Cloud Pak for Integration

Stay Current with SaaS Product Updates

By KATHERINE CHARGIN posted Mon November 16, 2020 07:57 PM

  
I like surprises... mostly. Except in my software. 

When I log in to my productivity apps, I'm trying to get something done, as quickly and efficiently as I can, so I can move on to my next pressing responsibility. If I log in only to find changes to key features and behavior, forcing me to stop and assimilate a new way to get my task done, I'm not a happy camper -- even if I generally like the new feature. I want a heads up on planned and published software changes so I can keep my productivity high and my stress low.


With these experiences in mind, I like that Aspera on Cloud offers several ways to stay informed about upcoming product updates.  These various notification methods help you to:
  • Prepare yourself and your team to determine whether each product update applies to your team's workflows.
  • Leverage the update if it applies to your use case.
  • Enhance your use of the app and your team's performance. 
  • Keep your team moving toward their goals, deadlines, and milestones.
What follows is a list of these notification methods. I invite your comments and suggestions below.


"Coming Soon to Aspera on Cloud"

Check this article every couple weeks for announcements about features that are in the pipeline now. When a feature or enhancement appears in this page, you can typically expect to be able to use it in less than a month. There may be exceptions of course -- IBM Aspera is nimble in responding to changing market conditions and to new customer requests. 


Each announcement in "Coming Soon" describes:
  • The value of the feature or enhancement and how it can improve your team's efficiency and success. 
  • Which AoC app gives you access to the product change.
  • The current AoC behavior related to this update and how that behavior will change (if applicable). 


"What's New in Aspera on Cloud"


We update this article
each time a new feature or enhancement goes live in AoC, typically on the same day as the software update. Each announcement provides the same basic information as the blurb in "Coming Soon," typically with a bit more detail on the user interface and user experience. Each "What's New" announcement also includes a link to the related documentation article. Jump quickly to the details you need for a deeper understanding of the change and how to leverage it for your team.


The Blue Dot


In the AoC UI, we
display a blue dot on the Help icon
Blue dot on Help menu Icon
if either of these two articles contains new content since you last opened them. 


You can click the icon to see which article has the update. Click the menu item to jump to the article. 
Help Menu Open


In-App Assistance


For big changes, we typically deploy in-app notifications to alert you to major updates that you'll want to prepare for. For large features or required client upgrades, we take a before/during/after approach. We announce the change well in advance, covering the what/why/when/who/how details. When the feature is published, we post another announcement, reiterating benefits and linking to related documentation or other resources. 


Here are examples of an in-app notifications we provided to admins alerting them to a major change to a certain provisioning function.


This is the advance notification, providing the context, relevance, and next steps. 
Coming Soon Adv App Mgmt


This is the publication announcement with relevant UI guidance and links to detailed documentation. 
What's New Adv App Mgmt



Email Notifications, Feedback Mechanisms, and Beta Sites


For big changes, we
may also send an email to admins with important considerations and detailed schedules. We typically provide a feedback mechanism to collect and respond to your questions and concerns. When appropriate, we provide beta access before general release so you can test and experience the changes for yourself before communicating with your team to prepare them for the change.


Status Page


Check
https://status.aspera.io/ for current system status, performance, and scheduled maintenance to IBM Aspera infrastructure. The heads up on these activities allows you to plan your team's deliverables for success by effectively navigating infrastructure maintenance windows. These notifications include changes to Aspera APIs. 


You can subscribe to a direct feed from this page using RSS or a Slack integration.


My Notifications from IBM Support


You can subscribe to the IBM Support notifications service for Aspera on Cloud. The
My Notifications service sends emails alerting you to scheduled maintenance windows, API changes, support incidents, product and documentation updates, and more. You can customize the notification types you receive and the frequency at which you receive them.

For subscription instructions, go to https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/node/6123669. Be sure to subscribe specifically to IBM Aspera on Cloud notifications. And feel free to subscribe to other IBM product notifications as well.


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How do you feel about surprise software changes? How do you prefer to be notified of changes to the SaaS products you use? How can we make it even easier for you to stay up to date on changes in Aspera on Cloud? Let me know in the Comments section. We always read and consider feedback from our clients; we often implement your suggestions and requests. Thanks in advance! 

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