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Remember when Google used to leave products in Beta for a decade? I found that so strange… it really is not the purpose of a Beta Program, which is to do a preliminary, soft launch, often to a limited set of users to uncover issues that could be fixed prior to official Release of a product.
At PentaSafe I found a way to insert UE into the Beta process as it was a prime opportunity to get user feedback, since we were actively engaging with them anyway. Bear in mind we had a large product suite, so this was not a giant open Beta like you see popular web platforms offer where they are primarily looking at analytics and not directly working with users during the Beta program.
Since product marketing managed this pre-launch program, I worked with Marike, who was in charge of determining standards and processes for running it and we collaborated to define a seamless and hopefully pleasant experience for participants. We even wrote a paper together on our Best Practices in Beta Processes that she submitted to various industry organizations and spoke to groups about.
Here are some documents that might help you with your Beta programs and processes so that you get the most out of this initiative.