2016 Recap

Pennants on a wall.Happy New Year! It’s been far too long since we posted an update so I think a quick recap of 2016 is in order.

In short, 2016 was a great first year (well, 9 months really!) for Cidi Labs. From earlier posts you saw that we launched in March and followed that up with a partnership with Instructure.

At the end of May we turned on the SaaS version of Design Tools for Canvas and immediately moved Utah State University into production in that environment. Shortly thereafter, we welcomed University of Utah and University of Maryland on as our first customers (besides Utah State).

They’re more than just customers; however, as they believed early on in the vision we set forth for Cidi Labs and chose to support us by being early full adopters of Design Tools. Without their commitment we certainly wouldn’t be this far along, so thank you very much to our special partners at these fine institutions for believing in us! We ended 2016 with a total of 25 customers spread across higher education and K-12.

The picture above shows our “wall-o’-pennants” highlighting some of our customers (did you know? not many schools sell pennants these days!). We’re working with a great mix of large and small universities, colleges, community colleges, and school districts (including one with over 250,000 students). We even have customers in Australia and the UK now. And everyone has been so much fun to work with!

On the product front, Kenneth Larsen and his colleagues at Utah State CIDI have done a great job of pushing out new features for Design Tools; including, improved support for the Canvas mobile app, easier management of institutional theme customizations, support for reusable HTML snippets, and the ability to manage tool customizations at multiple levels (root account and sub-account levels), among many other new touches. A number of these features were suggested by our new customers, so everyone is already playing an important part in improving the tools.

On the SaaS uptime-performance-front, we only experienced one short outage all year which occurred late on a Friday afternoon and lasted only a few minutes impacting only the LTI tools. Given the timing we’re not sure anyone even noticed. Overall, we’re very pleased with the performance and reliability of the service as we’ve added usage.  So what’s ahead?

In 2017, first and foremost, we plan to focus on the success of our current customers to ensure they get the most out of using Design Tools for Canvas. For example, we plan on launching some improved training aids to help users better master how to use the tools. Next, we certainly plan on adding more customers to the mix, but we want to do so in a responsible way so as to not jeopardize our ability to support our users. And finally, as we grow in 2017, you’ll likely see us add a few new team members and, who knows, maybe there will be a new product or two introduced for the benefit of the instructional design community whom we serve.

So here’s to a great 2016 and a big “thanks” to all those who believed in us this past year! We’ve had a great time working with each of you (customers and interested parties alike!). Our plan is for more great stuff in 2017. Please stay tuned.

Cheers, Mike Z.