The 2020 State of the Unicorn Address

By October 15, 2020 Uncategorized

Hello. I’m Jason Fordu, the founder and CEO of Calyx, and welcome to our twenty-twenty State of The Unicorn Address. The purpose of our announcement is to tell you about our accomplishments over the past year, and our plans for the year ahead, both of which 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 and your loved ones and your work colleagues have remained safe and healthy during the lockdown and the past few months. We wish to extend our condolences to the families of the 200,000 lives that have been lost here in the U.S., and to the 1,000,000 worldwide. We’re grateful for our ability to weather this storm with you, look forward to the day when a vaccine is available, and normal life can return for us all. But until this day arrives we will continue to do our part to keep you and our employees safe.

A Calyx Milestone: 15 years

This year marks a milestone for Calyx as we celebrated our fifteenth year in business. Many years ago when Calyx was a little upstart out of a garage, I could not have imagined all the wonderful people I would have the privilege to work with and know. People like you, and the incredible team here at Calyx who have 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 have received fulfillment and happiness throughout our shared time together, and I want to thank you for your continued business and support of Calyx as we continue to grow and evolve.

Year in Review

I will start 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, combined with 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 fully integrated a cloud-based file sharing system into your Outlook email and file sharing systems, called ShareFile, so you can share data from within and outside your organization easier and safer. We added new monitoring and reporting technologies that automatically test the Framework environment every 5 minutes on uptime availability, the average login times for every Framework desktop, and our overall platform performance. We 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’d like to say how grateful and excited we are for these new team members to join the Calyx family, and we hope you enjoy getting to know all of 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. All recent and new investments planned are tied to one of our two promises to you. The first is our product promise, which is to provide you with technology that is easy to use, always available, highly secure, and well-performing. The other is our support promise, which is to provide you with the best people, using the best tools, who 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 every aspect of Framework, done with the latest versions of software, on the newest infrastructure and technologies that are presently available. So 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, Microsoft 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 ability will enable Calyx more flexibility and breadth of the solutions we can deliver to you, while still 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 such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams — all within your Framework Desktop.

Support

Over the past year, Jenn Layport was elevated to our support manager. Her job is to guide the team on a daily basis, coach and reinforce 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

To increase our communication, planning, and reporting to clients on a consistent basis, we have created a new Customer Experience Team, led by Walt Ely and Tom Clause. Every client will receive a monthly report informing them of our work, including items such as ticket trend data, our platform performance, average login times, and any recommendation from our engineering team. In addition to the monthly reporting, the Customer Experience Team will work with you to establish a meeting schedule — one that’s based on your needs and preferences. During these scheduled meetings, they will review our reporting data with you, discuss any current or past service events, and ask for your feedback on what’s working or what’s not working. Your feedback will be provided to our entire company for continual service improvement, and any future planning initiatives as a result of 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 more easily, and to gain value from one another through experience sharing and learning.

Marketing

We will expand the content of our monthly newsletters to include more tech tips and tricks to help educate and train you and your organization. Information about our industry, more news regarding Calyx and our team members, and things we’ve learned or found to be a value that we want to share.

In closing, there are several areas we are focused on, 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. If you have any questions about any of the topics I’ve addressed here, please reach out to me or any of our team members to learn more. 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