There just aren’t enough superlatives to describe what 2020 has been like, and we’re confident that you’re definitely tired of reading articles that mention the phrase, “unprecedented times!” We’re tired of that phrase too 😉, and that’s why we want to end our last blog post for the year on a much-needed high!
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, which details numerous gifts given on each of the 12 days that make up the Christmas season, beginning on Christmas Day. So, for this post (published aptly three days before Christmas), we’re going to list 12 good things that happened to Userlane in 2020! (Also, how is it that this year simultaneously felt like the shortest but longest one ever?!)
12 Months, 12 Gifts! What We Achieved & What We’re Thankful For
Gift 1: Hello, Remote Work! 🏡
As a SaaS company that does (almost) everything online, we are in the very fortunate position of being able to do remote work. Our transition to working from home was seamless, and we have a growing number of Userlaners (the name given to Userlane employees 😎) who now work for us remotely permanently.
For a more detailed explanation on how we switched to remote work and also continued hiring and growing, you can check out:
- This podcast with our CTO and Co-Founder, Felix Eichler.
- This quick video, also with Felix (in German)!
As Felix says in the podcast,
At the beginning [of the pandemic], it was really scary because we all didn’t know how bad this all would be. Luckily, since we’re based in Munich in Germany, we went through this crisis quite well. So we just switched to home office internally on 15 March, and we actually had a new hire also on 15 March! We wanted to onboard her, and we did, and we’ve now onboarded a number of people three months later … Some of them have actually never been to the office, and for us internally, it’s been quite easy to just switch to a fully remote working/home office setup.
Gift 2: New Website and Branding 🎉
This year has been all about change and adjusting to a new way of doing things. So, we think it’s pretty cool that we kicked off a new decade with a change to our website and branding! But we’re not finished yet—we’ve got some more significant changes planned for 2021, so stay tuned 😉.
Gift 3: New Feature Release 📢
Of course, we’re hard at work on creating new features all the time. But this year, we released one of our biggest features: Userlane Announcements. We already have a blog post dedicated to this, so we won’t add anything more here. Be sure to check it out to see how cool our product is: Exciting New Feature Release: Userlane Announcements.
Oh, and while you’re at it, you should also look at our first post by our Customer Success Manager, Tobi, on our interactive guides 😉.
Gift 4: Our First FAZ Article 📰
Earlier this year, our VP of Marketing, Dr. Peter Hoffmann, wrote a comprehensive article about our Digital Adoption Platform that was published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which is one of Germany’s most popular and well-known newspapers. Needless to say, we are very proud of this article!
Gift 5: Our Series B Investment Round 💰
Okay, so this was a pretty big “gift” for us! Halfway through the year, we completed our Series B investment round and received 10 million EUR in funding! We will be using these funds to focus on international expansion. You can read all about this investment round and our investors in the following articles:
Handelsblatt (in German):
Press Release by Five Elms Capital (in English):
Gift 6: White Paper Number 1 📄
2020 definitely taught businesses one thing: It’s all about digitizing, digitizing, digitizing. Sadly, many companies were left behind this year and couldn’t adjust because they hadn’t invested in their digital transformation efforts. And now, with remote work, companies across the globe have discovered that they need to continually introduce new technologies, software, and processes to enable their employees to work successfully in these remote environments.
So, to help businesses navigate this new way of working, we decided to create content on rolling out software successfully and driving adoption through effective training and support. Our long-form content on this topic is our white paper, Software Rollout and Support in the Era of Remote Work. The paper is broken down into three main sections and focuses on the critical success factors needed for software rollout, training, and support.
Gift 7: Our Very First Virtual Event 👨💻
At the end of July, we held our very first online event on how to make your next software rollout a success. You can check out our recap of the event in which you’ll find (a) the key takeaways from each of our guest speakers who presented during our first session (including the video recordings), and (b) a summary of the main challenges of and possible solutions for each phase of a software rollout based on our collaborative brainstorming sessions with attendees.
If you want to watch a recording of the entire event, which includes a fireside chat with our CEO and Co-Founder Hartmut Hahn, you still have the opportunity to register for and access it!
Gift 8: Leveraging LinkedIn Live 💡
Our wonderful Head of Event Marketing came up with the idea to have a talk with an industry expert (almost) every Wednesday via LinkedIn Live. We came to name this series Digital Talks, and we’ve just hit our 14th episode.
This year, we covered a range of interesting topics, including the good and the bad of digital innovation, productivity and work optimization, digital leadership, digital rebels, learning culture, and digital selling. We’ll continue with these talks next year, so make sure to follow our LinkedIn page for updates!
Here’s an episode for you to check out in the meantime! Our guest speaker was Laura Jacob from EY, and she discussed how you can lead change in a world with exponential disruption.
Gift 9: Winning the HR Start-Up Award 🏆
Okay, who doesn’t want to win an award?!
In September, we were awarded the prestigious HR Start-Up Award, which is given to founders in the Human Resources sector in Germany. In the end, three start-ups made it to the finals out of a total of 43 submissions! This definitely made our year!
For a deeper look into why our solution won this award, you can check out our post, Why Userlane Is the Perfect Companion for HR Professionals.
Gift 10: White Paper Number 2 📄
Just in time for some holiday reading 😄. Our second white paper builds on our theme of diving deeper into digital transformation, except this time, we take a look at customer self-service solutions.
There is the misconception that customer self-service solutions result in a poor customer experience. Decision-makers mistakenly believe that if they use self-service solutions to save money, they will compromise on the customer experience.
Our white paper addresses this misconception in greater detail and compares three self-service solutions, evaluating each one based on the overall experience they provide, their implementation and maintenance costs, as well as their support cost-saving potential.
You can download it now, no opt-in required. Our gift to you 🎁!
Gift 11: Another Virtual Event 🎄
Okay, but this time, this virtual event was all fun, no business! At the beginning of December, we hosted our first-ever virtual Christmas party, replete with virtual games, best-dressed competitions, and gift openings (thanks Secret Santa!). Below is a screenshot of Hartmut (our CEO) at the party getting into the Christmas spirit!
PS We had a competition for “Ugliest Christmas Sweater,” but there is NO ways Baby Yoda could ever be classified as ugly 😄.
Gift 12: More Userlaners! 👩👩👧👦
Despite all the curveballs 2020 threw our way, we were still in a position to hire new, talented employees (we are incredibly grateful for this). If you want to meet all our new Userlaners, you’ll have to check out our Instagram page 😎 . Here’s a sneak peek of one of our posts:
Wrapping It Up for 2020
And there we have it, our last post for 2020. Of course, our success is only because of you, our teammates, our customers, and everyone who supports us. So thank you! We wish you a peaceful festive season and a good start in 2021. May it be less “unprecedented” than this one! Stay safe and until next year,
The Userlane Team