Accessing and displaying all information that is stored inside major CAD formats and gets constantly updated is a tremendous challenge. It’s about managing hundreds of thousands of cases and ensuring that any changes we make do not impact negatively one of the million files that are used by your customers.
That’s something we’ve been doing for the last 20 years, but with 700 software organizations relying on us, we’ve been challenged to do that at scale. This task is quite complex with APIs that are designed to provide flexibility.
To tackle this challenge and be responsive to our partners’ issues, our first decision was to massively increase investment in quality. We often hear that the best energy is the one we don’t consume. It’s pretty much the same with bugs. It’s always better to avoid them than to fix them.
Our effort to improve our quality started 3 years ago, and it has clearly paid off. The number of regressions and issues that our partners experience has significantly dropped. Along the way, we learned that it was much harder to scale our quality effort than we initially thought. While most of our tests are designed to be automated, many of them still need manual interaction to analyze results and consume a lot of human resources. This is particularly true with picture comparison-based tests.
There is also a point where our build and testing infrastructure reached its limit. This has also driven the need for additional investments. We are still actively working on these two areas in order to improve them. Today, it’s impacting our capacity to enrich our product, but we believe we’ll be in a much better place in 2023.
Beyond improving our quality standard, and our build and testing infrastructure, we have also driven significant change on our support portal. It’s been hard in the past for our partners to understand when the issue they have reported would be fixed, and they felt like our support system was a “black box.”
As we have moved to a more modern support portal using Jira service desk, we have implemented a more advanced ranking system. We’ve also mapped the internal status of our development process so that partners could see what’s going on with their reported issues, and get the visibility that they need. Partners are able to see if their issue has been scheduled to be worked on, if it’s in development (which means that an engineer is actively working on it), if it’s in testing, or if it’s done and waiting for the next upcoming release.
This last quarter, we have also introduced a new “declined status”, which informs partners that their case is not going to be worked on anytime soon. We are constantly trying to fix more issues. More than 130 bugs get resolved during our 2022 SP1 release cycle, but we still can’t fix all of them in a timely manner. We’d like our partners to be informed earlier on what they can expect instead of waiting for a long period of time and needing to come back to us to escalate something.
This decline process has been particularly hard for our team to set up. It’s very difficult to say no when your company culture pushes you to build positive relationships and when your mission is to serve your partners. What we communicate sometimes doesn’t match your needs, but we believe ultimately that being transparent will help you. It will also help us anticipate mismatches and give us an opportunity to adapt our plans sooner than later.
We hope these changes have been positive for you and we are committed to doing even better to deliver the quality of service and responsiveness you deserve.
VP Partner Success