I have been a product manager for over 12 years. One of the reasons I like being a product manager is that I enjoy collaborating with customers, partners, architects and developers on new features. I also have the privilege of driving, cajoling and herding development projects along to ultimate product release, when I get to see customers benefit from features that make their business run better. Since development resources (unfortunately) aren’t unlimited, the hard part of my job is pick the most important ideas to take action on.
Over the last several years, SAP HANA Cloud Platform mobile service for app and device management, (formerly known as Mobile Secure) has used SAP Idea Place to collect product enhancement ideas from customers. There are hundreds of registered users for our Idea Place and they have entered hundreds of ideas – many of which are solid product recommendations. I really appreciate the contributions from customers, partners and SAP employees over the last several years.
Fostering collaboration in Idea Place alone has resulted in some great ideas – however, few ideas rose to the top of the priority list. With a couple exceptions, the ideas were equal in terms of votes and comments, making it difficult to use this forum as the venue to generate the top priorities to act on. Given this, along with new influence programs at SAP, we decided to close the Mobile Secure Idea Place session to new ideas in December 2016 and to close the session completely in February 2017.
To reach the goal of delivering usable features, I believe that that we will achieve our product enhancement goals with a dedicated group of customers coming together to define how they would use a specific enhancement to solve a problem. The same customers then continue to work with the development team to iterate towards a solution. The customers then run early versions to validate the new feature.
I am excited to focus more time and energy around SAP’s customer influence programs, especially the Customer Connection program in which customers can work together on well-defined projects to improve existing products. These customer requested projects run for fixed periods of time to capture customer requests and implement the top desired and most feasible requests. You can learn more about Customer Connection program here.
Our team always wants to engage with you on product improvements. Outside of the Customer Connection program, you can always talk to us about how your company uses the product and where specific improvements could make a difference to your company. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation.