I arrived a day early to HP Discover (Sunday rather than Monday) to participate in our Customer Advisory Board (CAB) meetings. For those of you not familiar with the role of the Customer Advisory Board, it is to solicit input from a select group of power users of our products. This CAB focused on users of our Business Service Management (BSM) solutions, which include Operations Center, Business Availability Center, and Network Management Center.
The BSM CAB had around 20 customers from a variety of companies across many industries. If I could share the names of the companies represented in our CAB, you would recognize most of them as household names. The majority of the people in the CAB were from the U.S. with a few from Europe.
Traditionally, these meetings usually start with HP sharing the product roadmaps (under non-disclosure agreement) for the next few years. The organizer of the session (one of the product management leaders) very wisely did this part of the session via webinar in the few days before the meeting, so we could focus on more interactive activities during the meeting.
The highlight of the CAB, for the customers I spoke to, the product managers, and my product marketing peers, was an exercise called “product manager for the day.” We broke into small teams with a mixture of customers and HP people. We discussed the key challenges they faced and how they would resolved them if they controlled the product roadmap and investment decisions. We heard some familiar themes as well as some new directions where they would take the products.
The CAB session continued on Monday with in-depth discussions on the topics that had the most interest during the “product manager for the day” sessions. On Sunday evening, selected HP team members prepared presentations to facilitate on the top areas from the day. This allowed a broader discussion on the top topics and allowed the product team to prioritize where to focus during the coming year(s).
As for the specifics of what key problems customers want us to address, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” You will see the results of the discussions when we release the new versions that contain their requests.
For HP Operations Center, Peter Spielvogel.