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The human element of updates

With our launch of 19.4 underway, we consider the importance of updates. And the human element that makes it so difficult.

We may all be working within a world of AI, but as human beings spinning many plates, we can all appreciate how difficult it can be to maintain systems and apply updates. Enate has always considered ‘the human’ as part of the equation, so we decided to revisit the process, do most of the hard work upfront, and provide better options for updating our service orchestration platform.

To give you some insight into how we work, we put a Q&A to our very own Product Manager, Kamal Saran who has been leading the release process as part of the Enate team for over five years.

Q: How has Enate been releasing updates to this point? And what’s next?

Up until 2020, we adopted a pretty standard quarterly product release strategy to provide updated software to our customers. From 2020 onwards, we have moved to three releases a year. This is due to a pretty simple philosophy: make it easier for our customers.

Thanks to direct feedback received via our application support team, we understood that they don’t necessarily have the resources and/or appetite to upgrade their environment each quarter. Our new approach also now invites customer to participate in a pre-release for one month prior to production release which now gives them the opportunity to feedback, allowing us to address any feedback, before the official release. It was important that we took these steps to continue to evolve with our customers and not dictate a ‘standard industry practice’ which wouldn’t work for them.

Q: Is it essential to update?

We always encourage customers to update because it’s not just the improvement of existing Enate capabilities, but also to introduce new capabilities, such as the multilingual support available in 2019.2. I would recommend updating three times a year for these reasons, however Enate customers can now update twice a year as a minimum if that works better for them. We are already focusing on the future and know that we have to continually evolve, and that includes incorporating the growth of AI, machine learning and OCR into our software. We just wanted to make it as easy for the customer as possible.

Q: Is there any risk associated with fewer releases?

The new approach is far less risky for customers. We realised that some customers weren’t able to update as frequently as required which meant they fell behind on critical updates. Now, because the one-month feedback window, it also means that their queries will be addressed sooner and incorporated in the full release. So, in effect, we can incorporate more, in less.

Q: Why is it not an automatic update?

Enate updates are intentionally manual and again, this comes down to some human requirements. It is likely that the customer has integrated other technologies  with Enate and they would like to test their integration with the updated version of Enate before committing to the full installation. It could also be too disruptive to impose an automatic update – it could be a particularly busy period for a customer so we want them to have the choice - we don’t want to force customers to install anything they don’t want, or too frequently.

Enate genuinely believes in transparency so, whether you’re a customer or someone considering independent orchestration, or you may simply be interested in all things AI, we remain committed to publicly sharing the details of our latest releases via our website, including outlining the highlights via a release blog, and a public facing feedback site plus, in 2019 we completed our global community forum which plays host to a range of resources - and where we are happy to answer pretty much any question you can think of.

Would you like to know more? Visit enate.net and get in touch with our friendly team today.


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