What’s on the Foolish Horizon…
I’ve finally been talked into integrating subscription based management of dMaintenance and dSupport. This is a feature for those of you reselling these apps to clients, wishing to sell them as part of a subscription based plan instead of a one-time sale. This will add significant value to dMaintenance and dSupport for your business by opening a new subscription based revenue stream to you.
The basic idea is to provide you the ability to revoke a ‘subscription’ to dMaintenance for example, and have it cease to function until the subscription is reinstated – (when your customer pays you.)
Optionally you can have the app launch a URL to your website when the app is executed and finds an expired subscription. This is handy to notify your users when their subscription to your service has expired.
You would control the subscription statuses via dCloudConsole. Subscription data would be modified here, and uploaded to dCloud for subsequent download by the applications. This means you would be required to have a valid subscription to dCloud from me, in order to maintain a subscription service to your clients in return. This also adds significant value to the dCloud service as well.
Technically, the app would check dCloud for a valid subscription on every standard launch. If found, the app proceeds as intended – if a subscription is not found, the app will terminate, optionally showing the URL you specified. When an internet connection or connection to dCloud cannot be found, it will default to the last known subscription status.
On your side, this means that you must first get the latest version of the app (not yet released!), configure the app to use the new feature, and create a custom installer with it (either using dCloudConsole, or by getting me to do it for you.)
Second on each system you install the app on, you will need to enter a client identifier (this can be whatever you wish, a phone number, email address, customer number from your POS/CRM, or simply a name.) This information will be ADDED to your dCloud subscription data automatically, with a subscription for the app configured already. So the next time you use dCloudConsole to view your subscription data, it will reflect the latest installation, and from there you can leave it or revoke the subscription.
Before you start thinking it, I won’t have any automatic subscription expiration options in place, it will be up to you to manage subscriptions and their revocation manually. Ideally this would integrate into your CRM/POS systems but that just isn’t going to happen – likewise it would quite a bit of work for me to implement my own system of keeping track of subscription data.
What do you think? Ideas, comments, or suggestions are always welcome.