Well, that was fun. Happy New Year, everyone, and welcome to 2021 which hopefully, will look nothing like 2020.
It’s that time of year again - time to take stock of all that happened last year. And time to think about the new year and all that it has in store for us, our customers and our partners.
First, let’s start with our business. Despite all the upheaval, tragedy, and disruption caused by the Coronavirus and worldwide pandemic, 2020 was another exciting year for Nuxeo. In fact, it was another record year. Q4 ended up being the largest quarter in our company history. It capped off what was both a challenging and very rewarding year in which we exceeded our pre-pandemic growth targets and continued to set the pace for the rest of the industry. We also welcomed some very large and exciting new customers and established a very strategic partnership.
The key theme for 2020 was digital. As I have commented before, COVID-19 didn’t create the need for companies to digitally transform. Still it did create a compelling event that forced many companies to look closely at their digital customer experiences and how they are engaging with customers across online channels, at how they share information and sustain business processes when knowledge workers are no longer in offices, and at how they bring new products and services to market when they no longer can depend on physical storefronts for business.
2020 was also all about agility. We witnessed many companies quickly adapt and respond to the changing market conditions brought on by COVID-19. We also noticed companies that were overly dependent on centralized offices and physical documents struggle with a new, all-digital economy and a suddenly remote workforce. As is always the case, the quick and agile not only quickly adapted to these new market conditions, they were also able to further differentiate themselves and seize competitive advantage. Many even kicked off new initiatives to further move the goalposts for the competition, launching bold new programs to become entirely digital businesses in just a few short years. And we were proud to be there with them, with our platform enabling new ways of working and transformation that isn’t possible with legacy content and digital asset management solutions.
Innovation in 2020
For us, 2020 was all about innovation and continuing to push the Nuxeo Platform forward in our continuing quest to ensure that Nuxeo Platform remains the most modern, innovative Content Services Platform in the industry. At the beginning of the year, we announced our product strategy and strategic focus on Cloud, Low-Code, and AI. Following are just a few examples of how we delivered on this focus in 2020:
- Low-Code UI for Nuxeo Insight — Nuxeo Insight is a cloud service that we released in 2020 after an initial beta in the second half of 2019. We continue to believe that AI and, in particular, Machine Learning are game changers for content and digital asset management. Our vision for Nuxeo Insight is to provide a service that is, as we say, “business specific” - an AI/ML service that delivers meaningful enrichments and metadata that bring real value to your business, enhancing access to and reuse of information and bringing new automation to key processes.
With Insight, we also want to put the power of Machine Learning in business users’ hands. In mid-2020, we took an important step forward in delivering on this vision. We introduced a new user interface that allows business users to configure, train, deploy, and administer custom ML models in Insight, all with a point-and-click, low-code, user experience. You can read more about our low-code interface for Nuxeo Insight here.
- Visual Designer for Nuxeo Studio — As you may already know, Nuxeo Studio is our design environment for rapidly building new content applications on the Nuxeo Platform. In 2020, we introduced a new visual design paradigm for Nuxeo Studio, which enables developers to “drag and drop” Web components in our Visual Designer to quickly develop user interfaces. Learn more about our low-code development environment here.
- Continuous Innovation for Nuxeo Cloud — We haven’t spoken enough about our new CI/CD pipeline for Nuxeo Cloud. By enabling continuous delivery for our Nuxeo Cloud service, we can now deploy new features and enhancements directly to Nuxeo Cloud. In fact, the Engineering team is currently working on bi-weekly releases. This puts new innovation in our Cloud customers’ hands much more quickly and enables our team to get immediate feedback on these enhancements, greatly tightening the feedback loop on innovation.
- 11B-Object Benchmark — In 2020, we also delivered an 11B-object benchmark for our Nuxeo Cloud service. This was actually two benchmarks. One for a single repository, which we ran all the way up to 3B objects with a single, non-sharded instance of MongoDB (you can see why we prefer NoSQL offerings). And the second was a multi-repository, multi-geography benchmark with 11.3B actual objects specifically tailored to reflect how our customers use our technology. To learn more about this benchmark and the real-world implications of this exercise, please read the full report Benchmarking a Content Services Platform at 11 Billion Documents here or, for a lighter-weight version, you can read my 11B Documents Benchmarks blog here.
- Cloud Certifications — We are extremely proud of our Nuxeo Cloud service and the value it is delivering to customers. This is the fastest-growing portion of our business, with almost a 100% CAGR since we first launched this service in 2017. We also made an early and wise choice to launch Nuxeo Cloud on public cloud infrastructure and we have been successfully operating this service for more than three years now, making Nuxeo Cloud the most mature public cloud offering in our space.
All of which brings me to certifications. In 2020, we, of course, renewed our SOC2 Certification as well as our PCI-DSS Certification. In addition, we validated Nuxeo Cloud against SEC 17a-4(f) working with Amazon S3 Object Lock to ensure that our banking customers have an immutable, SEC-compliant cloud storage option. You can read the full report from Cohasset Associates here. At the end of last year, we also added HITRUST CSF® Certification to address the complex compliance and privacy requirements of regulations such as NIST, ISO, and HIPAA. Click here to learn more about our approach to content security and compliance.
So that’s a brief look at 2020. In all, a very productive year for Nuxeo, and the features above really only scratch the surface of the great work that the Product and Engineering teams have done this year. As Alain Escaffre likes to point out our R&D team has produced more than 100 new features over the past two years and over 300 product enhancements. Needless to say, the pace of innovation at Nuxeo remains very high.
