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Oct 21, 2015
Icon_missing_medium kkemp 12 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Wait, are you seriously thinking you are going to delete all data after x months??!!????

 
Oct 21, 2015
Samotage_300_medium samotage 555 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Ok good people of SEG.

There are are now three new fixed price plans available

https://smartenergygroups.com/pricing

Plus some small changes to the premium plan which is now called Platinum.

Also some other new and useful features

- on the account page is a stream summary information box.

- whilst in trial, the system will calculate a trial invoice

- you may switch between plans and see what works best.

- the trial invoice will point out your streams data rates, and those in excess of any included in the fixed price plans.

Some notes on the comments above:

General - I think the pricing where it is at is fair for fair use.  There are plans to cover SEGmeter and GEM setups at a reasonable price point.  There is also the platinum plan for people who want more, however super high data rates are going to cost!  Effectively you the member are in control of this and some rationaliation of how you choose to use the system should be made before complaining that crazy high data rate setups for 100+ streams are going to cost!  Bring your data rates down, and things become quite sensible.

Randy, unlikely - for a good many reasons.

RustyAmps, I am looking forward to getting over the hum with the billing engine - it has been a massive job, and driving me crazy.  I'm looking forward to doing some more enjoyable stuff like making new things, and improving things.  Post up in the comments and suggestions thread!

GregDePasse, It has taken a long time - some personal issues have been working against me over the last few years. The free trial period is the grace period as the kinks are worked out.  Storage is not the only issue, perhaps the biggest is my time - I am not being paid for any of this at the moment...  Disk is cheap when compared to time.  Also SEG ain't no Dropcam... I don't think there is any comparison.  Its a data analytics platform, that is full of all sorts of crazy algorithms and other complexity which is hidden under the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks,

Sam @sam

 

 
Oct 18, 2015
Icon_missing_medium GregDePasse 10 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

My 2 cents:

1.  I am surprised at how long it's taken for monetization to be an option.  SEG is a great dashboard, and worth paying for.

2.  The lack of information to give users an idea of what to expect to pay is shocking.  The account tab should show the number of streams, refresh rate and an estimate of what a monthly "Premium" bill will look like.

3.  The duration to make a decision is extremely short notice, especially in light of item #2 above.

4.  If storage is the cost driver then figure out how to recoup those costs. (a couple ideas - pay per block of storage and make it FIFO or provide tools to prune storage (remove datapoints as they age out, for instance).

5.  Any thought to selling the software to users and thereby allow them host in their own environment?

6.  I can't see myself paying more than $100/year for this.

(And as a datapoint: I pay ~$50USD annually for 1 week of 24/7 HD video recording space on Dropcam.  I can't imagine the SEG network and storage requirements are anywhere near my dropcam usage).

I get it and I want to support Sam and this site, and was actually happy to initially hear that there was going to be a premium version.  I was shocked when I did some quick mental math and came up with some numbers.

Greg

 

 
Oct 15, 2015
Icon_missing_medium RustyAmps 9 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Thought I'd throw my couple of cents into the ring.

I use a Segmeter to monitor a pile of circuits, which it does very well and the things on the Dashboard make sense for power/energy use. However I also use the system to log a whole lot of other sensing - tank and aquifer levels, pump flow rates, soil moisture - and the stream data types and dashboard items often aren't a very good fit.

So while I fully support Sam's desire to ensure the whole thing is paying for itself, and operates on a sustainable and profitable basis for him, from my point of view, once I start paying I guess I'd like to see the opportunity for some enhancements based on user request. Obviously whether or not they get implemented depends on difficulty & appeal to other users, so not demanding an absolute right to whatever I want added or changed, rather an acceptance that feature requests will be accepted and given consideration.

Russell.

 
Oct 15, 2015
Teles2012img_5162_medium dakinecrib 19 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

re: Vitual Hosting suggestion from
virtualfreak  Oct 9, 2015 12:48am

This is my favorite option discussed so far.

Take it a step further and offer (for a fee) a fully configured server that runs in a VM/OS client that would be the responsibility of the purchaser...

 

There could still be a nominal admin/membership fee and associated baud charges, but an optional no storage fee.

 

- Randy

 
Oct 14, 2015
Samotage_300_medium samotage 555 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Hi All,

Sandeen and shoepuke - thank you for your considered and helpful comments.

I'm not a marketing guy... making software that works kinda conflicts with that skill set ;)

I have been thinking about the tiered plans, and now working to make that happen.

Will keep you all updated.

Thanks,

Sam @samotage

 

 
Oct 12, 2015
Tony1_medium tnakelsk 169 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

From over a 100 streams to 3. Using the Dashbox for the rest. Take a look at my new seg dash board.

 

https://smartenergygroups.com/groups/01000377

 
Oct 12, 2015
Icon_missing_medium shoepuke 13 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

I'll throw my $.02 in here.  I don't think anyone will take offense at anything I'm about to say, but if you're really thin skinned, read no further.

 

Sam, you're a super smart guy, but like most tech people you seem to have shortcomings in marketing.  You need to hit pricepoints that are easy for people to rationalize, and you need to make it easy for people to make decisions monetarily.  That will probably require a lot of work on your end to make it feasible since you didn't create/design SEG with that as a goal.  You should tier pricing and have some low level prices that people wouldn't second guess whether or not they'll sign up.  I don't know what the data and data cost looks like so I don't know how the tiers need to be structured, but I'd say a free tier with 3-4 $ tiers at increments like:

$5/mo. - few streams low retention (can handle ECM-1240?)

$10/mo. - more streams med retention (GEM?)

$20/mo. - most streams long retention (2x GEM?)

$30/mo. - unlimited (crazy shit?)

For me, anything thats @ $10 is a no brainer and I'd just start paying.  My wife interrogates me all the time about subscriptions on the Credit Card statement for $9.99 or 11.99 or $7.99... I just sign up cause heck... it's just the cost of lunch.

 

Also, to make it easier to the user, you should receive all bits, then dump to the bit bucket whatever they're not paying for, rather than the user have to configure the device (perhaps a daily "rollup" of data so if a user is paying for 5 min retention you average data in 5 min increments).  Data againg would be good also as others have mentioned.  Not sure if you're familiar, but something like how VMware vCenter lets you configure data collection/retention.  Screenshot inserted.

You could have intervals of say 10sec, 30sec, 1min, 3min, 5min, 10min, 30min, 60min, 4 hour, 8 hour, 24 hour, and save for X hours, days, weeks, months, years, and you wouldn't need a statistics level.  I definitely expect setting something like this up is not a trivial endeavor.  

The key to making something like this work is maximizing the number of people participating.  I just don't know if you can get enough participants to make is work in such a niche area.  Looks like there are ~1300 users registered if half are uploading data and you can get an average of $15/mo from those users you might be able to make a go of it, and I hope you do!

 

I think many of us here are more than willing to pay for the service you provide, the rest of you stop being so cheap!

 

--Craig

 
Oct 11, 2015
Samotage_300_medium samotage 555 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

I've been reading all this, and thinking about it.

I can't say there is much for me to get excited about.

It would be nice to think I could make a living out of SEG after such a long time, huge effort and personal sacrifice... perhaps it seems not.

Sam, @samotage

 

 
Oct 8, 2015
Tony1_medium tnakelsk 169 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Oh noes! You have exceeded your free streams limit!

I tried, but 3 streams free doesn't even cut it. Need to decide on my mains and solar, watts or power. Can't have both, that counts as 4 streams...  This sucks. So I think I'm going with watt's and keeping my voltage. From feast to famine. This really sucks...

Can someone explain to me what this mean "Create Dashboards" which under the free has a Delete_24big red X, does that mean we don't have a DASH board at all?

 

 

 
Oct 8, 2015
Create_profile_pic_medium Robos 2 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Really interesting to see this pan out, As Sam mentioned i have a very high data rate and 33 streams, including Solar and all the house cicuits 23 measuring current, 8 temp, hot water boiler temp, out house temp in case of frost etc, with another 20+ calculated streams ontop of those.

I even measure the earth leakage, as this has proved invaluable sussing out what trips the breakers. I think my long suffering wife finds these things a tad sad, but as an engineer, I find the data both interesting and addictive, log in every day, it has spotted alsorts, from the kids leaving the cabin heating on, to a broken tank stat which left the boiler trying to do just that, with the hot water.

