We start work in Japan officially on Monday this week, so I would like to wish everyone a welcome back and a Happy New Year!

As we start 2021, I would like to wrap up 2020 and also touch on what's in store for us this year.

Our Mission

As written in our new year greetings for 2020, our mission is still the same: to make communications easier and better.

Having written that, we've also realized that the group of people that matter to us need a better way to communicate in order to take responsibility and be accountable for what they do, so this will also be an additional focus that we will bring to the table.

Xoxzo team noukai 2020

Wrapping up 2020

Like most of us out there, 2020 was a challenging year. We did lose some business and took a hit, having to revisit our budget midyear. On the positive side though, it has forced us to re-focus the investments that we make in terms of effort and money to what we consider really important, and to those which we feel will be our future, but have not pursued seriously before.

We did ship out new stuff in 2020 too, and here are some of the significant ones:

  • K-Premium V3: An improved K-Premium feature that will allow you to set your own sender ID for Japanese recipients
  • All your usage at a glance via our improved dashboard
  • Logs for your Voice and DIN usage can be downloaded through our improved logs feature
  • A much-awaited link tracking feature that allows you to track clicks granularly in your SMS messages
  • A new voicemail to record messages when you receive a call to your DIN numbers.

Heading into 2021

As we head into 2021, we will be facing more challenges that will require us to further focus, adapt and execute. As written above, 2020 forced us to sit back and think thoroughly on what is most important and needs to be done.

We now believe that our culture, how we look at work and ourselves, have been a bedrock that allowed us to function, stay sane, and continue giving value to our customers during 2020. We have tried to capture part of this and share it with everyone through our Company Creed which we released in 2020 and, also through an older document, our People Philosophy. These will be more important as we go into 2021.

Remote working, which we have been practicing since 2007 has come to the fore in 2020. Through our sister company Xoxzo Europa OÜ in Estonia, we have started sharing resources, our thoughts, ideas, and techniques that have helped us to be productive in a 100% remote environment through The Remote Worker Life (TRWL) and will continue to do so into this year.

These ideas will be implemented in a tool that we codenamed Plum. You are welcomed to follow its progress by signing up to our The Remote Worker Life mailing list.

Just like 2020, in 2021 staying relevant and improving and strengthening our culture is still true.

For this year, it will be by listening and sharing more with our customers, partners, and the public, and also practicing what we believe in by creating a better remote working environment within this world of ours.

To summarize

We expect 2021 to be as tumultuous as 2020 was, until we all figure out a way to manage a world ravaged by a pandemic. Understanding how to keep things moving will be important, so we will continue as best as we can by sharing, listening and talking to each other.

To our customers, we hope that you stick with us in 2021, as we try to give you better value and help you communicate better and more effectively.

And, finally, to everyone else: Stay connected on Twitter or signup to our mailing list and we'll surprise you with new stuff that we'll roll out in 2021.

Until next time, take it easy and take care!

Iqbal Abdullah

Iqbal Abdullah

CEO

Iqbal came to Japan in 1997, and graduated from the Engineering faculty of Saga University. After working through companies like Yahoo! Japan and Amazon, Iqbal founded MARIMORE Inc. in 2007 which was the previous version of Xoxzo Inc.