Wexford Science & Technology, LLC is a unique real estate development and management company that develops lab and research facilities for university researchers, start-ups, and large companies across the country. But they don’t just construct and finish workspaces; they create Knowledge Communities where people can cluster, connect and collaborate as they pursue answers to questions that have the potential to change the world.
As Wexford has expanded across the US with the establishment of 17 Knowledge Communities, their organization went from about 20 employees at their Baltimore headquarters to more than 60 spread out across the nation. Danielle Howarth is the COO at Wexford. She’s been with the company for seven years prior to moving into this role in early 2023, so she’s been a witness to the company’s incredible growth.
Rapid expansion like this usually comes with growing pains and in 2022 it became apparent to Danielle and the operating committee that deals with the day-to-day functions of the firm that their managed IT services vendor couldn’t keep up.
“They were falling down all over the place, and frankly we stayed with them longer than we should have because we were dreading the process of transitioning to a new provider,” recalled Danielle.
The day came when Wexford couldn’t continue to live with endless IT problems anymore, and they started a search for a new managed IT services provider. They evaluated two companies, and one was XPERTECHS.
Thorough Communication in Understandable Language
During the course of their conversations with the two managed service providers, it quickly became clear that with XPERTECHS, Wexford could get the level of support they needed as well as the IT strategy guidance they had been lacking.
“What we liked about XPERTECHS was their ability to describe technical things to non-technical people in a way we could understand,” said Danielle. “I want to be able to understand what it does, but I don’t have to understand the way it works.”
One of the first things that was described to Danielle and her colleagues was XPERTECHS’ plan for onboarding. The plan that was presented was well thought out and it gave them confidence to move forward. When the transition happened, their experience validated that XPERTECHS could do exactly what they said they could do.
Onboarding Experience Was Well-Executed
“It went incredibly smoothly,” said Danielle. “There was a very defined plan of what we were going to do and it was executed as they said it would be. I was involved and I felt informed, but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have to devote that much time to the transition.”
Another surprise for Danielle was the way that XPERTECHS handled change management. She was impressed with the documentation that XPERTECHS created to explain to employees what was happening, when it was going to happen, what it would look like, and what they needed to do.
Whether these educational materials were presented as a training video conference or a detailed email, the result was that there was minimal disruption because everyone at Wexford was prepared for the changes that were going to happen. These changes were significant because in addition to normal onboarding activities, XPERTECHS migrated Wexford’s data center to the cloud.
IT Improvement Progress and Planning
Utilizing the cloud was one item on Wexford’s long IT wish list as was moving to Microsoft 365 and implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA). They’re also moving their phone system to Teams phones.
While Wexford came to XPERTECHS with their own laundry list of desired improvements, Danielle knows that all the ideas for IT investments don’t have to come from her. With XPERTECHS she has the IT guidance she needs to make well-informed decisions for both the short and long term.
“In a meeting with Joe and Mike, we talked about what’s happened, what the next steps were in terms of what they were trying to do, and then we spent some time talking about what we could think about doing in the future,” explained Danielle. “I’ve found them to be very proactive in terms of letting us know what’s out there for us to possibly take advantage of in terms of technology.”
Guidance for IT improvements is a tremendous benefit for Danielle in her work to enhance efficiency across the company and nurture a feeling of connection as Wexford continues to grow. She’s found that an added benefit of becoming more efficient at sharing information has enabled the organization to gain more control over their data.
As Wexford equips their people for collaboration, the experience that employees have with technology has drastically improved. Everyone is pleased with how knowledgeable and responsive the help desk is when issues pop up. And today, Danielle and her colleagues can look to the future knowing that instead of being held back, their technology is empowering their success.
About Wexford Science & Technology
Wexford Science & Technology, LLC is a real estate company exclusively focused on partnering with universities, academic medical centers and research companies to develop vibrant, mixed-use, amenity-rich communities. Wexford’s Knowledge Communities are built on a foundation of discovery, innovation, entrepreneurial activity, corporate engagement, and community inclusion that creates visible outcomes in the form of substantial economic growth, new and diverse jobs, and community transformation. Learn more at: https://wexfordscitech.com/