Data wise i could of course remove at least 50% of the streams as they are fairly inactive, slow the data right down and compromise the history to make the account affordable. But this isn't why I do it, so what will probably happen is I will find another way if your costs are to restrictive. 

Sam, for what its worth, I think the best why to make this project sustainable, cost effective and provide a return for all your very hard work, is to charge an annual account fee and a data storage/size related charge, but offer a download and delete facility to keep this under control. Discouraging high data rates removes the ability to spot faults, such as earth leakage issues on appliances as they trip rcd's etc dumbing down the GEM's ability, so sort of defeats the point of all the effort.

After all this time and the huge amount of work Sam has put into this project, it would be unthinkable if it were to gradually disappear, I think there is still a huge amount of potential if the sums work, as energy and its use is coming ever more into focus, so the potential of a large company buying into this must be very real very soon.

Additionally, perhaps you could turn it into a Ltd company and sell shares to your supporters, with a dividend based on profits etc?

That could provide you with a chunk of capital and an income, assuming you own a fair few of the shares of course.

Robos/Mark

 

 
Oct 8, 2015
Tony1_medium tnakelsk 169 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

A 100 plus streams and the reasons why.

The quote below kind of sums it all up.

"All this helps make the invisible visible - to paint a picture of where to focus on energy efficiency initiatives helping to decide what to do next from insulation, changing lights, instaling solar or just turning stuff off."   

 
Oct 8, 2015
Icon_missing_medium dkresge 1 post

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Sam, you mentioned that some people have over 100 streams and wonder what they do with all that data.  I'll admit to being one of them and can at least shed some light on my own usage.  

Several years ago, it took me one whole costly California billing cycle to determine that an errant Playstation 3 was consuming ~120W when idle.   Not wanting to repeat, I decided to track power in the house we just moved into.  Completely electric, it has 3 panelboards comprising ~50(!) individual circuits.  

A GEM supports 32 circuits -- so it seemed reasonable to connect as many as possible and track them individually (otherwise I'm either wasting ports or losing resolution).  Since doing so would leave me with 18 untracked circuits, the logical answer was 2 GEMs.   I then added a pulse counting water meter and some temperature sensors -- because why not?

SEG served this data up beautifully as a dashboard for my house.  It showed me the outliers and gave me insight into the baseline.  It gave me faith in the power company's meter, and has started me down the path to rooftop PV solar (more data!).

But the fact is, most of the circuits are idle (no-load) 95-99% of the time; I still haven't found where the mystery breaker "freezer" goes.

I've recommended your site to others with an incredulous "I can't believe it's free".  You've stumbled upon one of those exceedingly rare opportunities on the internet for monetization -- and I will happily pay.  But honestly, I, like others, thought the pricing about 10x higher than the value it might some day afford me.  So in the interest of supporting your endeavour, I signed up for a premium membership, but I deleted most of my streams and started looking at openenergy CMS.  Probably not the reaction you were hoping for.

Lastly, in addition to all the great ideas here (aging and deletion), I commented on the idle circuits because I'm curious if you're actually storing every data point.  If so, and if storage is truly the largest cost, I'd also suggest an alternative strategy -- run length encoding of deltas for example.

Apologies for the wall of text.  I look forward to seeing how this thread progresses and wish you and SEG all the best.

Regards,

-D 

Stream Addict

 

 

 

 
Oct 8, 2015
Img_7693_medium sroof 16 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Sam - I'm going to have a hard time justifying any cost greater than US$100 / year.  And with a paid subscription service, I'd expect greater documentation and customer support than currently exists.

Since data storage costs are the cost driver, then consider pricing schemes that reduce the storage costs.  I use SEG primarily to monitor daily trends.  I could get by with just a few weeks of data stored at SEG.  I like the ideas already presented by others here:

  • Ability to set different retention periods by stream

or more simply,

  • Automatically delete data older than a specified time

A pricing scheme based on a total storage allotment, i.e., $xx per gigabyte per year, might be easiest overall, both for administrators and for users.

 

 

 
Oct 8, 2015
Icon_missing_medium jpellet 42 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

to me its sounds like figuring out someones invoice based on there streams... and streams they add and remove at any givin time is going to be a real PIA not to mention  people tracking their cost and complaing  (for lack of a better work) to SAM continueously....  

