Why Fast-growing Workiva is a Best Workplace for Technology, Millenials: Q&A with Jeff Trom, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Locations: Workiva has 16 offices. Two of our developer-focused offices are in Montana – 448 East Main St., Bozeman and 140 S. 4th Street West, Unit #2, Missoula
Industry: Software as a service (SaaS)
Founded: 2008 (formerly WebFilings)
“Montana is an exciting place to be, especially for a technology company…Bozeman has a lot to offer with its vibrant community and fast-growing tech industry. Big Sky and other rich outdoor experiences are plentiful in the local area, as are friendly people and adventure enthusiasts.”
– Jeff Trom, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Workiva
How did Workiva get started?
We founded Workiva in 2008 under the name WebFilings and released our first cloud-based software solution in 2010 to modernize business data processes. We changed our company name to Workiva in 2014 to keep pace with growing demand for our solutions from finance, risk, compliance and audit teams.
What does your company do?
Workiva (NYSE:WK) created Wdesk, a cloud-based productivity platform for enterprises to collect, link, report and analyze business data with control and accountability. The platform’s proprietary word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications are integrated and built upon a data management engine, offering synchronized data, controlled collaboration, granular permissions and a full audit trail. Wdesk helps mitigate enterprise risk, improve productivity and give users confidence to make decisions with real-time data.
What industry does your company serve?
- Consumer goods and retail
- Energy and utilities
- Higher Education
- Life sciences
- State and local government
Who are your customers?
It took us just five years to have more than 65 percent of the FORTUNE 500® use our Wdesk productivity platform. Thousands of organizations use Wdesk for risk, compliance or management reporting. For example, since January of 2016, many of our customers have reported notable successes with Wdesk that resulted in significant time and financial savings, including Bel Fuse, JLL Income Property Trust, Upland Software, New York Life Insurance Company, and Integrated DNA Technologies.
An independent study conducted by Forrester Consulting focused on “The Total Economic Impact™ of Workiva Wdesk.” The study showed that a large global manufacturer reaped more than $640,000 in benefits and cost savings, as well as reducing data collection and aggregation by 90 percent.
Who do you hire?
The main characteristic we look for in an applicant is the ability to demonstrate our values. Our values are: being committed to greatness, action driven, customer centric and being part of a team.
What is special about Workiva?
Workiva has won several awards, including:
- Number 4 of 10 Best Workplaces in Technology by Great Place to Work® and Fortune Magazine
- Ranked 34 of 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials by Great Place to Work® and Fortune Magazine
- One of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America on Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500™ List
Our customer satisfaction scores are greater than 95 percent and our customer retention rates exceed 97 percent. People send our teams flowers and candy because we’ve made the process so much easier.
One differentiating factor is our customer success and support model. Every customer is assigned a dedicated Customer Success Manager, who works directly with reporting teams to streamline their processes and ensure accurate and timely development of their documents. Because customers work with the same Customer Success Manager every time, we are able to understand not only our customers’ processes but also the nuances of the data—essentially making them an extension of our customers’ reporting team.
HAM – Culture
Human Asset Management (HAM) is similar to other HR models, except that it focuses first on improving the quality of life for employees. This is the key: the extra level of care for employees that increases customer satisfaction and retention.
Workiva created a HAM Advisory Group, consisting of employees at all levels from across the company. This group has regular meetings where employees present ideas and make suggestions for improvement. Subcommittees work independently and then take their findings directly to executive management.
What are your plans for the future?
Our ambition is to redefine the way enterprises work. As the market grows and changes, so will Workiva to ensure the Wdesk will remain the best productivity platform for enterprises to collect, link, report and analyze business data with control and accountability.
Why are you in Montana?
Montana is an exciting place to be, especially for a technology company. According to a recent study conducted by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, employment and revenues in Montana’s high-tech industry are growing at rates seven times that of the statewide economy, with salaries in the high-tech sector increasing 30 percent faster than other sectors. There are high-quality people in Montana as well. We rely on our relationships with the State Universities in Bozeman and Missoula to grow our teams from interns to full-time employees who are invested in Workiva and in Montana.
What do you like about Montana? Your community?
Bozeman has a lot to offer with its vibrant community and fast-growing tech industry. Big Sky and other rich outdoor experiences are plentiful in the local area, as are friendly people and adventure enthusiasts.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
Bozeman’s diverse environment and changing seasons allow us to pursue a wide variety of outdoor activities in the local area. My family and I enjoy hiking Sypes Canyon Trail, skiing at Bridger Bowl, biking the Jackson Creek route, camping at Bear Canyon and other outdoor activities.
About the Publisher: The Montana High Tech Business Alliance is a statewide membership organization made up of more than 300 high tech and manufacturing firms and affiliates. Search for Montana career opportunities at MTHighTech.org/jobs.