Orchid’s 2020 Year in Review
Before launching ourselves into 2021, we take a look back at a truly unforgettable year.
We’ve all had years to remember and years to forget, but few of us will ever forget 2020.
And I’m just talking COVID-19. The year began with Australia besieged by massive bushfires. When it comes to global politics, where would you even start?
Here in Australia, we have so far been spared the worst of the health crises that have devastated many parts of the world.
For this we can thank to a combination of geography, good governance, and perhaps a touch of good luck. That said, we continue to experience major disruptions to the ways we live, and the cost of the economic response will be felt for generations to come.
Before we launch ourselves into what we hope will be a brighter year for all, we’d like to take a quick look back at some of Orchid’s challenges and achievements through 2020.
The Year Travel Unravelled
Several members of the Orchid team were in Vancouver in early March for TPAC, one of many international events we typically attend each year. By the time they returned to Sydney, it was pretty clear that something very big was unfolding. Our borders started closing within days, and that was it for travel in 2020.
Despite the arrival of vaccines, it seems highly unlikely that we’ll be heading overseas in 2021.
The Year of Remote Working
Within a week of returning from TPAC, the entire Orchid team had started working from home in response to government directives. None of us would have predicted that we’d still be doing so into 2021.
We were one of the millions of companies worldwide who helped drive the rapid growth of tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, plus a range of other cloud-based applications. We also started to make better use internally of Orchid’s own collaboration tools.
We covered this transformation in April’s Orchid Goes Remote article. With virtually all of our partners and end-users facing the same challenges, we hosted a series of Smarter Remote Working webinars.
By June, it was becoming apparent that COVID-19 was proving to be the great disruptor of our age, and that remote working was going to be a big part of the emerging ‘new normal’.
In November we hit the virtual road to attend our first full-blown Virtual Events, hosted by Sage Asia and Sage Australia using an impressive platform called Hopin. With the future of large-scale gatherings still uncertain, and companies likely to re-evaluate the cost-benefit equation for business travel, we expect to see many more such events.
Going with the (work) flow
A couple of our major product developments for 2020 could hardly have been better timed or targeted.
Orca makes a splash!
In May 2020 we established a strategic alliance with Orca Oz Enterprises, an unreal company whose employees happen to be enthusiastic users of Orchid’s products. They have since featured prominently in our case studies and presentations, allowing us to have a bit of fun showcasing our solutions.
Orchid.Systems gets a major makeover
About 3 years after its initial launch, we decided to take a fresh look at the Orchid.Systems website. This culminated in the August deployment of a totally revamped site. We feel it met our the objectives of making the site:
Easy on the eye, easy to read, easy to navigate, easy to search, and easy to use.
Appropriately for 2020, the redevelopment also proved to be a nice example of remote collaboration with our New Zealand based web development partners, Communica. Like us, they were mainly working from home due to COVID-19, so Zoom got a very good workout.
It was gratifying that Communica were proud enough of the result to add it to their portfolio as a featured case study.
Against the odds, another year of growth for Orchid
2020 has been a calamitous year for many industries, notably travel, hospitality and the arts. There have been big winners in technology and home-delivery, and unexpected beneficiaries of lockdowns.
Here in Australia, one of the big winners proved to be bicycle retailers as people ventured out onto the suddenly traffic-free streets.
We were one of countless companies that faced uncertainty as the scale of the pandemic became apparent. We put our heads down and leant into the headwinds, hoping for the best but prepared for a buffering.
As it’s happens, we’ve defied the odds. We have maintained Orchid’s uninterrupted trajectory of year-on-year growth, welcoming hundreds of new end-users and many new partners to our community.
2021, here we come!
By October, it seemed the world was pretty much over 2020. January seemed a long way off, but why wait? Before the month was out, we’d released v2021 compatible versions of all our Sage 300 add-ons, allowing our partners to get a head start on bringing in the new year.
We sign off for 2020 by sending our thoughts and best wishes to our business partners and users. Many thanks for supporting Orchid’s products while you each continue to deal with your own unique challenges.