With the holiday season approaching and my first year anniversary as CEO just passed it’s a great opportunity to reflect on important developments, challenges, and successes from this past year. There has been a lot of movement in the Open Source space this year with the large acquisitions of Open Source companies by Microsoft and IBM to the emergence of the commons clause. There are concerns that the Open Source vision and philosophy is being diluted causing confusion for existing advocates and its many new adopters. Open Source, in our view, is so much more than simply being free.
The guiding principles behind SuiteCRM and what SalesAgility stand for is based on freedom, flexibility, and transparency. Whilst I acknowledge there are pockets of confusion within our Ecosystem, I want to pledge that SuiteCRM will always remain true to the values of Open Source that are genuinely embraced by our community. Fully Open Source innovation and collaboration are an authentic part of SalesAgility’s DNA.
As I look back on my first year as CEO I wanted to share with our community some of the changes and successes we’ve had:
Digital and Infrastructure Transformation: As the SuiteCRM brand grows we’ve invested in a number of technology initiatives to increase adoption and participation. We launched our new website in January, a much needed change. We’ve completely overhauled our infrastructure introducing load balancing, containerisation and orchestration. This is to allow for maximum security, performance and uptime. A key missing component in our community was accessible and open user documentation. We’ve addressed that by creating our new documentation site which can be contributed to via Github.
Product and Community: We’ve been striving to keep an active release schedule so that we can provide our customers and community with rapid bug fixes and solutions to their challenges. To help achieve this we’ve introduce the concept of ‘Nightly Builds’ which allows people to view any changes made in our development environment and give us quick feedback. We’ve also appointed our first community leader to help nurture engagement and participation. To ensure stability and a robust product we’ve created a new acceptance test framework and are continuously increasing the test coverage of SuiteCRM.
SuiteASSURED: We revised our SuiteASSURED offering to provide a total care package incorporating the flexibility, quality, and innovation of open source combined with the securities, warranties and indemnities normally associated with propriety software. I believe that addressing this gap for enterprise companies operating in regulated and compliance driven industries allows SalesAgility to offer customers in this space the best Open Source CRM solution available.
Team Restructure: We’ve completely restructured our teams internally to follow agile methodologies, from Marketing to Development. What’s more I’ve spent a great deal of time with my management team and the wider organisation to strengthen our customer centric collaborative culture.
Do not think we are going to stop there! We have exciting goals and plans for 2019:
Suite8: Our Product Team is working hard on delivering Suite8. This will be our biggest release since we forked the product in 2013 with a real focus on the user experience. This will introduce an Angular framework which will utilise our new RESTful API. Early next year we anticipate to release our initial alpha version.
Increased Community Participation: SalesAgility is a fully Open Source organisation and therefore we want to get everyone in our community involved. We are looking at different ways we can facilitate this from community run projects to more frequent participation events. We want every community member to feel part of SuiteCRM’s success.
SuiteMeet: To celebrate everyone’s hard work and bring us all together we are looking to hold a SuiteMeet event for our users and community. More news on this shortly!
New and Improved Digital Services: We want to streamline our customer and community experience. Through a range of initiatives we are looking to revamp the following digital services; Website, Forum, SuiteOnDemand, and Demo Site.
Accredited Training Programme: We are currently working hard on our accredited training programme which we will launch next year. This will be coupled with online training courses and materials.
In the meantime may I take this opportunity to wish all of our wonderful customers, SuiteCRM Community, Partners, Suppliers, employees and their families a fantastic time over the holiday period and a very successful 2019!