Can You Love Your Infrastructure?
I recently participated in a retreat for tech trade association CEOs that launched with a round robin focused on participants’ proudest accomplishments in the last year. My group presented last, so I got to hear a lot of very impressive accomplishments from 25 peers before I presented. Being last allows you the opportunity to consider alternatives while others are speaking (a conference no-no, but we all do it), but in the end I stayed with my initial gut reaction. Not sexy, not awe inspiring, but so incredibly important to the future of the WTIA is the concentrated effort we have put into building a completely new infrastructure over the past year.
I don’t need to explain to a tech audience why this matters, but if we do say so ourselves, it is remarkable for a small non-profit to execute this change in 11 months. In the past year, we have incorporated a new IP phone system, a new Internet service provider, the removal of sound proof, light inhibiting, impenetrable cubes and installation of a modern open office furniture layout, migration to a cloud based CRM solution, integration of the CRM with a cloud based event planning and management software solution, a new website, and training and documentation so that the WTIA can fully participate in the technology ecosystem that it represents.
I thought this disclosure would position me as an operational weenie and put the other CEOs to sleep before the two-day conference even got off the ground. When I was finished, however, I was shocked to be greeted with applause. I wish I could say that this was thanks to my presentation skills, but clearly most tech trade associations do not have the money or the personnel to bring their organization’s technology infrastructure up to date in one fell swoop. And two years into running a non-profit I completely understand this. It takes serious resources to become and stay current.
I want to take this space to thank the WTIA’s serious resources for helping us get there. Incredible companies and their teams have contributed some of their products and services on an in-kind basis and in every instance we were treated as a bona fide check writing, priority customer. There was no obligation or expectation of any kind that this public thank you would be part of their compensation, but having now come to the end of this intense endeavor, the WTIA management and staff are overwhelmed at what a difference it has made in our operational and strategic life. So here goes . . .
First, thanks to the WTIA Board for supporting this effort and agreeing to dip into precious reserves to accomplish it. And thanks to the WTIA staff for all the due diligence, communication, planning, collaboration, execution and overtime to bring it home.
Arterian was a key partner that helped us manage and streamline our IT and network infrastructure while Progressive Tech provided top flight IT support services that allowed our business to stay operational during our hectic transition.
Centerstance accomplished our Salesforce.com implementation without a hitch. After working with Centerstance we can’t figure out what all the fuss is over CRM migrations—it’s painless.
H2 Office Designs liberated us from the 1980s with an office layout and modern furniture that has made us one of the most collaborative teams in town.
WCI allowed us to connect and actually stay on the internet for more than 1 hour, immediatey improving our operating efficiency.
You can love your infrastructure and we do!