Hello Netreo Customers!
In case you missed our Q1 survey invitation, I’m Netreo’s Vice President of Product Management. I joined Netreo for the opportunity to create great business solutions and customer experiences. My background – 30+ years in software engineering, engineering management, business operations, management consulting, and entrepreneurship – drives my passion for creating products that solve real business problems and deliver user experiences designed to fit real people’s daily jobs and work flows.
But wearing many hats over the years gives me additional insight. I know that without leveraging solid innovation processes that include customer interactions, product development never reaches its potential. Without customer feedback, even well-conceived products will fall short of expectations.
While we’re still early in our transformational journey, we’re seeing improvements in the operational processes for how we innovate. We hope you are beginning to see the results of that, too! We’ve been working diligently to better understand our current and prospective customers and their needs. With your help, we can improve existing products, develop even better solutions and ensure every Netreo solution delivers a great user experience.
I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone who completed our survey. This past week, we held our first, customer-only webinar to talk about what we heard from you and how we’re responding. In the survey, we asked our valued customers to indicate their “Top 3” desired improvements. Here’s what you told us you would like us to:
- Improve our product usability
- Provide more configurability and filtering options for dashboards and reports
- Improve our documentation
- Provide more integrations and device compatibility
Let’s talk about improvements based on your input and the progress we’ve made on other requested features.
We have started a UI usability and refresh initiative, for which you will see initial results soon and through the next few quarters. This initiative includes a number of simple updates and more significant upgrades:
- Improved colors and shading to draw your attention to what matters on every dashboard, reducing color noise and using color and shading to draw attention to the most critical items
- Consistent icons to avoid confusion and make it easier to identify which icon will help you do what you need to, such as editing an item
- Streamlined workflows with more natural functionality, minimizing clicks and eliminating hopping from screen to screen to accomplish tasks. For example, if you are looking at a list you may want to edit or view details of an item in the list – we aim to make it easy to do that
- Simplified and improved navigation and menu structures with consistent groupings and naming conventions, so you don’t have to guess where to find something
- Improved dashboards, page layouts, widgets, graphs and more
Some of these are still in the planning phases, but you’ll start seeing your UI experience get better and easier in the coming months.
Dashboard and Report Configurability
To help customers quickly access the most important information about incidents and outages, we’ve added two new Incident Management reports. These are configurable and will have more configuration options in the future. Reports are also exportable to CSV formats, expanding your options for data analysis and facilitating improved stakeholder reporting.
We’ve put in place a design principle that tabular data should be exportable to tabular formats, i.e., CSV exports. Please be patient while we apply this principle to all Netreo reports. However, don’t hesitate to offer specific report improvements you would like to see via ideas.netreo.com – within a few weeks you will also be able to access the ideas submission page from inside the Netreo platform!
We agree documentation is so important, and we’re adding headcount to address the issue. My mom was a very good technical writer, coincidentally in the Networking space. I know what good technical documentation looks like, and I want us to provide the best documentation we can for our users. To best serve our valued customers, we plan to review, update and improve documentation from install to advanced, power user needs. We’re taking this approach for every type of Netreo user to give all users a faster path to becoming Netreo experts! Like other things we are doing, improvements will likely take place in iterative, ongoing steps, so stay tuned for more details.
This is one area where we’ve started by responding directly to customer requests. We’ve recently improved the information we show for Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches and added IPv6 support. Some of these changes are simply about vendor specific variations in data organization, for example, MIBs for some devices had the version information under a different SNMP object ID than is typical. Addressing these issues will provide better consistency in how you manage resources.
From a long-term perspective, we are embracing open standards for telemetry to enable easier and broader compatibility. We are expanding and simplifying our out of the box integrations for improved alerting and third-party configurations. We will also be expanding our cloud monitoring capabilities with AWS, Azure and SD-WAN resources. Finally, we’ll enhance our APIs to make the data our customers need easier to access and create a more open approach to our monitoring and reporting functionality. There will be some exciting things to talk about soon.
To all our valued customers, be sure to tune into our customer-only webinars every quarter for in-depth details on product improvements. But you don’t have to wait until fall. Be sure to check in next month for regular posts from my team to see how Netreo is enhancing functionality based on customer input.
Yours in monitoring,