2016: The Year in Review

, a 6-minute piece by Dev Mukherjee Dev Mukherjee

Since 2013, as each year folded, we've deliberately taken time off to be introspective. During our Annual General Meeting (AGM) we look back to see what we achieved and, more importantly, what we failed to achieve and why. This is followed by outlining expectations for the coming year.

We began 2016 by publicly defining our commitments for the year; this post is the epilogue. All things considered, 2016 has been a great year for us. We've enjoyed continued long-term business relationships with our major clients, put serious effort into finalising our flagship product and identified the voice for our approach towards building digital platforms.

GPA Connect

Royal Australia College of General Practitioners (RACGP) recommend achieving independent accreditation against their standards to demonstrate that a general practice is serious about providing high-quality, safe and effective care. GPA Accreditation plus is one of two accreditation agencies that provide independent accreditation to general practices.

In April 2016, GPA launched Connect, an industry-first initiative to bring accreditation into the digital space. Connect covers every aspect of their business and is used by their stakeholders across Australia. Connect has been one of our biggest undertakings and we are very pleased with what we've achieved. It's a result of our technology, process and long term working partnership with GPA.

The new year will see us bring many more exciting features to Connect, including a complete user interface overhaul. Details will be made available via GPA's official communication channels.

Platforms like Connect have the power to make compliance-based industries much more accessible to customers. This has become an area of interest for us and we are actively seeking partnership opportunities to reimagine how these industries have traditionally operated.

The Year of Three

Prestans 3 received sincere effort from us in the third quarter. While we had hopes of moving towards Python 3 by the end of this year, we didn't quite get to a release but we are definitely on our way.

Prestans remains the last cog that is needed to move to Python 3 before we can start migrating our applications. We remain committed to the move. Prestans 3 will be backwards compatible to Python 2.7, allowing developers to make the move in their own time.

Streamlined Operations

With Anomaly steadily growing, operations have become a full-time job. To ensure that design and engineering went largely undistributed, I personally assumed running day-to-day operations of the business. This started seriously impacting my time to work on products.

Earlier this year I decided to step back from operations and return my time completely to designing products. With the transition nearly complete and our flagship product nearly ready for public access, I am looking forward to sketching Anomaly's future product line.

Online Services for Local Government

Over the past eight years we have maintained a platform for local government agencies around the Riverina. It's well-loved by the handful of local councils that use it. During 2016 we had numerous conversations with a number of councils around the area and identified the need for building and maintaining a platform that allows councils in Australia to conduct business online.

We're happy to announce that we have formally decided to enter this market. Details of the product will be announced in Ventures mid next year.

Twine is Around the Corner

Earlier this year we announced Twine, our flagship collaboration platform. We will be sending out beta invitations in February with an anticipated general availability in April 2017. We are already working on a native iOS client, with an Android sibling to follow.

Areas of Great Interest

During our AGM meetings we also highlight areas in computer science that are of interest to us and evaluate if we can expand our service offering:

Virtual Reality: with readily accessible hardware (basically your phone and a headset) virtual reality has become a platform worth considering. Its obvious contenders will be gaming and entertainment but it's very feasible to think of developing training exercises for various professions.

Internet of Things: while this is still in its infancy and it's a solution looking for a really good problem to solve, connected sensors can add great value to traditional devices. We are seeking to collaborate with makers of traditional devices e.g. agricultural equipment to see how we can connect these devices to the Internet and make them more valuable.

Artificial Intelligence: Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, announced their AI-first approach towards computing. AI from companies like Google and Amazon is now available as a service e.g. image and speech analysis. Machine learning is available in the cloud and is bound to impact where computing heads and how users interact with computers in the future.

Epilogue

For a small team we produce an enourmous amount of high-quality work. We're bravely facing the challenges of growth while keeping the engineering momentum. Anomaly is completely cashflow-funded which poses its own challenges, but allows us the freedom to control our product destiny.

We have an exciting lineup for the new year and can't wait to share what we've been working on.

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