From the Big Bang to… the second big bang

When I first started at Webtrends Inc. back in 2014 the Optimize platform was very much an ‘in-house managed’ product, only available via a fully managed service, and not as a standalone SaaS model.

It wasn’t really designed for, or accessible, to clients or anyone outside of the business itself.

As such, although the technology and features were still very powerful and advanced, the UX in the front-end was functional at best.

The infrastructure supporting it was also a large and unwieldy beast and could make it a little slow to use at times, and there was no great need or desire to develop new features or functionality.

A new dawn

However, a little over 3 years ago in August 2018 Webtrends Optimize went it alone. Separating from Webtrends Inc. under new management to become its own entity.

With a fresh set of eyes and talent, Webtrends Optimize was reborn and revitalised.

The UI in all areas of the product was given an overhaul. Fresh ideas, processes, and ambitions were introduced and that brought new and exciting challenges.

The UX improvements initiated and delivered at the very start of the separation were huge in terms of making Webtrends Optimize available to a whole new audience. As was the overhaul in the reporting suite.

The infrastructure was given the same treatment, moving to the cloud and refined continuously making it vastly more efficient in supporting our front-end technology.

Working in the product team at this time was very exciting - being given the opportunity to massively redevelop the front end of the platform and bring in new features, while keeping the core, robust, functionality that had made Optimize an enterprise-level testing platform in the first place.

We were empowered to feel like we could literally deliver anything that would bring benefit to our users.

New change management processes were also implemented to effectively deliver all of this new and exciting stuff. In the old days product releases were fairly slow moving and (relatively) infrequent, and now we were delivering 1 or 2 releases every month!

There were loads of ideas pouring in from the team and our clients on what features, tools and functionality could be delivered next.

It was at this time, the start of this new dawn for Webtrends Optimize, that a conscious decision was made to be a little different to most of our competitors in the space.

We wanted to make CRO accessible for all and not restrict clients and partners by hiding elements of the platform behind paywalls, available only if you upgrade to the next tier.

We wanted all of the fun new stuff we were delivering to be available to anyone who chose to use the platform.

(Today and) Tomorrow’s World

With this new drive to deliver more and more it meant our technology was moving forward at rapid rate, but we didn’t want to just deliver things for the sake of it.

We worked closely with our partners and in-house expert team; we listened to the feedback of our clients and growing user-base. What was missing? What would improve and enhance their experience? What would allow them to consolidate and reduce their CRO SaaS sprawl?

The fact we continually took on board these concerns, suggestions and desires, merged them with our own ideas, and delivered them into Optimize with a pretty quick turnaround helped build trust with our users.

A social proof engine and a product recommendation engine were delivered for two clients independently, and AB tested thoroughly (using Webtrends Optimize) against their existing vendor’s solutions.

They both smashed it out of the park and allowed the clients to generate further ROI by reducing their SaaS sprawl, workloads and manual processes.

While at Webtrends Optimize we simply engineered both of these successful solutions into the platform, available to any other user at no additional cost - adhering to that ‘no restrictions’ mantra we implemented.

We have done the same thing by enhancing our suite of no code widgets so that marketers and those with limited or no coding knowledge can still deliver CRO solutions such as hello bars, pop-up promotions and lightboxes, with triggers such as exit intent.

3 years on from going it alone the product has matured immensely. Webtrends Optimize is a full-stack CRO solution with an all-inclusive model. And we’re still delivering.

Dimensional reporting is about to drop. It’s already in QA. We firmly believe this will be the best, most detailed reporting engine in any CRO solution (Watch this space for more news on this very soon!). And there’s loads more in the pipeline.

Rolling back to the early days when I first started at Webtrends Inc. a lot of these conversations were still had, but there wasn’t really the drive to move it forward. But the last 3 years have been the most exciting and rewarding of my working life. And the only way is up!