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Date:         Wed, 10 Mar 1999 16:47:24 -0500
Reply-To:     Lynn Nonnemaker <Lnonnemaker@AAMC.ORG>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         Lynn Nonnemaker <Lnonnemaker@AAMC.ORG>
Subject:      Re: Licensing Costs Again; WAS: Yet more thoughts on SAS for Linux
Comments: To: medisci@POWERNET.COM
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

This issue is particularly current for me as my SAS rep just gave me our new SAS costs. Our organization is considering a change in our data warehouse, which would require us changing our SAS/Access to... module. In order to get the new module SAS will make us move to their new pricing structure. The new cost is so outrageous that my recommendation to the powers that be is to scrap SAS altogether and use STATA and SPSS. And this from someone who has used SAS every day for the last 8 years. SAS needs to get real. As much as I love the product, I am ready to ditch it altogether if only to add my vote for new prices. If you are considering SAS for your organization, don't! Lynn

>>> John Whittington <medisci@POWERNET.COM> 03/10/99 04:31PM >>> At 13:28 10/03/99 -0700, Mark S Dehaan wrote: >How many people feel that the 30+% R&D cost for SAS is worthwhile? >/<soapbox on> >Out of a $1,000 annual license fee, at least $300 is for R&D for the next >version of SAS. I see much of this money being used to develop new >products/modules that 1) I will never need or use, or 2)can not afford to >add to my license even if I could use them, or 3)being improvements not >worth the money. So I guess I don't feel the R&D cost is worthwhile or >well spent for me. ><soapbox off>/

Whilst I am very much in favour of anythong which would make SAS more affordable, particularly for 'small fry' like me, I'm not sure this argument is very tenable. Although you may look upon that $300 as being for development of future versions/facilities you might not want/afford, a year or to ago someone else was paying $300 (or the then equivalent) in order to develop the version you are using.

In the final analysis, 'R&D' and 'Support' are really the only major costs of producing software - particularly once one has migrated away from paper documentation, the only other 'direct costs' are that of the CD, it's copying and shipping - which are 'peanuts'.

>How many people feel the tech support is necessary or worthwhile? >/<on again> >Most would agree I think that SAS's tech support is excellent. But >thankfully I usually only have to call tech support a couple times a year >and I usually end up doing a work-around before tech support gets me an >answer. Furthermore, this SAS list is outstanding (thanks to all!!) and >usually is a better/quicker source of help. I don't know what percent of >the annual license fee is for tech support, but I would like the option of >opting out and lowering the fee.

I agree entirely. Particularly given the great value of SAS-L, I would almost certainly be happy to live withoput formal SI support (although I would still expect them to listen and respond to complaints about 'bugs'), if there was a reasonable reduction in licence fee to be had; like you, I hardly ever call tech support. As you say, I can see no reason why 'technical support' cannot be an *optional* extra which one can purchase if desired.

>I really like SAS (and have a lot invested in learning it) and I would hate >to see it continue moving towards only being interested in "Big Accounts".

Me, too - and 'accounts' don't come much smaller than mine.

To add one final point of my own, if it did become possible to 'opt out' of the 'support', then I'm not even convinced that perpetual (for a given relesae), rather than annual, licensing would be totally out of the question for SI. Significant new releases come out every year or two, and most of the 'big boys' would want to take advantage of them (and hence pay for them) almost immediately, whilst some of us smaller fry could perhaps content ourselves for a while longer with the older release, on the basis of a once-only, 'no support' (or, maybe, 'no support after first year') licence fee.



---------------------------------------------------------------- Dr John Whittington, Voice: +44 (0) 1296 730225 Mediscience Services Fax: +44 (0) 1296 738893 Twyford Manor, Twyford, E-mail: Buckingham MK18 4EL, UK ----------------------------------------------------------------

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