UpKeep: Year in Review (2020)

2020 was an unusual year, to put it mildly. It was a year of massive change to the way we live, work, and socialize. We had to contend with unnatural things like isolating from the people we love and staying in-doors for weeks and months on end just to survive. We took life and work to the digital realm and continue to do so to this day.

Our last dinner together at the end of February

Through all of this crazy change, the team at UpKeep, where I head up Product and Engineering, managed to pull off a very impressive year. We delivered over 5,000 pieces of value to our customers in the US, UK, Canada, China, Australia, South Africa, Germany, France, Kuwait, UAE, Japan, Iceland, Brazil, and beyond. That’s 100% increase in productivity YoY. Given how stressful this year was across the board, this was a remarkable feat.

Our goal in 2020 was solely focused on maturing our technical stack and product offerings to meet our current and future customers’ expectations.

Needless to say, it wasn’t easy, but we did it. I’m so proud of the team and how well they managed to pull through all of the change and challenges this year threw our way. #dreamteam.

I broke down the results we delivered on into two categories:

  1. The Highlights: These are the big boulders that we managed to deliver in 2020.
  2. Noteworthy Mentions: These are the table stakes that our customers expect from our platform.
First socially-distant team meeting back in April

The Highlights

Faster Application ⚡️— We started 2020 with a major performance improvement to the application, reducing load time by half and in some cases even more. This was a critical milestone for us because we are true believers in the impact performance has on customer satisfaction and engagement–a faster application is a happier customer.

UpKeep Analytics 📊 — A major release of 2020 was the overhaul of the Reporting and Analytics product at UpKeep. The revamped product gives customers actionable insights and trends across work orders, assets, and technicians, as well as the ability to build out custom dashboard with ease.

Walking the team through a POC of the UpKeep Analytics back in February

Offline Mode📱 — A big feature our customers have been asking for is the ability to use the app when there’s no Internet connection. This was a capability that was created, built, tested, and delivering, with close collaboration with our customers.

Security 🔒 — 2020 was a major milestone for us as we got our SOC-2 Compliance certification. Improving our security practices and processes was yet another major focus for us in 2020.

Kubernetes ⚙️ — We made the move to K8s this year, which helped us streamline and simplify the management of our infrastructure. Another big project that consumed us in 2020, but we’re glad we’re there. This allows us to serve our customers in more ways than we’re able to do in the past, which is exciting.

UpKeep Templates 💾 — A huge value to our customers and the industry at large was the collection of checklists and tasks we compiled to help maintenance teams get back to work faster. From COVID-specific templates to general safety and inspection templates, these get everyone up and running in no time.

Open Platform 🔗 — In 2020, we made some major updates to our APIs from adding a Webhooks endpoint to enhancing the existing endpoints with new fields and better documentation.

Integrations 🛠 — This is an area that has gotten plenty of love in 2020. From big updates to the integrations we have on Zapier powered by our improved APIs to a brand new Coupa and SAP Integrations that made it super easy for our systems to talk to each other, creating a frictionless ecosystem for our customers.

Connected Devices (IoT) 🌡 — In 2019, our IoT, or Sensors, initiative was nascent and in the POC phase. In 2020, it became a real product with customers on it and an expansive platform with more sensors and insights attached to it.

Technician-Focused Mobile Experience 👨🏽‍🔧👩🏻‍🔧🛠 — 2020 saw a shift in how we think about our mobile experience. Most of the users that take advantage of our mobile apps are the technicians doing the work. We decided to make the experience even friendlier to those users. From usability tweaks to introducing personal analytics of the impact one is making on the business, the mobile experience has undergone many positive changes in 2020.

Preventive Maintenance Overhaul 📆 — Rethinking Preventive Maintenance, or PM, to make it a lot more intuitive to our customers with fewer frictions points as possible.

Noteworthy Mentions

Limited Tech Permission 👨🏽‍🔧 🔐— Made it easier for limited technicians by removing frictions and confusion from their flows. A big area of improvement for one of the key users of our application and something we’re very proud of providing.

Request Portals 👨🏽‍💻 –– Major improvements to how these portals are configured and accessed based on customers’ feedback.

Category Customization 🧩 –– Another big ask from our customers was delivered in early 2020.

Major backend optimization 🧰 –– In addition to removing bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the backend, we focused on optimizing the database to improve the performance of queries, and overall experience of the app for our customers.

Tech debt 🧹— Managing technical debt is something every software company has to deal with. It’s the price everyone pays for writing and growing code. Managing technical debt takes time and effort, but is critical in ensuring the long-term health of the product.

Countless improvements! 🎁 — In addition to all of the above, there were countless other improvements delivered to our customers without much fanfare.

Lunch & Learn at the office earlier this year
Making bagels over Zoom!

Looking Forward

2021 promises to be a very exciting year. We’ll continue focusing on scaling and maturing the product to appeal to an even wider customer base — from enterprise capabilities and advanced integrations to more sensors on the platform and focus on the PLG (Product-led Growth) initiaitve.

2020 taught us the true meaning of becoming and staying resilient and that only makes us stronger for what lies ahead. We’re excited 🙂

Stay tuned 🔥🚀🎉




I think in stories, and sometimes I write them down.

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Ismail Elshareef

Ismail Elshareef

I think in stories, and sometimes I write them down.

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