The Ideation Board in the Hexagon Geospatial Community Encourages Members to Submit Ideas and Vote for New Product Features
A few years ago, Hexagon’s Geospatial division was seeking a more effective way of engaging with our customers.
This led to introducing the Community in 2015. The mission of the Community is to provide a peer-to-peer, direct support channel for anyone interested in learning more about our products, finding answers to their questions, getting the latest updates, receiving support from our professional services team, and connecting with other Hexagon product users. The Community encourages members to post their thoughts, opinions, and criticisms in a productive manner.
While our Community is aimed at Geospatial division partners and customers, anyone with an interest in geospatial technology is welcome.
Our developers have always utilized customer feedback and ideas to update or add features to our product portfolios, making sure the technical direction of their products matches the needs and expectations of customers. However, in the past, there hasn’t been any transparency or visibility into which ideas were chosen, and why some ideas were picked over others for implementation.
Thanks to the hard work of Florent Caelen, post-sales engineer and Community manager, the Ideation Board became a part of the community in September 2017 to solve this problem.
The Ideation Board: Let Your Voice Be Heard
With the Ideation Board, all Community members can submit ideas, see submitted ideas from other members, and vote for an idea using HexPoints. The more a member contributes to the Community by answering questions or writing articles, the more they climb the Community ranks. The higher the rank, the more HexPoints that member is allotted for their vote.
A “New or Occasional” contributor is given one HexPoint, while a “Rockstar” contributor is given 15. Our software update planners and Community members can see the number of votes for a new idea, the members who voted for that idea, and the member who originally submitted the idea. The five ideas with the most votes per product line are prioritized for implementation in the next major release.
The Ideation Board has been a great addition to the Community, encouraging members to get involved through a direct line of communication from customers to our developers. In fact, the first major release of the M.App Portfolio and Power Portfolio after the deployment of the Ideation Board included 68 ideas that were suggested and voted for by our Community. The upcoming Power Portfolio release, available 21 October 2019, will include an additional 50 member ideas added to our various products.
A Closer Look at Influential Customer Feedback
Hal Espy, product owner for our GIS management platform GeoMedia, said, “GeoMedia has always had a very active customer base who use and customize it in a variety of ways. They push us to expand all corners of the product.”
Currently, there are hundreds of submitted ideas for GeoMedia in the Community, which Espy said does not surprise him.
“What does surprise me is the number of new ideas I see that are truly new to me,” he said. “You’d have thought I’d have heard of everything by now. That part is a lot of fun.”
Some examples of the “winning” ideas that have been added to GeoMedia are:
- Warehouse connection renaming capabilities. This idea received the most votes, and we weren’t considering it until noting its extreme popularity on the board.
- Excel data server. This feature is a great example of incorporating two related ideas and exemplifies the Ideation board reinforcing and affirming an addition we were already considering as a new component for the Power Portfolio 2020 release.
- Improved performance when reopening warehouse connections. This is an example of an idea that pointed out an issue we were not aware of. It was easy to take care of and improved the product in a simple yet practical way, so we implemented it even though it had no votes beyond the original member who submitted it.
If you’re interested in joining our Community and becoming a part of the Hexagon family, please visit our Hexagon Community website. There, you can find the latest announcements, meet industry peers, join our geospatial technology discussions, and most importantly, get ready to share your thoughts on Power Portfolio 2020 with the Ideation Board.