As the year comes to a close it’s time we again take a pause and reflect on our successes and failures over the last 12 months. We ask what everyone asks in mid-December; “Where has the time gone?”
2015 saw big changes for ChronoTrack. The biggest news was that Life Time (our parent company) was taken private by a group of private equity firms in June. These new owners believe strongly in the value of ChronoTrack and our partners, and have committed substantial resources and funds toward the continued growth of the division. This ultimately means we can provide more value back to you, our timing partners.
We brought the leadership team, as well as the bulk of our product development and engineering teams, under one roof in Louisville, CO in an open-space, collaborative environment late this summer. The teams all literally and figuratively work side-by-side to bring product ideas to the table and carry out plans to bring them to life. While the leadership team oversees a suite of products, they are heavily focused on, and involved with, driving the business focus of creating a great athlete experience through ChronoTrack and Athlinks products and services.
New scrum software development and agile management sprint release processes were enacted to guide the teams in meeting product roadmap deadlines. New processes and protocols took time to implement and adopt but the team is ready and poised for success in 2016.
There have been changes in the faces of ChronoTrack this year, as well. We said goodbye to some great team members in 2015 that had help put ChronoTrack on the map. Some that many of you knew were Dave Remick, Josh McWilliams, Seamus Nally, and Becky Phipps (Becky and Dave are still doing consulting work with Life Time so they aren’t far away). Their input over the years has been invaluable and, believe me, their ideas are intertwined in the strategy we are implementing. They are certainly missed.
Many names you’ll find familiar that are still here and helping to move the company and the products forward. Troy Busot moved into the role of VP of Product for both Athlinks and ChronoTrack, Ray Wheeler is now a Product Manager for our timing equipment, and Dan Howell, Elliott Carpenter, and Nick Wiegand continue to be key players at ChronoTrack, forging ahead and driving key product development decisions for our timing hardware and tags.
Fear not, as new faces also emerged this year. They are a smart and driven group from the likes of HP, Microsoft, Raytheon, and MapQuest, whose focus is to catapult ChronoTrack forward in the endurance space. Here’s a laundry list of some of the newbies in no particular order: Jeff Tkach (VP Sales & Marketing), Mike Melley (Director of Operations), Bjorn Bjerkoe (VP Engineering), Kevin Egan (Director of Sales), Kimo Seymour (Senior Vice President, Life Time Fitness, Athlinks/ChronoTrack/Events). The list of new hires goes on. We hired a lot of new people in 2015 who all play a role in some way in ideating, building, customer-supporting, and/or selling ChronoTrack products.
The bulk of our efforts in 2015 focused on paving the way for our next-generation hardware and software platforms and focusing on Integration and re-igniting our culture of Innovation in Colorado.
We worked hard to churn out some great new products and enhancements to existing Chronotrack features. Classic Data Suite 0.6.0 was met with rave reviews. The new, reusable tri tags and neoprene straps came out mid year. Improved team management, multi-event registration, and results & media push to Athlinks were just the first steps in bringing Athlinks and ChronoTrack Live together under a single user experience in order to deliver a truly dynamic, live, [athlete-centric] platform to Chronotrack timed events – your events.
Also, with change came new opportunities for creativity and collaboration, stability and scale. We have taken great pains in emphasizing User Experience by building out an amazing team of UX designers and Systems Operations pros under one roof. Your customers will begin feeling the upgraded experience as we roll out the first new features under their guidance in the first quarter of 2016.
If you’re one of our existing timers, you’ll hear more of what’s to come in 2016 at conference in January, and have the opportunity to meet some incredibly smart and talented new people. If you aren’t an existing partner or can’t make the conference, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on new product releases and company updates via the blog in 2016.
Here’s to a happy and successful 2016. The future is bright.