, and are able to support these issues. Our business models are chosen to support our customers for the long term.

Thank you!


#12

Hi, I just came across this product and it looks very promising. At present we use a N6705C ($30k+) for this sort of work and the OTII looks very promising at the price. The immediate roadblock to purchasing this product for most engineers to use on their desks (10-20) is requiring ANY sort of internet connection. That is a complete show stopper for us and for several other large dev shops I am very familiar with in our area. The cost is nothing compared to what we are used to spending (Keysight, R&S, Tektronix all top of the range equipment) but any sort of login, internet connected solution is totally out of the question. The security implications of an internet connected dev environment make this whole thing a silly business model in this day and age.
Iggy,
Australia


#13

Hello Iggy

As the information above is not entirely correct anymore I thought I’d write a short summary regarding the licensing.

Currently, the software and hardware combo have two different sets of features. If you buy the hardware you get what we call the standard feature set, or Otii Solution. As you can see in our feature comparison many things are included in the standard feature set. To use the standard feature set you do not need an internet connection.

In addition to the standard feature set you can buy a premium license which will give you access to additional features, namely battery simulation & profiling, automation through scripting and ability to import logs. To use these features you need to reserve a premium license. You can reserve a license for any duration you want. So you can connect to the internet, reserve the premium license for a year and then not connect to the internet again for a year. So yes, you do need to be connected to the internet, but not very often.

I’m afraid I can’t discuss if this is the right or wrong way to do business. As mentioned above, if you would like to discuss the business model, please contact our sales department instead.

Best Regards
Fletcher


#14

Hi Fletcher,
Thanks for the info. I had understood that the basic version did not required an internet connection but I didn’t know the premium was an annual activation. This would still rule it out for environments where the Otii had ever been plugged into a higher classification network, for example in a government environment or any company doing sensitive development work. That still means you hopefully have a huge market with companies that don’t take their security as seriously as some have to. Even the basic version looks pretty impressive though and I could see it on many desks.
Regards,
Iggy


#15

It’s not technically an annual activation, but as you can reserve your entire validity in one go, you can use it as such.

And sure, there are places where internet is strictly of limits. As you say though, it’s a very small part of our potential market. We have thought a bit about being able to reserve a license for a different machine and have an idea of how to do it. But the priority is unfortunately low, as we rather improve things that will help the majority of our potential customers that don’t mind it being internet connected.


#16

why not offer a slightly more expensive version and skip the weird software lock-in / subscription craze…

look at Saleae, they’re doing it right. Great product, Great API’s, no hidden limitations or licences


#17

I’m about to order two (woohoo!) but they just won’t benefit from the premium options unless things change :slight_smile: