The year 2020 has completely changed the way we run our business. There were some major adjustments and there were some major accomplishments as well.
In this special episode, we want to take a retrospective look at the past year, the challenges we have faced as a company, and the wins we had, as well as what you can all expect from us in the year ahead. We'll also bring you back to some of industry heavyweights as guests for our new podcast - Coding Over Cocktails, delve on a variety of topics such as polyglot programming, API-First design, agile philosophy, etc.
Kevin Montalbo: GREETINGS Listeners, my name is Kevin Montalbo, TORO Cloud’s Content Editor and your host for Coding over Cocktails. Thank you for joining me today!
In the very first episode of the year 2021, we want to take a retrospective look at the past year, the challenges we’ve faced as a company, and the wins we had, as well as what you can all expect from us in the year ahead.
At 4:30 pm on the 16th of March, the TORO Cloud office in the Philippines was given half an hour’s notice by the local authorities to prepare for a 100% remote workforce.
Philippine News Agency: President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a proclamation formally declaring a state of public health emergency throughout the Philippines.
KM: The area was going into a COVID-19 related lockdown, and employees would not be able to return to the workplace the next day. About a third of our team have company-issued laptops. Getting those employees set up to work remotely was relatively painless.
For the rest, we had to pack up computers, monitors, and keyboards; create an inventory of everything, and then arrange for employees to take them home. Incredibly, the next day, we had a 100% remote workforce.
Being a company that promotes digital transformation, we may have had some advantages when it came to working remotely. Our systems, processes, and workplace management are integrated and most entirely online. Also, shout out to our awesome SysAd team in making sure that everything ran smoothly.
Apart from this transfer, TORO Cloud’s CEO and Founder David Brown also did some “transferring” of his own. Around early September, David came from Hongkong and arrived back to his home in Australia.
David Brown: I moved to Hong Kong six and a half years ago and just in the last few weeks, moved back. It was driven by a number of factors. Hong Kong is a great place to be, it’s an exciting city, it’s 24 hours. In the last couple of years, around those years, it’s undergone a lot of changes, a lot of turmoil, and we were there during the protest movement, and got caught in tear gas on some occasions. It had some pretty horrific experiences but overall the experience was fantastic. Really enjoyed my time there. Of course, more recently the security legislation which has been passed in Hong Kong as well, has forced a lot of companies to reconsider having their base based in Hongkong. It was also something – we were missing Australia. Our kids going to boarding school here in Australia. We’re from Sydney ourselves, born right here so we were looking forward to coming home. And proud to bring an Australian technology company, to promote TORO Cloud not just as an Australian founder but as a wholly owned Australian company as well.
KM: That’s David during an interview with Ticker TV. Now that quarantine restrictions have been eased a bit, the majority of the staff are now back at the office and it has been business as usual. Safety measures have been implemented and everyone is doing their part in making sure that we comply with local regulations.
Despite the transfer and the pandemic, the company was able to hit the ground running by rolling out important updates to its low-code, API-centric, iPaaS Martini, which now features support for custom logic written in the language of your choice.
The company also released Bellini, a low code application development platform, designed for professional developers to rapidly build scalable and more manageable frontend applications. Bellini, like Martini, is also an API centric application. With Bellini you can drag-n-drop UI components onto a canvas and then bind those components to a RESTful API. You could use Bellini to create a dashboard containing a mashup of data from your CRM, marketing automation, and billing systems or you could build your own line of business applications connected to custom APIs that you create with Martini.
Both Martini and Bellini are part of the TORO Cloud platform, and while they are great individually, they are awesome when used together. TORO also launched its new podcast, Coding Over Cocktails. The podcast you’re listening to right now.
KM: Hello listeners, my name is Kevin Montalbo the host for Coding Over Cocktails and the content editor...
KM: Coding Over Cocktails aims to tackle issues faced by enterprises as they manage the process of digital transformation, application integration, low-code application development, data management, and business process automation.
