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Airframe CRM adopts utility pricing

Fees for Airframe's on-demand applications are based on the frequency with which subscribers use the software.

Airframe Business Software, a maker of on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, announced Wednesday that it has begun offering its products under a plan that allows companies to pay for the tools based on the frequency with which they use the software. Under the program, companies can subscribe to the applications for $39 a month and be billed for the amount of time they utilize the software.

The Airframe pricing program is one of the more progressive examples of so-called "utility computing" strategy to surface to date. While hosted provider Salesforce.com established the market for software services paid for under a subscription model, the Airframe approach is closely aligned with the utility concept, where companies use and pay for IT assets on an as-needed basis. Airframe's tools, which promise to help automate customer-relationship, human resources, IT and asset-management operations, are aimed squarely at small businesses.