When I switched to working at TDM Systems, the entire economy was deep in the grip of the Coronavirus pandemic. Some companies were reporting massive declines in sales and therefore decided against making new investments – which has left its mark on us as well. However, because there are also always decision-makers who think and act with a great deal of foresight, our business generally continued on in spite of the circumstances. It was of course a difficult time, because many of our customers limited their external contact to minimize the risk of infection to their own employees, and quite rightly so. However, in the areas of Sales and Project Management, that kind of immediate exchange was sorely missed. Even though we very quickly switched over to video calls and intensified our communication over social media channels, meeting face-to-face is something completely different. This is also true when starting a new job, where getting to know people personally is very important. I have gotten to know new colleagues every week, and by means of online meetings, I quickly stopped being the new guy in the team and instead became a part of the whole.
Part of the DNA of TDM Systems is that we consider our customers to be experts and listen very closely to them to develop standardized solutions for fundamental problems. As a result, even with our reduced customer contact in 2021, we had enough input for further development of our established products. And that's not all: We have also launched a completely new product with our cloud solution TDM Cloud Essentials. Cloud technology has been embraced by the industrial sector and is a product with a bright future. In particular, the benefits of a cloud application as software-as-a-service are so crucial that many companies will choose to use it. And once they have made that decision, they naturally want to get started right away. This is something that we make possible, since Cloud Essentials is a cutting-edge product. I am particularly proud of the fact that our three software lines now enable us to meet a wide range of needs and requirements for manufacturing companies, meaning that they can drive their own digital transformation. Without this opportunity for more efficient production processes, many of these companies would sooner or later be left behind.
We are currently seeing that many of our long-standing customers are developing future-proof applications and want to further accelerate their digital transformation with modern and targeted methods. We are of course glad that our customers come to us and want to work with us to achieve their digitization goals. This means that the area of tool management is very topical and many of our customers want to expand their application. This includes roll-outs to additional plants, generally on a global level, but also includes optimization of established applications. We have received some inquiries regarding machine connections, which is an area in which we have already completed a few projects and are very well positioned in terms of collaboration with certain partners. Digital shopfloor management is another major area, and there is often demand for management and use of remaining tool life. Our customers often want further optimizations at specific points in their processes, which we are happy to take on and implement.
We had strong growth in China, where our business grew by 50 percent, which shows that China offers enormous growth potential for us. We want to make use of this potential by means of our expanded dealer network in particular, because success can only be achieved by having enough feet on the ground and knowing the market. For this reason, we have entered into many new partnerships over the past year. However, China is not the only important region for us. Europe, Southeast Asia, India, Mexico and the USA continue to be important focus markets for us. In India, for example, many important projects were put on hold in 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but they are now back on track for implementation. Another benefit for us is that our parent company, the Sandvik Group, has taken over companies from the CAM sector and is now developing a new digital range. Our solutions are now also being offered across the existing dealer network of these CAM manufacturers, and joint product packages are being developed. However, this does not mean that we at TDM Systems specify particular CAM manufacturers for our customers. We continue to operate openly, and still maintain interfaces for a wide range of CAM manufacturers.
In my opinion, the three greatest challenges can be summarized as follows: First, reducing cost and time pressure, second, driving the digital transformation and third, achieving sustainability. It is no coincidence that I mentioned digitization. In my view, it is the solution for a wide range of challenges, but digitization of planning and manufacturing processes should of course ensure that they remain sustainable and promising over the long term. The ease of integration offered by TDM enables our users to support their processes and systems with data. Tool management on the shopfloor and automated dataflows up to the machine itself reduce manufacturing times and, above all, error rates. Issues such as remaining tool life management or monitoring of achieved cutting values such as feed rate and rotation are highly topical, and we already have specific products ready to address these areas.
We are likewise working on ideas with regard to sustainability. If we can record and evaluate all of the operating data of a machine in TDM, we can determine its CO² footprint. Once we know that, we can then develop approaches for reducing it. After all, CO² emissions are a constant source of concern for any manufacturing company.
First of all, being able to meet in person. We look forward to once again being able to meet users and interested potential customers at trade shows or at their locations. I am very optimistic for 2022 in this regard. We are of course continuing to work on further development of our three software lines, and will incorporate the requirements of our customers here as well. In TDM, we would like to offer new approaches for creating data and expand management of multi-tools, among other things. In TDM Global Line, we are forging ahead with development of additional modules, and in TDM Cloud Essentials we want to expand our range of functions and offer initial interfaces. We also want to expand our business with partners such as CAM manufacturers or tool manufacturers. We are working on new web services, such as for a 3D tool assembly builder in the cloud. These are very attractive solutions for our partners' customers and provide a simple introduction to tool management.