January 2024 marks one year since Retain, the leading academic support platform for college students, joined the Teamworks Operating System for Sport (OSS). And what a year it’s been! Marked by explosive growth, increased investment in people, and countless product innovations, this year has been nothing short of incredible.
However, the journey hasn’t always been a smooth road. With substantial growth and a surge in demand for Retain, a set of distinctive challenges emerged. With all these challenges, it’s undeniable that the perseverance and determination of the Retain team is what stands out the most in 2023.
Year One Growth
In just 12 months since becoming a part of Teamworks, Retain has added over 150 new customers. This number speaks for itself, but growth is not just about the numbers; it's about the people who use Retain each and every day.
"Retain has been a game-changer for us, providing a tailored solution to streamline our Academic Enhancement Program and improve communication with professors campus-wide. I can't recommend Retain enough because it makes our day-to-day operations easier for staff and student-athletes." - Courtney Pavich, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs at Liberty University
For the academic staff and students Retain serves, 2023 solidified just how important investing in student-athlete academic success is. The trust that institutions place in Retain and the value it provides in enhancing academic support for student-athletes is unmatched.
Investing In Our People
The remarkable growth achieved by Retain would not be possible without the dedicated individuals who strive to deliver the best possible product and customer support for Retain users. In the past year, Retain has made significant investments in its team, tripling its workforce across various departments, including engineering, sales, and customer support. This expanded team has not only enhanced Retain's ability to provide superior customer service but has also enabled a sharper focus on product innovations.
"Seeing the growth of Retain since I started here a year and a half ago has been incredible and it is entirely due to the team of people surrounding that product and the commitment to bring the best academic platform to our customers. 2023 was an incredible year for Retain, but I can't wait to see what is next!" - Jessie Richardson, Account Executive at Teamworks
Retain has been steadfast in identifying and building new product features, with a particular focus on integrating with Teamworks Hub. The introduction of Teamworks Mobile Front Door, calendar and roster sync, and message blasts just to name a few, have allowed for increased momentum for Retain users to better engage student-athletes for increased academic accountability and success.
The Power of Teamworks
"Being able to tap into the Go To Market engine and existing customer base that Teamworks has was a game-changer for us. We were able to maintain our focus on building and integrating our products while simultaneously gaining visibility in front of as many current and future customers as possible. Additionally, considering our relatively small team prior to joining Teamworks, having an incredible customer account team allowed us to scale a lot more quickly." - Kevin Collignon, Founder & General Manager of Retain
There’s something to be said about the value of a recognizable brand and the legacy that comes with the Teamworks name. The doors that opened for Retain after joining the OOS were invaluable. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t obstacles.
Upon joining Teamworks, there was a large surge in usage of Retain that placed a significant strain on servers. While the team had prepared for increased activity, they underestimated the daily user volume and calendar activity resulting from the integration with Teamworks calendar. As a result, they had to swiftly add more servers and enhance their technical capacity to accommodate the heightened demands.
Additionally, the growing customer base presented a considerable workload for Retain's product success and support teams. Not only did they onboard new customers, but they also introduced new features and integrations. This translated into a substantial responsibility for these teams to thoroughly document, educate, and train all the new users on these developments, a task that was ongoing and frequent.
From engineering to support, the Retain team remained focused on one goal: delivering for our users.
“When a small team experiences the rapid growth we had in 2023, unique challenges arise from a technical scaling perspective and a people and processes perspective. Going into the Big 10 Conference meetings, I didn’t know what to expect considering the challenges we faced earlier in the year with back to school. Luckily, all the feedback we heard from academic directors was that Retain has been a game changer for them. That feedback gave us the confidence that we were on the right path and that amongst all the noise with back to school, we were impacting our users in a meaningful way. I’m also really grateful for the support of Teamworks, without which navigating through this growth would have been considerably more challenging.” - Kevin Collignon, Founder & General Manager of Retain
What’s Next for Retain
Retain's journey one year after being acquired by Teamworks is a testament to the team's resilience, focus on innovation, and commitment to providing a top-notch academic solution for universities all over the US. The impressive growth in 2023 through an expanded customer base and continuous product improvements demonstrate that Retain is thriving in its new home. As Kevin Collignon and the entire Retain team look forward to the future, they are excited to make an even greater impact on the lives of academic staff and student-athletes.
"We are just starting to see the power of building the OSS and how it can dramatically increase efficiency and functionality for elite organizations. What originally started as integrating calendar visibility is quickly evolving into more integrated messaging, forms, and other workflows that connect with various users in an organization. Now with Teamworks, the opportunities for what Retain can achieve is boundless." - Kevin Collignon, Founder & General Manager of Retain