By Melissa Frenyea; VP of Operations and Laura Knussman; Manager of Product Management
As we do each year, we brought our trailblazing customers and our innovative team members together for our Users’ Conference in mid-September. It was an action-packed 3 days chock full of educational instructor-led classes, provocative user panels and collaborative workshops. We shared the latest and greatest product innovations and insight into our roadmap and how we build products to help our customers transform their businesses. As always, the aspect of the conference everyone liked the best was the networking with their CommSoft User Community peers. And this year, in the spirit of innovation, we tried some new things to enhance the conference experience. Read on!
After many years in technology, I can conclusively report that innovation is something you have to work at. Innovation requires a culture of continuous improvement. It requires a commitment to be the best. It requires that you have a team of like-minded people putting in the work observing, gathering information, asking questions, listening, collaborating and experimenting. Ultimately it requires two things: 1-agreement that there is always a better way and 2-commitment that we will work together to find it. This is what we strive for at CommSoft.
During this year’s Users’ Conference, we highlighted our commitment to Innovation. We kicked things off with our annual roadmap review highlighting the inspiration we’ve gained from our interactions and collaboration with clients, prospects and industry partners throughout the year. This inspiration fuels the key themes we use to chart our Product Roadmap – Consistency, Ease of Use, Leveraging Technology and Providing the Ideal Customer Journey. These themes and a commitment to continuous improvement really drove our products significantly forward in the past year.
To properly present the exceptional progress made across our Core Products and Systems of Engagement on all these fronts, we introduced some innovations to our Users Conference format. Our main goal was to find a way to ensure that each Product Manager had a chance to both present at a high level and spend plenty of one-on-one time with Users answering questions and doing some hands-on demonstrations. On top of that, we wanted to ensure users had the freedom to talk with each other to get that networking that they love so much. Finally, we wanted our Partners to have plenty of opportunities to talk with our Users. This required some innovative thinking from our Manager of Product Management, Laura Knussman.
Over in our “Product Patch” we provided an area where attendees could talk to our product and services SME’s as well as engage directly with our vendor partners. CrowdFiber, Avalara, Mapcom, OSG, Paymentus and MPX were on hand to provide an understanding of the products and services they offer and how they complement CommSoft’s product suite. We also had product tables for every CommSoft product and service we offer where attendees could pick the brains of our product experts, see quick demonstrations or just talk about the nuances of our offerings. This new format brought some extra excitement to the yearly networking portion of our event and highlighted our commitment to our People, Partners and Products!How do you innovate a Users’ Conference? Well, you start by doing what Missy mentions above: agree that there’s a better way, gather up feedback and ideas and then put the wheels in motion to try something new! In order to highlight our People, Partners and Products we created an expo area for two days of the conference where we took the excitement of a Tradeshow floor and merged it with the ability to network with our SME’s. During these daily 2-hour sessions, we showcased our latest products and services on our “Innovation Stage”. Our engaging Product Managers entertained the crowd while providing insights into our new offerings as well as those to come. CommBI’s Spotlight product really brightened up the stage, combining the power of data with visual cues you just can’t ignore!
Interested in more information about this year’s conference? Be sure to check out our latest press release: https://www.commsoft.net/2018/10/18/transforming-way-craft-commsofts-29th-annual-users-conference/.