Thanks to your support, HootBoard as a product is evolving and we manage to grow as a company at a healthy pace month over month. We started out as a free web based bulletin board tool that organizations can embed in their website. Eventually we added the mobile apps and soon after supplemented with our digital signage and topped it of with the touch bulletin board kiosk (our flagship product) supported by complementary hardware options like the Air and the Glide.

These are deliberate product extensions made to allow our customer organizations help communicate with and engage their employees and customers via. every conceivable medium possible.

While this is great for our customers in general, this could be a lot for some customers to get started with. As you might relate to your own case, most customers prefer  to use HootBoard with one of our products eg. the mobile app, digital signage or the kiosk  and then consider other products to grow into.

We understand that this adoption pattern is only natural but more importantly, we realize that the way our current pricing is set up, it is an impediment to this pattern. If a particular customer wants to just start with our touch based bulletin board kiosk, and not  worry about having to pay for their users on the mobile app, they should be able to do that.

Given that, it only makes sense that we charge only for the platform components you are using. The current HootBoard plans however are bundles for online (Web & Mobile) & onsite (Digital signage, Kiosks) engagement tools. It only makes sense that we change that simplify for product components that you choose to use.

Additionally, HootBoard is all about about communication and engagement of your employees and customers. Which in theory means, more your audience is engaging with the system, more the value derived by your organization. Given that, we have had some of you give us feedback that they would rather not have per employee fixed per costs for engaging with HootBoard.

This brings us to upcoming pricing plans that will soon be released into beta. The new plans will charge based following two:

1. Component based pricing:  
Customers can individually choose specific components they plan to use. So if you are using HootBoard for two digital signage TVs you will only be paying for those two units and nothing else. You can always increment your plan from there.

2. Engagement Units:
One of our goals is to significantly improve on-site communications in physical spaces using self serve touch screen kiosks. We believe that every organization could better communicate with and engage their stakeholders within their physical spaces using touch kiosks. However every organization is different and that means the product features used are different as well as their usage and pricing preferences are different.

This is where we would like to introduce the concept of engagement units. This way, based on each type of organization, we can flex the plan to have a minimum payment per screen which gives a certain number of engagement units monthly across their entire HootBoard account (including web and mobile app usage). These engagement units shall be generally enough for your organization’s use however, should you have a really successful rollout and tend to overshoot your monthly engagement quota, you can buy additional engagement units to buffer your organization’s use for that month. We will be publishing a thorough breakdown of how engagement units are charged in a separate blog post later.

While the exact pricing details will be dependent on whether you are using HootBoard for employee engagement or customer engagement, and what other security features you need,  the pricing models will be similar. This will allow us to cater to different types of customers and keep prices low for all customers. Additionally, customers will have peace of mind that they are generally paying for what they are using and NOT overpaying.

How will this change impact my HootBoard account?

Generally speaking your account’s transition shall handled in one of the few categories below.

1. Current Paying Customer:
All current paying customers will move to new pricing model however their exact pricing will be grandfathered in as per their current pricing rates. You will however see a quota of engagement units  getting added to your account. We will be running an internal algorithm to ensure that you get enough engagement unit credits to justify double the current amount of engagement on your accounts.

2. Current Freemium or Trial User:
You accounts will start reflecting the new pricing plans starting mid November. If you upgrade between now and then with the currently live pricing plan, your transition will be consider as “Current Paying Customer” outlined above.

3. Future user:
While this should be obvious, if you create your HootBoard after the pricing transition is complete, you will automatically be assigned a pricing plan based on your usage category determined. However if you do create your HootBoard between now and the rollout of the new pricing models, your account’s transition will be handled according to “Current freemium or trial user” section above.

If you have any questions or feedback about this pricing transition, you can email support@hootboard.uservoice.com. Any charges made during the time your queries are resolved, will be considered final.

Additionally, you can join the discussion with other HootBoard admins here.

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