The answer to how to radically reduce your R&D costs is to involve customers in the product development cycle, using social tools as well as face to face meetings. That’s the powerful experience of ‘community chick’ Dawn Lacallade of SolarWinds, the US-based web-based network management software people at yesterday’s Telligent webinar. For your consideration I screen-grabbed the slide in question below, and should have the full set online shortly.
In summary, thanks to this intro text on the Telligent blog, SolarWinds has been able to lower costs, increase profits, and speed product enhancements by focusing on these core areas: (1) Aligning multiple departments around one community (2) Evaluating metrics that tie to company objectives (3) Monitoring growth and participation (4) Identifying influencers, contributors, and connectors.
I also liked the fact that when quizzed as to why there was a 30% involvement rate of staff in the community Dawn said this fitted their community, but it was for each business to find the balance right for them – neither swamping a community nor under-supporting it.
Full set of slides and notes, and a recording of the webinar here.