From any standard point of view, 2021 was a strange year. There were constant challenges being posed to us ranging from our employees, partners and customers managing the pandemic to supply chain difficulties. But 2021 was also a defining year for Innuos, a year that despite (or because of) the challenges imposed we managed to grow as a company and prepare ourselves for future years.
While the focus of the past months has been the launch of the innuOS 2.0 and the Innuos Sense app, there has been a lot of work on the background that many are not aware. First of all, we are preparing our brand new, state-of-the-art premises for our team in Portugal. This includes a full ESD-protected production line with regulated temperature and humidity levels, a streamlined production process with individual instructions for each of our technicians, better QC controls and an improved “burn-in” station where our products will stage before being shipped to our customers. We are also building a new listening room with professional acoustic treatment to better test our products and allow our guests and partners to listen to our products in the best conditions. We were expecting by now for all this to be ready but it will still take a few months to conclude (delays with materials are still affecting progress greatly).
From our supply chain perspective, our procurement team has worked relentlessly to get a much higher than normal stock level to get us through the expected supply chain delays forecast for at least the first half of 2022. We have now secured enough stock for the next months, ensuring the availability of all our products with very short lead times.
2021 has been the year to perform our IT transformation. We now have a proper cloud infrastructure hosting our website and our update system. This cloud infrastructure can now be scaled to provide further cloud-based services to our software. We are transforming our DevOps landscape to allow a large number of test systems and automated testing processes so that we can continuously improve the quality of our software. We have also implemented now a Teams-based environment allowing our colleagues and partners all over the world to collaborate more effectively.
2021 was also the year Innuos most contributed to social causes through our SEED programme, initially launched in 2020, with the following initiatives:
- Skoola – a professionally run Music Academy that mixes kids from different backgrounds with the aim to transform their lives through the power of music.
- Teach For Portugal – a programme inspired in the Teach For All initiative originated in the USA, with the objective to reduce educational disadvantages for children with less fortunate backgrounds, empowering them to fulfill their maximum potential.
- Software Engineering Scholarships at Instituto Superior Técnico.
- Engineering Degree Scholarships at Universidade do Algarve.
We are looking forward to more SEED initiatives in 2022.
Finally, and most importantly, we have been constantly growing the team with talent coming from all over the world. This year alone 10 more people have joined our team, making a total of 40 people for this year. This has been very significant to us as a company as we invest heavily on our people (there is so much to learn!) and we want everyone at Innuos to feel well integrated and supported, particularly in these more isolated times. This team will be the foundation to allow us growing further in scope and reach for 2022.
From a software perspective, 2021 has been all about setting the baseline framework for innuOS 2.0 and 2022 will be all about bringing in new and innovative features that we believe will be unique for our system. The focus on Q1 2022 will be delivering our full TIDAL integration as well as the Amazon HD music streaming service, with more services being integrated throughout the year. We will also continue to deliver on our most voted features on our Feedback Zone. The next update will feature already BBC Sounds support and beta support for Ethernet streamers. Check the roadmap on the Feedback Zone so you know which features are current being worked (In Progress) and which ones have been approved for implementation (Planned).
We expect 2022 will start showing the fruits of the investment we have made with all that matters to you: Innovative products, improved user experience, the best support service and, of course, better sound quality!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a 2022 full of hope for you and your families,
Nuno and the Innuos Team