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TazWorks' Founder Reflects on 2012, Makes Plans, and Sets Goals

This year, TazWorks continued to experience the same year-over-year growth it has every year since its 2002 inception. Better still, InstaScreen™ background screening software practically sells itself. In reviewing our 2012 sales demos, we found that of those prospects who ultimately made a software purchase decision, over two-thirds chose to join the TazWorks community. This reflects not only upon the strength of our software offering, but also upon the fantastic quality of our network of clients and your referrals, references, and testimonials. We cannot thank you enough for your continued support and contributions to our mutual growth.
Other interesting 2012 statistics

  • October was our ten year anniversary
  • 3.9 is the average number of searches per report
  • 52% of reports from last year were Employment, 44% of reports were Tenant, 2% of reports were Volunteer, and 2% were Other.
  • Existing clients grew 17% and overall InstaScreen™ volume grew 25%

Though we have said it many times before, it bears repeating: we believe that we have the greatest clients in the industry. TazWorks and InstaScreen™ would not be platform leaders in the background screening industry today without your invaluable ideas, input, and collaboration. Our annual user group meeting in September was the best yet, affording us the opportunity to share and strategize together in a world-class setting. We look forward to seeing you again this fall and making this year’s meeting even better and more productive. It is our combined strength that enables our mutual success and prosperity. You should also be aware that Kensie has some surprises in store for our attendees.
TazWorks continues to be committed to the security and reliability of your data and the InstaScreen™ background check software. We invest continuously in IT resources, hardware, and infrastructure as well as in third-party security consulting, training, testing, and auditing.
This year we have further strengthened our disaster recovering planning with a second, out-of-state collocation facility hosting a mirror of the InstaScreen™ system as an emergency fail-over. In the event of a catastrophe in Salt Lake City, this second site serves to seamlessly ensure business continuity, with no loss of data. This is very expensive insurance, but far less expensive than the alternative. We follow the N +1 philosophy (install what you need, plus one), and our new IT Director has been busy reviewing our systems top to bottom to ensure we meet our needs with extras in the closet.
Unfortunately, 2012 was not without its challenges. In addition to our continued focus on security and reliability, we dedicated considerable resources and energy to our “Usability Project”. As part of this project, we worked to become more standards compliant and compatible with all the modern browsers by modernizing the underlying framework of the UI presentation. An unintended consequence of this task was the exposure of browser specific UI bugs in many dialogues of InstaScreen™ when using a popular, sometimes hated, browser-which-shall-not-be-named. Can you guess which one?
Last year, previous to this usability release in late September, we averaged about five weeks between feature releases. Until last week, we had not pushed out a feature release since the September release. We are truly sorry for the headache and frustration that you experienced while we spent the fourth quarter squashing these bugs. This experience added urgency to the need for us to refine our processes, add more structure, and to hire additional top talent. In December, we hired both an IT/Security Director and a Quality Assurance Manager. They have been having a great impact already and we have started to benefit from not only our improved development processes, but the increased bandwidth of our software engineers. Our goal is to shorten the time between feature releases to four weeks or less. We appreciate your patience through it all, and we know that you will benefit from the new features and opportunities these improvements will create for your business.
We are also on the lookout for another qualified software engineer to work on our InstaScreen™ web application project. There is a common misconception that all pages on the Internet are websites, and that any web developer that designs and builds websites can build a web application. Developing a web application, however, requires both the mind of an engineer and the ability to make design choices. The quality of InstaScreen™ is critical, and as a result, we are very selective in new hires.
We are looking forward to making 2013 not just good, but great – the programming staff is squirreled away from the public eye, with a full stock of caffeinated beverages and doughnuts; the support staff is well-rested, chipper, and standing by to help; and sales is fired up and ready to go. We hope your staffs are equally energized, excited, and motivated. Please continue to share your thoughts and ideas, and let’s continue to work together to make the TazWorks partnership the standard (and the envy) of the background screening industry.
We are committed to exceed your expectations in 2013!

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