Value Parity over Feature Parity

news
Posted by Melissa

14 May 2014

When we first launched Mingle in the cloud last May, we believed we would eventually reach 1:1 parity such that our cloud offering would be functionally equal to our onsite offering.

We’ve learned a lot about what our customers actually need

Over the past year, however, we’ve learned a couple of important things:

  1. Achieving 1:1 feature parity is very expensive in terms of effort required. To do this, we’d have to work exclusively on this and nothing else, like what’s needed to fulfill our 2014 goal to Bring Simple Back.

  2. It may not be necessary to do this in the first place

After speaking with a number of our onsite customers about the features that aren’t available in our cloud offering — and whether anything is a “must have” for them to migrate from their onsite version — we’ve learned that there are very few, if any, musts in life :)

This, combined with the work we’re currently doing to improve Mingle’s usability and, ultimately make it the best team collaboration tool out there, we believe we can provide the same — if not more — value to our customers without replicating the same exact features. As a result, we will be striving for value parity over feature parity.

Addressing the differences between our Cloud and Onsite Offerings

Below are the 6 features that are available in Mingle onsite whose value we intend to deliver in Mingle in the cloud in one form or another. For each item, we describe how we think we’ll address them.

  1. Single-Sign-On (SSO): Mingle now supports SSO via Okta! Customers who use Okta as their SSO provider can now add it to their organization via the Okta Application Network. We currently don’t have any plans to support SSO via other SSO providers but that may change based on the needs of our customers.

  2. Anonymous access: Mingle in the cloud already supports anonymous access. Please read what anonymous access means for Mingle in the cloud and contact our support to enable anonymous access for your site.

  3. Jabber: As far as we know very few, if any, teams use Jabber. Because of this and the fact that supporting it is a consistent drain for the team, we will be sunsetting support for Jabber with Mingle 14.2. Please look out for more updates on this soon.

    However, because we know many conversations happen outside of Mingle, we want to provide some way of bringing those conversations into Mingle, while also providing teams more visibility into what’s going on in Mingle. Since HipChat is becoming an increasingly popular communication tool among software teams, we’ll be looking at ways to integrate Mingle and popular chat tools, like HipChat, this year.

  4. SCM integration: We appreciate that a team’s check-ins are as important (or more) as the conversations about the work. So, while we currently don’t support SCM integration in Mingle in the cloud, we definitely feel it’s important. As a starting point, we’ll be looking at an integration with Git, followed by Github. Keep an eye out for updates on this very soon. (For integration with other repos, Opshub and Tasktop are available.)

  5. Custom Macros: It’s hard to say “we support all custom macros” since, by definition, they are custom and unique to each customer. So, we wouldn’t be able to assess whether we can support a specific macro on Mingle in the cloud until we take a look. Therefore, we will address each custom macro on a case-by-case basis as we migrate onsite customers with such macros to Mingle in the cloud.

  6. Who’s viewing: Replicating this onsite feature exactly as it used to work would put a significant amount of load on our cloud infrastructure. As a result, we’ll be looking at ways to provide similar value in the cloud, but in a different form.

Value Parity over Feature Parity

We will keep you updated about the progress we’re making on all of this on this blog. Again, keep in mind we’re aiming for value parity over 1:1 feature parity.

In the meantime, please read our Bringing Simple Back blog post to better understand the main themes we’re working towards this year, which actually covers a lot of the value described here.

Thank you, and as always, please don’t hesitate to ping us with any questions at mingle.feedback@thoughtworks.com, or simply tweet us @thatsmingle.


comments powered by Disqus