New product ideas come from everywhere—customers, vendors, sales teams, competitive pressures, government regulations…you get the idea. Your product dreams are often bigger than your ability to productize and bring them to market. There is a proven way to see through the clutter and prioritize the winners: Listen to your customers.
At Intermedia, we help Web hosts, MSPs and other IT service providers bring their customers’ demands for better email, Web mail, wireless email and lightweight business applications to market. We prioritize new features and products based on real customer problems articulated to us. It sounds obvious, but too many companies launch new products and features that are not solving even a single problem for their customers. The product, and in some cases the company, are doomed to slow growth and failure since the market messaging never strikes a tone with a customer.
What drives Intermedia? Customer feedback about their business challenges. Two business problems we are asked to repeatedly assist with are productivity and security—primary issues that all businesses struggle with today. Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo and AIM are great tools for communicating with others. We all use them, but using them at the office is becoming an issue for many businesses. From productivity problems to security problems to intellectual property leaks, public IM access at work is a problem.
After listening to our customers’ frequent requests, we recently launched a secure instant messaging solution based on Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007. This product idea was driven directly from our customers and is driving rapid adoption of this new service. In the end, this product will be successful because we are solving fundamental business problems with secure, business centric, instant messaging.