First of all, can I emphasise how big a fan I am of X2Engine! I love it. On top of a solid CRM, if I want a custom solution, I can deep dive into the code and craft a response to my unique situation. I'm able to fix bugs, and change anything I want. Under the old licence structure I was a paying Pro customer. There are many many positives about X2Engine.
There's been a change over the last 12 months though.
Right now, there's no roadmap, something every tech company at your stage of development has, and requests for one aren't being responded to. It would be great to know whether feature requests are being incorporated into your planning, and if not, why not? You have sent out a newsletter telling us there's a new major release coming this month, but no information about what's in it.
There's still quite a few unresolved bugs being reported in the forums (after all, we are your beta testers). 12 months ago, Raymond was all over bugs, actively working on solutions and active in the forums. These days we get acknowledgement, and little more. No progress updates, even when we've done the leg work to replicate the bug, narrow down the problem or even provide you with the code to fix it.
Why should you care if an open source user is unhappy with the current situation? I'm getting the software for free right?
I'm working on a custom solution for my business using X2Engine. Having access to premium support to point me in the right direction when I hit a roadblock and getting priority attention on bugs is something I would pay for. In November, I replied to your email broadcast inviting past paying customers to connect and discuss the new paid programs with a clear "I want to pay for your service. Can you please answer these questions". Despite two followup emails on my part, I've heard nothing from your team.
Please let me repeat that. I offered to pay for your product, and I haven't even had an acknowledgement.
Finally, your current plans don't have a midrange on premises option anymore. I'd be paying for the older Platinum plan right now if you still operated under that structure, a plan that's ideal for my situation at the moment. The closest fit to my needs is your Partner Program.
So what am I asking of you?
- Please communicate more. Let us know what your developers are working on. We want to feel like we're involved with the evolution of your product.
- Please prioritise bug fixes. This is crucially important to both your open source community, and your paying customers.
- Please ask your sales people to reply to emails. This is business 101. The window where I'm interested in paying is closing quickly, indeed it may have already passed. Having an option that closely meets my needs, but is only available by talking to your sales people makes it difficult to give you money when they don't reply.
I'm not here to create problems. I'm a business owner, and would certainly value any of my customers coming to me to highlight problems they're having with my products. I hope you take this message in the spirit in which it's given, a desire to see X2Engine continue to grow and develop.