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How TSIA Connects Members with Online Community

TSIA is a research and advisory firm that helps technology companies achieve growth and profitability and solve their top business challenges with data-driven, expert advice and community learning. From growth companies to over 80% of the Fortune 100 tech, TSIA works to help the best technology companies in the world.

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The Challenges

Accelerated by the pandemic, TSIA wanted to proactively help their members get the answers they needed to timely, critical questions.

The Search

TSIA was looking for a long term vendor to partner with; one that had proven success stories, fully customizable and an inclusive approach to their product roadmap.

The Launch

TSIA’s product team collaborated closely with the SuccessTeam™ at Vanilla, making it possible to launch the TSIA Exchange community in only 14 days.

The Results

With over 130,000 page views in the first six months of operation, the new TSIA Exchange community is seeing results that have greatly exceeded expectations.

Forums reinvented
“We’re delighted by the results that we are seeing right now. We set out to help leaders in the tech industry get answers amidst the global pandemic, but with Vanilla’s help, it’s become a safe place to navigate all sorts of critical business challenges.“
Patrick Carmitchel
VP of Product Management

The Challenges

The Push for Answers

As a research and advisory firm, the TSIA had been working to provide guidance to their members for years. With all the collective knowledge of their research experts and their members, Patrick Carmitchel, the VP of Product Management, knew that they needed a place to house their support efforts. Patrick wanted to ensure that not only was past knowledge accessible and easy to find, but that they also had a dedicated space for new questions to be asked and answered.

While Patrick and the team at the TSIA had known that they needed an online community to solve this issue, it had been put on the backburner until the pandemic provided them with the push they needed. As Patrick explains,

Vanilla The pandemic was the big push for us. Once people were stuck at home, our content was skyrocketing--at this point, we knew it was important to give them a place to help address the intense questions they had. Vanilla

Not only that, but they wanted to provide a space that could connect product, sales and service leaders, answering their questions and serving as a safe space for conversations.

Pain Points

Hard to Find Q&A

While the TSIA provided a ton of solid and helpful content for its members, they lacked a space where Q&A content could not only be found easily, but also supported and discussed.

No Space For Partners

The TSIA did not have a dedicated space for their partners to connect with each other and have meaningful conversations.

After knowing the importance of an online community for quite some time, Patrcik was finally given the go-ahead to look for the perfect vendor: one that could provide them with the best Q&A community possible.

The Search

Customization For The Win

There were a lot of things on the must-have list for Patrick and his team, all of which turned their attention to Vanilla Forums from the outset. First and foremost, since they knew that this new community would be a long-term investment, Patrick wanted to work with a vendor who he knew would still be around in 5-10 years.

"We wanted to work with a respectable vendor; the size and scope of the company was important to us, and knowing that they weren't going to go under or be acquired was something that stayed at the top of my mind during the search," Patrick explained. He continued, "but it, of course, was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we were looking for."

The TSIA checklist

Scalable

Scalable

“On a product level, we were looking for a partner that we knew would be around for a while…that’s why Vanilla grabbed our attention.“

Strong API

Strong API

“We were looking for a software that had a really well documented API, and it was clear that with Vanilla, it was something we could bank on.“

Customizability

Customizability

“TSIA has its own developers, so finding a software that was totally customizable was extremely important. The functionality and flexibility of Vanilla right out-of-the-box was perfect for us!“

Excellent Support

Excellent Support

“We needed to work with a team who knew what they were doing since we wanted a quick launch. The SuccessTeam™ at Vanilla made our launch as fast and efficient as possible.“

Besides a well documented, strong API, Patrick was looking for a flexible and customizable community platform. "We are lucky to be staffed with developers and designers, and we wanted to be able to leverage our internal resources to customize our community to fit our own needs," said Patrick. Most of the community platforms that Patrick looked into turned out to be very limiting. "The fact that we could take your product and build on it, expand it and make it suit our brand made Vanilla the best option for us."

The Launch

Applying Best Practices

The launch happened so fast and smoothly that identifying members to help get the community up and off the ground turned out to be the most challenging part. Indeed, it only took 14 days from the moment Patrick signed the dotted line to the day that the community went live.

To help them get the engagement and lift they needed for their launch to be successful, Patrick was able to use the Vanilla Success Community, the exclusive community for Vanilla customers, to connect with other community leaders who have seen success. "Learning the best-practices from already established and successful communities helped us a lot in the early stages of the launch," explained Patrick. "I can specially recall a chat with Qualtrics on what worked for them, what didn't work and things that they would do differently."

After connecting with Vanilla's network to improve the new TSIA community, Patrick applied his learnings to build on their already smooth launch and ensure that operations continue to work flawlessly.

The Outcomes

Views, Views, Views!

Once the TSIA community was live, Patrick and his team were seeing immediate results. The community very quickly became a hotspot for their members to ask questions and get quick, insightful responses. Moreover, to ensure that their members got what they needed from the community, Patrick worked to ensure that if a question went unanswered for 24 hours, it was immediately flagged and answered by Patrick's team.

Vanilla We have some of the largest companies in the world with executives at those companies that are using [the community]--they're asking questions, getting answers, then telling their leadership team that they're getting answers they need. It's really helping to support the type of Q&A guidance that we were looking to provide to our members, especially during these times. Vanilla

Of the metrics that Patrick and his team focused on in the early stages of the community, the number of answers, accepted answers and time to response was their primary concern. The community, however, did not disappoint; not only were they seeing better numbers that they had anticipated, but their community had seen over 130,000 pageviews in its first six months.

"The results that we are seeing right now have greatly exceeded our expectations, showing that Vanilla was, without a doubt, the right choice for us," explains Patrick. He continues, "This is just the beginning of something great--I know that there's still a lot of work to do, but as our community matures, Vanilla will be there to help us scale," concludes Patrick.

Reflecting on the TSIA Journey

TSIA knew that having an online community could provide them with a solid foundation to house their Q&A, and their wealth of customer knowledge. But not just any online space would do; TSIA needed a vendor that would be around as their community matured, to help guide them as they scaled. With a launch of just 14 days, TSIA and its members are absolutely loving the new, highly customizable space to ask questions and get valuable answers. Do you want to have a journey similar to TSIA? Connect with our team—we'd be glad to chat!