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Beware the Hidden Costs of Free BPM Software

Team Kissflow

Updated on 4 Apr 2024 3 min read

We all love free products, especially if they can help us reduce our business costs. There are many companies that claim to offer free bpm software online, but are they completely and absolutely free with no hidden costs? A completely free business process management software is just too good to be true.

Even if you start using a ‘free’ bpm software for your business, you need to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO). While the tool may be free in itself, there may be other costs associated with it like maintenance, training, integration, or added costs to get access to advanced features.

Free BPM tools vs. Kissflow BPM

Freemium BPM Tools Kissflow BPM
Restricted access and basic functionalities Has no access restrictions
Many only let you create processes, but not run them Can create, optimize, run, measure, and analyze business processes
No dedicated support Offers 24/5 support, on call and chat
Steep learning curve User-friendly and easy to interpret
Can only be used by process experts Can be used by even business users
True pricing is hidden Pricing information is clearly listed

The ideal BPM software includes:

  • software
  • services
  • support and maintenance

The free BPM software that you might be planning to use, may not have all the services you require or dedicated support. You need to think about all the three factors in order to understand how much the free business process management software will really cost you.

How the freemium model seduces customers

Most BPM tools that claim to be ‘free’ actually work on a freemium model, where you get access to a restricted version of the tool a with few basic features for free and you need to pay a monthly or annual fee if you want to access the complete version with more advanced features.

Since you never have to worry about a trial period getting over in a few days, it’s easy to assume that you wouldn’t ever have to upgrade the free BPM software and you would essentially get the tool for free. As a result, you may be tempted to start using a tool which may not have all the capabilities that you actually need.

Not to mention, you might not even consider the pricing of the complete version of the tool because you may have already convinced yourself that you would never have to pay for it.

For instance, Bizagi is a free BPM software that works on the freemium model. While you can create and optimize business processes through it, you can only run those processes by paying for the tool. What’s even more skeptical, is the fact that you won’t find the actual pricing of the tool anywhere on the website. You have to fill up an entire contact form, share your requirements, and only then will be company share their pricing with you.

There are a lot of BPM software that may be more economical than Bizagi. But since you didn’t consider the pricing when you started using it because it claimed to be free, you are now stuck in a vicious circle.

When upgrading seems like an easier choice than shopping around

There is usually a lot of disparity between the premium versions of the freemium tools and their non-freemium counterparts. The initial sign up of a freemium tool may be free, but once you have reached its limits, and you need to upgrade to a paid plan.

The price you pay per month or year for the seemingly free BPM software may be a lot more than what you would have to pay for another BPM tool for the same features and capabilities that doesn’t claim to be free by hiding its costs.

While that is true for most freemium tools available, most people still end up paying a higher price for freemium products than actually opting for a paid product from the start. That is because of one simple reason–people are afraid of change.

During the ‘free’ period, the team gets comfortable with the tool. They have already gone past the learning curve and managed to get all the team members to start using the tool seamlessly. With their data already on the freemium tool, it would be a real pain to move to a completely different tool. That is how many business owners end up paying a high price for tools that they thought would be completely free.

Lack of dedicated support

Most free BPM software don’t just offer limited features, but they also don’t have any dedicated support which can prove to be immensely problematic for businesses. If a freemium tool goes down or there is an issue you are facing, it could take days to resolve it.

For instance, Bonisoft is an open-source free business process management software, but you only get community-led support through its free version. You can pay for its subscription edition to get dedicated support, but just like Bizagi, it also has hidden costs. You have to fill up a large contact form, just to get quotes for the software.

The solution–BPM software with clear and visible pricing

When you are running a business, you don’t want to use a BPM software with limited features that restricts you and ends up putting a dent on your financial budget later. Kissflow is a business process management software that offers clear and visible pricing with no confusing pricing tiers. You get access to all the required BPM features with a simple and reasonable price.

Try Kissflow Process today. We don’t try to hide our price or our features.