The single biggest purpose of community is to bring together people with similar interests and provide a sense of belonging. Typically, IT communities foster a culture where members learn, connect with their peers, and feel encouraged to engage with each other. Businesses build communities to further collective actions and provide solutions to issues commonly faced by most members, precisely is done through the ManageEngine PitStop community.
“With shared resources, members do not need to reinvent the wheel,” says Vidya Vasu, Head of ManageEngine Community.
The best part of the community is not everyone is expected to contribute from the start. The contributions often start as silent or mute engagements. Users get on board, lurk around discussions, go through the other forum topics, and try to implement the tips and tricks shared by their peers. Overtime, members begin with comments or by acknowledging a fellow user’s comment; eventually they go on to share their own expertise. Some of the regular users even start to engage among themselves and form virtual groups.
Product experts, community managers, partners, and experienced users reply to technical questions and other queries. Many users are happy to help their peers with answers, tips, and work arounds. Product-specific announcements, other generic domain-specific announcements, tips, and best practices are posted periodically.
“ManageEngine PitStop is accessible to our channel partners. In fact, the best technical contacts from our partner companies are active contributors and participants in our community,” explains Vidya.
The resources shared on the community are relevant to users and partners alike. Contributing to the community helps build partners’ credibility among prospects and users from their region. It also helps eliminate language barriers for non-English users. As important product announcements spread through the community, partners stay on top of things and help users with all the news and updates from ManageEngine.
An engaged community translates to higher retention and revenue, which is a direct benefit for partners. The community is a tool that partners can leverage to boost user retention, increase upsell, distribute support load, and follow announcements. The credibility and transparency of the community is bolstered by the engagement of channel partners.
For users, customers and prospects, the biggest benefits are peer support, readily available resources, and a transparent medium of communication. Customers benefit from the collective validations their peers provide as in the case of an upgrade or a new feature release. This eliminates the psychological barrier they might have with respect to making decisions, and reduces time-to-deploy.
“I am sure that very often we have all come across users who, despite being unhappy with a product, stay loyal to the brand because they appreciate the ease of dealing with the people behind the brand. Communities forge that special connection between peers, between the vendor and users, and are mutually beneficial for both in the long term.”
A community encourages an ecosystem where ideas are as forthcoming as the general queries. ManageEngine PitStop is no different. Users share a lot of ideas and request features or changes. It is not practical to accommodate all user requirements in the products. “We have to take the middle path and consider feature requests that are more relevant to the larger user community and proceed based on feasibility,” is how ManageEngine actions the feedback.
Most ManageEngine products have provisions to achieve specific requirements, that are not available in the product out of the box, using scripts, and the community acts as a platform where members get to showcase their scripting expertise.
Mentoring is critical to a successful community. ManageEngine facilitates mentoring in the community by building resources that help users quickly deploy and use tools, reduce their dependence on support, nurture and groom more users so that they can help their peers. Essentially, experts from the product teams, experts from partner companies, a close group of power users, and a few brand champions amongst users are the biggest mentors.
As a policy, ManageEngine does not move or delete old discussions. Many previous discussions are still relevant, and they have not felt the need to archive past topics. The forum discussions are open and accessible for anyone to see. Most queries fall within the scope of the community.
- An engaged community translates to higher retention and revenue which is a direct benefit for partners
- As important product announcements spread through the community partners stay on top and help users with the news
- Contributing to the community helps build partners’ credibility among prospects and users from their region
- Credibility and transparency of the community is further bolstered by engagement of channel partners
- Customers benefit from collective validations their peers provide as in upgrades or new feature release
- Helps eliminate language barriers for non-English users
- ManageEngine PitStop is accessible to channel partners
- Single biggest purpose is to bring together people with similar interests and provide a sense of belonging
- The best technical contacts from partner companies are active contributors and participants in the community
- The community is a tool that partners can leverage to boost user retention, increase upsell, distribute support load, follow announcements
- The resources shared on our community are relevant to users and partners alike
- This eliminates the barrier with respect to making decisions and also reduces time-to-deploy
An organically built community of knowledge sharing is ideal for channel partners to leverage and showcase their skills explains Vidya Vasu at ManageEngine.