My name is Luke Freiler. I am a co-founder of Centercode, and as of 2009 I have taken on the role of CEO after spending 8 years serving as CTO and leading the design of Centercode Connect, our beta test platform.
So What Does the New Centercode Mean?
For Centercode’s first 7+ years, my co-founder Rich Morgan served as Centercode’s CEO. Rich has a background in finance and operations, and he focused on getting the business established while I concentrated on creating the beta test management system I envisioned. During a discussion in late 2008, we concluded that we needed to refresh our business by broadening the reach of our software and updating our managed beta offering. This provided the perfect circumstance for something we had been discussing for a while — me stepping into the leadership role as CEO.
In my new role I am focusing on strategies and initiatives to spread our products and solutions far beyond the audiences we’ve targeted in the past while Rich focuses on what he loves doing — creating the systems and processes that make a company work. Today we’re announcing the results of more than a year’s work in this direction — and that is what Centercode 2.0 is all about.
That said, let’s get to the changes.
New Centercode Branding
To celebrate this new chapter in the evolution of Centercode, we’ve launched an entirely new and vibrant look for Centercode, including our new logos — and red and orange color theme. This is evident on our new website, our blogs, and all of our materials. We hope you like it!
New Corporate Web Site
Our new website (www.centercode.com) features an entirely new design and includes great new information on beta testing, refreshed and updated information covering all of our offerings (including a new subscription pricing plan with a price configurator and online purchasing), free trial sign-up, updated client list, our new partner program, blogs, Twitter feed, and much more.
Centercode Connect Editions Are Now Available
For the past 8 years Centercode has focused on building great software that enables large companies to effectively manage sophisticated beta programs. In that time, surprisingly few options have materialized to help smaller companies run their beta programs, and therefore a significant opportunity was sitting right in front of us, waiting for a viable solution.
To meet this need, while ensuring we continue to address our current market — we’ve developed Centercode Connect editions, offering 3 unique levels of an on-demand monthly subscription model with flexible licensing designed to scale with the needs of our customers. The Connect editions are:
- Standard Edition offers a complete cost-effective system for running highly successful beta tests to companies that lack a full-time beta team, and rely on Product, Quality or Project Managers to manage the beta process for their products.
- Enterprise Edition offers Beta Managers and Beta Teams all of the tools they need to successfully manage sophisticated beta programs, in less time, with far greater results.
- Community Edition offers companies a very cost-effective solution to maintain their beta portal, customer community, and reporting capabilities between their beta cycles.
You can also compare our editions.
Connect Free Trial Program
To compliment the release of Editions, we’re introducing a free trial program, including a free training session to ensure you get off on the right foot. Of all our changes, this is the one I’m most excited about — as I’m certain that once our prospective customers try the system, they’ll love it. Read More »
Connect 9.0 Released
While we’ve been busy working on our new business model, we introduced Connect 9.0 to our existing customers. This was a huge release, including complete localization capabilities (our first international community being a large Japanese implementation). In addition, an entirely new reporting engine offers a variety of new ways to visualize and analyze data, including the availability of geographic maps. Read More »
Connect 9.1 Coming (Really) Soon
We’re always working to improve Connect and make managing beta tests even easier. Connect 9.1 includes a streamlined Project Manager interface, 300+ inline hints — offering instant answers to common questions, and FTP Upload – allowing multi-gigabyte builds to be uploaded with ease. Connect 9.1 is in final test and will be available in late October.
The Centercode Blogs
You’ll be hearing a lot more from Centercode on an on-going basis. Like many companies, we’re choosing to forego press releases in exchange for a more contemporary and conversational blog platform. To kick this off we’re immediately launching 3 blogs:
- Centercode Blog – This will be used to announce all Centercode news, new programs, events, and whatever else we believe our customers will appreciate.
- Beta Guru – Through this blog we will share the useful information we’ve gathered based on our experience of managing hundreds of beta tests for companies of all shapes and sizes.
- Connect Blog – We’ll be using this blog to pass on tips, tricks, roadmaps, and other information related to our own Centercode Connect beta test management system.
To complement our blogs we’re also launching a new Twitter feed. We’d love to have you following us.
Managed Beta Changes
While our software has seen the largest changes this year, the Managed Beta (professional services) side of our business is growing and is seeing its own share of improvements as well. These include:
- Managed Beta Communities – We’ll now be offering our Managed Beta customers their own private Beta Portals and User Communities, built on Centercode Connect. These communities will provide them with a head start for future managed betas, as well as the option to upgrade to Connect Standard or Enterprise to run their own betas at any time.
- Managed Beta Programs – We’re now offering companies the ability outsource their entire beta program (as opposed to individual tests). Doing so will offer a cost effective program with built-in discounts, and ensure highly consistent process and outcomes between their projects.
- New Closure Reports – We’ve been working with our customer base to design an entirely new and improved closure report format, more effectively summarizing the outcome of their beta tests.
Look for future blog posts with more details on these changes.
Free Public Beta Program
As part of our changes, we’re offering public beta tests to companies who would like to increase their exposure via our Community (www.onlinebeta.com). We feel these types of betas offer benefits all around (to our community, our client, and ourselves) — so we chose not to charge for them.
Centercode Partner Programs
We’re now offering other companies the ability to include beta test management in their offerings. Our partner programs include:
- Solution Partners – This program offers companies the ability to sell managed beta tests built on the Centercode Connect platform, in addition to or in combination with their own offerings. This provides a great new way to increase revenue while utilizing existing resources and customers.
- Technology Partners – This program offers companies the ability to integrate their products with our own, allowing their customers to bring beta test feedback into their own tools and vice versa.
- Authorized Resellers – This program offers discounts and materials for companies interested in marketing and selling our software and services.
Next Up For Centercode
We’ve been hard at work on these changes, and have plenty more on the way. Connect 9.2 is currently in development, as well as entirely new documentation (including video tutorials), and a new focused beta tester community. Look to this blog for these and other announcements about Centercode’s exciting future.
Thank you for your support and business,