Q&A with Extensis CEO Toby Martin

Toby Martin, VP, Development & Strategy, ExtensisToby Martin is CEO at Extensisa developer of software and services for creative professionals and B2B workgroups. We talked to Toby about his experience as an Usage Intelligence customer.

Extensis has a great track record of success — what drove you to look into usage analytics?

We had an acute problem, We’ve been around since long before any runtime intelligence was available, and we really didn’t know what was happening with customers who’d been with us for many years or even decades. We had no data to support our intuitive sense of how they used our applications. As we shifted towards agile methodologies, we required a more quantitative way to echo the customer’s voice in development. We wanted to prioritize features more effectively, and understand more about our use cases — both to improve existing solutions and to drive entirely new ones.

We get a lot of questions from prospects with established products about getting started with usage analytics. Can you offer any insights for them?

Implementing and working with Usage Intelligence was easier than I expected. We rolled out Flexera software usage analytics across three development teams simultaneously, and they all had it embedded by their next releases. We’ve also established an absolute requirement for every new product to be integrated with Flexera upfront, so we start each product’s journey by building that knowledge base from day one.

What are some of your biggest learnings so far? 

We’ve effectively utilized Flexera data to drive change, innovation, and customer voice in all our existing products. From our mass market products to our server-based offerings, we’ve released important new capabilities, largely based on Flexera data about what customers actually do. Even though those customers have known us for a long time in a well-established marketplace, Flexera data helps us continue to push the envelope and create new value.

Are there any examples you can share?

Previously, we supported every different browser flavor and operating system, out of fear of the unknown. With Flexera, we know exactly what customer environments actually exist. Since I can now direct my QA resources more effectively, we’ve been able to decrease waste on edge cases and configurations that are rarely used. This has already translated to savings of $10,000-$20,000 per release in QA time alone.

What’s been the impact on your company as a whole?

We are absolutely hooked on Flexera data – its is one of the first dashboards I fire up every morning. Our product teams use it constantly, even in sprint meetings. Its customer insights help us drive market research, which will lead to more effective marketing programs. Since we have usage data on new products from day one, we can quickly adjust roadmaps and routes to market, becoming more agile and responsive to customer demands.

We’ve made Flexera data ubiquitous for everyone who has to make decisions and needs to know what’s going on in their systems — from individual team members to team leads, directors of engineering, and executives. It helps us all know exactly what’s going on, so we’re aware of problems sooner — and opportunities, too.

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