Year in Review 2019

MMXIX was an amazing year at Vinewave (now OneDirectory). Here's the nonsense we got up to.

Year in Review 2019

I thought I'd share some highlights from 2019 at Vinewave and give you a glimpse into the secretive world of our bootstrapped enterprise software company.

Like this paragraph, 2019 at Vinewave was dramatic. It was exciting and tense, demanding yet gratifying. It was long days and short ones, getting high on fancy features and amazing architecture, the thrill of the chase, and lively meetings with strange and boring names.

Vinewave's Slack daily meetings
We use Slack for daily standup meetings

2019 was our debates about Slack vs. Microsoft Teams and which is better (answer: it's Slack). Except their calls drop sometimes.

2019 was welcoming many amazing new customers to the Vinewave family and the tingly feelings we got when they said they loved our software.

Vinewave's customer compliments
Thank you for your compliments, it means a lot to us ❤️

2019 was welcoming a new company logo. Programming in the shadows of the night. Our trials of every CRM in the world. The live chats with customers on Intercom mobile while cooking dinner (say what?)

2019 was a lot of Excel, Visual Studio and Photoshop. We still use Photoshop for design, call us old school.

2019 was saying hello to better ways of building software. Thank you Brian.

2019 was moving into our new offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and learning how to better collaborate remotely. It was showcasing our products at #ESPC19. Growing our Microsoft 365 platforms OneDirectory and Vitals. Building a better sales engine. Building a better development process.

But most of all, 2019 was about working with a team of amazing human beings.

To the Vinewave team, thank you for all your hard work this year. I'm super proud of what we accomplished in 2019! Let's rock 2020.

Vinewave's technical team at 2019 Retreat in Cape Town
From left to right: Craig, Lawrence (me), Brian, Louw, Kyle. Spot the Office 365 logo.

But wait ✋ there's more.

We became a SaaS company. Just over a year ago we set out to evolve Vinewave into a software as a service (SaaS) business. In 2019 we achieved that goal in a big way, with 85% of our revenue now on an annually recurring basis.

We merged with Seven Twenty Software, the only other SaaS company in South Africa focused exclusively on building products for Office 365 (we don't do consulting). The merger took a lot of effort but it's been super fun and our team is stronger than ever. Looking forward to 2020!

We welcomed many new enterprise customers to OneDirectory and Vitals, and worked with our existing customers to help them get more value from their Office 365 investments with our people and analytics platforms.

We doubled our revenue in 6 months. We also grew our annual recurring revenue (ARR) by 142% last quarter, and just one month into Q4 and we’ve already surpassed our previous quarter in terms of new sales. I’m super proud of our team for this achievement and excited to be helping many more customers as we grow.

We designed a new Vinewave logo, choosing a design from 258 concepts by 78 of the world's top logo designers. We wanted something unique, modern, simple and flexible, and we’re really happy with our new identity which we’re rolling out across all our products.

New Vinewave logo and icon

We rebuilt the entire SharePoint Vitals user experience. This was a huge project that’s taken the better part of 6 months, and our team seriously rocked it. Vitals is a modern analytics tool for SharePoint; it’s like Google Analytics but built specifically for SharePoint, showing you who’s doing what in your intranet - and many other cool things. The new Vitals is almost ready for you to try out, here's a sneak peek:

We showcased our products at the European SharePoint Conference 2019 (ESPC19) in Prague with our fellow South Africans at GTconsult. We had some amazing feedback from the community on Vitals and OneDirectory and welcomed some great new partners (contact us at [email protected] for info on our Partner Program).

Speaking of our friends at GTconsult, a fun thing we sometimes do is sneak past their security and mess around in their CEO's office, taking selfies and pretending to run the company. Brad apparently gets really angry when people sit at his desk and move his stuff around and that's why he has a baseball bat on the wall, but we do it anyway and then we laugh about it. It's kind of a tradition now.

We had an awesome developer team get together in Cape Town to celebrate our 2019 achievements and to eat some good steak. The food in Cape Town is really good.

So that was 2019 at Vinewave. It was a busy year and we're looking forward to the challenges and the good times that the new decade brings.

Here’s to 2020 🥂 Here’s to our team 🍻

Lawrence Cawood
CEO, Vinewave