Ever thought about joining a JDA Special Interest Group (SIG), such as the JDA WLM SIG? We sat down with Jim Chamberlain and Richard Johnson to discover why you might want to consider finding some time to become an active part of the group. This is part 2 of a three part series.

How do you describe the JDA WLM SIG to others?

(Chamberlain): I’d describe the JDA WLM SIG as an open forum to solve issues, share ideas, influence product direction and help people learn how to maximize the investment they’ve made. It’s my role to help the members maximize their investment and help them get the most out of the product.

(Johnson): To add to Jim’s description, from a product management stand point it is a valuable tool for us to be able to post surveys and very quickly get a large variety of customer viewpoints. This allows our development to be agile with the changing business requirements; we don’t have to wait for a quarterly meeting to get feedback into our development process.

Tell us what a typical JDA WLM SIG meeting is like (by phone or in person).

(Chamberlain): The quarterly JDA WLM SIG calls typically last an hour. As we’re still building the group, we’re always trying to tweak the format to make it better. Ideally, I’d like to see the member spotlight become more prevalent so that members get to know more of one another. Richard always gives a product and product roadmap update and covers the latest features, what’s currently being worked on, etc. To the extent possible, he’ll do a demo and then gather feedback from the group.

We have two opportunities for in-person meetings – one at JDA FOCUS and one at Fall Summit. The idea is to continue to drive education, learning and information sharing.

At JDA FOCUS 2018, there will be several roundtables where topics will be discussed that are selected by the group, not by Jim or Richard. That gives members a chance to come together on issues that are near and dear to their hearts and allow them to report on it, i.e., “here’s how I’ve done it” “or “it would be nice if the software could enable us to do X, Y Z.” That kind of sharing helps everyone to understand that there’s more than one way to do things, lets them increase their knowledge base and encourages networking across the same or different industries to see how people are applying the technology.

For the Fall Summit, we want to work on engagement – get it to be more interactive; customer-driven with more roundtables, discussion and networking.

What are the  benefits if I’m new to WLM, vs. if I’m an experienced WLM User but haven’t been part of a SIG before?

(Chamberlain): The JDA WLM community portal is a great forum, particularly for those who may not always want to raise their hand on the call. It’s also a great way to network and learn from fellow SIG members; all questions get answered and almost always by other users. It’s also a great way to tap in to the experience of others vs. always feeling like you have to figure everything out yourself. Another cool aspect is that JDA and partners also monitor the online community and sometimes offer tips and other bits of helpful information. No matter where you are in your journey there’s something for you to learn and benefit from.

Regardless of where you are in your use of JDA WLM, there are people at many different stages in the journey in the SIG. We work to get them to understand the power of staying current with the latest releases so no one’s being constrained by older functionality. We’re also trying to get awareness for Cloud/SaaS options, which will allow for seamless, remote upgrades vs. servers on location.