A Year Full of Dynamism

No standstill: byte5 was not able to maintain the upward trend of recent years in terms of growth, but COO Chris Köhler is really quite satisfied with 2020 considering the special circumstances.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

A turbulent year is drawing to a close. Time for our annual review of the past year: an interview with byte5 COO, Chris Köhler.

In our 2019 recap, you predicted a Microsoft Gold Partnership for 2020 – has this plan come true?

Yes. Right at the beginning of the year, we were announced a two-time Microsoft Gold Partner in DevOps and Cloud Platform. For 2021, we are aiming for two more Microsoft competencies that match our path. We were also named Umbraco Contributing Gold Partner in 2020.

A few weeks later, the global pandemic was in full swing. In a 2020 recap, it is close to impossible to avoid the topic of COVID-19. 2020 went differently than planned in many ways. What did the outbreak of the pandemic mean for byte5 as a company?

© Douglas Robar

From an operations point of view, we’ve been cloud-savvy for many years. As a result, we did not have any troubles in terms of project progress and effectiveness in 2020. But of course, there were great personal challenges for our employees, which we tried to cushion as well as possible.

Economically, we are well-positioned as a company and our project landscape has remained fairly stable, but we have clearly felt a stagnation. We have not been able to achieve the goals we set ourselves in terms of growth. For us, 2020 means a kind of pause in economic growth. We have therefore more or less defined the same goals for 2021 as we initially did for the past year.

Of course, as a result of the pandemic, our annual Umbraco Festival Deutschland also had to be cancelled. We already have ideas for new, digital formats. Digital has been the keyword for this year, anyway: We have created new communication formats to ensure team cohesion. At the beginning of the pandemic, we started with status updates from Christian and me. In the course of time, these vlogs were replaced by our two weekly video calls with the team: the first one is especially tailored for our developers, the second one is a video call where the entire team joins. As a result, communication within the team is more regular and it goes both ways. In which shape or form we will continue this after the pandemic has been dealt with, remains to be seen. In any case, our “Weeklies” are a great tool in the current situation. Our partner, Janus Boye, also has interesting insights to report on the subject in our annual turn of the year interview with him. As always, it will be released on December 31st.

What other topics did byte5 focus on in 2020?

We started our first Pimcore projects. In the upcoming year, there will be more news on Pimcore and Pimcore partnerships on our website and blog. Right at the end of 2020, we also added the IOTA distributed ledger technology from Berlin to our portfolio. It is a technology with high disruptive potential which will play a big role in 2021.

Although everything went a little slower this year and the focus lay, so to speak, elsewhere, we also continued to develop our “new pay” endeavours, which we call “New Trust”. We will speak about this in more detail in 2021.

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Was there anything else that’s new happening in 2020?

Despite all restrictions caused by the coronavirus and its repercussions, we managed to find great new additions to our team again. In our blog series “Welcome to byte5”, the newcomers introduce themselves.

In conclusion, how would you summarise 2020 in one sentence?

A year without growth – but full of dynamism!

Chris, thank you! We would like to take this opportunity to thank our readers, partners and customers once again for the trustful cooperation this year. Merry Christmas everyone!

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