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“Delight and Amaze Our Customers” or DAAOC, is the mantra of Jérôme Lecat, Scality’s CEO, and is what each person at Scality strives for every day.

There are just as many definitions of DAAOC as there are customers. Each customer provides us with a unique criteria required to satisfy these five simple words. In engineering, the execution of DAAOC is based on our experience diagnosing customer issues and creating a number of possible solutions.

A powerful tool in Scality’s arsenal was initiated earlier this year called the Design Partner Program, or DPP. This is a process where we share early releases of our technology, user experience/interfaces and product directions directly with end-user architects and operational teams. In DPP, small sets of customers are selected to receive early information and product features for use in a test environment. These pre-alpha and alpha packages allow customers to test and validate new features and behaviors long before the features are shipped.

The concrete ‘homework’ assignments for DPP participants and the corresponding feedback given directly to the Scality engineering teams, ensure that all features are making an operational difference in real-world environments. If a feature or interface doesn’t resonate, it can be tuned or altered before any significant investment has occurred. This tight and precise feedback loop ensures engineering is building a product that makes an impact with our customers.

This year, engineering is using the DPP engagement to focus on a key challenge in large-scale distributed systems; the installation and configuration of the initial deployment. After selecting the DPP participants, the joint engineering/customer teams have held regular meetings to discuss the operational challenges and workflows in this area. Initial discussions were validated with customers, wireframes and workflows were generated and shared for additional feedback and modifications to the flow in turn were integrated into the pre-alpha code. The next step is hands-on time with the alpha code in the customer test labs. Engineering teams can’t wait for the first ‘live’ installs…

The early and consistent feedback provided via the DPP framework has optimized the engineering effort and has allowed Scality to validate key challenges, invest in the highest impact items and ensure the capabilities being delivered to our customers provide the best possible experience.

The DPP is one tool that when combined with other minds, offers a tangible way for our team of engineers to create the best possible customer experience and product. At Scality, that’s what DAAOC is all about.

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