Rogue Amoeba is a software company based out of Boston, USA. Since 2002 they’ve been making award-winning audio tools for Mac OS X. We spoke to Paul Kafasis, Founder and CEO of Rogue Amoeba, about how FogBugz Ocelot has helped them to track bugs and provide great customer support by being able to work on bugs and customer enquiries together, in one place.
When they began they used email for customer support – “everything came into my inbox and I would answer it”, but then they hired support staff and “started with a help desk product”. This helped, but it wasn’t enough – “having support and bug tracking in one place is something we wanted to do”. Not only that, but they were still writing each response from scratch – “sometimes we found that we had to explain how our product works over and over… having to type it out every time” and that meant that “we were writing things to customers and they could come off a bit terse, and we needed something that could fill in the good feeling, the politeness.”
So they looked around for alternatives and came across FogBugz. “The big thing for us was the bug tracking feature in addition to the help desk” and “we looked at various features and said ‘oh yea that would be useful'”.
They began using FogBugz, initially “exclusively for customer stuff” like support, but its use grew to cover “issue tracking or bug tracking” for development activity too. For both of these uses, they make extensive use of Milestones. So they order all things by a particular milestone, like cases, features and fixes and this gives them a full view of “what is going to be in release 2” for example, and this “let us build a little bit of a roadmap”. Or “if we decide we’re not going to work on something we’ll put it in the ‘Archived’ milestone. And maybe later we’ll see that we’ve got a dozen or so more requests for it, so we’ll reactivate it.”
Since making the switch to FogBugz they have found that “having the customer communication together with feature requests and bugs, was really useful so we could communicate with a customer and say ‘oh yea that’s fixed in so and so version'”. It also meant that staff could seamlessly transition between roles, for example, “one of our support techs transitioned to development, so he’s seen both sides of it.” They could also put an end to the duplication of responses, as they “found that snippets were really useful to have, instead of having to type that over and over again.”
Overall, Paul says “it’s reliable, well-tested, well-used” and now they’re on FogBugz Ocelot they’ve enjoyed the performance upgrade too – “the search works well” and “the pages load quickly”. “It’s a solution that has worked for us.”