We build great technology companies
NL-3721 AK Bilthoven
Send an email
If your company has already paying customers, we expect the following key items to be addressed in the business plan.
|Customer Problem: who has the problem and how you will solve it?||Market: how big is the market and what is the competitive landscape?|
|Product and/or service: what is the status and differentation of technology solution?||Business model: what is the monetization strategy and what is your 3 years financial forecast?|
|Finance: how much capital is needed and how the proceeds will be used?||Team: what is the background and qualifications?|
We will give you a clear view of the main obstacles for growing your business based on only 4 questions:
In case your answers on the first two questions have a score of 100%, your company is meeting its monthly targets the last 18-months consecutive and finaly your company is able to grow three times faster with the current cash flow, we are not able to add much value.
In all other cases, there needs to be work done on your strategy (question 1), on your team (question 2) on your execution (question 3). In those cases, there is also an additional capital need.
Please click for a personal discussion with one of the partners of Value Creation Capital.
In addition, Value Creation Capital and Spark Entrepreneurs Education offer jointly an acceleration program of 12 months. Ambitious tech companies (scale-ups) are supported hands-on in reaching their growth targets. Click for more information on the Program.
You may need to meter the use of applications or services in order to plan future requirements; to gain an understanding of how they are used; or to bill users, organization departments, or customers. This is a common requirement, particularly in large corporations and for independent software vendors and service providers.
Why is Metering Important?
Metering is the process of measuring and recording the usage of an entire application, individual parts of an application, or specific services and resources. For example, you may want to record the time a user or customer spends using an application or service, the number of queries against a database, the number of times a specific service is accessed, the processing time for requests, and more. You might also want to measure the amount of storage used by each user or customer, or the total size of data transfers.
It is also useful to meter specific scenarios or use cases, such as selecting a product and placing an order or performing a complex business operation. This requires end-to-end mapping of the operation so that all metered components of it can be combined to give an overall metric that provides useful business information.
Many cloud hosting environments, including Microsoft Azure, do not expose metering information other than the standard billing details accessible to the account owner. It may seem easy to use this billing information to gauge the usage of features, but the details are not broken down in a way that allows you to identify individual applications (or users).
If you need to implement metering for your applications and services, you must create custom mechanisms to achieve this. Typically the instrumentation you add to your applications can provide much of the base data you require. For example, you can use performance counters to measure the average and peak values for the number of a specific operation performed, the volume of data moved in or out of the application, or the average time a specific processes takes to execute. See Instrumentation and Telemetry Guidance elsewhere in this guide for more information.
Scenarios for Metering
When designing metering systems you must consider not only why you want to implement metering, but also the scenario in which it will operate. The appropriate choices for the metering methods, and the items that are metered, differ based on factors such as business requirements, application type, and the customer or user base. The following sections include some examples.
Metering for Forward Planning
Metering can provide valuable information about the way that an application is used, and can identify trends that indicate future requirements such as storage and compute resources. This information is also useful for deciding which features of an application are the most popular, as well as identifying relationships between features and resource usage. For example, metering may indicate that only a very small percentage of users take advantage of one feature of an application, but another feature is very popular and the load at peak periods is affecting response times.
Metering can also provide trend data, such as the average rate of growth of storage used by the application and the cost of this storage per user. This may be useful in directing development effort towards improving storage methods, or moving to a different type of store that can provide additional capacity or reduce storage costs.
Metering for Internal Business Use
When planning for metering business use in a large organization, the primary requirement is to be able to identify each item at the required level of granularity. The data you log for each function can include the current user ID or name or a department name, depending on the purpose of the metering. For example, in an organization that needs to bill individual departments for the use of an application, the metering granularity needs only be at department level. However, if at some point you need to identify which user in a department is using specific features, the logs must also include the user ID or name.
Consider using a structured or semantic logging approach so that the data from the log entry can be easily extracted (see the Instrumentation and Telemetry Guidance for more information). It may also be possible to use data from the built-in infrastructure logs. For example, the IIS request log entries may contain a user ID in the query string.
Metering for Software as a Service (SaaS) Vendors
If the application is designed to serve different customers, such as a multi-tenant application, you may want to implement metering both for forward planning, such as partitioning the tenants and data, and in order to bill customers for the features and services they actually use—especially if the users consume expensive resources. For example, you may want to bill customers for resources such as processing time, storage, or bandwidth. However, it is important to understand that there is a difference between how the platform is metered and billed, and how a SaaS vendor typically bills a user.
Many vendors immediately think that they should directly pass on all the costs to customers. However, detailed usage can be difficult to measure in a multi-tenant solution that shares many resources. Customers are likely to find the billing model difficult to understand, and it makes it hard for them to predict their costs. This approach may also fail to accurately match all vendor costs, such as development and maintenance costs, with income from customers. Instead, it is worth considering alternative approaches:
Considerations for Metering
When planning to implement metering in your application, consider the following points:
Azure billing is on a per-subscription basis. If you need to precisely bill a small set of users or customers for their actual usage, consider deploying the application into separate subscriptions; one for each user or customer where you need accurate billing totals. Alternatively, locate just the services you need to accurately bill, such as Azure SQL Database or Azure storage, in separate subscriptions and share the other services such as compute with all users. Note that using separate subscriptions for applications will prevent you from taking advantage of cost savings through better utilization of shared services, as well as considerably adding to the cost and complexity of maintaining and updating multiple deployments.
The following examples explore some of the ways that service metering may be relevant in different scenarios: