What a year!

Published 2011-12-20 by Jochen Lillich

Looking back

Last year, we started offering DrupalCONCEPT hosting in our domestic german market. Building upon that, 2011 was the year of our expansion onto Europe and beyond. Today, we provide high-performance Drupal hosting solutions to customers in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italia, England, and even in Uganda! (This success certainly gives us sufficient opportunity to polish up our spoken English.)

Our rapidly growing customer base also shows us where we still need to improve our teamwork, our infrastructure, processes and tools.

Teamwork in a virtual company like freistil IT is different from working in a shared office, and we invested a lot of time and thought into finding the collaboration tools that work most effectively for us. (Drop us a line in the comments if you’d like to exchange experiences!)

Every new customer comes with their own workflow, tools and site building philosophy. Sizes range from solo website owners to big development teams, expectations from “I simply want to upload my site.” to “We need a multi-stage Continuous Integration process.” Obviously, it’s not easy to balance all those needs while trying to keep our products and infrastructure as homogenous as possible. We’ll continue doing our best to build practical solutions for all your Drupal hosting needs.

Also, dealing with an increasing amount of support requests is a challenge we still haven’t yet fully mastered. This year, we received a lot of positive feedback but also constructive criticism. Both drive us to further increase our customer care efforts.

It’s been a year of hard work. And it’s been a year of a lot of fun! We’ve learned a lot about building a great IT infrastructure and a business around it. We’ve learned a lot from our customers – in telephone calls, at Drupal user meetings and in London pubs. We’re happy to be part of the amazing Drupal community.

Looking forward

Well, 2012 certainly has a lot in store for us!

Improving customer support is our Number One priority. We’ve gone over the feedback we got and found many recurring topics. Based on that feedback, we’re making plans how to improve our efficiency (make better use of our time), transparency (communicate more often and more clearly) and our product documentation.

One of the most requested features is a self-service website that enables our hosting customers to configure domains, email addresses etc. themselves. We’re already working heavily on our Hosting Dashboard and plan to start beta-testing it early next year.

In 2012, we’ll need a bigger team to keep up with our growing customer base. There’ll certainly be new names on our team page. With added skills and manpower, there also will be new services and products we’re going to offer. (We’re as excited about what exactly they’ll be as you!)

Thank you so much!

We would not be where we are today without our customers. It’s you who we serve, who we learn from, with whom we always have a great time at conferences and other meetings, and who, above all, make our business work. We are more thankful to you than we can express.

So, to all our customers and partners, and to all our website visitors, we simply say:

Have a very merry christmas! Enjoy the holidays and have a great start into the new year 2012!