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All About Mindjet MindManager 6

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Robert Gordon, Chief Executive Officer

“I first became aware of Mindjet about a year and a half ago. Now, despite more than 30 successful years within the hi-tech industry, I wonder how I effectively managed without using MindManager. With MindManager 6, as the CEO of Mindjet, I’m able to manage the company more effectively by creating a dynamic window into each functional department of the company through the new integration with Excel. I am also excited about the ability to use the new Review Mode within MM6 to get orderly feedback to my strategic planning maps. In today’s ever changing business environment, it is so important for senior executives to be able to get a real time concise view of every aspect of their business. I tried and sometimes managed to do that before I came to Mindjet. It is a lot easier to do it now with Pro 6.

One of the most useful improvements for me personally is the “fit and finish” features that allow me to quickly balance and align map topics, and to quickly try on other layouts to see what is the most effective for the particular map that I am working on. I don’t need my maps to be works of art, but I do want them to look polished before I send them around to share information. MindManager Pro 6 makes this last step a lot easier.

Nothing ever happens in a vacuum. Although getting MindManager 6 out on time was a monumental task shared by everyone at Mindjet, we have also used our technology to go from a largely single-product, technology driven company toward a multi- product, market-driven organization. In the past two weeks, we have successfully launched MindManager 6 as well as our new IE-based MindManager Viewer. At the same time we are completing an aggressive new product and services roadmap for next year, significantly adding new R&D staffing and creating new development processes that will put us in a better position to manage the strong growth that we are experiencing. All good problems to have, by the way.”

 

Mike Jetter, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder

“Mindjet MindManager 6 is clearly the best product we ever released. With X5 we created a solid technology foundation using XML as core technology and adapted a more intuitive user interface compared to previous versions. In MindManager 6 we had now time to make MindManager an even better product by using customer feedback from X5 to select new features and areas of improvement. I specifically believe that the 100+ small improvements we implemented make MindManager 6 more productive and fun on a daily base, something that is key for our customers.

With MindManager 6 we followed up with our promise of a seamless integration with MS-Office.

We added a bi-directional link to Excel and added a sophisticated flow chart export to Visio. This means that MindManager now integrates with all important MS-Office applications. We also improved the existing PowerPoint integration to reduce turn around times when creating presentations. Another key area was to build out MindManager to become a solution platform. This means that partners can develop their own solutions around MindManager the same way as we do internally at Mindjet. Solutions can now add their own task panes, control strip icons or business topics to MindManager. This will allow partners to create impressive integrations between MindManager and existing enterprise systems, making MindManager a visual dashboard for critical company information. A taste of that is visible in MindManager 6 itself by the spreadsheet, chart and custom property feature. Those features are implemented 100% “outside” MindManager using open interfaces and APIs. It’s just up to the imaginations of our partners what else you want to show in MindManager maps.

To develop MindManager 6 we adopted a new process called Extreme Programming. It’s a relatively young development process (part of a process family called agile software development) that promised a lot, but we were also worried how it would work in practice. It completely changed our project planning, development and QA process and after using it now for 18 months we are very happy that we did this bold move. MindManager 6 has the highest quality ever of any MindManager release since version 1.0. Especially pair programming and automated testing helped a lot to build more reliable software. And at the same time our release date just slipped for 2 weeks.”

 

Bettina Jetter, Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder

“Being part of Mindjet since the beginning, I find every major release very invigorating and the most rewarding aspect is when our beta testers and customers provide us with their feedback – such as “Great product”, “You implemented all my requests better than I have imagined”, “Job well done”, “I love the new version, you paid attention to the details” etc. With every new MindManager we were able to grow faster than we had planned. This shows that our customers have confidence in our products and recognize the benefits Mindjet MindManager adds to their professional work.

Every month I create a board package for our Board of Directors. MindManager 6 enables me to summarize our performance and hiring schedule with the excel linker, present Mindjet’s org chart with the new formatting options, link to more than one attachment and send the package to the board with just a few clicks. As the company grows, departments or individuals are always moving into other offices or locations. Our IT department uses MindManager 6 to map out infrastructure and networking plans and then exports those into Visio. This is much faster and makes the team more productive.

We are launching Mindjet MindManager 6 to over 600,000 users at the same time world-wide in two languages. Our internal challenge is to provide stable, reliable infrastructure, connectivity and the best customer service to support a smooth launch and an outstanding customer experience. We significantly increased our resources in the Customer Service and Support team to provide excellent support to our customers and to answer their questions about MindManager 6, the transition from earlier MindManager versions and beyond.”

 

Michael Louis, General Manager and Executive VP of EMEA, Co-Founder

“MM6 is the next consequent step to get Mindjet MindManager as a standard onto each business PC. The ease of use, the powerful interfaces into the Microsoft Office Products and the integrations possibilities into different data sources are creating a new softwre format and a new productivity standard in our day to day business challenges.

