Extensis Embeds “Voice of the Customer” Into Development
Helps build better solutions for creative users
Extensis software helps customers increase ROI from digital assets, fonts, and images by making them easier to locate, share, and protect. Extensis solutions accelerate workflows to help customers achieve creative and business goals more rapidly.
- No data to support intuitive sense of how customers were using applications
- Wanted to bring more of the “voice of the customer” into its agile development process
- Implement usage analytics platform to capture comprehensive usage data about features, customers’ file types and manipulations, browser and system configurations, and other aspects of user behavior
- Extended the functionality of existing products and shaped entirely new offerings based on usage data
- Augmented and in some places replaced costly customer surveys, home-grown data sources, and unnecessary reporting tools
- Saving $10,000-$20,000 per release in QA costs alone
No data to support intuitive sense of how applications are used
More than 5,000 organizations and 100,000 professionals rely on Extensis software to increase their ROI from fonts, digital assets, and images. Founded in 1993 and operating worldwide, Extensis offers tools for large creative organizations, individual creative professionals, and prosumers, including both client-based software serving large user bases and server-based tools serving smaller user communities. In addition to proven offerings such as Suitcase Fusion, Suitcase TeamSync, Universal Type Server, Portfolio, and GeoExpress, Extensis is introducing multiple new products, including prosumer tools expected to grow its installed user base into the millions.
“We had an acute problem,” says Extensis CEO Toby Martin, “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.”
Usage Intelligence provides a reliable and measurable “voice of the customer,” and saves Extensis $10-$20,000 per release on QA testing alone.
Choosing the best solution
Extensis systematically compared three technology options for quantifying user behavior through software usage analytics. “We quickly narrowed the list to one: Usage Intelligence. It offered strong technology, the best availability of data, the most helpful best practice guides and samples, and a superior pre-purchase and post-purchase experience.”
“I buy based on relationships,” continues Martin, “and this wasn’t going to be a one-time, one-year contract. We wanted a long-term commitment, so we needed to be very clear both that the software worked and that we wanted to do business with the organization. The people you work with are a crucial factor that often gets overlooked in tech partnerships, and I’ve found Revenera great to work with—no problems, no challenges.”
Martin adds, “Implementing and working with Usage Intelligence was easier than I expected. We rolled out software usage analytics across three development teams simultaneously, and they all had it embedded by their next releases.”
Extensis taught a select group of users, and made them “trusted advisors” to teach their teams, thereby democratizing usage of Usage Intelligence across the organization. These trusted advisors now often share code and techniques wherever multiple teams need to solve similar problems.
“We’ve also established an absolute requirement for every new product to be integrated with Usage Intelligence upfront, so we start each product’s journey by building that knowledge base from day one.”
We are absolutely hooked on Usage Intelligence data. Usage Intelligence is one of the first dashboards I fire up every morning. It helps us all know exactly what’s going on, so we’re aware of problems sooner— and opportunities, too.
Driving change, innovation, and customer voice in all products
In just over a year working with Usage Intelligence in production, Martin says, “we’ve effectively utilized Usage Intelligence 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 Usage Intelligence data about what customers actually do. Even though those customers have known us for a long time in a well-established marketplace, Usage Intelligence data helps us continue to push the envelope and create new value.”
Focusing R&D investment also involves knowing where not to spend. “Previously, we supported every different browser flavor and operating system, out of fear of the unknown. With Usage Intelligence, 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.
By implementing Revenera’s standardized technical stack for usage data across the development organization, Extensis has eliminated diverse reporting systems, inconsistent homegrown data sources, unnecessary tools, and the management overhead that had previously accompanied these.
Usage Intelligence data has made it much easier to understand the file types and manipulations customers actually use within Extensis software. “Especially with digital asset management, we could choose to support so many different file types—3D, AR, VR, and many other categories. Previously, we’d survey our customers. But often, we’d be surveying sysadmins, not the creative users who actually work with our tools. There’s a gap between IT’s perception and what creative users are really doing. With Usage Intelligence, we don’t rely solely on costly user surveys. We save IT’s time, and we get more accurate data, too.”
A powerful Usage Intelligence feature—total lifetime event count— is helping Extensis discover how often a feature has been used since introduction, and focus its R&D investments where they’re needed most.
These examples reflect a broader change at Extensis: Martin and his colleagues now have reliable, current, and actionable information for all aspects of product development and marketing.
“We are absolutely hooked on Usage Intelligence data,” says Martin. “Usage Intelligence 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 Usage Intelligence 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.”