Rally Software is the top-ranked Agile ALM software vendor with more than 150,000 customers in 60 countries. Based in Boulder, Colo., Rally is viewed as a visionary and consistently wins awards and gains recognition accolades. In 2006, Rally was one of the first companies to launch an online community for supporting business-to-business relationships. The community, Agile Commons, engages and supports its customers, while also sharing content with the general Agile software development community.
Rally asked 6kites to provide recommendations and an action plan for taking better advantage of their online community, AgileCommons.org. While this community platform was both long-established and active, the time had come to transform the site in order to handle the company’s growth. Rally CTO Ryan Martens asked 6kites to determine a new strategy and recommend an implementation plan within the context of an evolving view of community engagement across all aspects of the business. The recommended solution included:
- Strategic considerations spanning business, technical, and community management.
- High-level architecture with tight integration for Salesforce and Rally’s own collaborative project management solution.
- Recommended next steps for the support community and the planned overhaul of AgileCommons.
6kites’ approach involved facilitating a distributed group of stakeholders to get them moving forward quickly and in the same direction. With the perspective of how other online communities perform in terms of adoption, engagement, and overall activity, 6kites helped Rally sort through a number of potential solutions. At Rally, Salesforce plays a central role in the company’s business operations, so evaluating options for integration with Salesforce was a central consideration. In general, the approach taken was to tie together business and technical objectives into a cohesive plan, and to avoid force-fitting a generic approach.
6kites’s recommendations led to Rally rethinking how community support will be delivered in the future and how the plans fit into a far reaching social business strategy being rolled out over the next several years. These recommendations took the company down a road that eliminated the need for an additional customer support platform which will provide savings in excess of $100,000. Due to the success of this project, 6kites was retained for the community rollout and management planning for Rally’s new community platform to be released in summer 2011, just a few short months after engagement.
“I have seen the positive impact of social media and community platforms in our business. This process is like gardening, occasionally you need a large spring cleaning. I hired 6kites to help us through that spring cleaning process because they are experts with great partners and connections in the industry. Their leadership helped in all aspects of the project, and helped build the skills of our team. It was and continues to be a fantastic consulting relationship.”