Click Here for Part 1 Providing IT solutions that keep organizations in highly regulated industries secure, compliant, and proactive Chris Sachse is the CEO and co-founder of Horsetail Technologies, and the CEO of Apogee iQ. Horsetail provides collaborative, shared IT services for credit unions as well as members of other highly regulated industries nationwide. Through assessments, managed services, staffing, project consulting, and more, Horsetail allows its customers to navigate a complex technological environment without compromising safety or regulatory standing. Clients include Coastal Federal Credit Union, Marriott Employee Federal Credit Union, TwinStar Credit Union, and thousands of others. Apogee iQ is a comprehensive software solution for credit unions and other members of the financial services industry. The platform encompasses vendor management and education, enterprise and cyber risk management, business continuity, regulatory compliance, and intelligent purchasing. The company is currently offering credit unions a chance to win a Credit Union Makeover valued at $250,000. For more details, click here. Chris Sachse originally spoke with citybizlist in 2015. Watch our previous interview here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujX_8im2paw Horsetail recently moved its offices to the Harbor. How was that experience for the company? CHRIS SACHSE: Horsetail moved into new space right over the Christmas–New Years holiday. So, in some ways, it was actually very good during that time—it was slow for our clients—but we had outgrown our current space. We started looking two years ago at various different options for space, and in doing so, we toured a lot of different companies and looked at and learned how they worked. One of the things that we felt was missing in our current space: we had two different levels, and we found that t was almost like two teams—you know, the downstairs guys and the upstairs guys—and it created a lot of turmoil. Culture is one of the biggest and most important objectives for Horsetail, so we looked at how our could space tie into the culture that we want to create. That included everything from the location to being fun and attracting good talent, to the physical space itself being open and collaborative so that people could work with each other, and so that we broke down any barriers where people thought that there’s this upstairs–downstairs mentality. We have realized just how spectacular those windows are, and that’s really what it was all about—the location and the view: being able to come in and have this bright sun and that feel. But it just really called to both Mark and I every time we came here, really: “we just can’t walk away from this one.” So we finally selected the space and then it came time to build it out. What we loved the most about it was the windows and the openness, and so as we looked at the architectural design, we said, “we’ve got to limit any walls. We’ve got to limit this to be a real buildout, and truly be an open space”—everything that we wanted the individual spaces to become, to give people a different look and feel for different settings. Sometimes you need to collaborate, sometimes you need quiet space, sometimes you need an alone space, bigger space, creative space—there’s all these different spaces here, and the furniture really sets the tone for those spaces. We’ve seen that pay dividends. I’m really glad we spent the money and the time that we did on the furniture because I think it’s working really well. How important is the space from a recruiting perspective? From a recruitment perspective, but also just from a people perspective, Horsetail’s product is our people. We want to keep those people, we want to train them, we want to retain them. In order for us to be able to compete in the tech space in this area, you have to compete against some really big guys. You have to compete against the government. You have to compete against the benefits packages and salaries that, frankly, we can’t always keep up with. So, what we have to provide is the environment where they can be creative, where they can build their own path—and they can train and learn and grow—but it’s gotta be fun, because the age range that we’re attracting, the people that are in that, have to come in here and be able to have fun. Many of them live downtown. The water taxi pulls up out front, so the ability to take the circulator, public transportation, or walk to work is huge. After work, in the heart of Fells Point, the ability for them to walk to the bars and restaurants is right there. So, the location and the look and feel of the space certainly helps us attract and retain talent, and that was one of the biggest—if not the biggest—reason we went for this space: for our current and future employees to have a really awesome place to come and be proud of. We’ve run the full spectrum of technology, so somebody should be able to come in and learn all of those different areas, and who’s really excited and energized by the ability to come here because they can constantly learn and try new things: for a technology guy, those are things that are very appealing to them. We’ve recently read a study in employment survey with regards to what’s most important in the technology space. Salary was, like, five—and food was actually number one, so we’ve tried to provide really great food here at the space as well—but beyond that, it was training, opportunities and learning new things. So, I think we’re unique in our ability to give them the freedom to play with a lot of different things and explore in ways that they really enjoy doing.
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