Within the building automation industry, there is a huge emphasis on sustainability of buildings. When The S4 Group decided to develop the S4 Open Appliances, we looked at how we could price our products that would allow our integration partners to offer superior solutions. We knew that we needed to continue investing in R&D, resulting in ongoing product innovations; and enhancements, that met our integration partners’ ever-changing needs. Product quality was very high on our list of corporate goals so ongoing product maintenance and support had to be funded. In other words, The S4 Group business model had to be sustainable. To this end, we defined our Software Assurance Program and bundled the first year of Software Assurance with each system sold at no additional cost.
What exactly is the Software Assurance Program for our S4 Open Appliances? The following information is from our S4 Open Product Assurance Program product brochure.
S4 Open: Software Assurance program for S4 Open Appliances Annual Subscription includes:
This program is applicable only to the software and firmware components of the S4 Open appliances. The hardware manufacturer provides hardware warranties for the industrial PC used to host the S4 Open Appliances. We pass this warranty on to the customer with the product and we assist you in requesting hardware support under this warranty.
How much does the Software Assurance Program cost?
The S4 Open: Software Assurance Program is 20% of the current list price of the purchased S4 Open product. It is discountable. One year of Software Assurance is included with each system purchase. This annual subscription program extends software support for the second and subsequent years of product ownership.
If Software Assurance has expired for less than a 2-year period, major software and firmware releases are available at 50% of current product list price with the purchase of a software assurance package at the same time.
If Software Assurance has lapsed for 2 years or longer, major software and firmware releases are available at list price (minus the cost of the hardware itself) as long as the system’s hardware platform is still in production and supported by S4, with the purchase of a software assurance package at the same time.
Without an active Software Assurance subscription, you still have the right to use the purchased system but none of the program benefit is available to you after the first year of product ownership. Updates for bugs involving issues where the software or firmware is not working as designed will be provided. Ad-hoc support services for systems not under a Software Assurance program is available at The S4 Group’s current consulting rate.
Ok, that is what the program is. Now, here is why we are talking about it in this issue of The Gateway. During the last couple of years, while the S4 Open Appliances were maturing, we put a lot of effort into maintenance and support to live up to our commitment to product quality. Without making a big deal about it, we simply decided to extend the Software Assurance program until we met our own quality goals. We are there, and it is time to make sure that the S4 business model is sustainable.
Over the last year, we have developed multiple major enhancements to the S4 Open Appliances. We have discussed all of them in previous articles, in blog posts, and on the social media networks. Some of these you have already seen in the newest builds of the S4 Open Appliances, others are still undergoing testing. The software framework providing the underlying technology for the S4 Open Appliances has matured to the point where we are able to develop derivative products for Siemens, Novar, and EnOcean® integration offerings. These are all undergoing internal product testing. In addition, Obermeier Software is moving their SNMP-OPC Gateway product line to this same software framework bringing with it a number of protocol plug-ins compatible with the S4 Open Appliances.
Having said all this we have a deal that we hope you cannot refuse. Between now and June 30, 2012 we are waiving the expiration clauses in the Software Assurance Program. Any current S4 Open Appliance owner can subscribe to the program at the same price as if it was your second year of product ownership. Contact Steveto take advantage of this great offer.