The 2020 State of the Unicorn Address

By October 15, 2020 March 26th, 2021 News

Hello. I’m Jason Fordu, the founder and CEO of Calyx, and welcome to our 2020 State of The Unicorn Address. I’ll report our accomplishments over the past year and our plans for the year ahead. Both are tied to our mission —  to create a better way for you and your organization.

Before I begin, I’d like to address the extraordinary times we’ve been living through recently. We hope that you, your loved ones and work colleagues have remained safe and healthy during these past few months. We extend condolences to the families of the 200,000 lives that have been lost in the U.S., and 1,000,000 worldwide. We’re grateful for our ability to weather this storm with you, and look forward to the day when a vaccine is available and normal life can return for all. But until this day arrives we will continue to do our part to keep you and our employees safe.

Now on to our 2020 State of the Unicorn Address…

A Calyx Milestone: 15 years

This year marks a milestone for Calyx as we celebrated our fifteenth year in business. When Calyx was a little upstart out of a garage, I could not have imagined all the wonderful people I’d have the privilege to work with and know. People like you and the incredible Calyx team who’ve dedicated themselves through their hard work and efforts to create our shared vision; which is to ensure happy customers and become the leader of advanced IT solutions to businesses. I’ve received fulfillment and happiness throughout our shared time together, and I thank you for your continued business and support of Calyx as we grow and evolve.

Year in Review

I will start this 2020 State of the Unicorn Address with a review of the past year’s highlights. In response to increasingly more sophisticated cyber threats, we incorporated a next-generation security platform. This includes cloud-based software that incorporates advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning. We also have a dedicated security team that proactively monitors the Framework environment. This is a powerful solution to combat both existing and future threats to you and your business. To further protect you, we incorporated multi-factor authentication, also known as 2-factor or MFA, into the login process for all machines here, and for any customers who wish to have this technology as part of your organization’s login process.

We integrated a cloud-based file-sharing system into your Outlook email and file-sharing systems, called ShareFile. Now you can share data from within and outside your organization easier and safer. We’ve added new monitoring and reporting technologies that automatically test the Framework environment every 5 minutes on uptime availability, average login times for every Framework desktop, and overall platform performance. Our team will begin sharing this new information with you shortly on a monthly basis.

We’ve added several great new team members this past year, starting with Anthony Ruff, who adds a wealth of knowledge and experience to our engineering team. Steven Tyler is part of our tier 3 support team, and handles our most complicated support issues. Mike Micalakis and Mike Kalep are part of our Tier 2 support team and responsible for escalation when required. And Eric Winter is the newest member of our tier 1 support team. On behalf of Calyx, I’m grateful and excited for these new team members to join our family, and we hope you enjoy getting to know them as we have.

The Year Ahead

There are five areas to talk about for the year ahead: technology, support, customer experience, marketing, and finance. 

Finance

Due to the economic uncertainty as a result of COVID, all price increases for 2020 have been eliminated. We’ve tied planned investments to one of our two promises to you. The first is our product promise: to provide you with technology that is easy to use, always available, highly secure, and high-performing. Second is our support promise, to provide you with the best people, using the best tools, and serve you with care, friendliness, clarity, and speed, in helping you with your needs.

Technology

I’m excited to announce that the fourth major build of Framework since 2015 was recently completed by our engineering team. This is a completely new build of Framework, with the latest versions of software on the newest infrastructure and technologies available. What does this mean for you?

First, we’re maintaining our vision to deliver tomorrow’s technologies today. Second, to increase speed and performance by using some of the best processors and memory available. Third, we’ll have more control over this environment, which enhances our supportability. Fourth, Framework 5.0 will include the newest variants of software such as Microsoft Office, Exchange, 2019 Server and 2019 SQL. Fifth, we can realize hybrid cloud. We view “Hybrid” as a mix of premise solutions, private cloud, and public clouds. This will give us more flexibility and breadth of solutions we can deliver, while keeping it safe and easy to use. Lastly, there will be new capabilities when using graphical intensive applications such as web browser videos and remote meetings services. These include Zoom and Microsoft Teams — all within your Framework Desktop.

Support

Over the past year, Jenn Layport was elevated to our support manager. She guides the team on a daily basis, and reinforces our service promise, core values, and our mission and goals. She provides individualized training to our support team members, and acts as an escalation point on more complicated issues and requests between the support personnel, engineering team and our new customer experience team.

Customer Experience

It’s our goal to increase our communication, planning, and reporting to clients on a consistent basis. We’ve created a new Customer Experience Team, led by Walt Ely and Tom Clause. Clients will receive a monthly report, including ticket trend data, platform performance, average login times, and recommendations from our engineering team.

The Customer Experience Team will work with you to establish a meeting schedule based on your needs and preferences. During scheduled meetings, they’ll review our reporting data with you, discuss current or past service events, and request feedback on what is or isn’t working. We’ll provide your feedback to our team for continual service improvement. Future planning initiatives derived from your discussions will be provided to our director of Engineering, Antonio Sweeney. Tom Clause is creating a new community for any clients who wish to join. This community is a forum to meet and collaborate with our other clients, and to gain value from one another through experience sharing and learning.

Marketing

We will expand the content of our monthly e-newsletters to include tech tips to help educate and train you and your organization. We’ll share more valuable industry information, news on Calyx, and things we’ve learned or found to be of value.

In closing, we’re focused on several key areas based on our product and service promises, our mission to create a better way for you, and our goal to ensure happy clients. We’re very excited for the year ahead and we hope you enjoy the value we’re creating for you. I appreciate you tuning in for the 2020 State of the Unicorn Address. If you have questions about the topics I’ve addressed here, please reach out to me or any team member. Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you, and on behalf of everyone here at Calyx, we are grateful for your business and continued support.

Kind Regards,

Jason Fordu
Chief Executive Officer