Changes to Tableau and DocuSign Leave Some Customers Blind to Price Positioning

By Stuart Hunt

Director of Client Services, NPI

October 15, 2020

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Over the years, NPI has observed countless price structure changes to enterprise software, with changes to Tableau and DocuSign being no exception. With Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau in 2019 and DocuSign’s growing market for the digitization of signing documents, both software publishers have evolved their product offerings, pricing, and concessionary thresholds – leaving customers blind to price positioning for both initial purchases and renewals.


Tableau is in the midst of a full-court push to rid their customer base of all perpetual licenses and maintenance agreements since the introduction of the role-based subscription model in 2018. Tableau historically protected list prices from customer view, but they now publish list prices for the Creator, Explorer, and Viewer subscription roles on their website. (This trend is growing and follows the Atlassian model where list price information is publicly available.)

In exchange for perpetual licenses, Tableau is incentivizing clients with maintenance/perpetual license credits in exchange for role-based subscription licenses. The migration to the subscription model will continue to be a priority for the vendor, and there are deals to be had. But once customers make the move, negotiation leverage is tougher to come by.


DocuSign continues to be creative in packaging and selling products to customers in countless ways.   Whether it is by the Seat with an Envelope allowance, by the individual Envelope, or a Platform with Envelopes and modules driven by custom pricing, each transaction continues to be volume-dependent.

With each product carrying unique product editions and corresponding list prices, a wide range of price points can result in smaller customers paying a price similar to that for much larger organizations. Furthermore, varying levels of support with negotiable percentages add to the inconsistency of DocuSign pricing. DocuSign’s confidence in their product demand is apparent in recent purchases.

In 2020, NPI has analyzed a higher volume of Tableau and DocuSign purchases across our client portfolio; it’s clear that the demand for, and reliance on, Tableau and DocuSign is unwavering. Pricing and commercial terms for purchases are inconsistent. With each vendor making strides in their respective categories, right-sizing usage and performing price benchmark analysis on all purchases and renewals is very important for cost optimization.