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At a certain point in nearly every important technology company’s maturation, leadership needs to ask itself a binary question: Do we believe we know more than our customers, or do we believe our customers know more than us?
The answer to this question leads to yet another binary. Companies that believe they know more than their customers tend to run closed systems, whereas those who believe in the power of the customer run open systems. In other words, they become a platform upon which other software vendors can build.
Customer- and product experience vendors typically run closed systems, opting to prescribe workflows rather than let customers tailor their own. Yet in other sectors, companies like Atlassian have done a magical job of building a platform that enriches the customer experience while increasing the value of their platform for customers and partners alike. Given that one of Pendo’s core values is “maniacal focus on the customer,” our answer to the question should be pretty obvious. We believe in our customers, and that’s why we’re announcing Activate, the Pendo Partner Program.
Activate’s goal is as straightforward as it gets: put product data in the hands of decision-makers throughout your organization. Leaders make HR decisions based on HR data, marketing decisions based on marketing data, sales decisions based on sales data. But when it comes to product decisions, that data historically has been elusive. As a result, decisions are made by a blend of anecdote and instinct, preventing companies from achieving the higher order mission of becoming product led. That’s the pattern Activate aims to reverse.
How we get there is fairly straightforward as well. Partners play a variety of roles in our ecosystem. Some exchange data with Pendo, others rely on Pendo to pull contextual content into their apps. Let’s have a look at a couple of use cases.
Elevating the role of product data
Product managers are increasingly focused on elevating the role product data plays in organizational planning. They advocate for product data to be treated with the same weight and importance as sales, marketing and finance data. To achieve this, we need to help our customers incorporate product analytics into whatever dashboard the executive team uses to assess enterprise health.
Together, the partners help move product data out of Pendo and into a data warehouse so it can be visualized in a business intelligence tool alongside data from other departments. Some initial partners include leading data migration, data warehouse and BI vendors.
Pendo customers often want to integrate their solutions with third-party applications, like knowledge bases and live chat, to improve the customer experience and bring more contextual information right where their users are— inside the application. After all, if they could show a user an article from their knowledge base portal at exactly the right moment, then that user would be less likely to file a ticket and wait for a response. Everyone wins.
The challenge, however, is twofold: first, these integrations typically require engineering resources—a request that’s out of reach for most; second, even if they were to redirect engineering to help with API connections, their product wouldn’t be able to parse who should see what tip at which point in the right point within the product experience.
By opening up the Pendo Resource Center to third-party developers, we now help these product-led organizations deliver new experiences to solve customer pain. Pendo customers can integrate in minutes with any partner app Pendo has built or the community has built—no engineering help is required. And because Pendo is already tracking users and usage, it’s easy to set rules around exposing contextual information, such as a tooltip or support article, based on role or behavior.
To make it all refreshingly simple, we’ve created a marketplace inside of Pendo where you can see all the integrations that are available, at any time. At launch, our marketplace already includes integrations with more than 30 solutions, ranging from knowledge bases (Zendesk, Help Scout) to chat (Intercom, Drift) to customer feedback (UserVoice, Unbird) to data sync (Salesforce, Segment). If there’s an integration you’d like to see, we’re certainly open to recommendations. You can message us directly—but if you want to create a groundswell, post on social media, tagging us and your desired partner along with the hashtag #PendoPartners. You’ll get leadership’s attention.
In the meantime, if you are looking to take advantage of our open Resource Center and build an integration, technical information on our docs, APIs and SDKs can be found here.
To paraphrase Bill Gates, our objective is to create a platform where what is built on it exceeds the value of the platform itself. Compounding benefit is what Activate is all about—it’s yet another expression of our maniacal focus on the customer.