Enablement materials help the licensee or subscriber's end users, help desk and administrators understand how to leverage the capabilities at their fingertips. In the on-premises world, those materials ship with a new release, or are posted to the web shortly after. Yeah, I some times battle people's interpretation of 'shortly'. But you know what I mean. Enablement materials are generally launched with the (on-premises) product, which is natural because minor changes in a release can happen up to very late in the release project cycle, and we want to keep the enablement materials in sync with the code. However, in the enterprise Cloud space we rely on the subscribing company's internal help desk to handle end user calls. That's not in and of itself too different from what we do on-premises; the real difference is that the customer's help desk receives calls from end users the first day a new feature has gone Live in our hosted production environment. In the on premises world, there is time to enable the customer's help desk between the day a new release ships, and the day the customer upgrades to it. That window shrinks to zero in the cloud world. So in order to serve their end users well, we need to enable customers' help desks on new releases BEFORE they actually go live. For that reason, we generally provide "What's New" documentation in multiple languages to our subscriber companies several weeks in advance of the Go Live date, giving them the opportunity to ensure their help desk is ready to answer calls on the new release from day 1. The earlier delivery of the enablement materials imposes a freeze on release content; once the enablement materials have been shared with customers, we have to keep release content from changing.
Another aspect of pre-release enablement is our User Acceptance Test environment, which gives select administrators from subscribing companies access to exercise pre-release code and get familiar with new function before it is launched into the production service. The word "select" indicates that we're not pushing administrators to leverage the environment. We're working with those who express the desire to prepare for the new release in greater detail. The administrators who do are often from large enterprises with large numbers of users and an internal help desk that needs to be enabled in advance of the Go Live date.