Influencing the product

Since I have started working at Microsoft, I always hoped that I will be able to contribute
and influence the development of a product.

My role at Microsoft is that of an IT manager.I manage a team that supports the user
community and infrastructure at the development center in Israel (Haifa). My main focus is
supporting the people that build the products.
Yet, I believe that the added value that I, and my team can provide to the business is
the feedback we can provide as an IT department by dogfooding and providing
general feedback on the products being developed. Since most products built at Microsoft
touch the IT world, we are the best candidates to work on them before they are released.

Earlier this week I had the privilege to meet representatives of the team working on
Forefront Threat Management Gateway (engineers and technical writers). In this meeting they
have asked for my feedback on the UI of the product. We went through the process by acting
out specific scenarios and reviewing the GUI used to configure those scenarios. During the review
I had quite a few observations, one such observation is that when choosing a deployment
scenario in the ‘Getting Started Wizard’, the description text  for each scenario should be more
descriptive regarding the real life usage of that scenario.

I was happy to see that the information I provided was noted and that the
product will be changed to reflect my observations, insofar as they coincide with observations
of other target/representative customers.

All in all it is great to know that the product teams are open to suggestions and are
willing to receive feedback and implement it.  

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