Looking Back at 2018 With Gratefulness and Humility

Post Date: 12/19/2018
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Not too many people know this, but AvePoint’s logo isn’t just a stylized “A.” It represents a rising sun just above a mountain, and also a person with a bowing head.

That’s how I feel towards the end of 2018 – dreaming big about making a positive difference for our customers and making a splash across the industry in the new year, but always looking back at our company’s recent accomplishments and milestones with gratefulness and humility.

For this post, I’ll be looking back starting with lessons learned and then some key milestones and accomplishments. My next post will take a look forward toward how AvePoint can make a positive impact in 2019.

Lessons Learned: Communication and Prioritization

I’ve discussed here before that one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is not to underestimate the disruptive nature of digital transformation. I’m proud of the team and the ultimate outcome, but it was a bumpy road. Ultimately, it has helped us better understand how to make it easier on our customers undertaking the same journey.

Looking back at 2018, two of the biggest lessons I’ve learned are the importance of communication and prioritization.

We regularly garner feedback across the company (including via anonymous surveys) to foster a dialogue and continuously improve our work environment. One of the findings I was initially shocked by was the desire for more communication within the company!

After all, we have quarterly all-hands townhalls, Teams, SharePoint, product updates of all types, and are active users of Yammer. I’m personally a big advocate of Yammer and push for everyone to participate and leverage it to communicate outside of our day-to-day silos. (Read my take on the “what to use when” conversation).

Over time, however, I began to understand and see some of the challenges. We stress agility as one of our core values; as an industry leader, it’s important to be ahead of trends to provide real value to our customers. Our solutions are constantly updated with new functionality and features. At the same time, we have more than three dozen solutions that can help solve a customer problem.

So we did two things. We redesigned and upgraded our AvePoint University training program, and we put a higher emphasis on prioritizing our solutions portfolio with the highest demand: migration, Office 365 backup, cloud governance, and cloud records.

I recently attended a seminar on essentialism, hosted by Greg McKeown, author of the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. The focus of the seminar was to declutter work life, something I think is even more applicable at the organizational level.

Key 2018 Milestones and Achievements

Looking back at 2018, there were so many great moments that it’s hard to narrow them all down. This video does a pretty good job of covering the highlights in 1:10 seconds:

More SaaS Than Ever: One metric I have been paying very close attention to is the revenue we earn from our SaaS versus on-premises solutions. I am pleased to report that AvePoint is a majority SaaS company earning most of our revenue from the cloud. We’ve invested heavily in the quality of our cloud platform itself and our competitors don’t come close.

ISO 27001 Certification: Speaking of dedication to our cloud platform, AvePoint passed our ISO 27001 Certification this year with flying colors. We are truly dedicated to embedding privacy and security by design into our products. Our security and compliance team leveraged our Compliance Guardian solution to assist and accelerate this process (learn how they did it).

RVA 311: I’ve always felt the best AvePoint achievements are actually our customers’ successes. This is the case with the City of Richmond’s highly successful launch of RVA 311 powered by Citizen Services technology. Six departments are using the technology and receiving about 18,000 transactions a month—and that number is expected to grow. Take a look at our new video case study for more details.

Product Innovation: We take pride in our entrepreneurial spirit and the continuous innovation that has made us the top global Microsoft ISV. This year we had a number of innovations and product milestones, including the first Office 365 item restore bot for end users. Additionally, we added features to our Cloud Backup solution to enable global deployments in a world with increasing data sovereignty regulations. Our Cloud Records solution was deemed VERS compliant and our Compliance Guardian solution was a “Strong Performer” in the Forrester New Wave™: GDPR And Privacy Management Software, Q4 2018.

Customer Success: I am proud of how we have elevated the customer experience at AvePoint in 2018. Not just through a totally new account portal that simplifies and streamlines all your engagements with us as an organization, but in our expansion of our Customer Success team.

If you are a customer, I highly encourage you to book a meeting. Our Customer Success team’s only goals are to either 1) get you up and running, or 2) leveraging more value from what you already own (a.k.a. maximizing your existing investment).

Looking Forward to 2019

I wish everyone a happy New Year!

The holidays are an amazing time to recharge, reset and find your Ikigai or “reason for being.” It’s important to find purpose in your work and what gets you out of bed in the morning!

Want to keep up with everything AvePoint has coming in 2019? Make sure to subscribe to our blog!


As AvePoint’s Chief Executive Officer, as well as a member of the Board of Directors, Dr. Tianyi Jiang (TJ) is responsible for the overall strategy and direction of AvePoint, which includes product innovation, investor relations, and business development. He is focused on delivering value to customers, partners, shareholders, and the AvePoint team, every day.

TJ was named 2023 CEO of the Year, in the Information Technology Products or Services category by the Globee Awards and is a recipient of Ernst & Young’s 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year award in New Jersey. He received both B.S. and master’s in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Philosophy and PhD in Data Mining from Department of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Statistics, Stern School of Business, New York University.

View all posts by TJ
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