Software buyers vs. users
Posted by Meg Bear on April 28, 2009
As builders of software, we are always trying to make sure we invest wisely in the features we offer our customers. There are never enough resources to do everything we’d like to do so prioritizing is a way of life.
In our attempt to make the right choices, we talk to a lot of customers, collecting feedback, use cases and the like. One risk I’ve come to recognize, is that in talking to our customers, we often confuse buyers with users.
Not unlike the mom who buys their child a series of interesting and educational toys, only to find them way more interested in the box, we sometimes find ourselves puzzled that the things we are most proud of in our solutions, are not actually that appealing to the end users.
It’s not that we don’t realize that, as technology geeks, what appeals to us might not exactly be mainstream, or even cool. It’s just that we are surprised at how little the requirements we are given from the buyer actually align with the needs or wants of the user.
A lot of this confusion comes as a direct result of the success of our industry. Technology used to only be available to the select few in an organization and it was all about organizational function and value.
Now technology is about so much more. Our entire lives are about technology and our expectations on what it can do are ever increasing. We expect technology to improve our lives. It is no longer good enough for the technology to provide value to an organization, at the expense of the individual. To be successful, business applications must have utility across all groups who use them, and in our case, that is everyone in your organization.
As we set out to design Fusion talent applications we spent a lot of time thinking about users. What do they want and how do they expect technology to help them?
Of course, we are still very anxious to delight HR departments with our choices. We will never forget our buyers, but the role of the manager and worker, at every level of the organization chart, has been (and will continue to be) a big part of our thought process too.
That’s right, you heard it here first. Fusion Talent Management is not only a cool toy, it’s also a wicked cool box*.
*anyone trying too hard for bonus points on my analogy with the Sun announcement, needs to take some time off. I am not talking about hardware here, just a literal cardboard metaphor.