Looks like bug trackers may be the next price war battlefield. Axosoft just cut the price of its bug tracking software, which had been $70 per year, to $1 per year for the entire organization. Not a ton of margin there, but it’s an eyebrow-raising ploy for the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company.
Axosoft’s bug tracker competes with Atlassian’s Jira, which starts at $10 for 10 users per month, but other contenders include Fog Creek Software’s FogBugz ($25 per user per month), JetBrains’ YouTrack ($1,500 per year for a 50-person team), Pivotal Tracker ($2,000 per year for a 50-person team) and BugHerd (about $2,100 per year for a team of 50.) If you do the math, the latter three products are pretty darned inexpensive per user but still require a relatively big outlay for the whole team.
One Jira user was intrigued but not sold. “I’m not sure the world needs another ticketing system,” said Michael Cizmar, president of MC+A, a Chicago-based development shop specializing in portals and search. “Jira does start to ramp up [in cost] after 10 people, but do costs matter that much? Sounds like this product would compete more against open-source than Jira. If it’s got feature parity you might consider it, but then again, you want the vendor to make some money so it can support the product.”
Axosoft does offer other products for scrum developers. (Scrum is an agile software development methodology that enables developers to quickly prioritize, incorporate and test new features in a product.) Of course, offering one key tool (say, a bug tracker) at a rock-bottom price is a way to get developers to look at the entire portfolio, which includes OnTime management software for scrum teams in both on-premises and hosted versions. The latter starts at $25 per user per month.
Oh and if you’re not clear on scrum development, the company also launched ScrumHub.com, an educational site about the technique.