On 4th November, something big happened.
Collab365 was no longer just a brand of Collaboris; it became an independent company.
Firstly, why split from Collaboris?
The 15 years we spent building Collaboris up to become one of the leading ISV’s in the SharePoint/Compliance space were incredible. We sold to hundreds of customers worldwide and built DocRead into something I was incredibly proud of. There’s still a large amount of interest in DocRead, and that’s why Hugo will be taking it forward to turn it into a first-class Cloud service running on top of Microsoft 365.
In reality, we built up the Collab365 brand because of my passion for learning and teaching. Since 2016, we have run lots of events, a community and regularly blogged. From a personal perspective, I enjoyed this part of the business because I love helping people in a similar position to what I’ve been through many times in my career.
Although I enjoyed helping develop and market DocRead, I had an itch to scratch. Since Microsoft launched Power Apps in 2016, I was smitten with the Power Platform, and I wanted to help others adopt it.
So after some deep soul searching and honest conversations, Hugo and I agreed the best outcome would be to split Collaboris down the middle so we could both follow our passion.
On 4th November, Fraser, Connor and I started to work for Collab365 Limited.
What are our goals for Collab365?
We’ve spent countless hours fleshing out what we want to do, who we want to help and how we plan to do it.
Our main goal is to help people adopt no-code/low-code solutions. Over the next five years, we believe Microsoft’s Power Platform will become the de facto way of building business solutions. There’s now a massive developer skills shortage, and the low/no-code space is blowing up. I’ve spent lots of time looking into solutions like FlutterFlow (No code on Flutter), Draftbit (No code for React Native), and a few others like Honeycomb, Bubble, and WebFlow. These tools are all maturing by the day, and in two years, I think most of the apps we create today will be no-code. But no matter how many tools I looked at, I kept coming back to Microsoft and the Power Platform. They have longevity in the market and have the funds to keep the platform developing and adequately supported.
How do we plan to help?
The Collab365 Community is coming back.
We used to run an active community, but we never had the time required to put into it to make it truly successful. During that time, we learned a lot about building a community. In the coming weeks, we will be launching a new membership site under the name Collab365 Academy. For this, we will be using Circle.so (not Facebook or LinkedIn).
Collab365 Academy – “learn by doing”
The technical term for our approach is Action Centred Learning, but we like to keep things simple, so we’re simply saying that you “learn by doing”.
We’re also going to be launching our new solutions and training platform called the Collab365 Academy. The purpose of our Academy will be to teach people how to build real-world solutions on top of the Power Platform. In the Academy, you can expect plenty of content to help you learn the latest M365 tips and techniques. We’ve already added 100s of videos, playbooks, ebooks and courses.
Our flagship products (the ones we would love to be known for) will be our “Solution Accelerators”. A Solution Accelerator will enable you to join us live to build a real-world solution together. Our goal is to teach you how to develop a solution and give you something that you can recreate in your organisation or in an organisation that hires you to build something for them. We realise that certain people (like us at Collab365) prefer to learn by “doing”.
Collab365 Solutions Marketplace – the “done-for-you” service
We realise that not everyone has the time to learn or do it themselves. For this reason, we plan to launch the Collab365 marketplace that will allow you to hire a Collab365 verified Solutions Engineer to remotely build, configure and train you on one of our solutions.
Once both the Academy and Solutions Marketplace are up and running, this will give you three options to grab a solution:
1. Build it yourself (with our guidance)
2. Have us build it for you in your environment.
3. Hire a Collab365 certified development partner to work alongside you to build your solution.
Option 3 is ideal where you might have a whole suite of Apps you want to build over an extended period.
Collab365 Solutions Days and Workshops
To continue our focus on learning by building solutions, we will be inviting experts from around the world to teach you in our new Solutions Day format and our half-day workshops.
We’ve already pencilled in 4 new workshops for Q1 of 2022 and will be launching our very first “Solutions Day” in the coming weeks.
As you’d expect, we will also be trying some new things out. For example, we’re looking at digital credentials to allow you to display your unique skills and have them independently validated. We’re also looking at additional workshops that aren’t platform-specific but cover topics like Design Thinking and Agile Business Practices to help you round out your skills.
I couldn’t be more excited about following our roadmap, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have supported us over the years.
See you all in 2022!