Archive for December, 2010

2011: What to expect from Feng Office

12/31/2010

Another happy-year-ending for Feng Office 2010 is.

Sitting here at the new office (darn! we never announced we moved to a new and bigger office, did we?), getting my mind ready for the team celebrations starting in a few minutes and for the 15 days leave I believe I rightfully deserve; all I can think of is how good this year is ending, how excited I am for what is to come in 2011, and specially how grateful we are for the awesome Feng Office community.

2010 quick summary

As excited as we started out the year, 2010 proved itself tough. Growing always is. To its founders eyes, projects have a lot of similarities with humans. Specifically, they go through phases similar to birth, childhood, adolescence, maturity.

Luckily, the first years tend to be more like dog-years, while maturity might last longer than any human life.

Feng Office probably went through adolescence this year.

We had to deal with a lot of new challenges posed by a growing number of customers. We had to scale not only our infrastructure, but grow the team and pay closer attention to development process.

We believe that having set a good set of core values and priorities, putting you – the customer – first always, and counting on your continuous support, were the keys to helping us all the way through.

There is still a lot to improve though. And that’s where the good news come in.

Some of the good news

We end 2010 with over 300.000 users, very healthy financials, and a team almost twice the size and much more mature that what it started out.

If that isn’t an exciting outlook, I don’t know what is. :-)

We also end the year with a very generous – Uruguay – Government grant. Though it was confirmed almost a month ago, the contract was signed just yesterday. What a good timing for a year wrap-up eh?

The grant will allow Feng Office partners to develop mobile access and sync. Definitely a fast growing request.

But that isn’t all. Besides the most common type of customer: a professional services firm, we found an interesting niche in governments. There are tens of government agencies and public administration offices using Feng Office. That wasn’t on our plans, but it has been a most pleasant surprise. Not only are governments an interesting use-case; they are typically willing to finance improvements when it fits their needs. We have partners developing awesome applications using Feng Office as a Platform.

What 2011 will bring

In summary, we either have – or will be hiring… ah! we are hiring! – the people to improve/develop:

  • Feng Office interaction design
  • Overall system performance
  • Third party integration / Feng Office as a platform
  • Feng Office mobile access / synchronization

And of course a lot of bug-crushing and the typical surprises (planned and not).

We will also be working on system security. I left it out of the list because this is a topic for which there is a lot to be said.

System Security

This is just an introduction to the topic, but a kick-start to a discussion I feel we need to get started as soon as possible.

Having lunch with some colleagues a few days ago, one friend said something like “Yeah, so Feng Sky is just Feng Office hosting”.

Oh boy!

Where do I begin to explain how Feng Sky is much more than that?

Just one topic, for starters: system security.

System security has many implications. From Wikipedia: “The objective of computer security includes protection of information and property from theft, corruption, or natural disaster, while allowing the information and property to remain accessible and productive to its intended users”.

Well, we take measures to care for all of it.

We backup data daily – at two different locations – while at the same time we take technical and legal measures to assure absolute confidentiality.

We open source the code and offer a service -it’s called Feng Onsite- for you to be able to run your own servers, for crying out loud! :-)

So this is a topic where we invest heavily. But, as is usually the case with us, advertise poorly.

So, in 2011 we will not only keep on improving all security features and processes, but we should make a communication campaign to address this issue. It is one of our advantages and a heavy investment line. We should be noisier about it!

THANK YOU

This said, I want to end the year expressing the feelings of the team:

We are looking forward to another challenging but super exciting year, and extremely grateful to working for you.

On behalf of the whole Feng Office team: Thank you all! And happy 2011!

Conrado

Feng Office 1.7.3.1 has been released

12/01/2010

Feng Office development team announces the release of version 1.7.3.1.

This new version is mostly a bug fixing release with a couple of minor features.

The list with improvements on this version can be found here.

To download it please visit Sourceforge or do it directly through this link.