Rocket at 25: celebrating community during our annual Leadership Summit

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We just wrapped up our annual Rocket Leadership Summit last week in Boston. This year’s event involved 370 Rocketeers, five parallel tracks, dozens of customers and partners, an entire day dedicated to Community, and a Music Festival. You can get a flavor of our week by checking out our @Rocket Twitter feed and reading some of our recent blog posts. Here are some of the highlights:

Rocket.Build

Rocket.Build Lab

The Rocket.Build Lab

We opened up our innovation lab – what we call Rocket.Build – on Saturday and kept it open 24 hours a day for an entire week. 120+ Rocketeers worked on 32 projects that involved technologies such as blockchain, machine learning, advanced analytics, advanced visualizations, self-healing systems, predictive self-provisioning systems, user-directed product education, and more. We showed off our teams and our projects to customers and partners who stopped by. And we were honored that Charlie Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, came by to visit us.

Community Bill of Rights

A group of Rocketeers from every location and every functional area came together and focused on you, our customers and partners. This group took one day to reach out and call hundreds of you just to check in, say hello, let you know we care, and see if there was anything we could do for you. Our week concluded with the publication of our first ever Community Bill of Rights, which outlines what you can expect from us as a member of our Community. And in case you’re wondering who is considered a member of the Rocket Community, our answer is, “Anyone and everyone who wants to be.”

Here are some of the specifics of what this bill of rights includes:

  • You will treat me with the same respect and empathy you’d want for yourselves.
  • You will act in my best interest and do what is right for me.
  • You will personalize your service based on the way I wish to receive it.
  • You will do what is necessary to meet my expectation, and will aim to exceed that expectation.
  • You will tell me what to expect from you, and you will notify me immediately if you think you will deviate from that expectation.
  • If you have to tell me that you cannot do something, you will always give me options about what you can do.
  • You will assign one Rocketeer as the single owner of the request I’ve made of you.
  • I will determine when my request is resolved, not you.

Community Day

Helping to prepare the food trolleys at Boston Medical Center Food Pantry

Helping to prepare the food trolleys at Boston Medical Center Food Pantry

On Friday of our Summit week, over 500 Rocketeers (and their significant others) went out in the greater Boston area and provided services to homeless shelters, food banks, local governments, animal shelters, colleges/universities, and many other service organizations. We left our Rocket mark all over Boston and surrounding cities and towns. And since we are a global company, our Community reaches far and deep into other cities and towns around the world. Rocket and Rocketeers make a difference in the places where we live and work including Denver (donating 10,000 meals to a food bank), Bonn, Germany (Rocketeers took part in writing and recording an original song available on iTunes at this link and sold copies at a concert we sponsored last month to provide for the homeless), Dordrecht, The Netherlands (preparing meals and singing holiday carols with elderly residents at a local nursing home), and London near our UK headquarters (participating in a sleep-out fundraiser for the homeless). Rocket cares and Rocketeers are the difference.

Music Festival

The Rocket Edge Band

Sitting in with the Rocket Edge Band

All of our Boston area Rocketeers, our Summit attendees, spouses, and significant others came together on Friday night to celebrate. We celebrated our week together. And we celebrated our Community Day. It was a fun and casual evening filled with live music performed by Rocketeers. If you’ve followed the Rocket story over the past many years, you know that music is a thread that runs through us. And boy did that thread come alive on Friday night. We call ourselves The Rocket Band when we perform live. What made Friday so special was that The Rocket Band was more inclusive than ever. It involved almost 50 Rocketeer musicians from all over the world and involved many musical genres including classical, jazz, funk, rock, and more.

I am extremely proud of all of the Rocketeers who participated in our week together. We build software that matters. We put you first. And we treat you with humanity. That is what our Leadership Summit week is about. As I’ve said many times, it’s not rocket science. It’s Rocket Software.

Have a great holiday season. And do something to make a difference in your Community, whatever that is, wherever you are.

 

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Andy Youniss co-founded Rocket Software in 1990 and continues to be the company's main driving force. Andy successfully established and actively manages Rocket's largest OEM partnerships and is guiding the company's growth through technology investments, acquisitions, new product lines, and strategic partnerships. Prior to founding Rocket Software, Andy was the development manager for DB View Inc., a software company specializing in DB2 database tools. Previously, he was a programmer/analyst at American Management Systems, and was also a project development consultant. Andy holds a B.S. degree in Computer Science from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

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