Big Data: From Customer, to Integrator, to Product Manager

The last few years have been an interesting and opportune time for those in the information and data management domain. Not only have the choices in technology been increasing at a vast rate, but the risk associated with those choices has been reducing exponentially. No longer are buyers of solutions making calculated risks, instead the decision makers are making informed choices based on established patterns of solution. I have now been through the Customer, Integrator, Solution Provider (Product Manager) cycles three times in the last 16 years, and interestingly what has changed is not the cycle, it's me.

As Greg LeMond said, ‘it never gets easier, you just get faster’. This applies to so many facets of your life and career, but especially now in the software arena and specifically Data Integration. I was talking this week with one of our largest US retail customers, who was amazed at the turnaround time we in Talend had in the last three weeks, taking a support request, translating that into a product feature definition, developing and testing code, and delivering within 10 days, which of course then rolls into the next product release. That speed of response for robust code, in previous times or from other providers is almost unheard of, so what has changed?

When I said earlier, the cycle hasn’t changed, it's me that has changed – I was being rather finite in my definition of ‘Me’. In fact, the collective ‘Me’, you, your colleagues, your customers, your providers, have been growing massively in both expectations and knowledge. This leads to more informed discussions, focussed on direct and real outcomes. This is the change. We now influence each other directly and immediately, and with that comes the next challenge – if the pace of change is growing, how do we moderate that change such that we deliver what is needed in our products, not only what is ‘wanted'. My role as Product Manager begins here.

Gavin

 

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