23 December 2014 Tuesday
So this year is almost done and it's the time to look back on what happened over the past months.
Businesswise, 2014 was a year in transition for me. With SIT in Germany, we started to become a reseller of integration products for Adobe AEM, sold our first IBM Connections Integration products and did our first projects in that space. It was quite challenging and a huge learning curve for us, but with social rendering we seem to have found a new niche to persue over the next couple of years.
In the Notes/Domino space of our customers, the move to XPages continued, both based on our portal solution SIT Portal DXP as well as with individual development projects. Meanwhile, we have a whole arsenal of tools to easily migrate existing applications, integrate search capabilities, "bean bags" for office and workflow integration, etc. We are heavily using Bootstrap to develop responsive solutions and extended the knowledge on all of the new tooling within the team as we also got cross-referenced technologies from Adobe AEM like Angular.js, OSGI Bundles and a lot more.
Personally, I have spent a lot of time in the project management arena, also transitioning from the groupware space to a new world for me: for one of our financial sector customers I was working as IT project manager in a host development project for the whole year working with teams that mainly use COBOL and Assembler as their tools of the trade. It was a good experience and I am glad to say that we finished a 1500 person days project within time and with 15% less budget than planned, so I'm pretty happy. The team was great and I was able to gain a lot of knowledge in a totally different segment of our industry.
My biggest venture this year though was the creation of Harbour Light Software Development Ltd. as our first toehold in north america. Building up a new team in a new country, setting up an organization that hopefully will be fully operational in 2015 was a big challenge with so many other things to do. But what a great experience ! I'm happy to take this venture further next year. With new products coming out (IMPRISIS DA is almost around the corner), we will hopefully be able to make a footprint in the americas as well.
Our transition from being a pure IBM partner to a more broader approach in technology as well as in partnering has payed off. We did not present at DNUG or in any other ICS Event this year altough Connect 2014 was a great event for us in building new relationships. We did present on some Adobe Events though, AEMHub in London and CONNECT Web Experience in Basel. Both events were very perfectly organized and well attended. Fun all the way.
We also stayed in touch with the IBM part of the house as part of the Design Advisory board for IBM Mail.Next or IBM Verse respectively. I am really looking forward to ConnectED 2015 to see more around Verse, although I'm a bit disappointed about the sessions announced so far. I can't see the increase of technical content so far - it's a smaller venue and less people will attend which doesn't have to be a bad thing, but I'm afraid that IBM looses traction even further in the ICS space where for all of my customers the cloud and bluemix are not of interest at all. IBM Verse is a heavily discussed topic but the long time to wait for the on-prem version is discouraging a lot of my customers. I hope that IBM will be able to climb out of the hole and not dig it any deeper than it already is.
Btw - climbing out of the hole - I did well receive the signs that my favorite smartphone company BlackBerry is slowly slowly on the way out of the hole again. Personally, I love my Passport and Blend in particular and some old and some new customers are coming back and are listening to the strategy John Chen was able to build around BES12 and the new products. It's going to be a log haul - keep it up, BlackBerry !
Looking back into our own backyard, we had a very busy year indeed. We had more billable hours per person as ever before, more projects in parallel and more diverse customers than ever. We finished new versions of your core products, extended our reach with new technologies and built a new product line, all in one year. So it has been a really stressfull year for all of us and my team worked it's fingers to the bones, and it's about time for me to say a big "thank you" to my guys here at SIT GmbH for the tremendous support, the great work this year and the patience and trust in the management team in this transition phase. Keep up your passion and your customer-first attitude and we will see a great 2015 !
Finally, a big thank you goes to all of our customers, old and new for the trust and good partnership in various projects throughout the year. We are blessed with brilliant people at our customers so it was easy for us to deliver the results they expected from us. We are in a people's business and people make the difference on both ends of the project table. Thank you for the support and trust - we are looking forward to new challenges in 2015.
To all of you out there - merry Christmas, happy new year and a peaceful, happy and healthy 2015 !