A quite challenging year for all of us is finally coming to an end. We spent much of it in our own homes, moving from our offices to our home offices and we had to socially distance ourselves from friends and family. However, some of us were more affected by the pandemic than others - both physically and financially, as many were - and still are - struggling with the economic impact.
With this article, we therefore take one last look back at the past year - at the ups and downs, at what happened at Stackfield and at what we were personally grieved by - before turning our gaze forward to what our customers can expect from Stackfield in 2021.
Even though everything is so different this year, even though we were not able to spend Christmas with all our loved ones as usual, we know that we are not alone in this situation. Therefore, we just want to wish you a Happy New Year 2021 and, above all, good health!
2020 has changed a lot of things over
For us, the year started off just like this: "We just released a brand new version of Stackfield". Our huge update Stackfield 4 went live before Corona, so the timing couldn't have been better. In January, the pandemic was not yet apparent and we were able to fully focus on the release. Part of the update included the Gantt Chart that our customers have been longing for for a long time, an upgrade to the room types to include Project Rooms with some new tracking features and Global Rooms, custom fields for tasks, and a completely refreshed design with many new features for an even better user experience. The update was a great success and we were happy to see that our customers really enjoyed the new features.
Subsequent updates this year have been heavily influenced by the changing work environment during the lockdowns. We have based the further development of our platform to a large extent on what teams currently need most urgently. For example, we reprioritized the conference calls for audio and video telephony, although they were originally planned for a later date, in order to make communication easier for employees in the home office.
However, the pandemic not only had an impact on our roadmap, but also on demand - and not just in one direction.
There were some major license upgrades but also some losses, and the reasons for those were heart-wrenching
No doubt - as we had already pointed this out in another blog post - being a provider of a project management and collaboration solution, we found ourselves in a rather fortunate situation this year. We were able to move everything to the home office quite easily using our own platform. Without Stackfield, all of this would have been way more difficult and other companies felt this necessity as well.
There were a lot of new sign-ups and a large number of existing customers had their licenses upgraded. So we have gained many customers, but we have also lost quite a few - also due to Corona. Some of the reasons for this have affected us far more profoundly than the mere loss of "revenue streams" is capable of doing. We have been told that companies need to make massive savings, that our customers can no longer afford licenses, or that the pandemic may even mean the end for one or the other company. It's one thing to follow these stories in the media, it's quite another to hear them in person.
We are grateful, especially for your trust
The situation has shown us how fortunate we are that we are not forced to " go belly-up" and that the demand for our tool is particularly high in these times. This was not only due to the changed work situation, but also to the ECJ ruling in July this year, which overturned the Privacy Shield agreement leading to an increased interest in privacy-compliant solutions. We are fortunate that it is possible for our employees to work at home. We are fortunate that for these reasons we were still able to grow, to meet our goal of annual recurring revenue, and to recruit new employees rather than lay people off. For all of this, we are incredibly grateful.
2021 gonna be big - this is what you can look forward to
With these thoughts, we are entering a new year. At this point, we can share positive news with our customers, as we have a number of things on our roadmap to look forward to:
Audio and video calls: At the top of the list is our plan to further expand and refine the phone call function in order to further enhance the user experience.
Project management: Another major update revolves around our project features, that will be extended in the next year to a considerable extent.
Office files: This year, we have already added a preview function for Office documents to the platform. In 2021, working with Word and the like will be even more convenient, because by then, you will also be able to edit them directly in Stackfield.
Pages: But it's not just Office documents that will be receiving a makeover. Also, Stackfield's pages will take on a completely new shape to make them even more intuitive and appealing.
Collaboration: Furthermore, the platform will be enhanced with functions to store user-specific absences, to track individual and team goals, and to create surveys.
Integrations: Our goal for Stackfield is also to better support other tools in future, which is why we will add some more integrations to our software, among other things.
Mobile apps: Finally, you can look forward to new mobile apps that make working on the go as easy as possible.
Now, our main goal is to make it easier for you to work together in different teams. That is why we share with you the joy of your successes, and why we have a hard time hearing about Corona-related closures and cutbacks. We thank you for your trust and we look forward to a new year with all of you, that will hopefully bring back a bit of normality. Somehow it feels especially good this year to say: Bye 2020, hello 2021!
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