RealTime IT News

Making the Free-to-Fee Transition

Intranets.com, which abandoned its free service for an enhanced, subscription-based service in early June, has registered more than 100,000 users and 6,000 corporations and small businesses in less than 30 days.

"Intranets.com has achieved the fastest and most efficient conversion from a free service to a paid professional business service that I've seen in the ASP market," said Phil Wainewright, consulting analyst for ASPnews.com. "After just one month, Intranets.com has reached the second largest paid subscriber base among companies listed in the ASPnews Top 20."

During the one-month conversion period, Intranets.com averaged more than 3,000 new members per day, peaking at 7,000 on June 26. Intranets.com's total membership number of 103,000 makes it one of the largest ASPs operating today.

"Demand for the paid version has exceeded our expectations," said Steve Crummey, CEO of Intranets.com. "Today's economic climate along with customer feedback made introducing a paid version an easy business decision for us. Once it took hold we decided to put all of our efforts behind delivering an enterprise-quality paid offering. The number of conversions shows that we have chosen the right path to deliver the type of service that our users need in a business critical tool."

Intranets.com first unveiled its fee-based intranet as the Professional Edition in April 2001, introduced as an enhanced, advertisement-free alternative to the Standard Edition. In June, Intranets.com to dedicate its full development and support resources to the paid version. Pricing starts at $19.95 per month for up to four members, plus $5.95 per month for each additional member.

"We have been using Intranets.com since May of 2000 and have welcomed the progression that Intranets.com has made to a more robust, advertisement-free version," said Dennis O'Connor, Jr., vice president of Peter Arnold Associates, a Mass.-based public relations firm. "Choosing the paid version was an easy decision. Every day that goes by the intranet becomes more central to how we manage our business."

Intranets.com offers its users a set of intranet applications for communication and collaboration by small and medium-sized businesses and groups. Current features include a document sharing library, a contact database, a group calendar, discussion groups, a task manager, an expense report application and 100MB of storage. SSL encryption and additional storage space are also available as a la carte options.

"The subscription-based model has also gained favor with our partners," said Rick Faulk, vice president of marketing at Intranets.com. "Companies are interested in partnering with someone who is going to affect their bottom line. Intranets.com is now able to provide partners with an advertisement-free intranet service that provides them with a steady, predictable stream of revenue."

Privately held Intranets.com is based in Woburn, Mass., with worldwide offices in Tokyo and in the Netherlands.