Writer / Suzanne Huntzinger
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
The heart of BlueSky Technology Partners’ business is the ever-growing and changing industry of e-commerce. So, it seems only fitting that the company is changing the growing face of downtown Noblesville.
This month, BlueSky opens the doors of their beautiful new headquarters at 350 Westfield Road, just 11 months after breaking ground. The impressive property sits near the White River and across the street from Riverview Health Hospital. The ultra-contemporary 42,000 square feet, four-story structure draws you in as you drive west crossing the river.
The design of the building’s interior is just as impressive. Boasting conference rooms with state of the art screens, a kitchen and bar, a work/social gathering room with pool tables, open concept meeting spaces with ample seating for teams to sit and collaborate and a restaurant that will occupy a large part of the building’s first floor, there is nearly nothing this new facility doesn’t have. It’s even got a phenomenal view of the city. Courtesy of the top floor terrace, staff can step outside to the balcony where there is plenty of comfortable seating to use while they work to collaborate on projects and enjoy the view of Federal Hill Commons, the downtown square and more. A built-in fire pit is available to warm the staff outside on chilly days.
At the helm of this grand facility are the company’s co-founders, Todd Irwin and Eric Warne. The two met while collaborating on a project for IBM where Warne was employed at the time. With strong expertise in e-commerce consulting, these two visionaries branched off and set out to start BlueSky Technology partners during the height of the dot com bubble burst.
Adding to the challenge was the economic crash that soon followed. But Irwin and Warne didn’t give up, in fact, they helped their budding company thrive.
“The brick and mortar retailers were suffering, but e-commerce was on the rise,” Irwin says. “We capitalized on that and we’ve grown our company 20 to 30 percent each year since we’ve started. One year, we grew more than 40 percent.”
The company has also built and grown BlueSky Canada in the technology talent-rich area of Toronto to 15 staff members. Meanwhile, the Noblesville headquarters grew so fast, they’ve grown out of two buildings in the Stony Creek Industrial Park and have expanded to occupy the entire second floor of the Huntington Bank Building in downtown Noblesville. As a result of this growth, it became evident three years ago that it was time to make plans for the new headquarters.
The pair has seen the project through concept planning, design and now reality. The project’s design strongly reflects the high value the company places on its employees.
“We held a visioning session for the staff to provide input on what they’d like to see in the new building,” Warne says.
“Employee satisfaction has been a major factor in this project,” Irwin adds. “In the visioning session, we were shown photos of the building architecture at companies like Google and Microsoft. Staff voted whether they were in favor of certain features of the buildings. The visioning session was facilitated by the architects and designers at American Structurepoint. What you see here is the culmination of that process.”
Irwin and Warne also place a high value on Meyer Najem Construction. The builders headed up the construction process, and through it, the two companies have forged a strong relationship for a long time to come.
“BlueSky has been a joy to work with through this 11-month process,” says Brandon Weddle, Project Manager from Meyer Najem. “It’s been a great partnership and great journey. This new building will be a premier property in Meyer Najem’s portfolio.”
Bringing the project to reality didn’t just magically happen. The partners say the planning began in 2014. Spurred on not just by the company’s need to expand, but by Mayor Ditslear’s directive to grow downtown Noblesville west of the river by transforming previously undesirable land, the project took flight.
“Mayor Distlear and the city have been instrumental in this project,” Irwin says. “We wouldn’t be here without the great civic and corporate partnership we share.”
With the project nearing completion, the owners are ready to focus on the most important partnerships of all, their clients. Their impressive client list includes Bose McKinney & Evans, Delta Faucet, Pokemon, Ecolab, Konami, The Golf Warehouse, Kay Jewelers, Jared Jewelers, Performance Bicycle and many more. To create the most effective e-commerce solution and generate the greatest revenue for their clients, BlueSky dives in and learns everything there is to know about their clients. Customer satisfaction and word of mouth has been a powerful marketing tool for BlueSky. Now with the gorgeous and modern building, BlueSky has a marketing statement all its own.
“Potential clients will visit us in this new building and be even more confident in what we do,” Warne adds.
BlueSky definitely gives clients a reason to be confident. Anchored in providing clients with the best e-commerce solutions for their business, the professionals at BlueSky are always looking to ever-emerging technology to make the shoppers’ e-commerce experience better and increase the client’s revenue.
Irwin says at the heart of what sets BlueSky apart from the competition is the talent they’ve retained.
“The talent we attract are industry experts,” Irwin says. “They’re great at their jobs and typically become a trusted advisor to our clients.”
Warne explains the highly effective process that makes their clients successful.
“It’s a cycle of the strong technologists that implement the e-commerce software, the e-commerce strategists who know business strategies, know how to sell products online and can consult about the entire route to market, he says. “Finally, the digital agency who helps the client get the most out of their investment by enhancing the user experience and converting the online browsing to sales.
“It’s a group effort, and we’re just steering the ship,” Irwin adds.
Part of steering the ship has included growing their digital brand, BlueSky Digital. The digital agency has been instrumental in serving customers not just with e-commerce conversion tactics but social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and creating a strong digital marketing presence for the client.
To grow the experience of the digital agency staff, the company is investing their support in taking on projects that use Tier 2 or mid-level software platforms. These software platforms are less complex and offer a great learning opportunity for less experienced staff to work on highly visible projects. Ultimately, the investment shortens the typically four to eight year learning track the higher-end software platforms require, and it means the company may be able to recruit more local talent for these types of projects.
BlueSky Digital can also work with clients in any industry that may or may not have an e-commerce need. The same digital strategies and tactics that help BlueSky’s large e-commerce clients are also applicable to any industry or company.
With the hot e-commerce market and digital marketing business, it looks like BlueSky has a bright future in their new home. Visit blueskytp.com to see what the e-commerce and digital marketing experts at BlueSky can do for your business.