Monday, March 30, 2009

Autotask Community Day One Notes

So why is the Autotask Community event a "Community" at all?

And why is there a link inside Autotask that says "Autotask Community?"

And why is there a web site for Autotask users called The Autotask Community?

Well . . . are you ready for this? Autotask is an extremely Community Focused company. The morning sessions today were a Fan Festival for the leadership at Autotask. It is really clear that these folks are reaping the benefits of building a community -- and integrating the community into their managed service tool.

Community is not an add-on or an afterthought.

Some business partners talk about community but don't really know what that means. In my (okay not very) humble opinion, Dell and Symantec stand out as examples of this. It seems like they feel obligated to say they care, but they can't change their internal processes to save their life.

Today started with a "rally and vision" presentation. Then it turned very quickly to the Community. In Autotask's case, that means raving fans who work really hard to help Autotask evolve. Awards were presented to the AT users who had contributed the most to their evolution -- including Mark Crall and Amy Luby.

The early afternoon featured a close-up view of some cool new features and tools.

And the rest of the day was filled with users telling their stories and best practices.

Community through and through.

Oh, and tomorrow the general conference session will start with . . . quick tips from five more partners . . . talking about how to get the most out of the community.

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Two lessons for your business:

1) Whether it's community or anything else, your values won't necessarily just show up in your business. You need to work to put your values first in order to move your company in that direction. This stuff doesn't happen by accident. It's a top-down thing.

2) Do you have clients who simply pay you, or do you have raving fans? One of these is better than the other.

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Personal note: I don't normally post at this time (in any time zone). But tonight I got hijacked by a couple of friends. We sat in an abandoned cafe for 2.5 hours after it was closed and talked about everything. Rest assured, the problems of the universe have been solved.

So now it's past time to turn into a pumpkin and I'm going to bed.


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