TLDR: On Sep 8, alongside the launch of our Growth Plan, Particle will begin enforcing Data Operations limits for Free Plan customers
My name is Shaykat – I’m a Product Manager at Particle working on the launch of the new pricing model we announced at Spectra this Spring.
I wanted to provide advanced notice to everyone in our community that we have scheduled the go-live for Particle’s Growth Plan for next week on September 8. The Growth Plan is our self-administered service plan for startups and scaling businesses, providing them flexibility to choose the data operations they need on a monthly basis and access to benefits such as bulk purchasing through our wholesale store.
When we announced our new pricing model at Spectra, we intentionally delayed the launch of the new Growth Plan to give customers currently using more than our Free Plan limits (100K Data Operations, 100 devices) time to adjust to the new model.
During this transitional period, customers who used more than 100K Data Operations per month were presented with the following dialogue in the Console but allowed to continue consuming Data Operations.
On September 8, alongside the rollout of the Growth Plan, we will begin enforcing Data Operations caps for all Free Plan customers. Here’s how it will work:
All Free Plan users will receive notification emails when they approach 70% and 90% of their Data Operations limit
Users who exceed their Free Plan limits will be notified by email and provided with 3 business days (weekends are not counted) to upgrade to a paid usage plan
After 3 business days, customers who do not wish to upgrade will have their devices’ communications with the Particle Cloud paused until the beginning of the next monthly billing cycle. These devices can still boot up and run firmware but cannot send and receive messages that consume Data Operations.
Paused devices are automatically reactivated at the beginning of the next billing cycle. Note: you can see your billing cycle under the “Usage” header on your console billing page.
Our goal is to be as transparent and communicative about these changes as possible. These previous weeks, customers who have exceeded their Free Plan limits since Spectra have received multiple emails from us to alert them to this upcoming change. We understand that transitions like this can be difficult, so I want to encourage anyone who has questions or concerns to reach out to our support team so we can help.
I’m excited for the rollout of the Growth Plan next week and to helping our many customers grow their businesses with Particle!
Thank you for providing this information and early awareness! I did have a few comments I’d appreciate you considering.
I understand the need to pause communications to delinquent accounts. You somehow have to enforce it… that makes sense. However, if someone wasn’t paying attention to their email (as many of us get clutter in our email or some emails get auto filtered to spam) and their devices get paused it certainly will grab their attention when all devices seemingly stop communicating (a good thing). So is there a way to “increase” or level up their billing plan to re-activate/un pause all devices while still in the current billing cycle and NOT have to wait for the next billing cycle? It would be very frustrating as a customer to not notice this (do to email spam filters) until it’s too late. I read this as once it’s paused the only way to un pause is to wait until the next billing cycle. I hope this isn’t the case and I’m just mis understanding.
The next major consideration is we will need insights into what is causing each data operation by type, by device, by day. This need has been discussed several times in the past without any clear guidance on how to obtain this data. Seems like the only way to get insights is to submit a support ticket.
I’ve already tried to do my due diligence in reducing my own data operations. I’ve made a lot of progress in doing so. However, just like these other posts, I still need additional insight of total data operations by device, by type and even by day. With this additional data, I can adequately control data operations totals as well as forecast how many “blocks” of service I will need for the next billing period.
So second question: How will Particle be providing this additional data operations insights? Can the Fleet health include a summary trend of all data operations by Day? Can we somehow see insights into data operations by device (similar to the SIM Card data usage trend?). How can we trend this for earlier billing cycles? How can we trend this for current billing cycle by day? Seems like if the meter is on Data Operations, then you will need to provide more tools around this to keep customers happy.
Re: your first question, if the services on your devices get paused, apart from waiting for the next billing cycle, you can upgrade your device plan to the paid Growth plan (which will be live on Sep 8th) and this will reactivate your devices in the Sandbox immediately.
Re: insights, this is something we’re aware of and are thinking through. For now, as you note, the support ticket is the best bet, but the team is aware of this issue and its something we’re looking into. I have follow up questions on the key scenarios you specify - I’ll DM you.
Thanks for the reply @schaud. I figured that was the case for both but nice to confirm. Hoping you can provide some further insights soon… even if that starts as part of the Cloud Web API to retrieve the data and analyze ourselves would be a good starting point.
You say 100,000 data operations, I know that is what was stated at the time this was introduced after spectra, but I’m showing 1.4M in my free sandbox account. I just want to clarify so that I, and others, can adjust usage or at least prepare for additional charges if this is dropping back down.
Hey Mjones, thanks for reaching out!
To clarify, we will respect the Free plan limits on a per account basis. Unless there was an agreement that your limit would drop down, there should be no changes in your limit and the enforcement will be done based on each account limit!
Hope that helps,