Why We Make Our Product Roadmaps Public
- Ken Oestreich
- VP Product Marketing - WSO2
“Can you please share your roadmap?”
“What are your plans to engineer feature xxx?"
“Great product, but does your vision match ours?”
We get these questions all the time, from customers, partners, and analysts.
As the leading open source API integration company, it seemed antithetical to be open and transparent about our code, financials, and priorities, but not about our actual product roadmaps.
So we’ve now opened-up our product and solution visions and roadmaps for each of our integration-related products, all part of our Integration Agile platform:
- API Manager roadmap
- Enterprise Integrator roadmap
- Identity Server roadmap
- Open Banking solution roadmap
Why would we do this?
There are a number of reasons we chose to take this bold step - a step that most high-tech companies shun as competitively risky, and thus guard their plans with absurd paranoia.
- Public roadmaps are consistent with our open source community
- Public roadmaps signal our transparency
- Public roadmaps are good for our customers’ trust
- Public roadmaps show our pride, confidence, and vision
- Public roadmaps are good for business
We trust our community to work with us, and they can only do so if they know our plans. That way they are always involved in the technology and will be able to best deliver meaningful new features, contributions, and roadmap suggestions.
Transparency is key to building trust between partners. A public roadmap helps committers, partners and customers to know we’re pulling no punches with our direction. It’s also consistent with our no-lock-in approach… and that means there’s no lock-in to our roadmap either. With a transparent set of roadmaps, our technology partners know what to expect… and have a proactive vehicle to comment on the direction.
When our customers buy-in to our integration platform, they’re putting technology direction on the line. They want to know if we’ll be evolving in the direction they want. For them, it’s all about mitigating long-term technology risk. This way, we’re “opening the kimono” and boldly stating direction.
WSO2’s technology has been evolving for over 13 years. Over 350 engineers currently work on technologies like API management, identity management, ESBs, enterprise integration, and related integration architectures. This is one way of showing-off our vision and capabilities.
In sales situations, customers often ask pointed questions about specific (missing) features. And the usual answer “Yup, we’re working on supporting it” is always received with skepticism. Our public roadmaps put our money where our mouth is… either it’s on the roadmap, or it’s not. Or, we work with our partners to change the roadmap… for everyone else to see.
Next, what’s on our Roadmap roadmap?
This is the first of many more steps we’ll be taking toward increased openness and transparency. But the other critical component is your feedback. So if you have thoughts about our roadmap- positive or negative - there are many avenues you can use, including our Contact Us button - and include your feedback.