SOS Online Backup™ Brings Democracy to Software Development with the SOS Partner Beta Group
SOS Online Backup's crowdsourcing project, the SOS Partner Beta Group, brings a refreshingly democratized method of software product development. For SOS, anti-bureaucracy crowdsourcing is the way to get the right products in the hands of its partners and customers.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SOS Online Backup™ has launched a vote-based crowdsourcing community for its Managed Service Providers. SOS calls the community the SOS Partner Beta Group. SOS founder and CEO, Ken Shaw, refers to the SOS Partner Beta Group platform as "American Idol style product feature development".
Shaw actively monitors and participates in the SOS Partner Beta Group forums, in which SOS's partners suggest features and then vote on them. These votes and comments shape the upcoming product development plans. "Our partners are literally voting on new features as they come up for each two-week development cycle. One partner gets one vote. It's truly democratic feature creation and prioritization. We give full view of our engineering roadmap to our partners. They know that their vote influences what SOS is building for them and their end-users."
SOS Online Backup's partners are invigorated by the new approach to crowdsourcing. Clayton Reeves, Operations Manager at Utah Tech Solutions is involved on a daily basis. "The discussion with other partners is probably the most valuable piece that I get out of it." Reeves also notes that his knowledge of technology gives him a special appreciation for the SOS Partner Beta Group, "Being someone who writes software, the ability to help shape the future of such an iconic piece is amazing."
Michael Papazachariou of Ominous Technology Solutions has been involved in the SOS Partner Beta Group from the beginning. "MSPs and resellers rarely have the opportunity to be so directly involved in the product's lifecycle. SOS is doing a remarkable job by allowing this via the SOS Partner Beta Group." Papazachariou added, "The SOS Partner Beta Group is an excellent idea, bringing partners face-to-face with the product development team."
Shaw acknowledges that in most firms, engineering and development process roadmaps are kept far away from business partners and other customers, which he views as a detriment. "When our partners ask for something, we can sometimes build it as quickly as 12 minutes after the request. I challenge you to name another software company with as many customers as we have that can move that quickly."
In September 2012, SOS's product development team unleashed its first product test to the SOS Partner Beta Group. This test will conclude in approximately two weeks. The product being tested is a web-based collaboration solution. Currently it is being tested by more than 50 of SOS's 900 partners. In September, the group pushed remote deployment to the top of the SOS engineering team's priority list. This feature will ship by the end of October 2012.
About SOS Online Backup
Based in El Segundo, California, SOS builds first-in-class online backup, cloud storage and file-sharing software for homes and small businesses with server and database support for large enterprises as well as branded solutions for managed service providers, resellers and OEMs. SOS operates data centers in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and South Africa. SOS has won four consecutive PC Magazine Editors' Choice Awards and has received noteworthy acclaim from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others for its PC, Mac®, iOS®, Android™ and Facebook backup applications. For more information, visit http://www.sosonlinebackup.com/resellers.
SOURCE SOS Online Backup
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