Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Self-Service Knowledge for Everyone

Having the right piece of knowledge at the right time is pure gold in business. I rarely speak with a commercial Jaspersoft customer without hearing a fascinating anecdote about how they are using our BI tools to make new insight emerge quickly and affordably within their organization. Of course, this is what we are in business to provide.

The Jaspersoft Community is no different. Consequently, our open source customers need information and insight to get the most out of their experience with our projects and products. For nearly two years, we’ve talked internally about how to deliver more comprehensive knowledge to this community that is more consistent with the knowledge we’re able to deliver to commercial customers, but in a scalable, virtual manner. With the launch and availability of Self-Service Express, we’re now able to begin delivering on this goal.

Jaspersoft serves a big community. Our latest stats show more than:

• 14 million downloads of our product (lifetime),
• 230,000 registered community members,
• 175,000 production deployments of our tools, and
• 14,000 commercial customers across the globe.

This spring, we surveyed our community to learn more about its appetite for more formal, professional knowledge about Jaspersoft community products. The responses were consistent with our intuition. More than 80% of respondents declared interest in having access to better technical knowledge, even for a modest fee.

Our Community Advisory Board affirmed this interest, with member Ben Uphoff stating: “Self-Service express will help me and my team become more productive as we build reports and dashboards for our users. The enterprise search capability means we can quickly find what we are looking for and the rich documentation and customer knowledge base provide us with a lot of useful and practical how-to information.”

Self-Service Express is a clever combination of our new enterprise search engine, our fast-growing Knowledge Base, and newly-created access to all of our professional technical documentation (commonly known as “Ultimate Guides” but in a searchable PDF format). The result is this powerful yet inexpensive knowledge service that allows any Jaspersoft customer, community or commercial, to gain fast, accurate technical answers that can help drive more successful BI projects.

This is the first of a series of knowledge services that we’ve envisioned, and we look forward to more community feedback to determine which direction we go from here. Let us know what you think about Self-Service Express. In the meantime, we’ll continue to advance the knowledge components of this first service, driving greater value through insight to all those who use it.

Brian Gentile
Chief Executive Officer

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A New Community Leader for a New Age!

Congratulations to Matt Geise, who was just named Jaspersoft’s Open Source Community Development leader. Matt’s job is to build, nurture, and enable a thriving Community of open source business intelligence software fanatics. It’s a big job and Matt is just the right person to lead our next generation of work with the Jaspersoft Community.

In his book, “Art of Community”, Jono Bacon declares: “Every software project, online site, or company has to manage the community of interested people surrounding it. The community is the source of new ideas, a reliable support network, and the best marketing tool.” Jono has long been a leader and advocate for successful technical communities and he always has something to say about them. You can follow his updates and thoughts here.

Those like Jono, with experience building, leading and managing technical communities, talk about the skills and methods that make those communities vibrant and healthy while recognizing that they are organic, living things. Communities need organization, leadership, enablement, nurturing, as much as they need autonomy and self-sustenance. Successfully building the community requires all of this and more. So, the chemical make-up of the community leader is vital.

Matt has always been a proud PART OF the Jaspersoft community. First as an operations manager and then as our technical customer support leader, Matt has been on the frontline with our customers and community members every day while at Jaspersoft. He knows what works and what doesn’t and he isn’t easy to please. As a fierce advocate for the community’s needs, Matt will work alongside each of our key project leaders (including Teodor Danciu and Giulio Toffoli, the leaders of JasperReports and iReport/Jaspersoft Studio, respectively). For this advocacy, Matt is already known and well respected.

Maybe most importantly, Matt has a clear but malleable vision for the next generation of Jaspersoft’s community. He will deliver big results for and with the community – because he listens and understands as often as he speaks and declares. Stay tuned for a variety of tools, programs, and projects that help take the Jaspersoft community into a new age. Matt has my thanks and congratulations . . . and he’s just getting started.

Brian Gentile
Chief Executive Officer