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Suggestion: Scaled IP.Board

• Jay •

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I've come up with an idea that would enable IPS to enjoy the popularity of free applications while benefiting from the income of a commercial app.

IP.Board Standard could be encoded and come with the basic feature set such as posting topics and PM's but very limited extras (like no quick reply or ability to post HTML, for example), but still have a hook system in place for people to create add-ons for the product.

IP.Board Professional could be an unencoded version that allows greater flexibility of modification as well as a package of IPS developed hooks to be available for adding into the community either altogether or piecemeal as the admin wishes so it can be tailored to each community's needs, such as the subscription manager and portal.

IP.Board Corporate could be similar to Professional, but with a wider range of IPS developed hooks/add-ons available that IP.Board Professional would not have access to, such as the ability to integrate with IP.Nexus and IP.Content.

Instead of having two licenses/support options for one product, each product would have it's own license (community support for IP.Board Standard, 2 day response time via ticket center for IP.Board Professional, and 1 day response time for IP.Board Corporate). Also, the license should be further set up to disallow third party hooks/add-ons for which an IPS developed solution is available.

This would allow people to get their foot in the door of forum administration enjoying the quality of an IP.Board while also showing them the several benefits of upgrading their license to a more fully-featured version, all without having to maintain separate core products to have to worry about developing separately. Maintaining three separate packages should not affect development aside from developing the official hook/add-on packages and encrypting the standard version.

By providing customers with more options on how to implement IP.Board, it would allow them to customize not only their community to their needs, but also their experience with IPS.

It would also quite likely provide a larger "conversion" rate from free board software to paid license than simply relying on appealing to MyBB, phpBB, SMF, and similar product users because those Standard license holders will already be accustomed to the company and simply want more of what they already have.

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