You don’t need me to tell you that 2020 was a year we’d rather have skipped. We didn’t have that option, so we’ve had to deal with it – just like our colleagues and friends across the industry. By staying true to our values and with the phenomenal talents of our team, we’ve been able to keep innovating and help our customers continue to create engaging and compelling stories.
In addition to the pandemic, 2020 was a year characterized by tumultuous events and widespread unrest. But when I looked more closely, I found humility. It wasn’t always there, but when we all put others in our community first, it was amazing to see.
One of the things that I’ve seen is our team, our clients, and our partners really unite with a common goal: to emerge from these experiences with determination and an eye to the future. When I look back at 2020, I see collaboration with our partners and customers, showing and feeling empathy, and asking the question ”what can we do to win together” was the strongest and best thing we could have done. We listened, and, where we needed to, we evolved.
We made a strategic decision to accelerate and intensify our shift to the cloud
Fast Followers Cross the Chasm
Cloud innovation was not new to EditShare. In 2015, we introduced our first cloud solutions and in 2019 we embarked on a more aggressive investment in cloud. At that time, not everyone was ready. One customer even told me “you’ll take my content out of my house and into the cloud when hell freezes over”. But, 2020 validated our decision as the cloud quickly became a necessity for everyone. The market needed us to complete the journey and reinforce our cloud efforts as a strategic focus of the company. The pandemic was the catalyst for doubters to “cross the chasm” and become mass adopters. As existing cloud users were able to continue with their business of remote working and collaboration, the fast followers saw that it was time to make the jump.
Our overall feeling was to go back to our core values and tenets – flexibility, scalability and openness – and build a much broader solution. We designed seamless proxy editing and all the services around it. The cloud has enormous potential and we are just at the beginning. What we can do now is phenomenally useful, but the best is still to come.
No One Has a Monopoly on Innovation
As organizations are being forced by the circumstances to cooperate in the cloud, most are doing it because they want to, and that’s because it’s the best way.
The cloud is a fundamental shift in the computing paradigm. It has empowered buyers. It’s as far as you can get from the jaded approach of “Here’s my solution. Pay me some money and I’ll install it. Pay me some more money and I’ll upgrade it. Pay me still more money and I’ll make sure it keeps working”. The cloud changes this to a far more cooperative model, where multiple vendors open their products to integration, making it easier, not harder, to work with third parties. In this environment, it makes sense for there to be open standards; open APIs where integrations can happen as need and innovation dictate.
Nobody has a monopoly on innovation. Other vendors have products and services that can enhance our workflows. It means that customers can use the “best of breed” products in their workflows and still be confident that they’ll be supported and supportable into the future.
The cloud gets better because it’s always getting broader and wider. It encourages collaboration. It means that we can add our or another vendor’s services easily and without breaking anything. It means that we can issue upgrades every quarter and know that it’s not going to cause problems. Clients are always up to date. It’s a virtuous circle, where it’s in everybody’s interest to work together.
All Bets on Cloud
I’m seeing an upswing in the industry, even at this early stage. Spring is just around the corner. We don’t have the pandemic put to bed yet but – at last – there are some promising signs. By the middle of the year, we’ll be able to put what we’re learning right now into practice. For our customers this means savings and efficiency.
As the value of our clients’ content grows, so does the need for flexibility to cope with doing business in an era of dramatic and unexpected change. We’re on the side of anyone who is facing up to these challenges.
It would have been wrong to bet against Moore’s law. It was wrong to bet against the web. And now you should absolutely not bet against the cloud.
Ultimately, we give our clients flexibility, continuity and confidence. If you want to engage with our software, you can run it on any suitable hardware or you can take it with you into the cloud.
We’re going to take with us what we learned in 2020. Empathy with our customers – not a new thing, but number one going forward. And guiding customers towards the cloud. We’re there, ready for them: it is no longer a question of “if”, but “when”.