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Hoping someone on staff at Techsoup can help me understand this. But over the years I've noticed some things Techsoup offers are basically just market price. This came up most recently because of the email about the availability of Meraki devices. I got excited, followed the link only to see pricing close normal web pricing I see from my normal firewall vendors.
For comparison check Techsoup's pricing against https://www.corporatearmor.com/cisco-meraki-mx64/. MX64 w/ 1yrEnterprise licence $492 Techsoup vs $514. Etc. Same for renewal licenses: Techsoup 1y Enterprise $165 vs $172. So it's not just a matter of it being difficult to get hardware donations.
My question is does Techsoup bother offering products that are basically market price? Specifically, in the case of firewalls, it would be a worse deal for me to go through Techsoup at this pricing because good firewall vendors have knowledgeable Network Engineers that can help with configuration or picking the right product for your needs.
I find it very unhelpful to receive what amounts to just advertisement emails about products that are at market rates. There should be a significantly below market discount rate required to qualify to be carried and promoted by Techsoup. Something roughly 10% below price is barely on sale, let alone "Donated." Hardware is difficult, but for software like the Meraki license renewals, I think something like a minimum of 50% below market rate would be a good starting point to require from brands.
Beyond that what I'd love to see, instead of these market rate advertising campaigns Tech is running on behalf of a Vendor like Cisco Meraki, would be Techsoup staff actively searching for and recruiting vendors that are willing to actually donate their products to fill whatever gaps exist in Techsoup's offerings. The goal being that Techsoup would have a deeply discounted or donated offering for every core Tech need a nonprofit might have. That seems like a way we could collectively leverage and expand Techsoup's reach. If Techsoup had deeply discounted/donated products covering all the core areas, then it would the first stop nonprofits would make whenever they needed technology. If Techsoup were the first stop for all nonprofits, that kind of exposure would put a lot of pressure on other brands to also donate products when one of their competitors was already donating. Even if they only donated their entry level offering or 25 licenses etc., that would still benefit small nonprofits. Maybe it's much more difficult to get brands to donate their products through Techsoup, than I'm imagining. But from an outsider's perspective, it feels like a collective opportunity is being lost over the years and that Techoup is losing its relevance as automation is making it easier for companies to directly handle their donation programs.
Thank you for your post and for the opportunity to respond!
TechSoup strives to provide a wide range of technology to the sector at the best possible pricing. Over the years our donation programs have been able to do this very well, however things are changing with many of the companies that we work with. In some cases we are able to secure full (but always limited) donations, but more frequently these companies are offering “normal” reseller discounts - and that may be why you are seeing prices that are closer to what may be offered by others.
It is important to compare apples-to-apples. All Meraki products in our catalog include one year of technical support, and we offer discounted renewals. Below you will find a comparison of pricing offered through TechSoup compared with pricing offered through Corporate Armor.
Rest assured that TechSoup continues to be 100% focused on supporting the nonprofit sector, both in the US and globally, with the best available offers for technology. While in some cases our prices may be similar to those you find through other vendors, we remain committed to making TechSoup a valuable resource to the sector with free articles, webinars, and discounted services. Your continued support ensures that the entire breadth of TechSoup programs will benefit over a million NGOs worldwide.
Corporate Armor Price
Savings through TS
We hope that you will continue to support TechSoup and the nonprofit sector!
Yvonne Hargrove Associate Program Manager - Strategic Relationships/Partners
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