Iowa and U.S.-based Workforce the Right Fit for WebFilings

August 9, 2011
In 2011 when a software company is successful, everyone assumes that they have outsourced development, technical support, and even professional services. Sure, all companies have to consider a global workforce as the most cost effective way to meet their business objectives. However, outsourcing is not one size fits all, and it does not apply to all companies or business models. Every business evaluates global options and what is right for their needs—then staffs accordingly. Over the past three years, WebFilings has established its core development team in Ames, Iowa, capitalizing on a rich technology community that has gone largely unnoticed by the rest of the country. Outsourcing was not a fit for our initial development because the Iowa-based talent was top-notch, the Midwest cost structure was attractive, and our cloud-based SEC reporting solution architecture and company culture was a big draw to software developers. To software developers, we feel like a West Coast, high-tech company without the long commutes. When it came time to recruit and train a top-notch customer support and professional services team, we would have been remiss not to consider outsourcing. But again, it was not the right fit. With our unique “customer success” model of support, it was imperative that we hire a core group of financial professionals, finance professionals, and customer support experts and place them “under one roof” in Iowa...where they could work and grow as a team, be close to our software developers, and most importantly, be responsive to our customers. For XBRL professional services, we have hired experts in our Silicon Valley office and opened offices in Seattle and New York City in order to take advantage of local pools of specialized talent. Our great employees and customers are driving our success and our continued growth. We are proud of our Iowa operations center and our talented staff located across the U.S. Outsourcing is the right choice for many companies, but for WebFilings our focus on recruiting and growing U.S.-based employees has been the right choice for our business and a key to our customer’s success.
Matt Rizai

About the author

Matt Rizai is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Workiva. He is the former Chairman and CEO at Engineering Animation, Inc.