2014 was a year of growth, growing pains and accomplishments here at Vanilla. We welcomed great new customers such as EA, Harvard University and MyFitnessPal and we continued to grow our distributed team. We now have employees in Montreal, Ottawa, Detroit, Austin and Sacramento. We continued to invest heavily in product development with a major release of Vanilla open source and several new features on our cloud product.
In 2014, brands were let down by the big social media networks as a place where they could engage with customers. In 2015, they will turn to building their own branded communities. As Nate Elliot from Forrester puts it, ‘It’s time to focus efforts on the social tactics that actually work.”.
Vanilla remains focused on providing a great forum solution that will allow our customers to create strong and unique communities. Our product roadmap this year will be focused on 3 key areas: platform, security and usability. As community has become more central to the customer experience, integration of Vanilla into customer facing and back end systems has been increasing. In 2015, we’ll be building out our API and integration points to bring Vanilla one step closer to being a true platform. Security, unfortunately, is another area of focus. While forums typically don’t contain a lot of sensitive or financial information, they can be high-profile targets. We want to ensure that our product remains secure and want to help end users keep their accounts secure without harming ease of use. Lastly, usability, i.e. making it easy and fun to participate in online discussions, has always and will always be a focus for Vanilla.
As we try to improve the customer experience that we offer, we'll be growing our professional services and customer success teams. Our job postings can be found here.
On behalf of everyone at Vanilla, we’d like to wish you a belated happy new year.