12 Apr 2021 . 5 min read
A “COVID-19 year” in review
Every year, companies talk about how this year was different from previous years. In a normal year, reviews are for a calendar or a fiscal year. However, from March 13, 2020 to March 13, 2021, “the COVID-19 year”, it wasn’t a normal year. We can unequivocally say that the “COVID-19 year” was a “once-in-a-century” year. Hit by a global pandemic, and the adverse economic impact that resulted, it was a challenging year, and many challenges will continue as 2021 goes on.
This past year was a year where some of top Google searches included: how to wash our hands? how to cook a meal? or how to cut our hair? We need to all be thankful for what we have and make the best use of our time.
While life happens, Pronto, in our own way, has enabled people to spend more time on what is of more value. We try to help to answer a basic question as one of our customers rightfully said, "how do I spend less time on pruning data to making strategic decisions for my company and partnerships?"
We are grateful that most of our customers, vendors, partners, and team members have managed to stay healthy and safe. Many of the societal and business challenges faced over the past year further demonstrated the importance of partner ecosystems in helping to solve new and challenging health and economic problems. For example, the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccination is a collaboration between the federal government, states and territories, national pharmacy partners, and independent pharmacy networks to increase access to COVID-19 vaccination across the United States. Last April, Rolls-Royce established a new COVID19 data alliance, Emer2gent, to help kickstart businesses and the economy into recovery. We marvel that our customers recognized these harder times, but, are still moving forward with their strategic objectives including building new partnerships and growing pipeline and sales by using our Ecosystem Management Platform.
Despite these complications, the Pronto team accomplished a lot. Here are some of the highlights since last March--
Less than one month after businesses, schools, life-cycle events, and many other “normal” activities stopped or went remote, our team introduced the first commercial release of our Ecosystem Management platform in April, 2020.
Customer Acceptance and Success
Since our April release, over 80 companies adopted our platform and are currently managing over $100 million in partner enabled sales pipeline. One customer onboarded onto the platform within 90 minutes including customizations and integrations with their business systems! An enterprise customer was able to collaborate with eight partners, within the first four weeks of deploying our platform, and built a robust double-digit pipeline of which 93% were totally new opportunities. Our customers come from many different markets including ISVs, networking, security, data analytics, storage, application management, cloud management and others. The pandemic has forced less in-person interaction, further highlighting the value of a collaboration platform to help manage the whole ecosystem lifecycle.
We recently launched one of our signature features – Insights. With Insights, customers can now automatically and securely undertake account mapping activities with partners in their ecosystem – be it by region, industry, customer segmentation etc. The Pronto Insights feature discovers both readily visible and hidden sales leads and potential up-sell and cross-sell accounts/opportunities. Pronto’s Insights feature enables organizations to accelerate their go-to-market and improve the overall relationship ROI.
Partner Onboarding is taking off very well, simplifying the time and effort required to set up a new partner. Data is not only used for set-up, but can automatically be shared across the entire technology stack, eSignature- workflow automation is another platform feature to help further streamline and automate partner workflows.
During the past 12 months, we tripled the size of the Pronto team adding to engineering, product management, customer success, and sales. Most of the growth last year has gone into engineering. Our growing workforce is diverse, aligns with our core values and has important skillsets that are key to addressing the needs of our customers. For example, most members of our engineering team have deep expertise in information security, ensuring that anything and everything we build here at Pronto is super secure and airtight! Our sales team is very customer centric, not pushy and collaborates with our customers, like how true partners should. The members of our product management are not just product managers who work on prioritizing requirements and working with engineering, but are highly knowledgeable about partner ecosystems, courtesy of their previous roles as business development professionals.
Our platform already provides many native integrations to cloud collaboration applications our customer use on a daily basis including Dropbox, Box, Google drive, and Microsoft One Drive. Apart from integrations with cloud collaboration applications we added integrations to a host of CRM’s and collaboration tools for automating workflow including but not limited to Salesforce, Zoho, Okta, and HelloSign.
Investing for the Future
We are hiring globally! Since the beginning of the pandemic when remote working became the norm, we recognized the flexibility it now gives us to hire the best talent regardless of where they are. We are bolstering our team across various functions to support Pronto’s growth including engineering, sales, marketing, and customer success.
Culturally, we consider our customers as partners. Our relationships are based on transparency and trust. They guide us in identifying and prioritizing the most impactful features and capabilities to continuously improve our platform. We are building rich feature sets, capabilities and improving the overall user experiences of our platform to enable our customers not just achieve faster ROI but also uncover hidden revenue opportunities in their partner ecosystem. For example, based on business applications our customers use, we are developing deep integrations with applications such as HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics, and Gainsight.
Thank you to our customers, vendors, partners, and of course, our stellar team for supporting us over this very challenging last year.
As we enter this Spring and the coming year, and are witnessing widespread vaccinations and a reduction in the spread of the disease, we are optimistic for a return to “normalcy”. As we do, we will continue to be attentive to your guidance, adopt best practices, and challenge ourselves to further evolve our platform to help you realize the full value of your partner ecosystem. If you already use Pronto’s Ecosystem Management platform, we would love your feedback. What do you think of this year’s features? And what would you like to see in the year to come? Let us know!
We hope this coming year will see a return to in-person social and business interactions, a year of good health, and a successful year for you and your ecosystem.