When adopting new tools, it’s often easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices. Today, we’re going to look at two common tools for monetization and analytics – Moesif and Amberflo – and take a bit of a deep dive into the two feature sets.
What is Amberflo.io?
Amberflo.io is a usage metering and billing solution that utilizes a decoupled cloud-based metering system to provide affordable metering at scale. Amberflo prioritizes four domains of operation – Metering, Pricing and Billing, Price Modeling and Analytics, and Sales and Customer Success.
Amberflo specifically focuses on a type of pricing known as “Usage Based Pricing”, which utilizes specific measurements of usage in order to generate on-demand metered invoicing. It does this by ingesting events in the real-time through their cloud billing platform and passing it through to a processing and aggregation service, which then provides pricing attributes based upon feature definitions, price groups and volume scales, and specific pricing plans that may be in play for users.
This processing and aggregating service is then used to provide a dashboard of reports for companies on costs and revenues through the Amberflo Reveue Explorer, showing the cost of service, the revenue generated by the service, etc.
What is Moesif?
Moesif is a full-featured analytics and monetization platform based around the idea of observability – it is positioned around the concept of first building understanding before effectively monetizing, and as such, it offers a variety of systems and solutions to that end. Moesif takes a five stage growth towards effective analytics-based understanding and monetization, separating its offerings and features into these categories. By focusing on actual usage and usage patterns defined by customer insights, efficient usage based pricing model is possible for product led growth.
The first of these categories, Track, hosts Moesif’s analytics and event logging solutions. Features including API Product Analytics, API Logging, Body Analytics, and Billing Meters allow Moesif users to gain a firm understanding of what their system is actually doing in context with the overall whole, delivering high API usage understanding with actual product usage.
Next, Moesif provides features in a Monetize categories. These features, including Automatic Invoicing, Quotas & Governance, and a well-designed Developer Portal, allow users to monetize their systems based upon the understanding gained in Track to bill customers with confidence.
Third, Moesif takes these systems to the next level by offering a Retain track. This track includes real-time alerts and behavioral cohorts facilitated through Retention Analysis, Profile Dashboards, and more, allowing users to ensure customer success through identification, support, and retention planning.
The fourth category of functional features is an interesting one. Delight is the idea of providing functions such as Embedded Metrics and Quota Emails to provide for opportunities to engage and delight your customer base. This high-touch communication approach has proven time and time again to be quite effective in generating goodwill and improving user experience, so it’s great to see it in a feature set like this.
Finally, Guide offers a series of solutions in the Conversion Funnel category, including Funnel Analysis and Analytics, in order to guide users to specific behaviors and end states. This, in combination with the Delight functions noted above, allows users to guide the experience of the end user with customized customer success efforts.
Comparing Amberflo.io and Moesif
Now that we have introduced these systems, let’s compare them feature set to feature set.
Moesif provides a feature-rich solution to monetization. No-code API metering is easy to implement, allowing for complex metering across body fields, headers, and more, with more complex functionality enabled through scripted fields and formulas. Invoices can be automatically generated through a variety of systems both in-house and third-party, including Stripe, Chargebee, Recurly, Zuora, and more. This is all provided without any transaction fee and is guided via an effective open-source developer portal.
Amberflo leverages real-time ingestion and aggregation to deliver its monetization strategy, leveraging their decoupled cloud-based solution in order to allow for greater flexibility in billing strategy. Because Amberflo is much more focused on the idea of metering rather than analytics, some users may find the data provided by Amberflo to be somewhat more limited, resulting in more complex flows requiring some custom metering solutions.
Quotas and Governance
Moesif has a feature-rich set of solutions for ensuring proper quota definition and governance for policies to create a robust usage based business model. These systems can be automatically enforced, both through soft mechanisms that limit interaction and through outright API blocking. This enables monetization across freemium and trial based approaches.
Amberflo is very limited in this regard. While you can in theory use the metering system to achieve similar results as with Moesif, it requires very complex implementation and still does not provide blocking outside of the use of third-party systems.
Moesif considers analytics as core to monetization, and as such, the analytics system underlying the product is extremely strong. Analytics across product usage, customer insights, API logs and metrics, subscriptions, funnel analysis, and retention analysis goes a long way towards ensuring that users have ample data to make decisions and leverage monetization solutions.
Amberflo is in an interesting middle ground here. While Amberflo does provide very good analytics systems for very specific domains, it lacks some major tooling that Moesif provides. As such, Amberflo is a very good solution for a very small subset of needs, while Moesif provides a more complete solution for a wider range of scenarios.
Behavioral analysis is a big part of what Moesif highlights in their toolset, and this is a very sensible investment – by being able to track behaviors, email according to certain event triggers, and even lump users together in specific behavioral cohorts, additional metered usage and support strategies are unlocked, allowing users to identify potential strike points. This, combined with embedded metric systems, allowing Moesif users to really gain a full understanding of the system in which they are working and ensure real time customer success.
Amverflo again finds itself in a strange place – when you consider only the embedded metrics part of this, Amberflo and Moesif are neck-to-neck. In holistic consideration, though, Moesif again edges out the competition, providing an equivalent functionality with additional systems that help to make the most out of the existing system set.
API Monitoring, Dashboards, and Collaboration
A major strength in Moesif is the fact that it brings its real-time usage alerts, anomaly detections, usage instrumentation, and customer notification systems into a cohesive frontend through the use of dashboards and collaborative tooling. The monitoring systems are quite robust, but the provision of additional dashboards that are shareable and collaborative allow for a greater high-level view that is second to none.
Amberflo does provide effective real-time usage alerts, but the lack of effective anomaly detection hurts the product as a whole. This, in addition to the lack of dashboards and collaborative toolings, make this category perhaps the most important when considering the tools in comparison to one another.
Moesif provides a variety of integrations for API frameworks to get accelerate product adoption with relatively low friction. This leads to incredible scalability, especially when one considers the amount of control the solution as a whole provides to the end user. Additional features such as a robust data retention scheme, client-side encryption systems, and synchronization plugins allow for incredible flexibility.
While Amberflo does provide its own set of integrations and synchronization tools, it is nowhere near as robust as Moesif. This, paired with a lack of native client-side encryption, makes it a hard sell for more complex workflows dealing with personal information and critical security items.
Ultimately, Amberflo is a good, if limited, choice. Where it falters in comparison to Moesif is in the provision of additional tooling. Amberflo does some very specific things very well, but it is limited to just those features.
Moseif provides those features in spades while also providing additional tooling, unlocking a variety of new approaches, monetization strategies, and analytics views. For this reason, Amberflo can only be recommended in very specific use cases, and in the lion’s share of cases, Moesif is a better option if you believe you may benefit from even one of the bevvy of additional features on offer.