The road to any successful Trimble product launch is paved with customer input, and often, beta testing.
As controlled run-throughs, beta tests are not just valuable observations and insights that help enhance our products before their official release into the market, but they lay a vital foundation for Trimble’s early product adopters and brand advocates.
In a recent Point of Beginning (POB) magazine article, “Customer Engagement Drives Product Development,” Mathias Roehring, product manager for Trimble, says Trimble customers are always more than willing to share their thoughts and stories to shape the future tools that can help them do their jobs.
“It’s important for Trimble to ask for feedback and ask customers what they think,” Roehring said. “They like being able to be a key part of the process of developing the next iteration of a product.”
Benefits on Both Sides
From the customer’s perspective, the advantages of participating in a beta testing program abound. Flatirons Inc. surveyor Scott Lyttle signed on last year to test Trimble’s flagship TSC7 Controller with Trimble Access field software.
As a beta tester, Scott put the TSC7 through the paces in his daily work in a variety of jobs and settings and provided feedback – both positive and negative – to Trimble’s development team.
Scott said in the real world, hands-on testing of the device across varying work environments was invaluable in highlighting both the strengths and weaknesses of the product.
The process, he added, helped him gain insight into what’s involved in Trimble’s product development. He also felt like he was “ahead of the game” before the TSC7 was released to the general public.
As a Trimble beta tester, he said: “Overall, I’m not only involved in influencing the future products I will use in my industry, but I feel like my voice, insight and experiences are being listened to by developers, and used to create and shape future products.”
According to Roehring, committed surveyors and geospatial professionals like Lyttle provide Trimble with valuable feedback that helps his team make necessary product adjustments and improvements before launch.
“From a hardware perspective, Scott’s insights on the TSC7’s bracket design were crucial,” he said. “We learned from him, and other testers, about ways we could enhance this feature …that’s effectively what we are looking for in our beta testing program.”
Trimble stays close with customers through direct interaction, partners, product forums and conferences. Although we don't seek beta testers for every developing product, we are always learning how a product can save users time, boost their confidence, or even allow them to bid for new jobs to increase efficiencies and revenue.
In the case of Trimble software, the testing program involves more than 200 customers from diverse backgrounds from a number of different regions.
“Beta testing also gives our team strong confidence when we present the software to a large audience," said Boris Skopljak, marketing director for Trimble Geospatial strategy and analytics. "As a result, we can be bold about the statements we make regarding the benefits of a new release.”
For more information on Trimble products, click here.