ScaleIO: Focusing on Total Customer Experience

Releasing ScaleIO into the Wild with Free and Frictionless

On May 29th 2015, ScaleIO software became available to download by anyone with a couple of clicks to deploy a software defined storage solution on your hardware; with no time, capacity, or feature limits. Sounds simple, and for customers we want it to be simple.  Many things took place behind the scenes to make the release a success that may not be apparent. Initially, we wanted to launch sooner, but based on customer feedback, we knew the installation process could use some improvement. For a customer without prior experience, the installation was not as simple as it needed to be.  We needed to fix that before releasing ScaleIO into the wild. But how did we know what our customers really wanted? Well, we listened. How did we collect the information needed to simplify the installation process?

We started a project to collect Customer Experiencefeedback. We gathered some technical users, and did remote usability testing sessions where we would record them installing ScaleIO. We consolidated feedback about quality of documentation, ease of installation and time to install. Users also had the option to give direct feedback and many did.

We then took all the input to the engineering and documentation teams. What we found was that we needed to change the way installations worked for simple deployments and this led us to create an installation wizard that guides new users through the process. The advanced deployment option is still there for users that prefer that installation process.

ScaleIO Installation

But did it work? Before releasing to the world, we wanted to verify. We ran through our installation testing with a new set of users, using a beta build of ScaleIO version 1.32.0. We also greatly changed how the quick start guide helps a user though the setup. In this second round of testing, we found the feedback was much more consistent and a huge step in the right direction. The time to install went down considerably. They now found the quick start guide cleaner and the steps easier to follow as well.

Interested in becoming more involved?

We’ve got some very cool things we are working on to make the entire experience with ScaleIO even better, so stay tuned. As we continue updating ScaleIO, we want to shape it into something that makes your job even easier. Our best method to do that is to listen to you, so please give us feedback. The first step is to actually take ScaleIO for a spin, if you have not already. Once you have, go to our ScaleIO community site and join the discussions. We are reading and responding to your posts, taking them into account as we evolve ScaleIO with new features and expanded functionality.

Read more about EMC’s Total Customer Experience Global Celebration here.

About the Author: Jason Sturgeon