The 3 key enhancements for me are the Excel Interface, the possibility to save attached documents direct in the MindManager file, and the new possibilities the ‘Business Topics’ offer for further powerful integrations into other applications and databases.

A proper management of the launch activities is always very important, especially when a complete redesign of the CD goes along with the product launch. Everything has to be ready and available at specific deadline; proper information has to be given to a few hundred partners and to the product information and the product has to go out to hundred thousands of our users. Just in the EU we have planned road shows in 19 cities, in 11 different countries. Mindjet MindManager always enormously helps planning and coordinating all these activities.”

Francois Lavaste, VP of Worldwide Marketing & Strategy

“Mindjet MindManager 6 is a very significant milestone for Mindjet and for the Mindjet marketing team in particular. Not only do I believe that the product has been dramatically improved – driven by customer input and tested by a large number of beta users – but I am also very pleased to see it carry our new corporate identity. At the same time we launched Mindjet MindManager 6, we also revealed a new corporate identity, new logos and a new web site. We wanted to continue to strengthen both our Mindjet and our MindManager brands and convey the simplicity and power that characterize our product.

The two most exciting new enhancements of Mindjet MindManager 6 for me:

  1. The ability to organize and manage numbers and charts thanks to both the Spreadsheet and the Microsoft Excel Linker features. I can now visualize and better manage my budget, key metrics and business plans.
  2. The new formatting options (text, image and topic alignment options, balance map features, org chart layout feature, snag to grid during drag and drop…). I can now build and publish easily and quickly maps that look really professional. It saves me so much time!

One of the main marketing challenge during the Mindjet MindManager 6 product development process was the scale of the beta test we organized. We recruited over 2,000 beta testers from all regions of the world that gave us great feedback about our new product. They really helped us improve the quality, stability and reliability of our product. To facilitate the beta process, we launched a new beta section on our site and leverage the Blogosphere to recruit new testers.”

 

Chris Holmes, VP of Business Development

“The release of MindManager 5 saw the start of Mindjet’s strategy to evolve MindManager into a solution that enables teams to work together more effectively. A key element of this strategy was the integration of MindManager with enterprise systems allowing business teams to quickly map & interact with information from these environments. MindManager 5 provided the underlying technology for this to happen – open APIs, XML object models etc – we now have a patent pending for this information mapping technology. To show the potential of this capability – we developed an integration with saleforce.com called MindManager Accelerator for Salesforce.com. This Accelerator allows sales teams to view customer & opportunity information within a single ‘big- picture’ map significantly improving the way they can plan sales strategies and pipeline reviews.

MindManager 6 delivers the next stage in this strategy. Of particular interest to myself is the Business Topics feature – simply put this allow users to view almost any information type within a map. However it is the ability to program new business topics and connect them to other applications and information sources that is truly exciting. Imagine a single sales opportunity map showing customer information from a CRM system, a Mapquest map showing directions to the customers premises, the latest analyst report of your major competitor in this account, a pipeline analysis chart reflecting the importance of this account and spreadsheet showing performance against the sales targets this quarter. This is the power of MindManager 6 – the ability to bring together pertinent business information within a big picture view.

In Business Development we are working hard to build partnerships that will deliver new MindManager solutions, enabling MindManager users to work with information more effectively while allowing teams to work together more productivity. To help developers to quickly get started building MindManager solutions we are also launching Mindjet Labs. The Labs is a place where developers and power users can download a variety of integration samples. We are also including the source code of these too so developers can kick start their own integration projects. Mindjet Labs is launched with 8 samples and we will be adding more in the future.”

 

Olin Reams, Director of Sales, Americas & Asia-Pacific

“Mindjet has taken the next step with our core product to help assist individuals and teams make well founded decisions and build intelligent work processes that will move their business ahead. This for me is very compelling, as that has been the driving factor for us in the marketplace over the last four years. By our listening to our users on what makes Mindjet MindManager a useful tool and contributes to one’s effectiveness; and folding that input into Mindjet MindManager 6 we believe that we will play an ever increasing role in organizations around the world.

The biggest change in Mindjet MindManager 6 is that the improvements in MindManager permit an even a tighter integration between the tool and how people think and work. The additions allow people to use more types of data to integrate into the process they are building, refining or implementing. The additional integrations with Microsoft products and enhancements to existing integrations help individuals and teams be more effective day in and day out. This is what I personally find exciting about Mindjet MindManager 6.

Mindjet MindManager 6 is very exciting for us in sales, because we could see how the input of our customers was reflected in MindManager 6. Because of this, the excitement on the team has built rapidly in the last two weeks to the point that we just want to launch the product and get on with the next phase. We have been using 6 internally now for sometime and the sales team has become extremely eager to launch and wanted very much for our customers to be able to share in this enthusiasm. Our partners have recently been shown Mindjet MindManager 6 and their response has echoed ours in their zeal for the next iteration of MindManager.”