Overall Satisfaction with Spigit
We use Spigit in multiple instances or communities. Our biggest community spans engineering, product management/marketing, research, and parts of manufacturing for our consumer electronics division, all working on new product features and ideas for our headphones, music speakers, home theater systems, etc. Our most active community at the moment is the one for our retail salespeople, which is focused on operational improvements -- what selling techniques work best, what merchandising has been successful, and so on. We've also had temporary communities for cross-functional teams of a few dozen people working on special projects.
- Idea Submission: This is the bread and butter, and it's fairly easy to customize a template for idea input to make it work for your organization.
- Idea Progression: There is a lot of criteria on which you can trigger the progress for an idea, and it's very easy to configure.
- User Reputations: Weighting the value of each user's input based on the past perceived value of his/her input works well and is pretty useful, both in the core functionality (submitting and evaluating ideas) but also in helping us identify power users.
- Responsiveness to Customer Needs: We've definitely seen features added that we specifically requested. They use their own tool within their user community to help them identify and prioritize product improvements.
- Events and Conventions: The Spigit user events (the Ignite summit in particular) have always been high quality and a great help to energize and inspire their community managers and customers.
- Detailed Idea Evaluation: It's difficult to do things like expert reviews or specific topical reviews, or to rate ideas by multiple criteria. The built-in visualizations for comparing ideas against each other don't make use of the granularity available in the data, and are mostly useless.
- Custom Reports: In six years, they're now on their third platform for custom reports. This is important, because their built-in reporting and leaderboards don't track the kind of metrics we want to track. The first reporting system was a complex scripting language that was powerful, but still limited in some respects, and required paid custom work by Spigit employees if you needed high-powered reports that required extensive knowledge of their internal database schema! And still, it had limitations. The second reporting system was a sort of cross-tab dashboard tool that never worked the way I thought it would, and couldn't show the things I wanted anyway. The new tool seems to be a much-improved dashboard-style tool, but it has a bit of a learning curve that we haven't taken the time to climb yet.
- Site Design and Customization: If you don't pay them for custom work, and you don't like the default pages, you're in for a lot of frustration and helplessness, as their widget system features hundreds of obscurely-named widgets with unhelpful documentation pages.
- Page-Level Analytics: We have a private site for confidentiality reasons, and we have no idea about how our customers use the site to be able to improve their experience or identify what's working. The platform has no built-in page analytics tools like Omniture, Google Analytics, etc. And we can't use them on a private site because there's no way to get past password protection.
- We've had difficulty attributing any direct ROI to Spigit because we're mostly focused on product ideas and features, and many of our ideas might have (or do concurrently) come through non-Spigit channels within the company.
- We have had a mixed impact with employee morale, as people who have a disposition toward innovation and using social tools like this very much appreciated having Spigit available. But people used to the old way of doing things, or those skeptical about the benefits of crowd-sourcing, or those unaccustomed to having their ideas evaluated or criticized, felt like the tool did more harm than good.
If you have a community with more than 100 active users, and you're looking for ideas around operational improvements that can be acted on in a 6-12 month window, Spigit will work great, and it's one of the best options out there. If you're trying to customize the platform much, you should plan on paying Spigit's service group to do that for you, because it's not easy to do yourself. If you're looking for ideas that will take more than about a year to implement, Spigit is as good as anyone else because that's a really tough thing to do in an innovation community!
Evaluating Spigit and Competitors
- Product Features
- Positive Sales Experience with the Vendor
- Analyst Reports
At the time, it was more than price competitive with every other option, including things we were already paying for but would need to customize (like MS SharePoint). It would have cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars to build elementary functionality internally, and all the other competitors were more than twice the price.