Tableau switches to subscription pricing for its BI products

The data visualization company will let all businesses pay as they go

Tableau is making a big change in the way it sells its business intelligence products. The company announced Thursday that all of its software will be available as a subscription, rather than a single license plus a service fee.

Businesses will need to pay $70 per user per month for a license of Tableau Desktop Professional, and $35 per user per month for Tableau Server. That compares to the company’s boxed software prices of $2000 for Desktop, plus a $400 annual renewal fee for software updates, and $800 for Server, plus a $200 annual fee.

It’s a move that will provide additional flexibility, scalability and risk mitigation for Tableau customers, according to Francois Ajenstat, the company’s chief product officer.

“Increasingly, customers are looking to license via subscriptions rather than make big, up-front software purchases, which is what has happened in the past,” he said.

The new pricing scheme will help Tableau compete in the increasingly crowded BI market, according to Rita Sallam, a research vice president on Gartner’s Business Analytics and Data Science team. As companies like Microsoft enter the market with competing products, Tableau is facing increased pressure, especially on price.

While Tableau customers surveyed for Gartner’s Magic Quadrant were happy overall with the BI company’s software, they were often frustrated with the company’s rigid pricing policies.

Tableau isn’t a stranger to offering subscription software. The company has already been offering subscription pricing to its large enterprise clients, and its Tableau Online cloud-hosted offering is sold on a subscription basis as well.

Those companies that want to buy boxed versions of Tableau’s software will be able to do so after the subscription transition.

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