Board portal software pricing often becomes a make or break factor in the board members’ strive toward digitization. This guide will help you make an informed and effective board portal choice by exploring the most common price practices in the modern board management software market.

Main board portal pricing comparison factors

All board portals are priced differently based on their developer’s specifics and approaches. However, there are several distinct aspects that ultimately determine the price formation system and allow you to better analyze your potential software investment. 

Deployment

There are several ways for a software solution to reach users. In the case of board portals, the two typical deployment methods include:

  • Cloud-based solution or SaaS
  • Hosted via remote data centers

Hosted board portals are generally more expensive due to the costs associated with hardware maintenance and operation.

Subscription model

A board portal can charge based on pre-set package plans, the number of users, storage volume, features sophistication, or custom request. Knowing how each board software company you consider calculates their costs will allow you to allocate the appropriate budget and estimate the upcoming spending based on your organization requirements.

Pricing plans variety

The types of boards providers target are essential to effective board portal price comparison. If the board meeting management platform is suitable to cater to small nonprofit organizations as well as large corporate companies, it will offer more versatile and flexible cost formation solutions.

Free trial availability and duration

Some board portal software vendors allow board members and other user groups to test the platform out during a charge-free trial period. The trial has to be at least two weeks long for you to get a clear vision of how you will approach board management, improve governance, and manage multiple boards using the software. 

Additionally, ensure that the free trial does not obligate you to settle with any particular provider and only works as a familiarization tool.

Advanced features

You can only onboard a board portal vendor after learning about all the features they offer. This includes basic tools such as calendars to schedule board meetings and store documentation, as well as more compound features for enhancing corporate governance, overseeing committees, or establishing external money flows.

The amount and level of board software features proportionally reflect on the product’s price. Therefore, you should be ready to pay more when choosing to work with more elaborate toolsets.

Customization

A board meeting platform can match the user company’s brand colors, typical workflows, and internal boards’ organization. But an option to adjust or re-structure your digital board management space requires sophisticated technology and additional human resources, resulting in a higher cost.

Free trial benefits

A free board portal trial is an excellent opportunity to access the software’s tools, understand the price formation factors, and even host several mock-up meetings to experiment with the organization approaches. And from a business perspective, free trials allow you to evaluate:

  • Board software capabilities

Successful remote board meetings and sufficient board management are only possible in a well-equipped environment. During the trial, spot and test all the necessary board software decision-management features, such as:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Multiple boards centralization
  • Multi-level safekeeping of the company data
  • Granular access configuration
  • Fast and straightforward solutions to onboard members
  • Provider’s professionalism

Over the course of the trial, you will get to interact with the board management software vendor’s team. This will give you a chance to notice if they are paying attention to your request, have a good understanding of your market, and can explain the board portal tools and system arrangements to your users. 

At the same time, the board directors will assess if the board management software support will be sufficient for them to pursue better governance and faster decision-making processes.

  • Directors’ adaptation

A trial will also let you see how much training all board members require to implement the new board software technology successfully. Consider all user categories, including corporate secretaries, administrators, and directors. 

Note that users with higher education don’t always adapt faster, which means you will have to assess every member’s readiness individually.

Board portal pricing comparison with demos and training

Most board portal companies provide free demonstrations to showcase their product’s functionality and governance capabilities. Many of them also offer tailored portal training to help your team adapt faster. Here is how these processes will influence the board portal price comparison.

Free demonstration

Free demos are typically facilitated by the support or sales teams to highlight the value of their board management solution. A demo is the best time to ask questions, like:

  • How do I make sure that board directors can access the right business documents?
  • What are the ways to simultaneously coordinate meetings for several boards and committees?
  • How can I search for information and tools within the platform?
  • What are the advantages of your board portal compared to the rest of the market today and in the near future?
  • How do I onboard and offboard users?

The best comparison technique in terms of demonstrations is to request them from several shortlisted providers. This way, you will better understand which practices are a given within the industry and which are the provider’s unique development. Based on that, you will get a better perception of vendors’ pricing approaches and your ultimate ROI.

Team training 

The quality and quantity of board management software training translate into the value you will be getting alongside the actual technology. Regardless of your company’s size, training can be quite time-consuming as the knowledge levels and learning styles of each board member vary.

A reputable provider’s support team will contribute substantial resources to explain all the features of their meeting management solution. On top of that, the training agent will teach directors to manage the system effectively and prevent oversights in their governance. Keep in mind that these contributions often influence the price.

Confusing board portal pricing and hidden costs

Board portals offer limitless possibilities to both directors and administrators. But untransparent price formation policies and hidden fees visibly complicate the comparison process and sometimes make members reconsider switching to board management software altogether.

