Listening to customers

Almost every company aspires to have good relationships with its customers and usually a key part of that will be listening to what customers say about products and services.

GDC have always tried to be a listening company and our products have been strongly influenced by the feature requests of our clients. That does not mean that everything on the wish list will get into the next release of the product or even any release but it should mean that client’s needs and business cases form a core part of our product roadmaps. Last week was a busy week for the listening people at GDC.

On Wednesday we kicked off the initial Cutomer Advisory Panel for our next generation GeoPlatform 2. Ten clients who willl hopefully be early adopters of our new products came together to discuss some of the high level requirements for the first release due next summer. Both the clients and GDC put a lot of effort into preparing for the day and the feedback suggests that it was a true win/win – GDC learnt a lot more about what will be important to our customers (including a couple of surprises to be honest, but then that’s why we should be listening to customers) and the clients appreciated the opportunity to influence development and ensure that they got more of what they wanted in the first release. My thanks to all of the client representatives who invested their time.

On Thursday I sat in on the GeoPlatform User Group where representatives from the majority of our clients packed a room at Local Government House (a very nice venue) in Smith Square. It was good to hear the enthusiastic presentations from Southwark about how they had worked with GDC to get their latest public acces site implemented. There were also updates on the progress of GeoPlatform 2 from several of the GDC team which prompted a lot of feedback. In the afternoon the GeoStore team ran a workshop on Oracle stuff. My general pride in the day was based on the sense of strong partnership between the team at GDC and our clients particularly when things don’t work quite the way we would like. It isn’t always easy to accept criticism even when it is constructive, that is what both sides of a partnership sometimes need to do.