By, Doug Carruthers
Its no secret that there are alternatives to LoopLink® PRO available to commercial geothermal designers. So it is worth the time to look at the long term cost of our subscription model as compared to our leading competition.
LoopLink® PRO Pricing
LoopLink® PRO is a subscription based software that runs $50/month. There are a ton of features that you get with PRO but for the purposes of this article, the three most important things to remember are:
- You can cancel at anytime.
- LoopLink® PRO upgrades are free. Everything from equipment data to calculation methods is upgraded automatically at no additional charge.
- You can access LoopLink© PRO from any internet enabled device with a modern browser.
The competition has multiple 'tiers' of commercial product so for simplicity, lets consider their lowest cost option which is roughly $3000 to buy initially. Installed software requires upgrades. Assuming you stay current and follow the typical two year upgrade cycle, you are in for about $300 every two years.
Running The Numbers
There is a pretty simple equation for figuring out the break even point between the two. I'll skip some of the algebra but walk you through the important steps.
$3000 + ($300 * (years-1)/2) = $50/month * 12 months/year * years
$3000 + ($150 * years) - $150 = $600 * years
years = $2850 / $450
years = 6.333
Note that on the left side of the equation where we are calculating the cost of owning the competitor's software we just assumed that the upgrade cycle starts two years after you purchase. Also, we use (year - 1) because in the first year, you hopefully wouldn't need to purchase an upgrade.
It takes 6 years and 4 months before a subscription to LoopLink® PRO costs as much as installed software. After that, they have us beat and you will spend more on a subscription than buying the software outright. That is of course if you ignore one really nice feature of LoopLink® PRO subscriptions— you can cancel at anytime.
You don't have to maintain a constant subscription to LoopLink® PRO. So, if you design for 6 months out of a year, keep your account for those 6 months and cancel until you need us again. Your projects will be exactly where you left them. You can use the same formula but switch the 12 months on the right to 6.
With the change, the break-even point extends to 19 years before its cheaper to own the competitor's software.
The Hidden Costs Of Installation
Time is money as they say so it is important to also consider the amount of time owning software will consume. It takes time for you to install software and upgrades, download and install patches, deal with IT to get things working etc. What happens if you get a new computer? You have to do it all again. Those costs aren't part of subscribing to LoopLink® PRO because there is nothing to install and upgrades just happen.
The Value Of Access
These days, no one has just one computer or device that they use all of the time. Installed software has that requirement built in. With LoopLink® PRO on the other hand, you have access to your projects and the software any time, any place. All you need is an internet connection and a device with a modern browser. Honestly, how often are you without those two thingss?