Managing free and open developer community information for billion dollar hardware company
Global camera and imaging maker transitions to software and services company using peer-based authentic information.
How can a global hardware manufacturer with deep expertise in camera technology, lenses, sensors and more operate a free - and free wheeling - developer community? What makes a community healthy? When is a community well-managed and an asset?
The key idea is that if you give something of value, you will get something of value back. Oppkey provides frontline support in the forum and YouTube channel. We define problems with the developers, try to test and verify on our end, and provide our results and as much helpful information as possible. It’s time consuming, but there are no shortcuts.
Oppkey uses the open source forum software Discourse to manage community interactions, allowing Oppkey to work with developers directly to help solve API usage and other development issues. Oppkey also connects through YouTube, posting API testing information and responding to questions.
- Partner Ecosystem
The process is slow and requires attention to detail. We are able to connect the dots when parts of a solution were posted earlier, and another part comes in. As community managers, we summarize and communicate this information to the client and to developers.
RICOH has created and supported a vibrant and valuable community of developers that has solved problems, developed new markets and generated revenue.
“ The THETA community has been an extremely valuable asset for developers like me, providing support and information. It’s great to see RICOH leverage Oppkey expertise to build a community that helps developers build products and businesses. The community has helped my company, FlowTours, which provides wireless mobile live streaming tours of interesting public sites like museums, become a successful and growing business. ”