When eOne began operations in 2001, I never thought I would be writing ‘the year in review’ article in 2016. I never dreamt that I could work for the same company for 15 years. I never thought I would be content doing the ‘same job’ for so long. I never dreamt that I would be writing this from Fargo, North Dakota. I never thought that we would have multiple people clocking up 10 years as part of our team.
The best thing about eOne the software company, is not our software, but our team. We employ the very best people and I would not trade the eOne team for anything or anyone. You could give me Google’s top 30 people, you could give me Microsoft’s 30 best and brightest – and I would send them back every time. It must be disappointing for all other ISV developers – knowing that eOne has the very best people.
So a huge thank you to everyone that made 2016 possible. Thank you for your hard work, thank you for getting things done, thank you for your quality and most importantly thank you for caring about eOne, our partners, our customers and our software.
It has been another growth year for eOne Solutions. We have grown our team, we have added new products and we have sold more software than any other year in our history. That is more than I could have hoped for when 2016 began.
I am really looking forward to the challenge of 2017. There will be nothing easy about 2017 as there is potentially a great deal of change and challenges to deal with, but that is what keeps me coming back. Here are a few of the things we are focusing on in the New Year:
SmartList Builder is going to get a whole bunch of love and attention in 2017. We had taken our foot off the pedal a little and let SmartList Builder cruise in 2016, but it is time to fire things up. Pat Roth (after 20 seasons with Microsoft) is taking over development and Nicole Albertson (world’s foremost SLB expert) are driving product direction, feature and releases. There are close to 15,000 companies using SmartList Builder and we will be adding new features, functionality and fixing a few bugs for you. We have watched the path of the ‘free puppy designer’ and have been delighted to see all our partners continue to delight their customer with SmartList Builder. Prediction for 2017: The death of the puppy.
I have said this 1000 times but will repeat it again, Dynamics GP is still the best mid-market ERP available. The GP product is both deep and broad in functionality and mature enough to be relatively bug free. GP just works. From a software developer perspective I compare the GP space with all other mid-market ERP’s and GP provides the best possible market place. The GP customer base is much larger than any of its true mid-market competitors (Acumatica, Intaact, NetSuite, Dynamics 365, Epicor). Like any business solution you need to put energy, time, effort, $’s and structure into getting the most out of it. If you are lazy you will soon turn on GP and lose a bunch of money moving to an inferior product.
So at eOne we are going to stay focused on Dynamics GP in 2017. We are going to help the 45,000 companies that rely on GP every day to better report on their data, to better get the efficiencies of data integration with ALL the software they use outside of GP. Prediction: Dynamics GP will still be selling strongly in 2017.
In 2017 we are going to work alongside Microsoft as they expand their business cloud offering. We are already one of the leading players in the CRM integration market and are the only complete integration solution that has shipped a solution for 365 financials.
The platform that can offer the full Office 365, ERP functionality, CRM functionality, BI reporting, Skype and Collaboration is a powerful story and one that will definitely get traction in the market for businesses looking to outgrow QuickBooks and similar baby accounting solutions. We are excited about the opportunity in this new market space in 2017 and the future. eOne will be looking for more great people to add to our team as we dominate data integration for Dynamics 365.
To ensure we are looking after all the needs of our partners, we will be adding support for Dynamics 365 Operations, the software formerly known as AX. We did write this connector some time ago, but we believe the market is now ready for a sensibly priced integration solution in this space.
While Microsoft marketing pitch a seamless integration between all these solutions, having spent 10 years in the integration space, we are confident that they are going to need our help! Prediction: Microsoft’s dev team will start to catch up with their marketing team, and sales volume of Dynamics 365 will start to strengthen by the end of the year. AX implementations will come down in price and there will be less customization and more sales of SmartConnect for integration needs.
A software company is defined by how good its support is. Phone support, email support and self-help online support. At eOne, we have provided a help desk with the most experienced experts possible for many years. We have provided a forum, a knowledge base, and regular tech Tuesday blogs as part of our online support. I often receive messages from our customers saying how awesome it was working with our support team. We also are realistic enough to know we are not perfect, and recently got some great feedback (not all positive) from a survey our customers completed.
In 2017 we plan to focus on delivering the best support in the world. We have a new support engineer starting on the 2nd of January and are looking to add more people in Q1. We are improving our support chat to ensure we can give immediate answers to those quick questions. We are looking to get all support calls down to 1 hour response time. We will provide a much better self-help support center with a better structure, easier to find answers and much more comprehensive coverage of support topics. Prediction: eOne will continue to provide the best support experience of any data integration company.
Web Service integration:
We released our web service connectors in 2016 and these have provided many new integration opportunities for our partners and customers. In 2017 we are working on delivering more templates across many more web services to help get our partners started on projects. The web services connector means that you can integrate anything with anything without writing a single line of code. In Microsoft language – this enables true ‘digital transformation’. Prediction: Customers will drag partners into the cloud app integration space. Partners will begin leading the sales process with these awesome integrations.
The world loves business data in lists aka SmartLists. Workers need data to do their job. Few people need a pretty graph or a pie chart – but every worker needs to find the data they need to do their job. It could be the PO from a vendor, a list of sales for today, what shipped yesterday, the last order from a customer, Google analytics stats, open Zendesk tickets, CRM opportunities, Timesheets, Bug lists, Trello lists, Braintree payments and so much more.
Popdock is the new Web Based and Mobile Based reporting solution that connects not just to Dynamics GP but to every piece of data in your business. For anyone that is tired of logging into too many systems to get the data they need to do their job – Popdock is the answer. Prediction: Small data will start overtaking big data in popularity
So to close 2016, I am very thankful for all the success we had this year. Thanks to all our partners who take our products to market. Thanks to the great team at eOne. Thanks to our families who support us and keep us going every day. We have a lot of work to do and are looking forward to bigger and better 2017.