Last summer, I received a phone call from Abdeslam Afras, VP of International Markets at AccessData, inviting me to join their newly formed International Client Advisory Board (ICAB). Curious if this could be my chance to have a “look under the hood,” I wanted to learn more.
I was told their intention was to really listen closely to their customers, and the board was one of the more formal programs they were putting in place to do so. They were seeking for the honesty of their customers’ feedback. They were “prepared to be challenged,” said Abdes.
So I accepted the invitation, signed the obligatory nondisclosure and made my way to London. I have to say, the experience was a very good one.
Thirteen of the ICAB members were able to make the trip. There is a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives among the members of the board, including some who are end-users of AccessData products and some who are senior-level decision makers. It was a pleasure getting to know everyone. To top it all off, we enjoyed a wonderful Saturday evening together in a historic wine cellar and had a flavourful wine tasting accompanied by an awesome dinner.
Being an ICAB member is valuable to me for a few reasons:
- ICAB provides a platform for networking and sharing of professional knowledge (e.g., best practices learned from experience) with a remarkable group of people from around the world.
- We are given a unique opportunity to directly influence the development and rollout of innovative software products from AccessData.
- It also allows us to apply the experience and knowledge gained from our service on the ICAB to specific challenges that emerge in our own careers.
This advisory board is a bold example of how AccessData executives are doing more than what their clients expect. They are taking concrete steps to embed a high level of customer engagement into the way they develop products every day.
I’m looking forward to the next ICAB meeting!