At the start of 2016, Bamboo® produced no less than three new releases:
Knowledge Base, List Bulk Import, and Chart Plus.
In this interview, Product Manager Bruno Gabrielli discusses his
thought processes behind the products, and how decisions about the
potential to enhance and improve an existing product are reached by
himself and the team.
Q. Let's pick out one of the recent releases.
You have a popular product like Knowledge Base, which provides - quote - "a
centralized, searchable and secure knowledge base, designed to be set up
in minutes with seamless SharePoint integration."
BG. Good plug. Thanks.
Q. No problem. But it sounds great. It's
popular. What was the thinking behind the new release, new features,
BG. We don't release our products and then sit
back, hoping they do well. We monitor them at every stage after
release. We have various ways of doing that and we do it
Q. I imagine client feedback is a major
BG. It certainly is, but it goes deeper. We have
a very broad, international client-base, who see value in sticking
with a company with such a large portfolio of products and
world-leading support and services. These clients are on-board, in
that respect, and they are happy to give feedback on any product or
products they are using.
Q. Sounds easy, then. Your clients tell you what
could be improved for them, and you fix it up?
BG. It's often more a case of inferring that,
for example, a new feature could potentially be created to deal with
certain issues that are being described. At other times, it can be more
Q. Do you have a couple of examples of that?
BG. With Knowledge Base, some client feedback highlighted that
the pop-up window for articles was too small and could be improved
for everyday use. We tested, agreed, and created a full screen
window for the new release. With Chart Plus, we made many great enhancements, but a
very simple one was the addition of international currency symbols. A
tiny detail, but a big difference for many.
Q. That makes sense, but inferring the
need for features and enhancements based on feedback sounds much more
complex. Is it?
BG. Yes, but it's a question of awareness. Just
studying the different ways people work with a product can produce
great ideas. On a simpler level, a fun analogy is that of the makers
of baby-monitors. One product manager hears a report that actors in
certain theaters are using the monitors in their dressing rooms, to
pick up audience reaction and get their stage cue in advance. A cute
story, but a Product Manager in that area would sit up, take notice,
and look deeper into it.
Q. That sounds almost like seeking clues to new
innovations. How deep does that go?
BG. As deep as the individual wants to take it.
Here's a second analogy. There is a military conflict in which
fighter planes, carrying damage from enemy fire, make it back to
base. They are studied, so that plans can be drawn up to strengthen
areas on the planes showing common patterns of damage. Of course,
somebody points out that only the non-returning planes hold the
critical information, and research into that area has to be done,
wherever and however it is possible to do it.
Q. You mean the people who don't communicate
their issues are holding back crucial information?
BG. Exactly. Our on-board clients are a major
asset to us, of course, in many ways, but the silent ones, the ones who
haven't been brought on-board, hold key information. If they weren't
satisfied, why not? If they looked at us and turned elsewhere for a
solution, why? We are very confident in the quality of our products
and our support and service abilities, so the answers to these
questions are the ones we chase down in any way we can.
Q. It sounds like you don't accept limitations
easily, but there must be some. What are they?
BG. At any given moment, resources can be
limited. Then it becomes a case of resources against responses. This is
where the hard decision making comes into play. Every factor has to be
weighed against a competing factor until the best decision for the
individual product and the range of products can be reached. It's hard,
but we always find a way, and our recent releases are, I feel, an
excellent example of that.
Q. I'd better let you get back to it, then,
Bruno. Thanks for talking to us today.
BG. Thank you.
To see what Bruno and the Bamboo team's hard work ultimately produces,
check out our full product range.
25 2016, 07:49 AM
I'm a British copywriter who spent over 10 years living
and working in Paris, France, before moving to America, getting
married, and joining the Bamboo team.