Looking Forward to 2021
Now let’s talk about 2021 and the path forward, and this will take the shape of several blogs over the next few weeks. First, I thought I would share our product vision, mission, and high-level strategy for the year.
As our CEO, Eric Barroca likes to say, “Content is the artifact that humans use to share information.” All credit to Eric as this simple definition is one of the best I’ve ever seen at explaining both what content is and its criticality in today’s modern enterprises.
Content is, always has been, and will continue to be the medium by which humans share information. Data is perhaps more readily manageable but is not easily consumable or shareable, particularly outside the context of a particular application. New technologies allow us to have a much richer digital representation of content, capture greater detail and context, and work with this information at extreme scale. This is the promise of a true Content Services Platform.
So, our vision is simply this:
At Nuxeo, our aim is to create software that enables people to imagine, design, collaborate on, and capture this rich content to enable new ways to do business, to better serve customers, and to improve how they do work.
Building on this powerful vision, we also have a very simple mission statement: “Our mission is to fundamentally change how people do business with content.”
This brings us full circle to today’s (mostly) digital world. Digital transformation is a fundamental change to how a company does business. And our mission is to deliver technology that enables our customers to achieve transformational change in their organizations. Foundationally, we believe that digital transformation is about delivering better digital customer experiences and accelerating time to market for new products and services. It’s also about empowering knowledge workers with better information and greater automation to make businesses more efficient and informed. And, of course, we believe that content – in all its various shapes and forms – plays an increasingly critical role in all three of these aspects of digital transformation.
Our Product Strategy
Now that we’ve discussed Nuxeo’s vision and mission, I’ll conclude this blog with a high-level look at our Product Strategy for 2021. In the coming weeks, we will dive deeper into each aspect of our strategy and talk about specific roadmap objectives that will fulfill this strategy. Here’s where we’re headed in 2021, and here are the key components to our strategy (both short and longer term):
- Self-Service Operations for Nuxeo Cloud — In 2021, we will introduce several new features that will make it even easier for our customers (and our Cloud Operations team) to operate the Nuxeo Platform on the cloud infrastructure of their choice. We will provide enhanced dashboards and reporting, faster elasticity, and many more self-service options for our Cloud customers. Our longer-term vision is to extend our continuous innovation paradigm to all our customers and to have every customer running on one, evergreen version of the Nuxeo Platform. Ultimately, we want our platform to be as easy to operate and administer as any SaaS service.
- Leverage AI/ML to Drive Greater Automation and Insight — In 2020, we focused on delivering business-specific AI/ML and making this technology accessible to the business. In 2021, we are shifting our focus to enabling even greater business outcomes with AI/ML. We will add critical features to support “human in the loop” activities, provide gamification with recognition and incentives for human validation of machine-generated values, and add standard ML-driven capabilities for intelligent classification, deduplication, retention, and archiving. Further out, we will provide new capabilities for forms processing, including machine “teaching” interfaces to enable users to quickly and easily train ML models to process new form types. We will also explore other platform-related capabilities for AI, including AI for information security and intelligent knowledge management to proactively surface new information for knowledge workers.
- Build New Content Applications in Weeks — We will continue to focus on low-code and increasing developer productivity in 2021. Our simple belief remains that platforms exist to build applications that deliver value to the business. And we also believe that one of the core challenges with legacy ECM is that it is simply too difficult, too slow, and too expensive to build new apps with these solutions. Therefore, this year, we will continue to enhance our visual designer with more granular control over the UI/UX, we will make it easier to create and reuse templates in Nuxeo Studio, and we will better integrate Studio with the Nuxeo Marketplace, enabling customers, partners, and our developers to easily create and share new add-ons in our marketplace. Beyond 2021, our vision is to make Nuxeo Studio a true, multi-application, full-lifecycle development environment. This will enable developers to work with multiple applications, from initial design and prototyping to full production and ongoing iteration and enhancement, all from within one Studio environment.
- Seamlessly Connect to Mission-Critical Applications — Something that has always been a focus (and we delivered several new connectors in 2020) but is now an explicit part of our ongoing Product Strategy is connectivity. A critical aspect of a Content Services Platform is its ability to deliver content in the “context” of other critical business applications. Our priority and a key differentiator for Nuxeo has always been our singular, standards-based (REST) API and our customers and Services team use this API on almost a daily basis to quickly connect to a vast array of systems and applications. However, we recognize that we need to go further in 2021, and provide even more out-of-the-box connectors to various enterprise business applications, authoring and editing tools, work management products, and other critical apps and services. To this end, we will introduce a new Guidewire connector, enhance our integration with Microsoft’s desktop apps, develop connectors for more Digital Experience products, and provide a standard mechanism for integration with external data sources (e.g. PIM/PLM, ERP, etc.). We can’t promise a connector for every product on the market, but we will focus on delivering more and more high-value-add integrations for our customers over the coming years.
As you can see, the Nuxeo Platform is a work in progress - and always will be - and we remain 100% committed to delivering the most modern, capable Content Services Platform in the industry. Check back here in the coming weeks, and we will give you more detail about our roadmap and specific deliverables for 2021. As always, you can also access the Nuxeo Platform roadmap here. And, again, everyone, Happy New Year and all the best for 2021!
: For more on our 2020 product enhancements, please read the upcoming blog post on our LTS2021 release.