At the Gartner Symposium ITEXpo conference, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, said something along the lines of, “If no one knows we have delivered on a capability, I need to turn up my marketing on it.” He was answering questions about their ventures into the Internet of Things, but for any marketer, it’s a worrying state of affairs if your audience doesn’t know what your company is working on, or what features you have delivered.
And that is one of the many good reasons why we spend so much time communicating with our customers at LANDESK before, during and after the release of any feature, road-map plan, or future strategy.
Stop, Collaborate and Listen
…to quote a rather famous song (by… – anyone, anyone know?)
I mentioned in my last blog that the Product Management team had recently returned from a tour of Europe, speaking to our customers that act as a Product Advisory Council (PAC). This is just one of the many ways we try to communicate and gain feedback from those that have an interest in our solutions.
While simultaneously providing valuable feedback on our solutions, our customers are a fantastic source of information about the different and changing challenges organizations are facing. They provide feedback on the extent to which trends are under consideration, or already hitting our customers. There are also some marked differences between what we hear in Europe and what we hear in the USA, so it’s important that we can gain that broad perspective. For example, the USA team discovered that one third, or more, European attendees still had Windows XP in their environments, in some instances on thousands of devices. This is a lot higher than we are seeing in other parts of the world.
Build it and They Will Come
From an IT service management perspective, as we expected, our customers believe that ITIL is still relevant in their world and that Self Service is valued. However, the caveat to this was that they believed Self Service needs to be promoted in order to ensure adoption. This is something we hear time and again, that the “build it and they will come” approach just does not work when you are dealing with busy end-users that have their own business priorities. So much so that I wrote a paper on how to make Self Service a success recently.
One BYOD Size Does Not Fit All
What was clear was that the majority of our PAC customers have a BYOD policy, or are in the throes of implementing one. But they don’t operate on a one-size-fits-all. The policy ranges from complete lock down in sensitive or government controlled environments, to embracing BYOD and providing guest access in the case of the universities we spoke to, who have to deal with student devices.
Blackberry, yes you heard right, Blackberry is still very much alive and kicking in European organizations and is the business productivity tool of choice no less. We’re hearing more and more about wearables in the news from Google Glass to Apple Watches – what did our customers make of it? Well, the majority aren’t yet able to get to grips with this newest challenge to their environment. Those that did were classing wearables as part of their BYOD policy. Anyone out there have any other thoughts on this – by all means add a comment.
Cloud based software is on everyone’s mind, although security is a key consideration. Our PAC customers were either using, moving or thinking about using Office 365. With regard to other cloud solutions, the feedback loud and clear was that they wouldn’t consider a cloud solution that did not have an on-premise option as well.
We talked about so many topics, from asset management to MAC management, to some focused time with one of our UX team that I could write for several more paragraphs, but I won’t. I just wanted to give you a flavour of how we ensure that we bring real world thinking into our products and communicate our solutions and capabilities back out – Microsoft take note.