Maximize Customer Investments with Data
Product managers are crazy about data, or at least they should be.
It helps them understand what customers like about their products, and figure out what customers need that they’re not getting. Instead of a game of guessing or luck, the data empowers product managers to please their customers with precision. Nothing beats the joy of “just exactly what I need!”
Without data, there’s a risk of falling into the enterprise software vicious cycle, where the lack of product usage leads to the creation of new features that don’t necessarily fill the right gaps. Consequently, products can get bloated, expensive, inefficient, and difficult to use.
The enterprise software vicious cycle
The journey you take with your customers goes well beyond just providing them with a product. At Apigee, we’ve been using data-driven product management for a while and recently started to share relevant insights that we’ve gleaned with our customers.
Here’s an example. We plotted one particular customer’s Apigee feature adoption with others in the same industry and we got this:
Feature count versus log traffic
This sparked a great discussion with our customer, who noticed that their company’s feature count was higher than a handful of its peers, but also that there were even more that had deployed more features. This led to an interesting series of questions from the customer:
What are these capabilities?
Would they be applicable for me?
Do I have use cases at hand that would benefit from these capabilities?
Can Apigee point me to some educational resources specifically about these items?
These kinds of discussions are most valuable when the data are examined together with the customer. In one particular case, we noticed a large amount of cache usage, which implies that this client had a high-usage API—and maybe they were even paying for a data-provider behind the scenes.
The logical next step seemed to be helping them manage the traffic level of this API, and possibly even consider a monetization effort. After just a few minutes, however, the focus of the discussion changed completely. It turns out that the customer was using caching heavily due to a performance issue with the identity piece of their overall API design, so we changed our focus to help them with authentication and authorization.
The end result of these kinds of discussions? We can take more prescriptive actions to help customers with what they need at a particular point in their product lifecycle. Whether it is to take advantage of what’s in the Apigee product instead of creating your own solution, or to implement on the Apigee platform new use cases that weren’t initially seen as a good fit for the API architecture, the bottom line goal is to maximize a customer’s investment. Achieving that very important goal is made possible by data-driven product management.
For more, check out the webcast The Science of Data-driven Product Management.