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Generating Value: A Talk with Qmarkets’ New VP Product

Sivan Leshem joined Qmarkets in 2011 as a project manager, before going on to manage the product delivery department during a period which would see Qmarkets grow into a leader within the idea and innovation management market. Most recently Sivan has stepped into the role of Vice President of Product, so we sat down with her to discuss her experience at Qmarkets and her vision for the future.

Qmarkets: Please tell me a bit about yourself, what is it that inspires your work at Qmarkets?

Sivan Leshem: Well, I have always been fascinated by problem-solving. Finding logical solutions to inefficient processes has been an interest of mine since I was young, and I believe that this has allowed me to make use of two seemingly disparate skills: logical thinking on the one hand, and creativity on the other.

Over the past twenty years I’ve had plenty of opportunities to develop this interest, working with several startups in addition to global consulting companies. Utilizing these skills within organizations of varying sizes has been a rewarding and challenging experience.  No matter what the company size, however, a focus on project and product management has remained the central theme of my career to date.

QM: What was your involvement in the creation/launch of Qmarkets 10, and what was the philosophy behind it?

SL: My involvement in delivering the project began with applying my deep understanding of our customers’ needs and challenges, gained from working with them for many years, to formulating a cohesive strategy for how the product would look. Working with the rest of the team, we aimed to develop the best approach to address these comprehensively within the new platform.    

Three elements underpinned how we conceived and formulated the product: call to action, smooth operation, and “anytime, anywhere”.

QM: What were some of the limitations of the previous version of Qmarkets software, and how have these been overcome?

SL: While our previous user interface was very flexible, the “out-of-the-box” version of our software was not the most visually attractive. So we made the decision to redesign Qmarkets’s UI from the bottom up, in order to make it more intuitive, slick and modern. As part of this overhaul, it was also important for us to make the system responsive, which means that the entire system is now much more user-friendly for visitors across all devices, including tablets and mobile.

Innovative ideas generally happen spontaneously – an idea could hit you while you’re in the shower, commuting to work, or while relaxing at home. Thanks to the introduction of responsiveness, the system can now be used anywhere, anytime.

QM: What has been added to Qmarkets 10 that wasn’t present in previous versions?

SL: In addition to the above, we also embedded call-to-actions throughout the system to make it easy for the user to see what needs to be done next, helping them to move their project forward. These buttons are personalized and differ according to the user’s role.

At the system manager level, we added a new self-admin tool that enables greater flexibility, along with a robust API package for advanced analytics that will allow our users to gain insights into processing times as well as user usage and performance metrics.

QM: What do you expect the impact of these changes to be for customers?

SL: We believe that mobile support will prove a pivotal addition to our current product. Innovative ideas generally happen spontaneously – an idea could hit you while you’re in the shower, commuting to work, or while relaxing at home. We expect that more users will be accessing the system more frequently than has been the case in the past, resulting in more ideas, more collaboration, and more value generated for our customers.

A key design criteria for everything we do, is to always keep the migration path of our existing customers in mind. This means that for our more recent customers, the transition would be quite simple and can be completed quickly. For our legacy customers, especially ones using our Q-max edition, we will be working with them to make sure they can map all their functionality and design into our new UI. Part of this transition will allow our existing customers to simplify elements of their existing implementations, in order to make the system much more accessible and engaging for their end users.

QM: How does the switch to Qmarkets 10 affect users who are still using Qmarkets’ older platform?

SL: Our systems are backward compatible, so users that are using the current system will not experience any difficult accessing their data once the rollout of the new product reaches them in 2018. They’ll just have a more intuitive and responsive UI waiting for them when they log in!

QM: Why the change in the new idea submission to a one-page?

SL: We no longer feel that long submission forms are an impediment to the user experience. We’ve found that scrolling as a UI function is more attractive than clicking through stages, so we decided it was better to consolidate the information we need in one input area than spread it out over two.

Our advice to customers is to ask the minimum number of questions required to obtain the data that they need. However, it’s important to outline, however, that we understand that each user’s needs are different. Our products are built with a certain amount of flexibility to facilitate that. We don’t believe in forcing users to adapt to fit a system, in fact we believe in the contrary which is why we’re keeping the door open to both options.

Our products are built with a certain amount of flexibility to facilitate that. We don’t believe in forcing users to adapt to fit a system, in fact we believe in the contrary.

QM: Tell us about the new expert evaluation in Qmarkets 10?

SL: We’ve added expert evaluation as a new feature in Qmarkets 10. The expert that users chose to evaluate their idea can be drawn from the same area in which they are operating or from a different one entirely.

We’ve added a clear visual separation between the information the user inputs, the information added by the consulting expert, and the visibility of what stage the expert evaluation process is at (approved, rejected, promoted, etc.).

In addition, customers can definite automation logic to enable correlation between the idea proposed and the reviews that are gathered in respect of it.

QM: How much of Qmarkets 10 was born out of customer demand?

SL: Listening to customers is a fundamental part of how we operate at Qmarkets. Our customer success team is constantly monitoring user feedback and corralling those suggestions to our R&D team who use it to develop the next generation of Qmarkets’ award winning software.

In fact developing Qflex (our a la carte, off the shelf solution in which users can pick and choose those functionalities that will have the biggest impact on their business) would not even have been possible without us having an in-depth understanding of how our customers use the tool gained from speaking to them – literally – on a daily basis.

This thorough understanding of our customers’ demands, coupled with our vision of delivering market-leading innovation management systems, has enabled us to be successful in delivering the most useful tools possible to our customers.

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Contact us to learn more about Qmarkets 10 and how Qmarkets can help you harness your team’s collective intelligence to advance your innovation goals.

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