Spiceworks Autopsy on Visit to Europe and Spiceworld/All Access

Late last year, we shared our interest in doing more in Europe, to connect with you more often, and to bring the Spiceworks experience to more IT pros across the region. You responded in true SpiceHead style – with passion, frankness, honesty, and constructive ideas about what matters to you most. Thank you for that.
That initial conversation kicked off a flurry of activity led by Laura L (Spiceworks) and John W (Spiceworks) in Europe that’s now two months in. They, the broader team, and I have taken part in a number of fantastic conversations over the last two months - both in person and virtual - that’s helping us refocus in Europe and understand how we can help you every day. I’d like to share what we’ve done so far and what we’ve learned.
In December, Laura and John started meeting with SpiceHeads in Europe including some of the region’s longest-standing, and most engaged IT pros. They’ve generously shared their time to help us understand what we’re doing well, and what we need to rethink in the region.
I want to take a second to acknowledge publicly how much we appreciate their ongoing and candid feedback. But they’re not just here to help Spiceworks. They also stand ready to help fellow SpiceHeads if you have questions or prefer to share your input with them versus us directly. I’ve tagged them at the bottom of this post.

Second, as we promised in November, Sanjay (Spiceworks)Francois (Spiceworks) and I recently joined Laura and John for two IT pro summits - one in London and a second in Munich. I’d like to give you a flavor of what was discussed and our next steps.
At these half-day events, we had an open conversation around what Europe means to Spiceworks, what we’re working on, and what the future holds. We’ve asked those who attended, who have been tagged to this post, to share their thoughts but I hope to give you a sense for what we discussed and what was reinforced while there.
1. We’re like a big family, and we’ve also made some mistakes
As with any relationship, we don’t always get it right. Here’s what you reinforced (again) and told us we need to focus on:
  • Be real. You value authenticity and trust. We all have a stake in our joint success.
  • Be communicative. Ask more questions, share more information, and offer more opportunities for feedback. Be thoughtful about what we say, to whom, when, and how often.
  • Be local. We need to do a better job understanding that local context, language, and connections all matter. We need to build those local connections amongst and between Spiceworkers and SpiceHeads, online and offline.
2. You find our IT products valuable – but we can always do more.
Francois is already gathering valuable feedback on how Spiceworks can be more impactful for SpiceHeads in Europe and which improvements matter most. Localization, translation, performance, specific regulatory constraints, feature requests – the discussion we had was wide-ranging. While the dialogue that started in London and Munich has already sparked some great ideas, the conversation is continuing.
3. You value face-to-face engagement – and we need to re-tool this for a European audience
You reminded us (again) face-to-face engagement is an important part of what you love about Spiceworks. So we continue to look at what this means in a European context, where cultural norms around work, socializing, and travel differ from country to country; and where language definitely matters.
In concrete terms, our focus is three-fold:
  • Continue developing All Access as a scalable European event model, so that we can bring it to more cities across the continent. The team continues to make good progress on this front as you’ve seen recently in posts from Laura.
  • Getting to know you better – both face-to-face, via events like SpiceCorps and All Access; and virtually, via the Community or video chats. Laura and John will continue meeting with SpiceHeads face-to-face on a regular basis, and I encourage you to drop me, Sanjay, Francois, Francis, and Greg an email or PM if you have a burning question or just want to provide input and feedback. We at HQ, in addition to Laura and John in London, will continue actively seeking you out to understand how we can help you.
  • Re-invigorating SpiceCorps by helping to make it easier for SpiceLeaders to manage and bring these valuable groups together on a local level. We have a lot of work to do on this front but know it’s been identified as an area we can improve.

    The Summits were incredibly helpful and frankly reminded me of Spiceworks’ early days when Scott, Francis, Greg, and I drove around Austin meeting with IT pros about how we might be able to help them. We owe a huge thank you to those who were able to attend in person and virtually, as well as you who fed your comments through to the attendees. I’d also like to thank the SpiceCorps of Greater London and Bavaria for convening meetups after each Summit - it was great to meet so many SpiceHeads in one week!
    This trip was just the start of what we’ll be doing in ‘17 and beyond, and how we’ll be continuing to engage with you as we move forward together. You’ll be hearing a lot more from us on what we’re planning and doing in Europe, and we look forward to hearing your views on it too!
    Thank you again for your passion, your trust, and your feedback!

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