Our field research indicated that sales teams, partners and customers were challenged to keep track of all the NetApp OnCommand management software products, as well as what each did. The OnCommand team had already published over 350 pieces of product collateral and sales tools, along with web content, demo videos, blogs and social media. And like in the case of other innovative solutions to problems, we didn’t think doing more of the same was the answer. So our goal was to find a new, more effective way to educate both NetApp and the greater public about OnCommand, while addressing the reality that many don’t even know the names of the products. The answer to this dilemma tied into one of the biggest trends of our time, the move to mobile computing and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets.
According to the Mobile Marketing Association there are currently 5.3 billion mobile devices in use in the world. And hot new products like the iPad3 will continue to boost the installed base of tablets, comprising another 54 million devices in the US alone. So by combining the need to get product info into the field’s hands, and the reality that most were already holding a smartphone, the idea of a mobile app was born.
Initially called, “The OnCommand Problem Solver”, the app was designed to help solve storage problems, by having a list of the most common problems so that when someone clicked on the problem, it would navigate to info describing how the OnCommand product solves the problem. For example, if you clicked “Quickly set-up a system” the app would respond with the OnCommand System Manager – the page itself having a description of the product, as well as a list of product resources. Other topics, when selected, may first ask a question such as how many systems were involved, or did the environment include 3rd-party storage, then use this logic to identify the optimal product.
The OnCommand team reached out to a number of potential development partners, but went with the proposal from the NetApp internal Mobile IT team. NetApp has received press for fostering the ability to create mobile apps, and the Mobile IT team had already developed a number of mobile applications for things like Sales Rep. directories and new content solutions.
After additional brainstorming and work on refining the concept, as well as the identity of the application, the “OnCommand Resource Navigator” came to be. The Resource Navigator is an application designed to provide information about the NetApp OnCommand storage management software where users can navigate either by using a product listing, a problem solving approach or by keyword search. The initial entry screen has icons to direct the user to either the product or topical list.
The product pages themselves include a rich list of resources available to the app user, which are viewable on a mobile device and don’t require logging-into a system. These include datasheets, videos, social media, whitepapers, success stories, and links to mobile-optimized product webpages, community pages as well as related solutions. The app has the ability to share pages or resources via email, and to bookmark pages. And where the resources still don’t answer all the questions, the app provides the means to directly contact an OnCommand expert.
It was also determined that the app represented a new category of applications – “Resource navigators” – and that other organizations were already embracing this as a new way to make available their product or service information, in a more convenient and intelligent format.
**And for the next month, we will be collecting feedback and will have a drawing for one Lytro light field camera! Use the app and provide your feedback here or on the new Resource Navigator community page**
Thank you in advance for downloading the new OnCommand Resource Navigator!