Last week was full of great releases. We released new versions of GroupWise, TeamWorks, Messenger and the Secure Messaging Gateway. Each of those releases had new features that came directly from the Micro Focus IDEAS Forum, such as the one for Groupwise or Secure Messaging Gateway, and are presented and voted on directly from our customers and partners. Overall, I feel IDEAS has made a significant impact on the way we plan our releases. Some stats from IDEAS for GroupWise alone since IDEAS was introduced and first implemented:
- 1,000+ IDEAS submitted
- 14,000+ votes for IDEAS
- 72 IDEAS completed since GroupWise 14.2
- 18 IDEAS delivered per release!
I have always referred to IDEAS as Community Driven Requirements. Each release I spend time with engineering as we plan the roadmap and I want to assure you that your IDEAS are taken into consideration in each cycle of release planning. I often get asked though how much weight IDEAS has, ie what drives the Roadmap. In my opinion, it is mainly three factors that help to drive the Roadmap. They are: (in no particular order)
- Fulfilling Vision Statement
- Security driven requirements
- Architectural driven requirements
- Customer care requirements
- Product Management direct interaction with customers
For each release we must balance all these factors and put together a release plan. Let me briefly elaborate on the considerations for each of the three factors that drive the Roadmap.
Market. Most of this is fulfilling our Vision and Strategy plan for the portfolio. This is expressed in our Roadmap. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the Roadmap ask your sales rep or come to one of our events and see me present it directly. We also share this in webinars. In the Roadmap we give a Vision and Strategy statement of where we want to be and drive the product. Each release we make strides to fulfill that vision. That Vision and Strategy is driven in part by where we want to see the products go and by factors in the market in general.
Engineering. There will always be work that needs to be done to keep the technologies current and secure. This includes things like updating to the latest security protocols or SSL standards etc. This also includes bugs/defects reported to customer care. We spend a significant time each release on these factors. They aren’t always things you would vote for or think about, but you want and expect them.
Community. Each year Product Management spends time visiting customers directly onsite or sometimes at events. A large portion of you will only communicate your requirements directly to Micro Focus. IDEAS is fantastic, but it is public and many of our customers prefer to communicate their requirements more directly. Then of course there is the IDEAS portal.
When you look at the stats above, you can see that we incorporate IDEAS into each release that you are submitting and voting on. I hope you understand that what we deliver on is a balance between all the factors involved.
With all the releases we have had in the last week this is a perfect time to improve on IDEAS for future release planning and the best way to do that is by moving it from the IDEAS portal to the Idea Exchange forums on the Micro Focus Community website. The old IDEAS portal served its purpose and had great benefit, but it had some drawbacks as well. The major drawback was that IDEAS required you create a separate account that was not connected to your Micro Focus account. It was also separated from our Micro Focus community and as I mentioned I have always viewed IDEAS as community driven requirements, it makes sense to move IDEAS into our community pages.
Over the past several weeks our Community admins at Micro Focus have been working hard to migrate from the old IDEAS to the New Idea Exchange. Since these were completely different systems, we are able to bring over the old IDEAS, but we are not able to bring over who submitted them or who has voted for them. The accounts were different and it’s just impossible to reconcile. Most all of the IDEAS are migrated over; the rest should happen in the next couple of weeks.
The new Idea Exchange also has a better set of features and will make interacting with each other much easier. There are more status types, each product has its own Ideas Exchange, and you can use your Micro Focus login, as well as subscribe to feeds and so much more.
Here are the new Idea Exchange forums:
- GroupWise Idea Exchange
- GroupWise Disaster Recovery Idea Exchange
- GroupWise Forensics Idea Exchange
- GroupWise Reporting and Monitoring Idea Exchange
- GroupWise Mailbox Management Idea Exchange
- GroupWise TeamWorks Idea Exchange
- Vibe Idea Exchange
- Secure Messaging Gateway Idea Exchange
While the migration isn’t 100% complete, I consider the Ideas Exchange live and the old IDEAS forum closed. Ideas Exchange is where we will look for future planning. Soon the Old IDEAS urls should re-direct to their new home. The first thing I encourage you to do is go look at the Ideas that we have migrated over and vote on them again. Since we couldn’t bring over the votes, the Ideas are there but are waiting for you to vote and comment on. If you don’t see your Idea or have a new one, then please submit it and start getting votes on it.
One of my favorite parts of the Idea Exchange is that it is open and visible. You can interact with Micro Focus, other customers, partners and see what everyone is asking for and how many votes topics are getting. I try to regularly participate, make comments and let you know what is planned, when its planned for and when it is completed. I hope you will join me in embracing the new Idea Exchange. Please go out and find your Idea, vote and submit new ones.
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