In the end, all technologies could be linked, with humans as the living connecting focal point.
Linked technologies is a theory favored by Kimberly Clavin, a “strategic ninjaneer” for Pillar Technology, which combines business-marketing and testing strategies with the embedded software it builds for its clients.
“The world is becoming more and more connected,” Clavin says. “We are all about reducing the friction in human lives. It's what we are passionate about.”
Clavin, a mechanical engineer by trade, adopted her unique job title as a way to describe her work as an engineer versed in strategic planning, marketing and creating solutions.
Pillar Technology, with its Forge innovation think-tank network, focuses on solving complex business problems with its custom software development for clients across a spectrum of industry, including transportation, healthcare, energy, retail and finances. But creating business strategies connected to these developments is equally important, including its speed-to-value proposition, Clavin says.
Many clients come to Pillar with very open-ended ideas about how they want to engage with customers, but beyond that general notion, they have little else to offer, she says.
“The real differentiation for us is the fusion aspect,” Clavin says. “We fuse together all of these disciplines. We create ideas and then roll it into execution if technology is associated with it.”
Working hand-in-hand with clients is a critical piece of the work puzzle for Pillar Technology, which collaborates with its customers through its Forge innovation center.
“We work alongside the client to teach them how to kick out a good code quickly, for instance,” Clavin says. “You just can't say I need three developers. We stand up with the entire team and work with them through the process.”
When the company noticed a lack of products for constantly testing the multiple sensors within an organization's communications networks, it developed a successful technology known as Loop.
“We made the system multiple times for clients and then decided to do it as our own product because there was such a demand,” Clavin says.
While the 20-year-old company employs more than 300 here, in Ann Arbor, Mich., Des Moines, Iowa, and Palo Alto, Calif., Clavin says the company's founders have a real passion for this area.
“We positioned ourselves here because of client relations and all the different businesses,” she says. “We love the vision of Columbus and the community. It's an easy community to embrace with its collaborative nature and with so many people here who want to partner and collaborate.”
After five years, the company is poised to move early next year from its first-floor space at the historic Smith Bros. Hardware Co. building to a 25,000-square-foot space at the new 711 Building in the Short North.
Pillar Technology aims to become a destination employer in the Midwest to attract brilliant programmers and developers and keep them from migrating to the coasts. The company's expectations are very high.
“We are the type of people who do not look at things as challenges,” Clavin says. “We employ no-constraint thinking and look at opportunities that are coming about. We think big and work backwards from there.”