There was an article on opensource.com today that talked about whether or not a user community can drive innovation.
We rely on feedback from our users to help make OpenNMS better, and we specifically listen to the suggestions from our commercial (i.e. paying) users. While we welcome all input, on the commercial side of the business we want to make money. The best way to do that is attract more commercial clients, so we tend to pay a lot of attention to what our current clients want.
I was in Chicago back in December visiting customers, and while talking to one of them he suggested that we should focus on providing more services, in addition to support, that were just available to paying clients. One idea he suggested was some sort of training seminar that could be held to introduce customers to new ways of using OpenNMS and/or new features.
I thought it was an awesome idea, so today we held the first event of our monthly seminar series. I did a presentation on “Stupid Net-SNMP Tricks” that I took mainly from some blog posts I’ve done on the topic. The webinar lasted about 80 minutes with questions and I think it was well received. We held one at 10am and one at 2pm to accommodate clients as far east as Dubai and as far west as Hawaii.
Next month we’ll talk about the JasperReports integration.
What I enjoyed about it was that I got to interact with clients that I usually only see when they have an issue or it is time to renew. I can’t wait for the next great suggestion from our amazing customers.