SentryOne Expands Subscription Licensing to Provide Flexible Buying Options for Data Teams

Michele Crockett

Published On: August 31, 2020

Categories: SQL Server, Evaluating, Licensing, SentryOne, Upgrade 0

With the release of our new SQL Sentry Premium edition, SentryOne is shifting to subscription licensing as the default business model for our products—for both installed software and cloud offerings. 

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic introduced an unprecedented climate of economic uncertainty, we knew many prospective customers were looking for more flexibility in how they purchased technology products. Although SentryOne has offered subscription licensing for a few years now, many of our customers deploy our offerings as installed software, and the default model has been perpetual licensing with annual maintenance fees. By providing subscription licensing for both our installed and cloud products, SentryOne gives you the ultimate flexibility in managing your technology budget. (Side note: If you didn’t know that we offer both installed software and cloud versions of most of our products, I recommend taking a look at SentryOne Monitor, SentryOne Document, and SentryOne Test.) 

Here are a few ways in which subscription licensing can help youas a DBA or data managermake the case for a new technology purchase that you believe can significantly accelerate delivery of business-critical data in your organization. 

  1. Reduced up-front costs. With subscription licensing, you are essentially “renting” the technology, rather than purchasing it. So the first-year costs tend to be much lower than with a perpetual license purchase. You can   lock in a multi-year subscription deal as well, which is a route many of our customers take to avoid burning time    and resources each year in additional review processes. 
  2. Tap into operating expenses rather than capital expenses. Many (but not all) organizations treat perpetual license purchases as capital expenses, and those expenditures are typically harder to get through the buying team approval process—especially since the economic effects of the pandemic became apparent starting in April. The predictable, no-surprises nature of subscription licensing is particularly appealing at a time when most organizations are looking for ways to contain costs. 
  3. Less risk. Subscription licensing gives you more control over your technology decision. As long as you continue to pay your subscription fee, you have access to the software, including all product updates. If you want to make a switch at the end of the term, that process is much easier with subscription licensing than with perpetual licensing. Of course, the effort and frustration of ripping and replacing an important technology, such as database monitoring, could be significant. But subscription licensing frees your team to make that decision based on the merit of the technology—and not whether the technology has been used long enough to justify the initial investment in the perpetual license. 
  4. Continuous product updates. Subscription licensing includes access to all product updates. With perpetual licensing, you could conceivably purchase the software and opt out of the annual maintenance, which would preclude you from installing updates. But subscription licensing is intended to complement a continuous release cycle, which is the de facto development cadence at SentryOne for both our installed software and cloud offerings.  

How to Successfully Pitch New Data Management Technology

Having the option of subscription pricing can certainly smooth the path for you to win approval for a database technology purchase. If your DBA team has custom-built their own in-house monitoring scripts, making the case for a new purchase can be difficult, particularly when companies are carefully scrutinizing every expense. Although customized, script-based monitoring can work for some situations, this approach has significant drawbacks. In-house solutions can be notoriously hard to maintain, to expand in terms of monitoring features, and to keep current with new releases of SQL Server and Azure SQL Database. (For more insights on the "build versus buy" debate, check out "To Build Or To Buy? That Is the Question" by Richard Douglas, SentryOne principal solutions engineer.) 

Here are some resources you can use to make your case for new database technology or new processes or approaches.  

  • When Good Enough Is Costing You MoneyThis on-demand webinar steps through some real-world examples of how in-house tools can often cost your team more in time and resources than a purchased solution—and yield inadequate results. This session, presented by Steve Wright, SentryOne director of solutions engineering, gives you practical advice for pitching technology that will immediately improve data delivery, deepen performance insights, and accelerate database troubleshooting, all while saving your company money in the short term. 
  • Building a Business Case for a SQL Server Monitoring SolutionTo get approval for new technology, you need to develop an airtight business case. In this on-demand session, SentryOne Principal Program Manager Kevin Kline highlights common mistakes to avoid when you’re pitching a new initiative and offers a proven workflow that gets positive results when you’re proposing ideas to management. 
  • Pitch Perfect: Presenting Ideas That Win Executive Support—Kevin Kline covers tips for convincing management to adopt new technology—or even a new process or mindset—in an on-demand session that goes beyond the buying process. 

At a time when data managers are under pressure to delivery data faster, and perhaps with fewer resources, the right technology choice can be a game changer. By extending the subscription licensing model across our product offerings, we hope to help you break through barriers in deploying the right technology to ensure continuous data delivery in your organization. 

Michele Crockett, director of product marketing, is responsible for developing and implementing go-to-market programs for SentryOne products. A longtime technology marketing professional for companies including Microsoft, HPE, and others, Michele was the former publisher of SQL Server Magazine and editor of Windows IT Pro Magazine.