2011: What to expect from Feng Office

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

13 Responses to “2011: What to expect from Feng Office”

  1. woof says:

    Sounds good. Particularly integrate a powerful Addon-Base will be great..

  2. lexa says:

    Hello
    Thank you so much for this tool, we use it at Silex Labs, a non profit organization for communication of open source projects and communities.
    If you need a web application to create designs and/or website from inside feng office, please, drop us a line :) We maintain Silex and amfphp, and Silex is a tool to produce Flash & html5 website, and it works in the browser.
    Bye
    lexa

  3. Torben says:

    Excellent news!. Third party integration, Mobile access and Sync. Exactly the stuff on my wishlist :)

    Heads up to the feng team. We should tell you more often, but hey your work is terrific and we are so glad you’re around.

    Not a developer myself, but will try to contribute answering questions etc. in the forum in 2011

    All the best,
    T.

  4. Carlos M. says:

    Will the new year bring us a Community and a pay for download subscription? After the last release I thought that was the idea of the new folder name :o P

  5. Conrado says:

    Thanks for the comments.

    Carlos, I don’t think I understand your question.

  6. grexos says:

    this sounds good

    Third party integration / Feng Office as a platform
    Feng Office mobile access / synchronization

    but when ?

  7. Mike says:

    We really enjoy using your product and would love to implement it but without a way to get information (contact, calendar, tasks) out and onto our various mobile devices it isn’t a viable option at this point. That being said I would love to help in developing the integration framework. SyncML, CalDav, CardDav, ActiveSync, Google Data API’s? Where can one find the documentation/ideas/plans? Where can one access the source code of ongoing development?

  8. Qaiser says:

    Thank you for all that you have done (and are doing) for us! We are currently deciding between Google Apps and Feng. The big gap that we have (being a volunteer based organization) is mobile access. It would be great if the calendar functionality was in sync with Google.

    I am looking to setup Feng in concert with Google-hosted email id’s so that I can use the hyper-connectivity provided by Google along with the awesome project-oriented space that Feng is doing so well in. The gap I have is that I want to leverage a single (Feng) GUI while harnessing the free SMS/email/sharing functions of Google Apps.

    Please comment on this request as I think this connectivity would go in your favor and not against.

    Final note, I hate to provide criticism to such an awesome product but a iOS friendly javascript framework is very important. Are you planning to upgrade to extjs 4 for the next release?

  9. Conrado says:

    @grexos: 2011 (no exact date yet)

    @Mike: have you e-mail contribute@fengoffice.com ? Marcos will definitely appreciate your help on this matters and find a way to help you.

    @Qaiser: Mobile access is a priority for this year. Updating ExtJS will happen at some time. Not top priority right now.

  10. Bohnna Chhim says:

    Very excited! Keep up the good work. Let me know if you guys need help :)

  11. Vespista says:

    quote Qaiser. Office Feng is perfect for our employees, but Google Apps is what we need for our customers and external partners. The best would be to save and manage all data and documents within Feng office, sync some data with Apps and share them with clients and partners.

    well, anyway Feng office is a competitor of Google Apps and I can understand if you prefer not to synchronize data, the risk is to become a Google Apps … thanks for your excellent work and we are very happy with the next mobile plugin!

  12. darlene says:

    everybody already said it, but thanks for this tool!

  13. Palawan says:

    Wow! This is great! Wish you all the best Feng…

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