#Avanade20Years: What were current Avanade employees up to 20 years ago?
- Posted on February 6, 2020
- Estimated reading time 5 minutes
In April 2000, Avanade came to be. Twenty years later, we’ve grown to a company of more than 38,000 professionals with offices all around the world. Some of those people were with Avanade when it started, while some weren’t even in elementary school! In this week’s edition of the #Avanade20Years special series, we hear from a few employees on what they were doing in the year 2000.
In 2000, I was 8 years old, and I was about to become a big sister! I remember the day my parents told me – I was super excited, and I couldn't wait to have someone to play with and talk to. I clearly remember wanting to choose a name for her: I chose the name Kimberly because in those days, I was obsessed with the TV show “Power Rangers,” and the pink ranger had this name. From the day she was born, I understood that I had to be a good example for her and even if we had fights, I’d never leave her side.
I was a senior manager at Arthur Andersen. Andersen Consulting had just split off and changed its name to Accenture. The dot com bubble had been growing for five years, and everyone was buzzing about new business models based on the internet. Microsoft didn’t have much of a play in that market, but wanted to get in the game. I heard this announcement that Accenture and Microsoft were going to partner together to bring technology driven business solutions to businesses and they were calling it Avanade. It was a match made in heaven.
I was working for Accenture in 2000, and I was very excited about the development of Avanade. I developed SharePoint applications for the Global Geographic Services team as a team of one (not part of CIO, but part of the Business). I was interested to hear about the formation of Avanade because they were set to lead the way with a SharePoint team.
To prep for my interview with Avanade, I went on a practice interview at another company. That “practice” turned into a great job offer that I accepted, and in that role, I learned all about how to be a client-facing consultant. I stayed with that company until four years ago, when I finally joined Avanade. Funny how things happen in their own time.
At this time 20 years ago, I was in my third year of university, working toward degrees in law and French. The third year was spent in the Robert Schuman University in Strasbourg, France, which was equally terrifying as it was exciting! As someone who had had limited travel experience and had not spent more than a night away from my family, it was such an eye-opener to learn new things, immerse myself in the language and culture and find my own two feet. The halls of residence were….not the best. Getting used to very early morning lectures and different styles of teaching and laws was difficult and tiring, but I would not have swapped it for the world. I remember waking up to the fresh smell of butter every morning (there was a bakery next to the halls) and taking in the architecture; the markets and the history of Strasbourg was brilliant, plus their bars and restaurants stayed opened much later!
Whilst I was there, I made friends that I am still in touch with today, I celebrated a significant birthday and travelled a lot, but most of all, I learned a lot about myself and got a hint of what life could be if you are bold enough to take a step out of your comfort zone. With 2020 vision and 20 years on, I can – hand on heart – say that I am so glad I took the leap because as scary as that was, it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I am excited for the next 20 years and where it will take me as I live out my life motto #!
20 years ago, I was just thinking about starting kindergarten in the fall of 2000. Twenty years later, I am a consultant with the industry leader in innovation!
To understand where I was 20 years ago, we actually have to go back 25 years. I was working in the Microsoft office (the old one in Oakbrook, Ill.) recruiting for Microsoft Consulting Services Midwest and sitting about five cubicles away from Joe Mendel. We chatted as we commonly did since his cube was in the corner, on the way to the Midwest GM’s office. I remember being perplexed as to why Joe, a Microsoft presales technical person,was going back to college for an HR degree.
Five years later in 2000, I was still working for Microsoft, but from my home office in upstate New York. When Avanade was announced, I felt a slight twinge that I missed something important. A little later, Joe Mendel became Avanade’s HR leader for North America.
In 1998, I joined Visio and loved my job. We were located at 2211 Elliott Avenue West in Seattle. Come Jan. 7, 2000 and Microsoft announced the completion of its acquisition of Seattle-based Visio Corp. And I was fortunate to be part of the acquisition.
As Microsoft, we stayed at the World Trade Center for several months before being moved to Redmond. Later that year in April 2000, two industry giants – Accenture and Microsoft – founded Avanade. We moved to Redmond and Avanade found a new home. We were two ships passing in the night. Fast forward to December 2005 when I started my first day at Avanade at 2211 Elliott Avenue. My last interviewer noted my Visio tenure in the same building. I smiled and said,“Yes, I know where to park and I know where the bathrooms are. I will be productive from day one!” He smiled, but I worried this might not have been something to share. Well, I got the job and this December marks 15 years.