Feedback from our group owners

Last week, we invited 85 of our group administrators to give us some feedback on Oracle Mix, how they use it and how we might be able to improve it for them.

We had about a 35% response rate to our open questionnaire. The answers validated a lot of what we already knew but also contained a few interesting suggestions and ideas which we'll look into.

Below is a summary of the responses.

What is your group about?

Some examples of the kind of groups people are involved with:

  • Advisory board group

  • Regional groups for partners (e.g. APAC CRM partners)

  • Product-related groups for customers and interested Oracle employees

  • Groups for Field Marketing event attendees

  • Virtual communities in the Sales/Pre-Sales world

  • User groups

  • Groups for specific IT topic areas (eg. SOA/BPM, Architecture)

  • Forum for Oracle E-Business Suite users

  • Groups around certain products

  • Groups for evangelizing social technology, Enterprise 2.0 in Japan

What are you trying to achieve?

No big surprises here:

  • Get people together around a product, a place, or an existing (external from Oracle) group.

  • Bridge customers and product users with product development.

  • Manage feature recommendation and steering.

  • Allow partners to communicate and share ideas and experiences on CRM products.

  • Provide a forum for both Oracle and Oracle partners for information sharing, idea sharing, networking.

  • Interact with clients around products.

  • Manage input from clients and employees for certain events.

  • Provide pre-event information and follow-up.

  • Communicate meeting schedule/details and upcoming topics to select customers and provide general archive.

  • Getting to know people better, enable better communication and collaborative working.

  • Provide a knowledge warehouses for JDE experts.

  • Share knowledge and grow a community where people learn from each other.

  • Network, share ideas, ask questions, and mostly just further knowledge by harnessing the power of the whole group.

  • Simply maintain an extension on Mix to existing websites of a certain community or group.

  • Provide a community component to a podcast series.

How could Mix support you better? What are the three things we should focus on over the next three months?

Here's the list of ideas and requests that were mentioned more than once:

  • Improved activity log and easier ways to receive updates (9)

  • Content sharing (file embedding, RSS import) (7)

  • Better involvement of internal Oracle people (4)

  • File upload (4)

  • Better marketing of Oracle Mix (incl. better support and guidance how to use it) (3)

  • Rich-text editor (2)

  • Easier login process (incl. making more information publicly available) (2)

  • Better options for management of group members (2)

  • Avoid duplicate email notifications (2)

  • Ability for group administrators to notify all group members (2)

  • Integration with external sites or services (both Oracle and non-Oracle) (2)

  • Improved search capabilities (incl. group-specific search) (2)

* * *

Thanks to all who participated. All in all, this is very much in line with the general feedback we have received. I will share details about our plans for February shortly. Looks like we might be able to get a few of these items checked off fairly soon.

Comments:

I'm here from Twitter, where you asked: @jpiwowar Yes, we're thinking about polling samples of new, active and inactive members. Probably more structured survey, though. Thoughts? Getting thoughts condensed to a coherent 140-character message is somehow beyond me this morning. :-) I'm guessing a more structured survey would facilitate more responses, but please retain some of the open-ended catch-alls. It would be interesting to see the results of the "3 things in three months" question with a higher N, and maybe a "here's what we have in the works, rank them in order of importance to you." Curious about motivation for polling just a sample of users, though. Why not cast a wide net? Regards, John P.

Posted by John Piwowar on January 28, 2009 at 11:12 PM PST #

Tim, I did not get a chance to respond to your request yet, so here is my input: What is your group about? General discussions about the ways in which OPN member ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) can successfully partner and do business with Oracle. What are you trying to achieve? Encourage Oracle and ISVs to share guidance on business engagement and partnering opportunities, targeting both partners of Oracle interested in increasing business associated with Oracle, and any Oracle person responsible for ISV business development. Other OPN partners who wish to develop joint business opportunities with ISVs are also welcome. How could Mix support you better? What are the three things we should focus on over the next three months? - Better options for management of group members - Ability for group administrators to notify all group members - Improved activity log and easier ways to receive updates

Posted by Allen Hoke on January 29, 2009 at 05:02 AM PST #

Tim, I did not get a chance to respond to your request yet, so here is my input: What is your group about? General discussions about the ways in which OPN member ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) can successfully partner and do business with Oracle. What are you trying to achieve? Encourage Oracle and ISVs to share guidance on business engagement and partnering opportunities, targeting both partners of Oracle interested in increasing business associated with Oracle, and any Oracle person responsible for ISV business development. Other OPN partners who wish to develop joint business opportunities with ISVs are also welcome. How could Mix support you better? What are the three things we should focus on over the next three months? - Better options for management of group members - Ability for group administrators to notify all group members - Improved activity log and easier ways to receive updates

Posted by Allen Hoke on January 29, 2009 at 07:03 AM PST #

Tim, I have not yet had a chance to reply to your original request, so here is my feedback: What is your group about? General discussions about the ways in which OPN member ISVs (Independent Software Vendors) can successfully partner and do business with Oracle. What are you trying to achieve? Encourage Oracle and ISVs to share guidance on business engagement and partnering opportunities, targeting both partners of Oracle interested in increasing business associated with Oracle, and any Oracle person responsible for ISV business development. Other OPN partners who wish to develop joint business opportunities with ISVs are also welcome. How could Mix support you better? What are the three things we should focus on over the next three months? - Better options for management of group members - Ability for group administrators to notify all group members - Group-level metrics and reporting Thanks, Allen

Posted by Allen Hoke on January 29, 2009 at 07:21 AM PST #

Thanks for your comments. And sorry about the delay in posting. There were some issues with our blog platform today that prevented comments from showing up right away.

Posted by Tim on January 29, 2009 at 02:08 PM PST #

Another feature suggestion: I'd like to be able to send group invitations to Mix members through their Mix accounts, rather than via email. And I'd like to be able to select the names from a drop-down or similar.

Posted by Bob Rhubart on February 02, 2009 at 04:48 AM PST #

The 2 biggest issues we have heard are: 1) Export capability - e.g. to Excel, so you can sort, report, etc. 2) Archive/delete capability - once our customers have exhausted a topic or acted on it, we want to be able to archive or delete those ideas, so we can focus more on current threads. Thanks!

Posted by Kirk Fischer on February 05, 2009 at 12:02 AM PST #

@Kirk Better group management options is definitely something on our list (not sure if we get around to working on it in February, though). We plan to revisit the entire ideas piece probably starting in April. What you mention is one of the top requirements in that area.

Posted by Tim on February 05, 2009 at 03:44 AM PST #

What is the plan / strategy for nested groups?

Posted by Lydia Smyers on March 23, 2009 at 04:13 AM PDT #

@Lydia At this point we don't have any plans for nested groups. What exactly do you have in mind? Maybe you can convince us. ;-)

Posted by Tim on March 23, 2009 at 03:58 PM PDT #

This is a great (and entertaining) metaphor for customer interactions--especially since bars, like websites, depend on 'regulars' and visitors who stick around for a little while. I think the key (especially with multimedia content) is to make it available in multiple formats, so that a potential customer can find what they need in whichever form fits their day.

Posted by air force on February 02, 2010 at 11:21 AM PST #

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