Dr Omaru Maruatona
Aiculus Community Update 2023
Writing the annual Aiculus community update is a useful exercise because it gives me a reason to take stock of where things are. The challenge in compiling the update is that it’s one thing to know how we’ve travelled over 12 months but it’s another thing to express this journey in sufficient detail for you. Yet this is essentially the only time in the year that we invite our community of supporters, investors, customers, partners and collaborators into our business. So let’s begin;
Firstly, we see 2023 as the year of opportunity and we’re ready to take advantage of each of them. The number of high-profile API-related security breaches in 2022 has increased awareness of the criticality and urgency of secure APIs. Naturally, given our domain expertise, we know we’ll have the opportunity to help organisations navigate these challenges and hone their approaches to API security, and we’ve already started on some of this work.
Looking back, 2022 was a tough year, not just for us but for the entire business world. The global market forces that influence world trade also affect us. And because of this, and the preceding Covid-19 crisis, we’ve had to be practical and innovative to stay alive. We did this primarily by complementing our product with consulting services. We soon learnt that in some cases, those consulting services would help us forge relationships with our customers that ultimately allowed us to onboard the product as trusted advisors.
As we struggled with market forces in 2022, we made mistakes, and lost team members, but we also encountered amazing opportunities and achieved pivotal milestones. To mention a few of these, we deployed our product for a telecommunications company, which gives us great intelligence about the telco domain and expands our product use-case. We also formed a strategic partnership with DigiEx, a Vietnamese technology company that offers Offshore Development Centre capabilities. Our partnership with DigiEx means we now have dedicated engineers providing ongoing product R&D, technical support and scale for our product.
This year, we’ve made a deliberate attempt to look at new markets and we’re excited at the opportunities we’re getting from these places. We’re targeting to onboard new US customers and increase the number of our African customers this year. These goals are entirely within reach, and we’re public about them because we’re so confident about our ability to meet them. We haven’t released new product features since 2021, so we’re happy to be introducing new features in mid-2023. We’re also in the process of adding a new technology partner, RedHat, and we’ll be sharing case studies and whitepapers about the partnership and value proposition for our customers in the coming months.
Personally, as founder and CEO of Aiculus, I still believe Aiculus is where I’m meant to be. I’ve seen how technology shapes our lives and I’m building Aiculus to be a positive-impact tech company. I love what I get from it and what I get to contribute back into the community through Aiculus. At the beginning of 2022, I was invited to join the Board of Directors for the Community Bank Buninyong (Bendigo Bank) and it’s been a great pleasure to be a part of a company that gives so much of its profit back to the community. And in late 2022, I was selected to be a Federation University Distinguished Alumnus, a great honour and privilege.
When I started Aiculus, my target was to get VC capital and use it grow the company. Over time, I’ve had to go back to basics and re-learn that the alternative to this approach is a business that stands on its own and uses its own resources to scale and grow. Today as I write this update, this is the journey we’re on. I’m confident we’ll meet great success and I don’t expect it to be a convenient path. But for now, we celebrate that we’ve made it this far and we look at the long road ahead with confidence.