 Sam we love the product... please decide on resonable data rates and resonable simple pricing that you and us .. can live with.. ...  

 

$10/month...  set limits to data rate... (do not accept rates to high),  limit streams to 100,  keep data for 1yr??..

 

jp

 

 
Oct 8, 2015
Icon_missing_medium gdruce 16 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Hi Sam

Updates on my question and some more ideas for community discussion

Data Rate

Did some further browsing, and think I might have found a candidate file for updating the data rate.

I'm on a SegBox V2.0

/root/config_segbox.lua

Has a line under the General Controls section contains

data_rate = 45         -- seconds default, to be updated from the cloud

From the earlier notes in this discussion I take it that the updated from the Cloud is reserved for future expansion.  I note that this data rate, seems to match the reported data rate on my streams.

So if I push this value out, then I should be backing off my data rate right ?

Reducing my Data Foot Print - Different Rention Periods by Stream

The other item that might be of interest... or perhaps as a separate thread, is where I can indicate to drop data over time.  eg If I require only instantaneous energy (Kw), but would like to track power (KwH) over time, is there an easy way to flag different retention periods by stream ?

Deleting old data

On a similar thread would you look to support DELETE methods on the REST API  so I could delete my own data to reduce my data footprint, hinting that I would be interested in a pricing model that let me reduce my data retention costs if that is a key source of pain.

Data Offload

Similar to the deletion of old data, another option that might be useful for me is the ability to download and then delete old data.  That way I can take on my own data retention headaches, and leave you to focus on the current data.

Paying up front to reduce the Monthy Invoice cost

On the reducing the Admin cost, I would be open to some pay up front (eg annually) to avoid the monthly invoicing cost.  This seem common on other monitoring systems like alarms.

Hope you don't mind me throwing further ideas into the ring over time.  Keen not to loose the service, that means keeping you viable and with time available for the fun stuff.

Ta

Glenn

 
Oct 8, 2015
Icon_missing_medium gdruce 16 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Hi Sam,

SSH is no worries, but a path and filename where the data rates should be configured would be helpful, perhaps as a sticky post.

Ta

Glenn

 

 

 
Oct 8, 2015
Icon_missing_medium Frogmore 7 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Well the new pricing certainly seems better (at least compared to the prior one).  However, there is a big jump from free to the minimum charge with seemingly not much benefit.  For someone new coming in, three is a pretty significant limit and $5/month is a pretty big jump to get to the 4th stream.  I realize there is a cost for the work for billing so here are a few suggestions:

  1. Include 20-30 1min streams with the min $5/month charge so it at least seems like I am getting something for that minimum fee.
  2. Have people deposit (min $5 to $25) money and deduct usage from that.  This is what voip.ms does and it seems reasonable.
  3. If storage is the real cost driver, charge based on the used storage (and provide tools to easily delete old realtime data, even if it is not easy/possible to preserve the 30min and/or daily data
  4. Allow users to set a max limit on a stream at SEG with decent UI to make it easier to deal with things that do not provide great control

The free ride has been great, but I am sure the expectations for service/features will increase dramaically when people are actually paying for the service.  I know I was both disappointed and not surprised when I saw the notice.  Years ago, you said you would charge for it at some point.  In some respects it is surprising it has taken this long.  From a data visualization capability point of view this service is better that anything else I have seen out there.  But, some of the UI is difficult to use.  I have always wondered how/who paid for all the servers.  Now I have to figure out what I want to do.

I have a couple of questions. 

Do streams that are not active count, i.e. they would be $0.10/ month?

Is that $AUS or $US?

 

Thanks

 
Oct 8, 2015
Samotage_300_medium samotage 555 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

It's not really that feasable considering the growth in recent times.  The vast majority of data is relatively new.

It may be dropped at some point - if the service can continue!

Sam, @samotage

 
Oct 8, 2015
Samotage_300_medium samotage 555 posts

Topic: SEGmeter / Configuring Data Rates to work with the new pricing plans ?

Hey Sandeen,

The data rate is the average distance between data points over a period of time, irrespective of how often the API is hit.

Data storage is the killer.  Lost several months (of my time storage is cheap in comparison!) this year dealing with it...  

Sam, @samotage

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