This blog is dedicated to open, interoperable manufacturing software and the coolest, latest and greatest things I see every day while conducting business under the banner of Inductive Automation.

Hello, my name is Steve Hechtman and I am president of Inductive Automation. During the span of one day there is more excitement, more discovery than I can possibly keep to myself. This blog is, therefore, my outlet. WARNING: This site is highly biased in favor of the most powerful, affordable manufacturing software in the world - Ignition by Inductive Automation!

Ignition - What's the Catch?

This happens so often that I thought I better comment on it. Yesterday I was talking with one of our users who happens to be so jazzed on Ignition that he shows his plant, which uses it, to other people all the time. At the end of a recent showing he told me "they were just standing there drop-jawed but kept asking 'what's the catch?'"

This "what's the catch" question is asked so frequently I'd be totally remiss if I didn't answer it. The answer is "there is no catch."

This is hilarious, but I was once sitting in a conference room with executives of a company with the head of IT grilling me "how can you stay in business if you charge so little?" He was so used to paying insane dollars for marginal functionality that this was his yardstick. It took me about twenty minutes to handle this but I finally asked "why do you think we are charging too little? Have you ever stopped to think maybe the other guys are price gouging you?" Somehow this rang true with him and they bought Ignition.

Consider this, mobile phones used to cost $5.00 per minute and you had to wait for a channel to free up before you could talk. And the mobile units used to cost upwards of $6,000 each. Does that mean that Verizon, ATT and the rest of the cellular companies aren't making money or have a bad business model? Of course not.

Personally, I think this field has been brainwashed into thinking that HMI, SCADA and particularly MES are very hard and complicated and thus have be very expensive. Bull! This simply isn't true.

We have a different model. We sell by the server. That's all. Remember, I myself have been a system integrator for over twenty-two years. That is the perspective we come from. We have always looked for ways to increase the value of our services. Taking three days just to install software is delivering poor value. That's why we deliberately made our installation take only three minutes or so. Then you can take the remaining three days and deliver some real value.

There are certain things that irked me about software as an integrator. Some things just didn't seem right. And these things I've found to be universal. These are the exact points that we've addressed with Ignition. And one of those things is a fair and sensible pricing model. From what we hear, most integrators and end-users agree that we've accomplished just that.

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