Don’t you sometimes wish that you can just log in to another computer from your device while you are away from the host? Imagine when your grandparent calls you in the middle of the night, asks you how to open a web browser or plays video from his/her 19th century computer. Rather than spending hours to explain where to find the start button or your beloved Windows Media Player Classic, developers from Germany, back in 2005, came out with an application where you can remotely control host computer from distant, you can even use your smartphone or tablet as a remote device. This genius software called TeamViewer!
If you worry about the price to use this awesome and cool software, don’t! It uses freemium model (1) as its revenue model. When you installed the program, it will ask at the beginning whether you are going to use this software for individual or business purposes, and of course if you are not directly or indirectly paid with using TeamViewer you are eligible in using the private license (2). And yeah, it’s free for a private using!!
Well, this also yields a problem for the TeamViewer party since there is a grey area to distinguish the free and premium user. The company use the honor system which leads to user who supposed to opt for premium license can still choose the free version as the free license gets full access as well (2). In addition, the staggering price of $750 – $1500 if you want to get the full license which is relatively expensive. The only benefit for using premium version is the company will give a priority routing to make sure you get a more reliable connection and what so called TeamViewer Manager which provides database for billing and customers management (3).
Even though this business model reflects the famous model invented by Gillette, which is give away something for extremely cheap, if not free, and let the consumers get used to the product before charge them for something extra (4), TeamViewer has to come out with more incentives why the user has to convert from free to premium version. One possible solution to achieve this might be to limit the connection duration for the free user for only 30minutes per session. Other solution could be to allow only paying customer to login as administrator in the host device since most customers come from an IT company who need to troubleshoot its customer’s device.
- Anderson, C. (2008). Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business. http://archive.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/16-03/ff_free?currentPage=all