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By Nancy Dahlberg

Member Spotlight | Improving & Adi Raina

Read Time 3 Minutes

Business: a full stack IT consulting company

Background: Improving’s Palm Beach County office was formerly part of Innovative Architects, an IT consulting company acquired by Dallas-based Improving in January 2019.

Services: cloud strategies, interactive design, custom development, integration services, strategic consulting, collaborative solutions, data engineering, agile training and coaching.

No. of employees: 600+ across North America

Website: Improving.com

 

Trust Changes Everything – it’s Improving’s tagline.

Improving is a technology management and consulting services firm rooted in its deep commitment to establishing trust within its team and with clients, partners and communities. Trusted advisorship is what the company offers.

“With any IT project, we can fit in anywhere,” explains Adi Raina, Principal Consultant with Improving in Palm Beach County. “We are also one of the largest trainers of agile and scrum in the nation. We are doing multiple projects from mobile to data or consulting.”

As Covid-19 began its deadly spread in the U.S. forcing businesses to close or go fully remote, many of Improving’s clients found themselves needing help with the challenge of working virtually for the first time and making sure the remote environment was cyber secure so they could resume their businesses, said Raina, who has engineering degrees from Georgia Tech and Southern Polytechnic State University and has worked for Improving for 12 years.

During the pandemic, a lot of businesses have leaned on Improving’s trusted advisorship more than ever. “They are saying I have so many things going on I am glad I can hand this off to you and focus on the other 10 things. Everybody’s job has changed and everyone is wearing multiple hats in business and in their personal lives,” said Raina.

Navigating these COVID times has put a spotlight on the importance of communication and relationship building. Some businesses have had to delay projects, but Improving has helped them keep learning and innovating, Raina said. “We ask them, how can we help you so you are not suffering operationally and also not suffering by not having any innovation.”

As a conscious capitalist company, Improving is responsible for its customers’ success, Raina said. “We could say ‘you can do it a different way,’ which might reduce our hours but it is better for you,” he said.  “We are the managers  they trust enough to say ‘we trust you to lead our teams’.”

Education and training is a big part of what Improving’s team does, and during COVID, they found was that by offering education sessions virtually they could help more people, including distributed team members in Europe and Asia, as the sessions could be viewed anytime.

Take Improving’s popular lunch and learns. for instance. Topics have ranged from how to run a good Zoom meeting, to talking about new software upgrades on the horizon, to providing specific learning opportunities.

“We try to cover awesome new topics and technology. We put our lunch and learns online for everyone to see them free,” Raina said. “The feedback has been tremendous. We are going to continue some version of this going forward. We are giving clients a chance to request topics too.”

Giving back to the community is also key pillar of Improving. Raina, who moved to Palm Beach County with Improving in 2017, serves on the board of Palm Beach Tech, where he is the Community Chair, and has served on the School Advisory Council of South Olive Elementary School since 2018.

Raina said the company looks forward to getting back to participating in local in-person events and good old-fashioned networking when the time is right. That includes resuming its “Game Nights,” where Improving invites the community in for a night of board games. No technology required.

By Nancy Dahlberg

Member Spotlight | Improving

Read Time 3 Minutes

Business: a full stack IT consulting company

Background: Improving’s West Palm Beach office was formerly part of Innovative Architects, an IT consulting company acquired by Improving in January.

Services: cloud strategies, interactive design, custom development, integration services, strategic consulting, collaborative solutions, data engineering, agile training and coaching.

West Palm Beach office: 324 Datura St., Suite 300

No. of employees: more than 400 in 10 offices

The name is Improving now, but you may know this technology consulting business better as Innovative Architects.

Innovative Architects was founded in 2005 by five people in Atlanta who believed IT consulting could be better in every way. Five years ago, the company expanded into Washington DC and about two years ago it opened a West Palm Beach office. By the end of 2018, it had grown into a $27 million IT consulting business of 140 people, most of them based in Atlanta. Along the way, it has been honored as a top place to work by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and on Fortune’s Greatest Places to Work among small technology companies.

In January, Innovative Architects was acquired by Dallas-based Improving, a company of more than 400 consultants now with 10 offices around North America. Both companies shared a commitment to building trust, delivering excellence and cultivating culture, Improving said in announcing the acquisition. With Innovative Architects on board, Improving expects to grow to $100 million in revenues this year.

“A lot of people still know us as IA — we still think of ourselves of IAers,” said Tim Shine, CIO of Improving’s West Palm Beach office who worked for IA for eight years. “Slowly but surely we are making that transition.”

Shine grew up in South Florida and went to college at FAU. After college he moved to Georgia and eventually joined Innovative Architects. When it grew and opened a West Palm office, he and his family jumped at the chance to make the move back to Florida.

Downtown West Palm Beach’s Improving office on Datura is small – about 6 consultants now – but mighty. The office’s clients include SMArtXChange, the Downtown Development Authority, Velocity Credit Union in Palm Beach Gardens, and NASA, to name a few. The office plans to hire about four more associates this year, and will likely be seeking a larger office.

“We can do a lot of different things. Any IT project across the board we can fit into – web development, mobile development, data visualization, collaboration or intranet development. We have other special services like CIO as a service and cloud based development. Start to finish or no matter where a project is, we can fit into and help accelerate that,” Shine said.

More clients are seeking data visualization for interactive business intelligence reporting and cloud-based services remain very popular. A year ago the office may have gotten one call a quarter about AI and machine learning, but now calls come in weekly about that, he said.

Although West Palm Beach is completely different from Atlanta, which has more of a technology hub, the local area benefits from a rich tri-county metro that includes the larger Fort Lauderdale and Miami areas. However, West Palm is special on its own, Shine said.

“What we love about West Palm Beach is the community effect. We love working with clients who become partners and we can help them move forward with their IT strategic goals. We love being part of Palm Beach Tech because we get to know these guys and we love helping them along the way.”

Indeed, one of its clients, SMArtX, is across the street. Another is a block away. It’s not difficult to meet for coffee or chat at an event, Shine said.

“We are a culture-driven organization. Having happy associates and consultants matter to us, it near and dear to our hearts. That work-life balance is real to us. We love presence. We love meeting people and doing business face to face. Maybe a little old school but we have been extremely successful at it.”

Member Spotlight | Improving & Adi Raina
Member Spotlight | Improving