This week we opened our new Customer Success Center. Here is the email I sent to all of our associates on the morning we moved in:
As we travel along our career journeys, we experience signs that give us a sense of our progress. Today was one of those days at Benefitfocus; we opened the doors to our new Customer Success Center!
New and expanding buildings have a way of revealing to us what numbers on a report cannot. When we are able to walk through the physical extension of our hard work and growth, it has a deeper impact on us. We are able to experience our growth in 3D!
Our very first office was 800 square feet on the 2nd floor of the API Building in Mount Pleasant, SC. We called it the “Green Room” because it had Christmas tree green carpet. We crammed 18 people in there before we moved to what we now refer to as “the old Wal-Mart,” which was nearly 30,000 square feet. The same 18 people moved with our trucks and cars down the street. We went from 44 square feet per person to more than 1,600 square feet per person. Our “data center,” at that time, consisted of two Dell servers and a battery backup. We wrapped them in plastic bags so that they didn’t get wet during the pick-up truck ride to the new space.
Prior to moving into the old Wal-Mart building, I would visit the space on Saturday mornings and walk around. I would visualize the space filled with software engineers, designers, folks serving our clients and our clients. It was dingy, dirty and broken down, but to me, it was going to be an incredible space filled with the smartest people in our industry building the best software on the planet. When we finally moved in, we invited the Mayor of Mount Pleasant and had a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house. Our friends from the 10 or so customers we had came for the grand opening, and we proudly showed them around what was just a big open cave of space with some affordable desks in the center.
About seven years later we acquired 12 acres of land on Daniel Island and built our two-story, 65,000 square foot, state-of-the-art home. We moved about 225 associates into that space. The Mayor AND the Governor came to cut the ribbon! It was our first space designed from the ground up the way we thought it should be: open, a bit loud and together.
Last year, we acquired the adjacent land and now have nearly 40 acres on our growing campus. Today, we opened a massive new facility totally dedicated to the success of our customers. Here we begin the next leg of our journey together.
Some facts and tidbits about the new Customer Success Center:
Amount of square footage in the new building and total campus:
- Customer Success Center: 145,800 sq. ft.
- Headquarters: 65,000 sq. ft.
- Design + Engineering: ~80,000 sq. ft.
- TOTAL TO DATE: ~290,800 sq. ft.
Number of Conference Rooms in new building:
- 27 conference rooms
- 42 huddle rooms
- 1 really awesome outdoor patio!
Number of people in new building and total current campus:
- HQ: 150 with capacity for 400
- Design + Engineering: 350 with capacity for 500
- Customer Success Center: 501 with capacity for 750
Some additional fun facts:
- 5,000 cubic yards of concrete. 1,600 network drops, 40 to 50 miles of wire, more than 95,000 cubic yards of dirt moved
- Building uses a sophisticated HVAC system supplied through a raised access floor and controlled by a Building Management System for superior efficiency and energy savings
- City of Charleston recently incorporated the 2009 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) codes, which we exceed
- 100% of the building is video cabled in High Definition and HDMI
As we celebrate the new space feel free to take photos and post on your social media sites. We’d love for your family and friends to see pics of the new space and experience how you feel about our new facility.
Thanks gang for making Benefitfocus an amazing place. The buildings are a reflection of how awesome you cats are and what incredible things you are accomplishing.