Rocket at 25: how Rocket’s new headquarters are transforming how we do business
Rocket Software started 25 years ago in a spare bedroom in my house near Boston. I remember writing programs in that bedroom, meeting with IBM around the dining room table, having lunch meetings in the kitchen, and adding a desk in the basement when we needed more space.
“Two guys in a garage” was a fun way to start, but within a short time it became obvious that we needed a real office. Our first home away from home was a very small space in a six-story office building. In our first few years, we kept expanding to different offices in that same building as more and more Rocketeers came on board. That has been our story over the past 25 years. As we grew, our headquarters moved from that house in Millis to that first small office in Framingham, eventually to a bigger space in Natick for a few years, and to an even bigger space in Newton. And to support our growth, we moved from Newton to our current 100,000 square foot facility in Waltham in May of 2012.
But just getting more space was only part of why we moved. Our bigger goal was to use our office as a physical representation of all of our values and to show our customers and partners who Rocket Software is and how we innovate.
The best example of this is our Executive Briefing Center and Data Center in our Waltham headquarters. Rocket visitors enter through our welcoming lobby before walking past a wall that displays all of the patents that we have received over the years. On the way to the Executive Briefing Center – which includes large conference rooms, training rooms, private meeting rooms, and even a multipurpose room we use as studio for live company-wide broadcasts – our collection of Rocket-themed paintings, music artifacts, and Rocket sculptures of all shapes and sizes are on display.
In many ways, the first-floor space is like the house where Rocket started—it serves as our living room, dining room, kitchen, and meeting space. We host everything from analyst briefings to partner conferences, from customer dinners to company parties—and of course, executive briefings. On the south side of the first floor is our showpiece Data Center. Yes, we are a software company, but we love to show off our hardware. Want to see the most current IBM mainframes? They are prominently displayed in the front row.
Want to see storage devices from IBM, EMC, Hitachi, and NetApp? They are right next to the mainframes. We have racks and racks of servers of all shapes and sizes, tape drives, and much more throughout our Data Center. It is the showpiece of our office, and it literally provides transparency into the work we do and how seriously we take our mission.
We like how our Executive Briefing Center shows off what we do and how we work every day. In fact, it has been so popular among employees, customers, and partners that we’ve used it as a model for all of our offices around the world. In the last year and a half we have remodeled our offices in Sydney, Denver, the San Francisco Bay Area, Dordrecht (Netherlands), Uxbridge (UK), and Atlanta to create global spaces that reflect our core values.
We believe that our headquarters in Waltham is not only a great place to work, but it also makes a statement about who we are as a company. If you haven’t visited any of our offices recently, we invite you to come by, see what we are up to, and learn more about how Rocket can help you solve your business and technical problems and surpass your expectations.