#Avanade20Years: From building out the New York office to stories from a Hollywood studio lot

  • Posted on March 26, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes
#Avanade20Years: From building out the New York office to stories from the Paramount Pictures lot

We continue our #Avanade20Years special series on the blog in celebration of our 20th Anniversary on April 4, 2020. This week, we’re featuring Jimmy Soto, who works as a senior director in the Modern Workplace Center of Excellence and helped get the Avanade New York office off the ground in 2000.

Avanade News: How did you come to Avanade in 2000?

Jimmy: I previously worked for Andersen Consulting and had worked there for about two and a half years doing a lot of Microsoft work. There was an announcement that we would be forming this joint venture, and if anyone wanted to do more Microsoft-focused work, please reach out. I ran out from my project, went to New York for a quick interview, and ran back to work. When I got the offer to come on board, the challenge was that Andersen wasn’t ready to release me, so I had to wait until June or July.

Avanade News: What were the early days at Avanade like?

Jimmy: I spent between six to nine months flying back and forth between New Jersey and Seattle – there was a flight from Newark to Seattle every Monday that we called it the “Avanade bus.” We could very well be the reason there’s now a policy limiting the amount of Avanade resources that can be on any given flight.

Because I was already Microsoft trained, I didn’t have to do the training others were undertaking, so I got to help build the business from the ground up. One of my first tasks outside of Seattle was to help build the New York office – meeting with contractors to take us from a space with sawdust on the floor and tools everywhere to a real office with carpet and chairs and desks.

Avanade News: What’s your favorite Avanade memory?

Jimmy: On a project, I spent almost a year working on a lot for a major Hollywood studio, and I have a lot of great memories from that time. One day, we were all heads down working, and an executive came in and said, “We need people to be in a studio audience.” They let us bill hours for it. Another time, their major outdoor set designed to look like New York was transformed into a winter wonderland. They were filming all sorts of blockbusters, and I met celebrities like Alyssa Milano and Terry Crews by just being around the lot that often.

Avanade News: What inspires you most about Avanade?

Jimmy: I want to say the technology, but it’s not that. I really enjoy mentoring and advising our new technologists that are coming up. Being a mentor is my favorite role. I love when people reach out to me and ask for help or my opinion. Avanade is a culture where people feel comfortable asking for help; we have networks and talent communities to ask for that purpose. I think that’s part of our strength. Even if you’re alone on a project, you’re never walking alone. Working at Avanade is my profession, but it has also become part of my social life – it’s become home and become my family.

Avanade News: What keeps you at Avanade?

Jimmy: It’s been my experience that longevity at a company proves dedication. I wasn’t intending on staying this long, but it’s been home for 20 years. I went from being a college kid to a middle-aged man. Avanade provided me opportunities to grow as a consultant; the roles and opportunities kept me involved, interested and looking for what I can do next. I’ve been as far away as Taipei, Taiwan; I’ve worked through Europe and South America. I’m doing interesting work with people I admire with a culture that feels like home.

Mitch James

I may have been one of those asked to fill a seat for that show.

April 8, 2020

Inside Avanade Newsletter

Stay up to date with our latest news.

Contact Avanade

Next steps

Talk to us about how we can bring the power of digital innovation to your business.

Share this page