Business

A far better way to support your user community

This sponsored post is produced by Tom Laffey, the executive vice president of products and technology at TIBCO Software.

User communities are typically seen as a necessity rather than a key asset, but they’re gaining much more attention as organizations realize they can be a long-term value generator. Investment in the people, process, and technology behind user communities is on the rise, but new expectations can’t be met with old implementations.

How your network can support itself

The need to nurture and support user communities is trending across all markets, from large international businesses to small startups. By and large, these environments are built on an outdated forum structure, a series of threads and endless posts that facilitate redundancy and make it challenging for users to find what they need. New features in these environments are tacked on and can be best described as “decent enough.” They serve the narrow purpose of allowing users to support each other, digitally converse, or find product content, but in a disengaging way.

Engage with like-minded users in real time

To us, a community should be engaging and make user-based support accessible. It should be collaborative and connect its users to the right place quickly. It shouldn’t be a database of scattershot information that users are forced to dig through. We see a community as a thriving place where product users and business meet to add value through a happy and dynamic user base and through content that is engaging and relevant. We also believe that it should provide the capability to directly engage with one another in real time. TIBCOmmunity is a scalable, elastic community that provides all the tools and functions necessary for a true community to connect, share, discuss, and explore everything TIBCO.

Self-service exploration is important

With functions and capabilities impossible in a standard post/reply forum environment, our users can now connect with products and peers and share their thoughts, resources, and expertise on existing or new conversations. They can now discuss issues or ideas with one another collaboratively and in real time with @mentions and full in-post resource support. Most importantly, they can explore our community easily and efficiently.

Users no longer need to dig for answers when they receive immediate notifications on the content they choose and when they are @mentioned in a post. For our community, full connectivity includes tablets and mobile phones, so you can get answers anywhere, any time. We provide the capability to scale private discussions into full-blown third-person conversations so that you can make that new idea actionable. This just scratches the surface of what we can do with our truly social community structure.

This new community meets our goal of providing the most dynamic and intuitive environment possible. It’s the one-stop shop for our users seeking support, idea mining for new products or updates, and finding specific use cases all with an intuitive user flow. We truly believe this is the most exciting product user platform out there.

Forums are dinosaurs

Powered by tibbr, our own enterprise social network product, the new TIBCOmmunity is a fresh, forward-looking social experience in a world of uninteresting spam-filled forums and cluttered discussion boards. Our community gives each user filtered wall content based their interests and connections. In our network, when a user needs an answer, they simply visit the product wall they are interested in, and they are immediately presented with access to all of the relevant resources.

To say we are departing from the traditional, narrow vision of community would be an understatement. We are blazing a trail forward with a wide perspective. We see the changing community landscape and have chosen to completely revolutionize the dynamic of the community environment.

Join TIBCOmmunity today

Tom Laffey joined TIBCO in 2002 and is responsible for engineering, global support, and educational services. Prior to TIBCO, Mr. Laffey was a cofounder of Talarian Corporation, a provider of middleware, where he was responsible for engineering and product direction. He has over 25 years experience in software and has published over 30 articles in recognized scientific publications. Mr. Laffey has an M.S. in computer science from Virginia Polytechnic and a B.S. in mathematics and computer science from the University of Michigan.


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