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Xuropa, the cloud computing aggregator for electronic design resources, is delivering a site refresh this morning that puts the focus on the software needs of a dynamic engineering workforce.
I sat down last Thursday afternoon with James Colgan, founder and CEO of Xuropa, to explore his plans for the site, which specializes in delivering design automation tools using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model combined with cloud computing networks.
“We started out by doing an almost complete refresh, and then I thought, ‘Maybe we should survey our users to see what they want,'” said Colgan, with a wry smile. “We hired a specialist to conduct the survey, and as it turns out, we were very nearly on target with the redesign.”
Fundamentally, said Colgan, users were mostly interested in security, selection, productivity, and cost savings. This meant that the site needs to focus down on these elements to keep the audience’s attention.
“The original Xuropa site had everything on the home page,” said Colgan. “It was too much, more than our users needed. So we refocused the site on presenting those elements that are most important.”
With a background in electronic engineering and marketing including companies such as Matsushita, National Semiconductor and Sonics, Colgan recognized that trying to deliver industry news and discussions to the home page would distract from the user’s reasons for coming to the site.
“We still will have a community, but it will be focused more on the specific set of resources that the engineers are using at the time,” said Colgan, adding that many other features will be delivered over time in a seamless fashion.
“Today our focus is on bringing the tools up front and providing the necessary cloud computing resources,” said Colgan,”the community will evolve into a platform for discussions about how to use these resources. We’re finding for instance, that IT people want to know more about these cloud computing resources and how they are delivered. The community provides a good place for those discussions.”
Colgan said interest in the use of cloud computing continues to grow steadily, with many groups running experiments themselves. A yet-to-be announced customer of the site went this route before going toXuropa.
“Doing it themselves took too long and didn’t result in an optimal user experience or a secure environment, and it definitely couldn’t scale,” said Colgan.