MEET THE NEXUS INNOVATIONS TEAM, YOUR GO-TO STRATEGIC SOFTWARE CONSULTING FIRM
The Story of Nexus Innovations
Sometimes opportunities come in unlikely ways. Twenty-three years ago, a phone call from Bob’s corporate boss broke the news that the North Dakota operation was shutting down in 30 days.
Rather than starting the job hunt, Bob and Lorie Pope prayed for wisdom and courage and decided to go after their dream by starting a new business.
That dream consisted of building a strategic consulting firm that met the needs of clients in the regional area. A business that had a purpose and strategic mission reaching beyond just “doing business.” Bob and Lorie wanted to provide services that genuinely helped organizations become empowered, successful, and able to attain the next level. They determined the heart of the business would need to be built on trust relationships, high value to the customer, great culture, and serving the community.
That dream was planted when Nexus Innovations, Inc. began operations providing long-term, strategic planning on July 1, 2000, in Bismarck, North Dakota.
The start was rocky, but they persevered as Bob and Lorie began building something that could last. Three years into operation, it became clear that Nexus needed to shift its focus from long-term, strategic planning to providing software solutions. Soon, the realization that the shift was going to take longer than anticipated set in.
Their defining moment came in 2005 as they faced a “make or break” challenge. An advisory board member met with Bob and Lorie to decide whether to keep on going or close the doors. His words were, “I believe you need to go for broke. Many times, people give up right before the big breakthrough.” Well, the Popes were already broke, so they gave it their all and continued pushing the dream forward. A breakthrough came in the form of a big opportunity three weeks later, and the dream started to become a reality.
As Nexus’ focus shifted into the software development space, they began to build momentum and success. Clients took notice that they could trust Nexus Innovations to deliver high-quality strategic software consulting and services. In 2008, an additional office was opened in Fargo, North Dakota to better serve clients in the regional area.
Fast forwarding to today, Nexus continues to grow and thrive as a regional strategic software consulting firm, working on enterprise-level projects in both government and private sector markets such as energy, healthcare, finance, and engineering. Their team of twenty-five consultants are in North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota.
The core purpose of Nexus Innovations is to Empower Organizations for Success through Vision, Leadership, and Strategic Solutions. As Bob says, “We want to create a long-term, trusted partnership with clients that have that same desire. It’s not about gaining as many clients or projects as we can. Lots of companies can develop software. What sets us apart is the customer experience.”
Nexus Innovations has always focused on their “why”—building strong and lasting relationships with the people they serve. As Lorie states, “One of the reasons for our success is that Nexus goes beyond delivering an outstanding service—the difference is our people and the trust we build with clients.”
The culture Nexus nurtures is one of empowering their team members to be leaders. Son and COO Jordan Pope said: “What drives us every day is the opportunity to invest into people—inside our organization and outside of the organization. While our expertise is software consulting, we are in the service business; we strive to provide exceptional service to go with high-quality technology consulting. Our team understands that each one of us is our best salesperson—our next project is dependent upon how well we serve our current customers.”
The way Nexus has grown is also remarkable, as word of mouth is their primary source of marketing. This further emphasizes how organizations love working with the Nexus team and how they, in turn, build a strong level of trust. “We also feel a deep gratefulness to the many people who have mentored us along the journey. Therefore, we have made it a priority to be available and helpful to others in this journey.”, Lorie stated
A Powerhouse of IT Solutions
With a focused range of services and solutions, Nexus is a proud Microsoft Gold Partner, offering game-changing solutions that enhance productivity, information management, collaboration, business analytics, and communication within organizations.
Nexus offers strategic software development consulting services stretching across the software development lifecycle, from Business Process Analysis and Improvement, Software Design and Architecture, Software Development Services, and Quality Assurance. Additional value-add services Nexus provides is Project Management Services and Organizational Consulting.
This means Nexus clients have a powerhouse of solutions for essentially every business need, with relationship-driven team members who are passionate about serving their community. That’s really the essence of North Dakota businesses as a whole—the heart of it all goes back to serving the local community and treating clients like family.
As client, Erik Holmberg, from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota said, “The level of collaboration and thought leadership from Nexus are the biggest drivers of value within our organization.”
A Recipe for Success:
THE NEXUS CULTURE
As Nexus continues to grow and empower its team members, their culture has developed and grown with it. Nexus is excited to share its vision with new team members who are looking for a meaningful, impactful career. Lorie invests into the team on a weekly basis through leadership development and training, personal mentorship, and soft skills growth to add another layer of value on top of technical expertise to customer projects.
Nexus’ goal is to be known as the go-to firm that delivers practical and innovative solutions with effective results—one of their ways to do that is by hiring people with the same vision.
“We have found team members who are most successful are those who want to be ‘In the Arena’, have a growth mindset, and who care most about the success of the team and client,” Jordan said. “We have a lot of employees who formerly participated in team-based sports and activities who like being here. They are challenged every day, get to be part of that team format, and can work towards a winning result for everyone involved. That’s fun for them.”
