Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A change to ESRI educational site licenses

Pricing is a balancing act. You want to price your goods as high as possible to get as much money as possible, but you don't want to price them too high or else people will seek alternatives. And you want to offer different prices to different people when possible - for example, you want to offer low prices to new customers, get them hooked, and then have them pay higher prices later on.

In some businesses, this means that you offer lower prices to the educational market. Back in the 1980s, Apple Computer was well-known for this. The idea was that college kids would buy Macintoshes at a discounted price, and then after they graduated they'd pay the full price for later models.

Presumably this is the tactic that ESRI is using in its modifications to its Educational Site License program.

This year, Esri is rolling out a number of significant, free upgrades to its popular Educational Site License Program. The additional software applications and data enhance an already comprehensive GIS suite and provide new solutions for educators who wish to share the power of spatial thinking across their curricula.

Already added to the site license program this year are the mapping and charting solutions that improve cartographic production including Esri Nautical Solution, Esri Aeronautical Solution, Esri Defense Solution, and Esri Production Mapping. Also added are the ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension, which facilitates data sharing, and Esri Community Analyst, a web-based solution for planning and policy analysis (U.S. only).

Future additions will include subscriptions to ArcGIS Online, a cloud-based system for creating and sharing geospatial content; new workflow-oriented Virtual Campus courses; Esri CityEngine, used for advanced 3D modeling and urban planning; and Esri demographic and Tapestry data for the United States.

Another benefit is that the schools will be turning out ESRI-trained students who can then be hired by companies that use ESRI software.
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