Today’s interview is with Rob Howard who is the Chief Technology Officer of Zimbra, a leader in the unified collaboration software space. Their solutions include email, calendaring, file sharing, activity streams, social communities and more. Rob joins me today to talk about how Texas Instruments leverages Zimbra’s online community software to drive customer feedback and how to build valuable and effective customer support communities.
This interview follows on from my recent interview: Customer experience requires a new type of responsive leader – Interview with Sid Banerjee of Clarabridge – and is number one-hundred and one in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.
Note: The interview series has been on hiatus over the last month as I have been busy with a social enterprise project. Now that that is well under way I hope to get back to publishing interviews on a more regular basis.
Here are the highlights of my interview with Rob:
About Rob (taken from his Zimbra bio)
Rob Howard is the Chief Technology Officer at Zimbra, Inc. (formerly Telligent). In July 2013, Telligent, the company that Howard founded in 2004, acquired Zimbra from VMware (NYSE: VMW). The two businesses merged to form Zimbra, Inc. Howard oversees the technology roadmap, research & development, and is the visionary behind the company’s product development. Working with global brands including Comcast, Dell, H&R Block, Microsoft, Oxfam, Rackspace and many others, Howard has put his expertise and insight to work for organizations of all sizes wanting to apply the value of collaborative work to their business.
A true pioneer in enterprise social software, Howard is known throughout the industry as an authority in collaboration and community software. With over 15 years of experience in the technology sector, his roots began at the frontiers of social technology with his contribution to the development and adoption of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) Web platform technologies. While at Microsoft, he helped create and nurture the innovative ASP.NET community.
An expert at developing enterprise social software, he has authored several books on the topic of software development and speaks at conferences worldwide on the topics of social computing and software development. Howard is a member of the Lonestar chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization, and he earned his bachelor’s of business administration from Baylor University.