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The Backstory.
Founded in 2005 in the northeast suburbs of Atlanta, then Innovative Architects latched on to the maturing Microsoft Gold Partnership Program as the core of our service offerings. We would become known in that technology community for doing the hard stuff: Commerce Server integration, BizTalk implementation, SharePoint before it was SharePoint, and pushing SQL databases to their outer limits. The idea was to have small teams of Smart People that cared. To be simple to work with. And to have no delivery trouble.

Likeable. Resourceful. Versatile.
As time went on, the team grew in size, revenue, capability, and in an insatiable culture to do the next thing… to be the next thing. It became apparent, that our off beat culture, and unrefined value system needed to be documented, repeatable, and ensure that we could scale. One such item was how we qualified candidates. We did not want our recruiting partners to ask us for elaborate job descriptions, with a litany of key words to search, nor inflexible education requirements and years of experience. We were battling for talent in the smoking hot Atlanta job market in the 2010’s, for goodness sakes! We would have to differentiate ourselves from the start. We came up with these three characteristics that remain intact today:

  1. Likeable – not necessarily charismatic, but a good team member; present with clients and caring about the quality of their work.
  2. Resourceful – learner over knower; an appetite for new things; looking forward to what’s next.
  3. Versatile – someone who is good at a lot of things, and can fit a lot of different projects.

The Acquisition of Trust.
Fast forward to 2018, now 15 years in business, we determined that we should have a more formal answer to what would level us up. A clearer strategy for (not necessarily the growth of the company), but for the growth of the people that were a part of it. A few years earlier we came across the text “The Trusted Advisor” (David Maister), that would be our way of training talented engineers that the best way to control their destiny was to view themselves as the client’s advisor – someone who could do hands-on technical things, but could also create a vision, and communicate its value.

So when we began our pursuit to find an acquisition partner, it was an instant connection to CEO Curtis Hite and his team at Dallas-based Improving. They had adopted a similar basis for training their consultants on this philosophy through Stephen Covey’s “The Speed of Trust,” and the substantive 13 Trust Behaviors on which it is based. And on January 4, 2019, IA (Innovative Architects), would become IA (Improving-Atlanta).

Incredible Employee Engagement.
There are many technology services companies in our space, many of which are our fondest partners and longest friends. Some base their operations on a single technology area, or process, or industry. We wondered if we could base our differentiation and eventual acquisition growth on being the ultimate Global Boutique. With our eyes toward growing to a $500M company, could we combine the very best of the local relationships and deep technology expertise, with a growing list of offices, capabilities and our unique North American reach?

In part, this would require our ability to continue to attract and retain the best, brightest, and most committed Trusted Advisors. Companies like ours talk about their Culture, and insist that their People are their greatest asset. To differentiate ourselves to our employees and our clients, we would have to be more intentional, more measured and more serious. We matured our Involvement Program with a scope of industry participation, public speaking, community service, sales activity, recruiting referrals, and more. In 2022, we would create an umbrella for our employee programs called “Incredible Engagement” with this mantra:

“Through our relentless commitment to trust, diversity and innovation, Improving is reshaping the perception of the next-level IT professional. Our Consultants have a strong desire to share their knowledge and experience. We connect with communities internal and external creating the most involved technology professional group ever!”

Transformative Technology.
On the basis that all modern business is technology-driven, we seek to help our clients navigate their transformations, modernize their systems, and avoid technology debt and needless operational costs. Improving offers our clients a broad range of expert technology services. Through our acquisition strategy, we have consolidated significant expertise in multiple cloud platforms. We have invested significantly in modern data. We are reimagining Customer Experience. We are incorporating responsible Artificial Intelligence. We are elevating our strategic partnerships. We provide the passionate training and coaching necessary for Business Agility in building better solutions.

And we look forward everyday to another opportunity to do something amazing!

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