Featured Article from Software Licensing

Product Analytics Solutions Help Application Vendors Steer Their Solutions

July 20, 2016

Software companies face some unique challenges when it comes to supporting their products. Once a customer makes a purchase and the selling process is done (for now), blind spots are created for the vendor with regards to the product’s lifecycle. Many companies rely on anecdotal evidence or not-very-educated guesses with regards to issues such as product roadmaps or end-of-life timelines.

According to Flexera Software’s InstallTalk blog, it’s a bit like being in a boat without a rudder: you can’t steer your products in the right direction with certainty, which can lead to missed market opportunities, lost revenue and angry customers.

Solutions such as Flexera’s FlexNet Connect provide application producers (software vendors and intelligent device manufacturers) with a better way to offer end users the latest software updates and obtain valuable insight on their product use. These solutions can, for example, help software companies learn what products, versions and features their customers value in their products (and which ones they’d prefer to do without). It takes the guesswork or reliance on anecdotal evidence out of the equation.

“Product analytics eliminate guesswork from product decision making by providing you demographic information such as which operating system your products are being installed on, which versions and features have been adopted, event data and more,” wrote the company. “Visibility into this relevant information enables support and product teams to have a deeper insight into specific end user devices, which simplifies remote diagnostics.”

Not only do product analytics features help applications providers make smarter product decisions, they also help boost revenue by allowing companies to prepare more vital and relevant upsell and cross-sell campaigns. It helps companies maintain positive customer relationships, as well, by helping them deliver software/firmware updates and patches, data and marketing messages, such as reminders for expiring maintenance, directly to end-users' systems.

Going forward, solutions such as these can help applications providers make better product decisions by providing easy access to detailed insights into problem areas by collecting and retrieving anonymous application data including application logs and crash reports from end-user machines. This instrumentation data helps producers analyze problems in the running application, which results in lower maintenance costs and less downtime.

“Product roadmap planning is more accurate as you’ll have visibility into which products and features are actually being used by your customers,” wrote Flexera in the blog post. “Further, demographic data about the user base can be invaluable in planning as you’ll see things like which operating systems your products are being deployed on.”

Another important component of product analytics solutions planning is end of life (EOL) planning, which is boosted with better insight into demographic data that can provide visibility into which versions are being adopted and what rates.

“The key take-away here is that by leveraging product analytics you can rest assured that you have a boat that you can steer with confidence,” wrote Flexera. 

Edited by Alicia Young
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