In a New Zealand telecommunications first, Telecom New Zealand has partnered with an online community to agree, design and develop recommendations for a mid / high-end modem which the company will adapt to bring into production.
Geekzone community members are invited to submit their thoughts and ideas for discussion and a popular vote. An expert panel will work through the submissions and confirm the recommended specifications to be passed on for the modem’s production later in 2013.
The initiative is thought to be the first time a New Zealand telecommunications organisation has worked directly with tech-enthusiasts to create a modem to suit their specific needs.
Chris Thompson, Telecom’s Head of Consumer Marketing said that the crowd-sourcing project is the natural progression for a productive community relationship which has been fostered over a number of years with Geekzone.
“Early adopters, or ‘power-users’ offer great insights to the demands that our wider customer base will be making in the future. Telecom staff have been working closely with Geekzone for a number of years, participating in a flourishing community of tech-enthusiasts who are always forthright with their thoughts and opinions and this is the natural next-step.”
“Working collaboratively with Geekzone gives us the chance to get great feedback from technically sophisticated users to develop leading edge products & services,” he said.
During the first week of the two week collaboration process, the community will be encouraged to share their ideas and technical specs, before then ratifying them in a voting process the following week.
Selected members whose suggested features are chosen to appear on the final product will be invited to participate in the prototype testing of the units as well as rewarded with one of the end-product modem at the completion of the project.
“It is exciting to see a large company such as Telecom New Zealand tapping into consumers to help define a new product and I hope the users see the benefit in this approach,” said Geekzone community manager Mauricio Freitas.
“Crowdsourcing in general benefits both consumers and companies. The community will have a say in a product that can potentially be used by thousands of internet users in the country, taking ownership of features, while Telecom will be able to bring market innovation through collaboration with the external community.”
The modem will be brought into production later in 2013 at which time pricing will be announced.