Complex pricing models

Board management is both a versatile and continuously evolving process. Directors might make unplanned decisions about purchasing onboard tools, change companies under their management, receive large document packages, and more. 

If a board portal doesn’t offer a transparent pricing model, various hidden costs can arise along the way. The optimal solution is a flat-fee plan with unlimited users, a vast data allowance, and a pre-defined feature set.

Add-ons

Board directors’ software that follows per-user or per-feature pricing models often presents every instrument as a separately-charged, stand-alone product. This means the price will grow with the number of added boards, contributed resources, data protection enforcements, and extra training sessions.

When purchasing a board software, discuss all possible cost-affecting factors with the provider before investing any money. And only onboard a board portal that agrees with your budgeting approach. 

Post facto billing 

In rare cases, providers will ask you to pay once your board portal software cycle is over. That means that the price will be based on the features you used within the platform, including data storage volume and any integrations.

As it is exceptionally challenging for any company to predict an entire workflow, such a billing method is the least preferable.

Aligning your needs with software features during board portal pricing comparison

The final stage of the board portal price comparison and software solution selection is ensuring your company will have all its needs and expectations met. To evaluate how effective any board portal will be in facilitating your meetings, assess the following: 

  • Board’s characteristics

Board meetings protocols, board management, and governance practices heavily depend on your company’s size and market of operation. Ultimately, you aim to get a centralized, secure platform with all the key features to manage directors, committee members, and processes specific to your organization.  

  • Length of usage

Board management software can be utilized for both single-time meeting management and to streamline processes over long-term periods. A board portal built for ongoing governance will typically cost less money in the long run.

  • Technical requirements 

Consult with your board administrators on the key considerations for the technical aspect of your board management software. Namely:

  • Tools and resources they will require to onboard the board portal
  • Level of support and training they expect from the provider
  • Technology and devices that you currently have and their ability to run the board software
  • Necessary instruments 

As you go over many board portals to find the best one, you will come across numerous features and approaches for remote board management. Your task is to outline the ones that will be useful in your particular case. 

Apart from the fundamentals, such as a user-friendly interface and board meetings’ centralization, look for tools that enable you to:

  • Streamline scheduling meetings via calendar synchronization
  • Manage user access privileges based on directors’ roles and duties
  • Organize, edit, and sign documents during a board meeting
  • Search for the necessary features and data
  • Onboard new members individually or by group
  • Comply with your industry’s security standards

How important is board software pricing?

While it is critical to consider your budget and understand board portal pricing mechanisms, the cost itself should not be the only factor in the board management software selection process. Apart from the price, account for the following:

Value board portal brings to every stage of the meeting

Consider how the portal will assist you before, during, and after the meetings. This includes anything from preparing board books and agendas to following up with the directors’ progress on their duties afterward.

Here are a few examples of board software tools that come in handy at different stages of the meeting:

  • Before: Automated reminders, agenda builders, built-in document redaction. 
  • During: Integrated video conferencing, voting, Q&A.
  • After: Minutes generator, centralized task manager, secure file exchange. 

Security features

Evaluate the provider’s approach to data security from both physical and software aspects. 

Physical security is guaranteed through strategically located, well-maintained data centers. Some board portal vendors run their own data processing facilities, while others employ third-party assistance from cloud computing businesses such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services. The facilities have to undergo independent certification according to data handling standards like ISO 27001, SOC 2, HIPAA, and others. 

And board portal software security is a framework of features, protocols, and configurations that facilitate data safekeeping. These security features include:

  • Multiple-factor authentication
  • 256-bit AES keys encryption
  • Dynamic file watermarking
  • Remote access revocation. 

Provider’s characteristics

Get to know the portal vendor company to assess their market positioning, professionalism, and growth. Consider the factors such as:

  • Years of operation
  • Primary target markets
  • Mergers and acquisitions in the company’s history
  • Signature innovations 
  • Customer support channels, languages, and availability

If you cannot find the necessary details online, reach out to the provider with questions that will help you make a more informed decision. Note that prompt and honest responses typically point out high-level expertise and customer orientation.   

Users’ feedback 

Finally, explore the board management software’s user feedback across several independent platforms such as Capterra or GetApp. Look for testimonials that have been posted by verified users within the last two years. Rule out the comments that appear vague or suspiciously positive. 

Additionally, pay attention to the provider’s interactions with the reviewers and the proof of any developments prompted by the feedback. The board management tool team’s ability to hear and address your issues is the foundation for successful cooperation.