Over the past few months, we’ve had industry heavyweights as guests such as Neal Ford, who talked about how he came up with the term polyglot programming.
Neal Ford: I've always been fascinated by computer languages and because computer languages, it's an engineering medium, but it's also a creative medium.
KM: We’ve also had Mike Amundsen, who discussed the advantages of having an API first design.
Mike Amundsen: You want to get right into the code or whatever, but starting out with a good story, collecting the feedback, what is it you're trying to do? What are the actions you're taking?
KM: Then there’s David Linthicum, who coined the term Enterprise Application Integration, on the podcast, he described how cloud computing has evolved throughout the years.
David Linthicum: The cloud kind of crossed the chasm where they have better technology than we do on premise, whether it's security, governance, management, monitoring.
KM: Just recently, James Shore was on the show and told us what organizations need to focus on in 2021 in terms of becoming more agile.
James Shore: A decision to become agile is not a decision to take lightly. It's a decision that requires people to change their behaviors and their habits.
KM: The podcast helped place TORO Cloud on the map and the minds of industry thought leaders, as well as our customers, as the company consistently racked up some awards and recognitions during the year.
This includes being part of the top 10 digital transformation solution companies of 2020 by APAC CIO Outlook, a print magazine that aims to provide a platform for CIOs, CTOs, and other senior-level IT buyers and decision-makers along with CXOs of solution providers to share their experiences, wisdom, and advice with the enterprise IT community of Asia Pacific countries.
Then there were the Happiest Users and Quality Choice badges, thanks to Martini’s high user satisfaction ratings on Crozdesk, a business software research platform.
Martini racked up over 250 reviews on the independant community reviews website G2 and received a number of recognition badges as a result. The most recent ranking placed Martini as a Leader in the category of iPaaS.
Other awards included Best Relationship, High Performer badges in Europe, Asia Pacific, and the mid-market segments, and the Leadership badge for substantial satisfaction and market presence scores across the year. And apparently, users love the product, too, with a Users Love Us badge in Fall and Winter.
So, what can we look forward to in 2021? David Brown joins us now.
DB: 2020 was a milestone for TORO Cloud. It was the year in which we completed the vision of developing a product portfolio to enable the digital transformation of an enterprise. See, digital transformation is a cultural challenge but you still need the right tools to execute change. A digital transformation project typically revolves around getting applications and systems communicating as a cohesive whole. It also involves automating workflows so that people don’t feel repetitive laborious tasks and focus on those tasks that contribute more value.
We enable remote workforces to access systems and data securely and create digital experiences for customers, business partners, and other stakeholders including employees. We can also create new digital products from an organization’s data, processes, or workflows. Our products are designed for an enterprise to take control of their digital transformation efforts but almost every enterprise has an IT department that has already stretched their capacity.
So, we made our products sweet that will make their life easier, make them more productive, and result in applications, APIs, and integration of workflows that are easier to manage as the requirements of the business change.
2021 will be all about enhancing the user experience. We already have a world-class development environment for creating applications, APIs, integrations, and workflows but we will focus on the features that our customers use the most often and make them even easier to use. We will tighten the integration between the products and platform. Whilst you can still continue to use them independently, they will be even more powerful when you use together.As always, our focus on making digital transformation accessible to the enterprise. Our goal is to enable an enterprise to focus more on their core business rather than the technology that facilitates their business.
KM: And that’s it for this round of Cocktails. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Over the next year, you can look forward to more of our content here at TORO Cloud. In fact, you can check out our 2020 retrospective video on our YouTube channel, too. Let us know what topics you’d like us to cover, and the guests that you’d want to hear in the podcast as well. As usual, please visit our website at www.torocloud.com to check out our blogs and our products. We’re also on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Talk to us there, we’ll listen, just look for TORO Cloud.
Thank you very much for listening to us today. On behalf of the entire team at TORO Cloud, this has been Kevin Montalbo, at your service for Coding Over Cocktails.