The Power of an Involved Community in SaaS Product Development

Here at Atera, one of our core values is having an engaged community that helps us to drive our product forward; a symbiotic relationship where as we provide for our users, they feedback to us what they’re looking for, and we respond by meeting those needs.

 

Not to brag, but our Aterans are the absolute best, and have risen to the challenge of being an active and supportive community. In turn, we think this has helped us to create a pretty amazing product behind the scenes. We didn’t realize how unique we were, but while writing this article, I searched the web for more examples of SaaS companies that have such a great bond with their community – and I came up short! Here’s how we make it happen.

 

The Benefits of a SaaS Partner with a Strong Community

 

Simply put, it’s all about being heard. Our Feature Board is one of our most successful innovations, allowing our users to suggest new updates or changes. Once suggested, other members of the community can upvote these ideas to show us how popular the features are. Our Acronis integration, our mobile app, and our ticket queues are examples of specific ideas that came directly from the community and are now core parts of our all-in-one offering.

 

Unlike a lot of the competition, who make decisions up in glass boxes, we feel that we have established a real ‘voice of the customer’ for our product by promoting this process, allowing a constant feedback loop full of contextual information from the actual users on the ground. We hope that this delights our users too, helping us to provide timely support and inspire loyalty in our user base by showing that we’re always ready to listen.

 

Sharing the Expertise of our Users

 

As one big community, we also love how much our users are happy to jump in and provide peer support, answering each other’s questions on our active Facebook group, or creating and sharing content on their own websites that we can then promote, increasing our users’ own exposure while adding value to the Atera community at large.

 

We recently shared a review of our new Network Discovery tool from one of our members, a great example of how this works in practice. If you have any valuable content that you’d like to share, make sure to get in touch!

 

Taking it Further

 

Seeing the value in our active community, we recently decided to take this to the next level, giving our users the ability to contribute more directly to our SaaS product. After launching our new script library, a much-needed and heavily requested feature that our community was eager to see, we decided to open it up to the community who would be using it. This means that our members can submit their own scripts, which of course are all validated and checked over by our own R&D team so that we can guarantee they are safe to use.

 

And…. In just one month, we’ve doubled the number of scripts in our library!

 

This script repository is a fantastic way for our community to support one another, and for our users to be active in the way that Atera is used every day by thousands of MSPs. Some of our favourite shared scripts include:

 

  • A reboot script where users can choose to postpone or cancel a scheduled or suggested reboot to the system.- A secure script to display WiFi passwords that are known by the endpoint
  • A script that updates to Windows 10 1909

 

With this new community tool, we’re seeing new scripts being used and shared daily, allowing our community to streamline its IT automation, and deploy scripts much faster than ever before.

 

Together, We are Stronger than the Sum of our Parts!

 

We see our community as our secret weapon, one of our key differentiators that helps Atera to grow from strength to strength. Our engaged and involved community share their ideas, support the rest of our members, and are even active in improving how Atera develops our software behind the scenes. What would we do without you?!