By Mike Merit – VP of Customer Success: The team just wrapped our 2012 Customer Council in Miami. As you may know, The Council is an annual event where we invite key representatives from Kontiki’s customers to share best practices, provide feedback on the Kontiki product roadmap, and discuss industry trends. This year we had more customers than ever, including new attendees from Nestle, La Quinta, CenturyLink, Nationwide, and more. Looking back, I took away three key points from this year’s Council.
If we use the automobile as a metaphor here; new customers are handed keys to use Kontiki for what we intended it for. We’ve had a small handful of customers that wanted to “open the hood” and tinker with the powerful but complex Kontiki “engine”. This year, it was clear that nearly EVERY customer wanted this same power. Some wanted to completely customize the interface, others wanted to bypass our creation tools for their own, while others yearned for deep integration into third party tools. Thankfully with Kontiki’s new robust API set, we’re now able to give customers the control they seek. With our new community code library, our customers will be able to share their own Kontiki innovations and co-develop new tools. I expect the community code library to be a big part of next year’s Council.
Nearly every Kontiki customer is aligning around SharePoint as an intranet solution. Rather than focusing on standalone video portals, many of our customers had previously asked about our integration with SharePoint. The product that got the biggest customer response this year was our SharePoint Webparts. If you haven’t seen this yet, you’re missing the boat.
It’s always fun to see all of our customers in some exotic location. Most people probably assume it’s a love fest. For the first day it is (see photos). But once we get to the product feedback section, our customers are brutally honest and passionate about what needs to come next. Sometime that means ditching months of product planning to incorporate their feedback. Now a few short weeks afterward, we’re nearly done with that process. And THAT is the whole idea. Present the strategy – gather the ideas and feedback – make a product that our customers will love.
See you at Council next year…. Monday April 29′th – Wednesday May 1, at the Ritz Carlton in South Beach Miami.
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