There’s nothing like sinking your teeth into an important new project to really make your job feel rewarding. I hesitate to rewrite/reword existing content because I generated quite a bit which I’ll link below. Instead, I wanted to focus here on the task of really owning a project within a larger organization and how satisfying it can be to do so.
First you have to find a problem to solve. In my case, I had two products that faced what I saw to be a related challenge:
When it comes to AdminStudio, despite boasting many features related to the preparation, testing and publishing of native vendor setup packages, AdminStudio is best known (and most commonly leveraged) as a repackaging and conversion tool. Repackaging is a practice required less and less as time goes on thanks to thoughtful support for automated (and even customized) silent installation from software vendors. While more features like wrapping have been introduced to help AdminStudio play a more valuable role in the preparation of vendor setups (without repackaging), something more was needed to help it move from a supporting role to a leading one for deployments that do not require repackaging or conversion.
Software Vulnerability Manager (SVM) provides market leading vulnerability intelligence and assessment to help with prioritization of patching activities, but the number of patches provided with SVM out of the box has been a common sales exception for years. Dozens of patches are provided with special customization capabilities, wrapped with scripts to handle edge cases. Maintaining that level of specialized support prevented to number of patches provided from scaling to the levels for which we saw increasing demand. I saw it was necessary to add a different class of patches in order to provide the broader coverage needed to accelerate remediation efforts.
The data required to support both of these initiatives would be similar which made the effort to get such in place a no-brainer. For a variety of reasons, it took several months to get into place. Then we had to build processes to automate testing and quality assurance. Then we had to build the features themselves. I’m fortunate to have an amazing team, so the development and testing aspects of the effort were one where I provided a standard product management role. But as development wrapped up, I decided that I really did not want to leave marketing and enablement to anyone else and so started developing comprehensive internal and external materials to help ensure the success of this overall effort; providing sales guidance while also answering any questions I could think of.
Internally, I created multiple FAQs and delivered sales webinars and demos with guidance on positioning and conveying the value of these offerings; similar was provided for our partners. And of course I created a considerable amount external/customer facing content:
- Software Vulnerability Manager (SVM)
- A blog announcing the SVM Vendor Patch Module
- A datasheet explaining the SVM Vendor Patch Module
- A web page to review browse and search applications covered by the SVM Vendor Patch Module
- A quick video explaining the value and use of the SVM Vendor Patch Module
- A webinar explaining and demonstrating the SVM Vendor Patch Module
- A blog discussing the volume of coverage offered by the SVM Patch Module
- A blog announcing the AdminStudio Package Feed Module
- A datasheet explaining the AdminStudio Package Feed Module
- A web page to review browse and search applications covered by the AdminStudio Package Feed Module
- A quick video explaining the value and use of the AdminStudio Package Feed Module
- A webinar explaining and demonstrating the AdminStudio Package Feed Module
- A blog which answered questions posed during the webinar
- A blog discussing the volume of coverage offered by the AdminStudio Package Feed Module
- A blog, video, script and step by step instructions on how to automate AdminStudio Package Feed Module with PowerShell
- A management level blog explaining the high level value of the content available by Flexera in support of SVM and AdminStudio use cases
These efforts have been well received by all stakeholders and there has been a very positive response from existing customers and new prospects. I’ve not finalized a sales goal, but would like to track progress toward a milestone to really declare success. Until then, delivering the story directly to customers and hearing them impressed and engaging with sales will remain what confirms it was all worth it!