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re: Altium claims 500 new U.S. customers in past year
Hatchetjoe   3/4/2010 1:55:46 PM
Dylan, You seem to be making the assertion that purchase cost is the only driving factor. Far from it, I have driven three EDA tool transitions and beleive tool price can easily be a sour note if there are other concerns, data migration curve may seem like it would be at the top, but aren't really as big as people make them out to be. The one primary thing I've found is that the tool must be capable of prforming in the prescibed area, without the need of additional accompanying tools/licenses, to this I will point you to the pricing structure of PADS and Allegro tools, just look at the tool and capabilities breakdown of their offerings, navigate their matrixes and you'll soon see the dallar value. Their basic offerings are so stripped down that the pricing multiplies to get the same capabilities offered in teh Altium tool. But the real clincher is that the Altium tool as shiopped can design 90% of the boards that need to be designed and produce great documentation. Someone taking on a demo and tearing out their hair for a week is really quantifiable with someone who knows how to drive the various tools. I have the fortune of having the skillsets to drive tools from all 4 major players and cost aside Altium is my go to tool when the graph paper jobs come in. Joe

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re: Altium claims 500 new U.S. customers in past year
Bob_Kozio   3/4/2010 12:37:32 AM
Dan, I thought some additional clarification on Altium's survey results might be helpful. We acknowledge that price is a factor in any purchase. The survey question was asking for the "primary" reason for choosing Altium Designer over others. As it turns out, cost was the primary reason in only 14% of the responses. High value (FPGA, PCB and embedded all included) was the most common response for choosing Altium over the competition. Defining the "new customers" in Altium's More than 500 New Customers statement might also be helpful. The new customer is defined as a company that is new to Altium's customer list. Legacy upgrades were not counted. The only counting caveat was disclosed by Dylan in the article. In terms of overall new customer experience, it is very gratifying to see that 89% would recommend Altium Designer to a colleague. Bob Potock Director, Technical Marketing Altium

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re: Altium claims 500 new U.S. customers in past year
mcgrathdylan   3/3/2010 4:41:38 AM
Dan- Thanks for commenting. Just to set the record straight, I'm not accusing anyone of being disingenuous. I think the guys from Altium were simply pointing to data from their customer survey that showed that not many customers said they switched because of the price (the Altium executives admitted that they were a little surprised that the number wasn't higher). My point was that customers may have cited other reasons (and I have no reason to doubt that the customers themselves were being honest), but that, considering that the price cut was so dramatic--and that there is a relationship between price and value--I have to believe it was a factor at some level. That's all. Just my two cents. To your point, Dan, about setting the stage for a price increase: as noted in the blog entry, I had the same thought and specifically asked that question. I think the quote from Gaffney is pretty clear on that. I've have no firsthand experience with Altium tools and haven't previously heard anyone say that migration was difficult. But I appreciate your perspective and thank you for taking the time to chime in. I'd love to see more back and forth take place on these forums.

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re: Altium claims 500 new U.S. customers in past year
FirmwareIsMe   3/2/2010 4:34:55 PM
Dylan, Absolutely right, when the price decreases, the product stays the same and the perceived "value" increases, it's due to the price drop. A little surprising that a CEO can't grasp this fact (I guess the alternative explanation is even more unpleasant, that the CEO is disingenuous). Secondly, Altium's "500 new customers" is so vague as to be meaningless. That could be 500 new licenses, or 50,000 new licenses. I believe the survey results that the new users come from diverse markets and that most users are happy/would recommend it. My experience and feedback is not, however, that migration to Altium is easy -- the tool's complexity & difficulty of adoption is one of its biggest shortcomings (it is powerful, however). Let's see if this is backpedaling, setting the stage for a price increase, or if Altium backs up its claims that tools are too expensive. Ultimately, for a public company like Altium, it's all driven by shareholder expectations. $5,000 seems like a lot of cabbage if you only need to design a PCB.


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