In this week's Heretech podcast, I spoke with Alex Bender of Archer Technologies about the role the Archer community plays in the development process, all the way through the release. If you click the thumbnail shown below, you'll see their process in graphic detail. While Alex and I didn't get into all the specifics of how they do it, we did cover most of their "social product management" approach in the podcast.
Among other interesting aspects of how they use their community as a resource for innovation and adoption, the role of partners really stands out. Of course, in the governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) space, you have an ecology of partners who are experts in things like Sarbanes-Oxley and risk management best practices. They'll tell you in plenty of detail why your product isn't really doing the job it should as a GRC tool.
GRC implementers and advisers have a very explicit kind of domain knowledge. However, if you stop to think about it, almost any partner has domain knowledge that's valuable to ISVs. To cite an obvious example, how does the average organization implementing your technology define the project? What obstacles do you impose at the critical landmarks in the implementation?
We usually talk about communities as consisting of customers. However, I think it's worth including partners whenever you talk about your community strategy.