Plexxi Aha! Moment
Aha! is the first true tool built by and for product managers. Everything has been thought through by folks that have obviously been in our shoes in a way that is truly simple yet comprehensive.Mat Mathews, Co-founder & VP, Product Management
Plexxi provides products and services to create dynamic data center networks. We pioneered "Affinity Networking" - the concept that data center applications should drive the network behavior rather than arcane and meaningless network protocols that tend to have a mind of their own. We sell hardware (Ethernet switches) and software (SDN Controllers) to large enterprise customers and hosting/cloud service providers that want to create highly scalable and cost-effective networks that can be controlled simply and intuitively or via full automation, ultimately driving superior application user experience with minimal effort.
We had a problem
We were tired of using tools that were not really designed for product management. We had been using Excel, Powerpoint, Wikis, whiteboards, and drawing tools to work through our product development roadmap. Using generic tools like these are ok for simple tasks but fall over in more sophisticated environments. We struggled in a number of ways. We tried to use Engineering's Atlassian Jira system for managing requirements, but this required us to translate and duplicate lots of information into different formats for consumption by the rest of the company and externally. Fundamentally, we spent way too much time trying to keep everyone in sync. We were looking for a tool that could help us coordinate, plan, and express our roadmap efforts internally for engineering and externally for sales and the rest of the executive team. We really wanted to manage all of our product planning information in one, easy to use place.
Aha! as a solution
Aha! was built by and for product managers and it works well for us. We tried lots of other solutions but there is no comparison in market today. The different aspects of Aha! allow us to consolidate all of our planning efforts into a central place. We can use it to write requirements (used to be on Wikis), manage and track priority lists (used to be Excel), do strategy and scenario planning (used to be a combination of PPT, whiteboards, drawing tools), and we even use it for portfolio management. Aha! has thought out what product managers need to do and has integrated best practices for how information should be captured and displayed, while also leaving room for customizations. This saves us a huge amount of time and keeps everyone motivated.
The fact that you can select a plan where you have unlimited viewers at no cost (the "Enterprise" plan) and multiple views for different audiences is tremendously powerful. This allows us to eliminate duplicate information and reduce the chance for stale information to be used by sales teams or upper management. Everyone is in Aha! The integration with Jira also means that we don't need to force engineering to use our tool, we just push our product plans to them and the bi-directional integration keeps everything in sync. Aha! speaks to everything we were looking for in a product roadmapping tool and it really works well for us!
Life is good
Aha! works for us because it enables and expedites the coordination, planning, and expression of our product roadmap. We can easily communicate the roadmap internally with technical team and externally to sales, the executive team, and customers. We are saving time and increasing our productivity. We estimate that we already save at least one to two weeks per quarter using Aha! We now have lots of saved time to put back into product development and go-to-market activities and build an even better product.