Last week, we sent out a carefully crafted survey to our customer list hoping that we’d get about 40 or 50 responses to help us better understand what we’re doing right and what areas we could improve.
To our surprise, we received an overwhelming response from over 360 customers who completed a fairly lengthy, 20+ question survey. The results were absolutely awesome — surprising in many areas. They highlight a number of things where Axosoft can clearly do a better job and they also point to a number of things we are doing right. I thought it would be interesting to share some of the numbers visually, so I threw them into Keynote, charting and charted and graphed the responses.
Here are the results:
Q. Rate Axosoft in the Following Areas:
These results were very reassuring. My raw immediate reactions were as follows:
- Holy cow, we have way too many “Never Used” responses. We need to do a much better job of getting users to know about the existence of the Axosoft Community site, Video Tutorial Podcasts and OnTime Overview Videos, all of which are excellent resources and free!
- Although I never want to see a survey result of “Unhelpful” or “Terrible”, it was good to see that we had fewer than 6 such responses total, combined for any question. Not bad when you consider more than 360 people responded. Now that we have a baseline, we’ll have a goal to reduce even further terrible and unhelpful responses.
- It was great to see the Axosoft Sales Reps, the Axosoft Web site and the overview videos get such awesome responses from customers who used those services.
Q. Which version of OnTime do you use:
We were pleasantly surprised with the results of this question as we did not expect nearly 80% of our survey respondents to be using OnTime 2008. This told us we’ve done a couple of things right: a) OnTime 2008 was a compelling upgrade for the vast majority of users and b) We’ve done a better job of making upgrades easier than previous versions.
Q. Which OnTime Products Do You Use?
Here we got confirmation that OnTime Windows is by far the most popular client type we offer. The high use of the OnTime Customer Portal (41%) was a bit of a surprise as was the 13% usage of the OnTime SDK. If 13% of our customers use the SDK, it deserves to get a bump in priority for continued enhancements.
Q. Which OnTime Functionality Do You Use?
The findings to this question were in-line with our expectations. It was great to see adoption of OnTime as a HelpDesk tool has already reached 50% of survey respondents. HelpDesk functionality was introduced in V7, so having 50% of our customers using OnTime as a helpdesk solution was great to see. Similarly, Wiki usage is growing rapidly. Having just introduced Wiki functionality in V8 only a few months ago, it’s great to see more than 20% of our survey respondents using the team Wiki.
Q. What are Your Favorite OnTime Features?
OnTime’s ability to automate workflow and to enforce team processes was listed by the most people as one of their favorite features. We’ve spent a considerable amount of time making sure the workflow functionality in OnTime is extremely flexible and it was good to see that its being used and loved by such a large group of people.
To balance out the favorite features question, we also asked which features users felt were missing or needed more work. The information there was extremely interesting, but publishing those results publicly would be handing a little too much ammo to our competitors (sorry guys).
Q. Which Smart Phone Do You Use?
The results here were predictable. But far more interesting was which smart phone users planned to purchase:
In my opinion, this puts the iPhone debate to rest. More people plan to purchase iPhones (even this early in the game) than all other smart phones combined. iPhone has already won the mobile platform wars.
Q. Which Browser Version Do You Use?
Two things are very interesting here: 1) FireFox’s adoption rate is growing unbelievably fast with nearly 34% of our survey respondents using FireFox and 2) FireFox does a much better job than Microsoft in getting new version adoption as FF V3 has just barely been out for a few weeks and already more than half of the FF users are on the new version.
Q. Which Version of SQL Server Do You Use?
It was good to confirm that the vast majority of customers are on SQL Server 2005. However, due to a still large number using SQL 2000 (~24%), we need to continue backwards compatibility for these users.
Q. Do You Have Any Mac OS X OnTime Users?
Considering Axosoft’s focus has traditionally been on Microsoft development teams, having a 12% response that yes, there are OS X users of OnTime was a bit surprising to some, but confirms the trend that users are migrating away from Windows at alarming rates. Note: the exact wording of this question was not about Apple hardware, but specifically Mac OS X.
Q. How Do Your Mac OS X Users Run OnTime?
As suspected, the majority use browsers. But still, the number of users utilizing a local Windows virtual machine was interesting.
Q. What Development Methodology Do You Use?
This question confirmed that the majority of software development teams don’t follow a development methodology. But it also shows that of those who do, Scrum is one of the top methodologies getting adopted by teams. At Axosoft, we’ve been very intrigued with Scrum and the philosophy behind it. Scrum is very much inline with our own development philosophy, and we hope to improve OnTime even more so it addresses the needs of Scrum teams even better in the future.
Q. Would You Be Interested in an OnTime User Conference in Scottsdale, AZ?
We weren’t sure what to expect with this question. But it was nice to see that nearly 1/3 of survey respondents would be interested in an OnTime User Conference. Looks like our Marketing and Training Team have their work cut out for them. Stay tuned.
Q. Does OnTime Truly Help You Ship Software OnTime?
At first, I was a bit disappointed with the results to this question. Sure, OnTime is helping about 6 out of 7 teams that use it ship their software on-time, but what about the other 1 out of 7? Why are they even using OnTime, if it doesn’t help them ship software on-time?
Fortunately, we had a follow-up open ended question that asked users why OnTime isn’t helping them ship software on-time. The results were more reassuring. Some of the respondents indicated that they were relatively new to OnTime and hadn’t yet shipped a project since they started using OnTime. Some felt that OnTime did a great job, but their project completion issues were unrelated to OnTime (management, executives, customers – you know the drill). A small fraction of the 16% for whom OnTime was not yet hitting the mark gave the indication that OnTime is missing some important project visibility information that they find important to shipping software on-time.
Improved project visibility will be a major focus of the next major release of OnTime.
Countries of Origin:
We had users from more than 30 countries fill out the survey. With about 44% of survey respondents from abroad, this was an exceptionally balanced survey that represented a good sliver of our customer base.
Even More Information to Analyze
We have a lot more information to analyze. Several of our questions were open-ended questions where users could write their thoughts about Axosoft, OnTime and other related items. The responses to those questions were and will continue to be extremely useful to us as we plan for future versions of OnTime.
I wanted to also thank all of our customers and especially those who took the time to fill out the survey. The feedback we have received is instrumental to the continued success of Axosoft as a company and the OnTime product line.
Now, let me know if this poll was helpful:
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