A Holiday message from our CEO
As one of the people who started iCarol, one of my greatest joys is sitting down with one of our clients to hear about their experiences using our software and how it has helped in the lives of the people they served. I wish it were possible to grab a mug of hot cider this holiday season and sit down by a fireplace with each one of you 45,000 folks, but since it is not, I’ll share my reflections on the year of 2014 and a glimpse into 2015.
Our clients collectively logged over 5 million calls into iCarol this year. Each one of those encounters was a personal contact by phone, chat, text or in person and represented a moment or more where two people connected and a help-seeker was served by a help-giver. Having been a volunteer on our local crisis line myself, I understand the wide range of emotions that can flow during such a session and the glimpse it gave me into the struggles people have on a daily basis. We try fervently to make iCarol a valuable and unobtrusive tool in those conversations – something to help the help-giver and not get in the way. A recent message to our Twitter feed said “Your software is like having magical powers to do good” and, while I’m not sure we can live up to that for every encounter, we are sure delighted when it can for even just some.
2014 was a year that we significantly improved our game. We hired quite a few people and reorganized into a well-structured team that can continue to grow for years to come. We invested in a more rigorous testing and release schedule, meaning that our enhancements are predictable, visible and higher quality than ever before. We firmed up our support of multiple language interface, opening up iCarol to use by communities whose first language is not English. We instituted a formal product roadmap process, giving us a vision of what iCarol will evolve to be in the coming years.
In 2015, that starts with solidifying iCarol as the best multi-channel platform for non-profit helplines around the world. Our support of live chat and texting is fundamental to the way our clients meet the public through wildly popular electronic channels, and its integration with the same kinds of tools that are needed when serving people by phone sets us apart from generic third-party systems. You’ll hear some exciting news early next year articulating improvements coming to iCarol Messaging.
Later in the year we plan to revamp the way our clients can make their Resource databases searchable from their public website. Our existing tool gets the job done, but we have a vision of bringing the wisdom of professional phone workers, who know how to bridge the gap between a help-seeker expressing a need to a service that can meet the need, to your public websites.
We’ll also seek to do at least a couple of more large projects like these to get you all excited about. And throughout 2015 we will continue to make innumerable smaller enhancements and tweaks to iCarol that will form a chorus of advancement we hope you will notice and enjoy in your daily work.
From all of us here at iCarol, we wholeheartedly thank you for coming on this adventure with us and wish you a safe and rewarding holiday season. Best wishes for your new year.
CEO and Co-founder, iCarol
Tags: 211, crisis lines, helpline challenges, helpline executive directors, Helpline software, iCarol capabilities, iCarol Clients, iCarol enhancements, iCarol Features, information and referral, online emotional support, Public Resource Directory, Resource Management, suicide prevention, suicide prevention helplines