Byron Carroll, the head of product management at ACTIVE Network, has nearly 15 years of experience in the product management field, and six months ago was tasked with leading the ACTIVE Net product team.His first order of business? Talking to customers.
Keeping Ears to the Ground
“Feedback is critical for a product manager to do their job,” Carroll says. “I want customers to know we are listening, we empathize with their concerns and, most importantly, are working to build the right solution for the market as quickly as we can.”He says in the past the product team has been “in the weeds” focusing on tactical and day-to-day issues. But he has pushed it to spend more time externally talking to clients to truly understand the challenges they face, not just with ACTIVE Net, but with their organization in general.“What it means for customers is that the team is aspiring to solve problems for customers that they haven’t even faced yet, not just little configuration issues in the here and now,” Carroll says.
In addition to emphasizing customer feedback, Carroll has also added a new team member to the ACTIVE Net product team, Kendra Brown.“We brought her in to help support our team in focusing on the problems of tomorrow,” he says. “We are investing heavily right now to transition ACTIVE Net into a suite of products that is more catered to market need and solving the problems of tomorrow, not just focused on the problems of today and yesterday.”
A Bright Future
In the following 12 to 18 months, Carroll and his team will focus on ease of use on the back-end and front-end, finding ways for consumers to part ways with their money faster and mobile first design.“Ultimately, we are focused on helping our customers drive revenue, reduce costs and assist in dealing with ever-increasing budgeting challenges,” he says. “We want to parlay a brighter future of ACTIVE Net that bears tremendous fruit for our clients.”Customers should start to see a faster cadence of ACTIVE delivering value inside of the product. The team recently launched support for the Chrome browser and is rolling out redesigned mobile-first consumer-facing modules throughout 2019 into 2020.That’s not to say everything will be changing, though.
“ACTIVE Net is a workhorse and will remain so,” Carroll says. “Cities of varying size entrust it with their business process, and that built-in strong security, compliance, and customization level will continue to be core to the product’s offering.”Overall, Carroll and his team believe things will only continue to go up.“When we say we are going to do things, we do it,” Carroll says. “The proof is in the pudding; we’ve solved many of these same problems in our other markets, and we will leverage those thoughts and technologies to build a better product in this market.”