A Workplace Highlight: WesTech

March 04th, 2019 Allison Benson O' Brien

Who is 14 West Technology Solutions?

If you’ve met or worked with someone on the Tech Solutions team (or WesTech as they like to call themselves), you know that they don’t run from a challenge. But when you’re a part of a multi-faceted team that is responsible for keeping the systems and applications that support 40 of the world’s leading privately-owned media companies up and running – you sort of need to be fearless.

If the program or application that a client is looking for isn’t quite doing its job… they break it down and build it back up to be better than before. If the technology needed doesn’t exist… well, then they build it from scratch. In fact, a number of these proprietary systems have paved the way for innovations that the media and digital marketing world hasn’t seen before.  Their hard work and dedication have helped position businesses across The Agora Companies as industry front runners.

Having such a diverse range of clients can bring some pretty diverse needs with it. But with three main support arms working in an Agile environment – Business Intelligence, Global Technologies, and Application Support – they’ve got you covered. WesTech prides themselves on being able to streamline and tailor their services to suit each individual business’s needs.

But, it wasn’t always like this. Last year, 14 West underwent an exciting transformation. “The Great Agora Tech Merge” brought all of the various tech support groups within the Agora-sphere under one proverbial roof. That means IT is working side by side with Business Intelligence, who are in lockstep with teams like Advantage (our CRM team), E-Commerce, and Messaging.

Physically, on the other hand, they operate out of two different buildings on our Mount Vernon campus. And we’re going to give you a look inside…

Our 14 West Technology Solutions Workplace Highlight

The 14 West WesTech team is made up of a few specialized tech teams including Marketing Intelligence, Operations, Information Security, and Global Technologies. The tasks that each team take on vary, but they all rely on one another to keep things running smoothly.

The Agora Companies’ Baltimore City campus is in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Mount Vernon. If you’ve never been, take a second to imagine streets littered with quirky coffee shops, boutiques, bars and galleries, and beautiful parks ornamented with fountains and historic monuments.

And while WesTech offers two kick-ass office spaces, they’re quite different. One has been renovated into a contemporary and sleek, state of the art office with glass walls and all of the modern amenities your heart could desire. The other is a former church built in the 1840s. Yes, there are standing desks, a sizeable data center, and dry erase boards…but there are also fireplaces, chandeliers, and a staircase that spirals up to a stained-glass ceiling.

Let’s just say, from the street, you’d never know that both building’s interiors have been reinvented into a home for some of the most innovative technologists in Baltimore.

“Finding solutions through innovation.”

Inside, the office stays abuzz with tests, debates, and brainstorms. The team believes in finding solutions through innovation, which means a lot of time at the drawing board to ensure final products are flawless. There’s even a team devoted to prototyping and exploring the possibilities of the technology that they work with.

To us, this is one of the coolest parts about working there… no one else in the world is doing what this team is doing. For that reason, they look for idea people who want to put their savvy to the test – and don’t give up. Because trying new things means failing. So they need people who are not only willing but eager to perpetually rework and tweak a product to maximize its value…that is, until the time comes for a new product.

“Perfect place for young professionals in the tech field to flourish.”

For the right person, WesTech provides incredible opportunities to learn, advance, and develop their career.

And while 14 West has the resources and stability of a large company, we are still able to maintain the feel and culture of a young start-up. It’s truly a place for technologists to explore, find their career, and gain priceless experience working with some of the best in their field. As a new employee, you are often times sitting side by side with someone who created the platform that you are working on.

If you like what you’re reading, you’re in luck, because this team only continues to grow and is hiring right now. If you think you’d be a good fit, there might be an opportunity for you. We’re not saying it’s easy to get in, but it’s sure as hell worth it.

 

 

Allison Benson O' Brien

Director of Communications at 14 West

“Ask “why?” when told “no.” Always learn something. And stand behind the ideas you believe in.”

My job allows me a lot of creative freedom. And that can be a lot of fun, but there’s also some self-inflicted pressure that comes along with the role. Fortunately, my team includes some brilliant people and a few clowns; so we not only get the job done – we laugh every day. And I think our work is stronger because of that. We take the positivity, the humor and the passion we have in our office and find a way to share it with the workplaces we support. Whether it’s through an event, a marketing piece, a partnership, a post… even a piece of swag. And it works.
My team and I have watched the companies we support to go on to become recognized as top workplaces by their communities and local media. It feels good to know that this is in part due to our efforts.

What is your favorite company event of the year? Hands down… decorating day. We pull the holiday decorations out of the basement, get together after work with some pizza, wine, and music, and decorate the gorgeous 19th Century mansion we work in. A dream for a Christmas geek like myself.