Pricing is beyond bad
I've said this before, and my idea was rejected because it was considered "an edge case". It seems though that the reviewers didn't bother to read my entire post.
In my old post (https://feedback.azure.com/forums/909172-azure-maps/suggestions/36265189-pricing-is-really-bad), I gave an example of how the service becomes ridiculously more expensive just by changing one variable (QPS). However, the reviewer focused only on that example and didn't bother about the rest.
Now, here I am again facing the same problem, now with satellite images.
We need to use satellite images in one of our maps. However, just because of that, our cost increases AT LEAST TEN fold. It's simply absurd.
Look at the description for the S1 tier:
"For customers who need support for large-scale enterprise, mission critical applications, have high volumes of concurrent users, and/or require advanced geospatial serivces."
How does satellite imagery fits in any of those cases?! Satellite imagery is as basic as maps services. With Google Maps, I can have way better satellite imagery for free!!
Let's just read this again: Azure Satellite has way, way worse image quality than Google Satellite... and it's more expensive! (And Google has a free tier!!)
So, look, I don't know, maybe Azure Maps is picking up thousands of new customers every day and I'm not aware. But from my perspective, your offering is several miles behind Google's. They don't even compare.
There are two main reasons I'm trying to switch: 1) Google's multiple restrictions on what services you can use with theirs (the inability to use OpenLayers, for example); and 2) I already use Azure for lots of other services.
However, this pricing is just so, so bad that I can't even begin to describe. There is no way I can defend Azure Maps inside my company without sounding - even to myself - like a lunatic.
@rbrundritt Yea, I know higher QPS has a higher cost. And that was exactly my point in the original suggestion (and now again): I don't really _know_ where exactly that 10x increase in price is coming from. Only you do. And you're not transparent about it. So that's why I used QPS as an example.
> S0 [...] is meant more so for development and smaller apps
Oh, nice to see that you acknowledge that, because that's exactly what S0 feels like: a "development/testing" tier. The problem is there's only two pricing tiers: "development/testing" and "big enterprise".
So, what I proposed in that original suggestion is that you introduce a new price tier where the costlier thing (let's say it's QPS) is even costlier than S1 (or maybe it's not even included) but other things are cheaper. Or perhaps better yet: make a complex pricing table like Google's.
As I've said in my previous comment, you are bundling a lot of things under the "S1" umbrella. The issue is that because of that all of a sudden I have to pay _a lot_ just for satellite images, even though I won't use 200 QPS or whatever. If you haven't read my previous comment in this very same suggestion, please do.
> Satellite imagery is not cheap
I know that. However, you offering is still more expensive than Google's (and has no free tier - not that I think it necessarily must have, even though it would be good if it did; I'm merely pointing out how big the disparity is here). You yourself do point that out in the end of your comment, so I don't know what's your point here? Maybe you think that I think it's cheap? I've never asked for it to be cheap. I'm simply asking you to make a _competitive_ offering. That's very different.
> there's a lot going behind the scenes that isn't public yet
Well, that... ahm... may be nice to hear, but doesn't really help here?? The point still stands - pricing is not good - and image quality remains low. I will be watching any new development nonetheless.
> the way Azure Maps pricing works is that customers pay for what they actually use
I find that _really_ hard to believe. In fact, as I have said before, I think it's exactly the opposite. I feel like the system wants some customers (like my company) to pay _more_ than what they use so that they help subsidize the cost of others who use more expensive features. If that's not the case, then maybe you should put a little more effort into explaining how your pricing works.
> Its also worth noting that majority of user s who need S1 generate very high usage 100M+ transactions on average and are usually already large Microsoft customers and get significant volume license discounts.
Is Azure Maps made _for_ these large Microsoft customers? If so, I think you forgot to make that clear with your marketing, because currently I'm seeing it being offered as an alternative for Google Maps. If not, then this is:
1) At best, another useless point to make. I'm a customer. And I see another service with better pricing. I'm simply voicing my opinion. :)
2) At worst, more evidence of what I said before: there's no price tier for small and middle-size companies.
> The Azure Maps platform is growing fast and there is a lot more coming.
That's nice to hear and that's why I'm offering feedback. I may be wrong but I think you will encounter _a lot_ of resistance if you keep the pricing like it is right now. And I feel like you will end up changing it. I only wish this could be done sooner so that I could make the switch from Google.
I remember your original feedback item and do recall the scenario being an edge case that rarely comes up. I believe you were generating just over the free limit of transactions in S0, but at a QPS rate that required S1. However your estimates didn't account for caching of tiles which happens automatically and drastically reduces QPS and transactions.
Its also worth noting that the S0 pricing is significantly cheaper than other platforms and is meant more so for development and smaller apps. S1 is designed for enterprise scenarios that require higher QPS levels (Supporting higher QPS has a higher infrastructure cost). Even the S1 pricing often results in lower costs compared to other platforms. Satellite imagery is not cheap and the way Azure Maps pricing works is that customers pay for what they actually use and the cost associated with providing such feature. Note that you can use both S0 and S1 keys in your apps. I've seen many who will use S0 for things like geocoding and routing, and then S1 for their satellite map tile needs.
In terms of imagery quality and pricing, there's a lot going behind the scenes that isn't public yet that will help make more sense as to why things are as they are. Stay tuned for updates later this year. Its also worth noting that majority of user s who need S1 generate very high usage 100M+ transactions on average and are usually already large Microsoft customers and get significant volume license discounts.
In terms of Google Maps features, Azure Maps has pretty good coverage of these and in many cases goes much further (i.e. advance routing for trucks, electric vehicles and lots of other things). The satellite imagery pricing is one of the main sticking points for some as you point out and there are things in the works to address this. The Azure Maps platform is growing fast and there is a lot more coming.
I think that by trying to make your pricing simpler, you've made it worse.
What you did is just put an entire bowl of different needs under the "Enterprise" umbrella: "Well, you're a big enterprise, so surely you must need more QPS and Hybrid Aerial Imagery and Satellite Imagery and Advanced Routing and Batch Geocoding and all this stuff! There you go!". Well, guess what, not every big enterprise is trying to be the next Google. Some need more QPS, some need Batch Geocoding, some need Hybrid Aerial Imagery, some need a combination of those. And the opposite is true as well: I need Satellite Imagery and I'm pretty sure I don't work for a big enterprise.
Google's complex pricing model is way better. I only pay for what I use. If I only use Satellite Imagery, I only pay for that _and_ for how much I use.
In contrast, in your model, by paying S1 to use Satellite imagery, what I'm doing in actuality is sponsoring other users which _do_ use other things as higher QPS and Geofencing and Matrix Routing. They use, I pay.
Please read the comments in that original post (https://feedback.azure.com/forums/909172-azure-maps/suggestions/36265189-pricing-is-really-bad)) where I give more details on my rationale.