We caught up with Robbie O’Connor after his panel talk on Day 2 of Dublin Tech Summit. He was in a panel with Barbara McCarthy – Hubspot, Patricia DuChene – Wrike, Vanessa Tierney – Abodoo and Jamie White – Leading Social discussing Crafting Company Culture.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Robbie. We have heard you have a brand new product out called “Timeline“. How do you think this will move Asana forward and place you ahead of your competitors?
It was a product requested quite a lot from our user base. We take a lot of pride in surveying feedback from our users; to make enhancements to our products that are badly needed. It’s a really, really good visualisation tool, which shows you milestones and goals from projects and other things you are managing. It allows you to see who needs to do what and when and everybody that is part of the team really understands what’s going on at any given time.
What would be the minimal team size that this product would be suitable for?
Really interestingly Asana is used by SME’s, by teams, divisions and by entire companies. So a tool like this actually adapts really well to small scale projects through to divisional ones. Also where there is multiple initiatives running in tandem with each other.
Can you let us know what your plans are for the forthcoming year?
In terms of our growth plan, like any really good SaaS technology we were born in San Francisco in Silicon Valley and like a heatmap our product has grown around the world. Before you have commercial operations to catch up with where your user base is you start seeing your product being shared and collaborated with across countries. At the moment we are seeing hyper-growth and a lot of expansion. We are also putting efforts into creating a great corporate team here in Ireland as well.
Where are you based?
Our European headquarters are based in Dublin. This is where we are building user support teams to work with our ever growing user base and that’s in almost every country in Europe. We are also building sales teams here to ensure that our users are getting maximum value.
Talking of value, is Timeline a free add-on to the Premium plan?
Asana has a really good free product, which is excellent for small teams and initiatives. I think with our free product people get a good leverage to get everything they need done. When it gets taken to the next level however, they move to the next step to allow more people to collaborate on a project. It’s then the professional version comes into its element. If something becomes critical to your workflow its good for you to have the support of the organisation. So that’s where with the premium product you get all of the “bells-and-whistles” that come with Asana Premium, which also includes Timeline.
What other aspects can Asana cover in their package?
It’s very interesting, Asana’s tool is so adaptive that its used by many teams to do different things. One of those cases would be CRM style work but we also see Marketing Teams using it for operational purposes. We see it used by HR teams onboarding plans, we see it used by Finance teams to map out the objective and goals they want to execute against for the next quarter. I think as time goes by we shall see it evolve. We are always looking for ways to ensure that our product is providing value. We are a young organisation and I think we have an ambitious engineering team that will be looking for ways that our product can increase value to our users.
Where is Asana going to go next?
We have got a pretty aggressive product map that we are going to be executing over the coming months. Like any good engineering process, it takes design, implementation and then continuous optimisation. We are getting really good at listening to what our customers needs are and we constantly observe new trends and look to build towards them.
People are feeding delicate information every day into the Asana platform, what are you doing to ensure safety of said data in this climate of GDPR?
Privacy and data is of paramount importance to Asana and we take it incredibly seriously. We think its a great thing that the European Union has pushed forward legislation like GDPR and we have been working hard to ensure we comply with every stipulation that has been laid out by the GDPR. We recently released our own Asana GDPR Statement that shows how Asana makes itself compliant. This also shows our customers how they can make themselves compliant too within Asana in general.