With that said, all Nexus leadership emphasized that building a healthy culture is never finished; it’s growing and building upon the good foundation as we continuously learn and adjust.
At the end of the day, Nexus wants to instill the “servant leader” mindset into their team members.
The Nexus spirit really embodies the “Man in the Arena” quote by President Theodore Roosevelt, who spent time in the North Dakota Badlands. In fact, for nearly 20 years, one of the Nexus traditions is to take the employees and their families to the Medora Badlands each summer for two days of fun team-building.
WITH BOB, LORIE, AND JORDAN POPE
Many businesses may think they can solve all of their challenges internally and they don’t need external consultants like Nexus. Why would an organization need consulting from Nexus Innovations?
“Being an expert in all the different areas of software development is a big challenge for any organization. We are intentionally laser-focused and strong in our offering areas so that we provide extremely high value to our clients. Because of this focus, we bring experience, expertise, and insights that only come with doing the work every day, year after year. If we say yes to a project, it is because we believe the client will receive value above and beyond what they can do internally. Along with providing and delivering high quality work, our team is evaluating how to best empower the customer for success long term so that they can be successful and call us only when they want to call us—not because they are dependent on us.” – Jordan Pope
“Our objective is to help the clients’ IT team continually advance their abilities, and then utilize Nexus for the work above that level.” – Bob Pope
Nexus has been going strong for 23 years—what are a few keys to that success?
“We are always looking to set the customer up for success with the best path and long-term solution; we are able to solve specific problems in very strategic creative ways. That said, that really does set us apart because we look at them as a partner with their best plan and growth through strategic lenses.” – Lorie Pope
How does Nexus plan to keep growing?
“We’ve found our niche market and have more opportunities than we can say yes to today. Our focus is adding additional depth and expertise to our team so that we can provide even greater value to our customers.” – Jordan Pope
“Nexus has had solid steady growth over the past 23 years. We plan on continuing to go along that path—capitalize on steady growth and adding new markets strategically. In many ways, our story is like the Tortoise and the Hare. Another way to look at this growth is illustrated in this quote by Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A: “If we get better, our clients will demand we get bigger.” – Lorie Pope
Why I Love Working for Nexus
TEAM MEMBER TESTIMONIALS
“The three most rewarding aspects of working with Nexus for me are hearing a customer’s satisfaction after a successful project, being able to challenge myself on a daily basis and working through those challenges to put together a top-notch solution, and being there for and being supported by teammates that are part of the Nexus family.
With those foundations in leadership and building trusting relationships at Nexus’ forefront, it has challenged my leadership skills at a much deeper level. This has resulted in stronger, long-term relationships with our clients that are built on trust.
When you work for Nexus, they are investing in much more than what you can bring to the table from a skillset perspective. They are investing in who you are as a person, your family, and the values that matter the most to you.
Every day I get to work with a group of people that challenge and empower me to do my best in the work which I have grown to love.
Because the Nexus team is a smaller group, you feel motivated to always put your best work forward as it is a reflection of everyone at Nexus and the reputation that comes along with it.
There is never the feeling of your voice not being heard simply because of how experienced you may be. Everyone is valued so highly and considered a key member of the team.” – Landon Jochim, Solutions Consultant
“The three most rewarding aspects of working with Nexus for me are helping clients find solutions that positively impact their business, having opportunities to discover my sweet spot, and working with other great teammates who are all equally invested in providing quality service, maintaining our culture, continuous learning, and having some fun along the way.
Nexus has helped me become a better teammate and leader as I’ve learned and embraced my leadership style, learned and practiced having critical conversations, gained an understanding of my teammates, learned and practiced interacting with people who think and approach things differently from me, and focused on healthy relationships.
Overall, Nexus is a great place to work because their values are lived out daily, practiced, reinforced, and celebrated. They aren’t just something nice on the wall—it’s the real deal.
Fun fact: We regularly have ‘Sausage Friday’ where a teammate shares one or more types of sausage with the team.” – Leslie Pearcy, Business Solutions Consultant
“The three most rewarding aspects of working with Nexus for me are working with a high-trust team, investing significantly in my personal and professional growth both technically and non-technically, and having high-challenge and innovative work with a variety of customers across several industries.
We approach things differently, with a true relationship-based customer focus. At Nexus, I am encouraged and empowered to pursue and develop lasting, trust-based relationships with our customers by focusing on long-term, big-picture benefits.
Nexus provides the right environment and resources to identify each person’s sweet spot—the intersection of skillset, passion, and value-add—and strives to have that be what we actually do in our day job.
In many ways, Nexus has its priorities in the right place. Few organizations I’ve run across dedicate as much time, energy, and effort to personal growth and internal leadership development.” – Tony Ambrose, Chief Technology Officer
INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT NEXUS INNOVATIONS AND SEEING IF YOU’RE RIGHT FOR THEIR TEAM?
CONTACT THEIR CORPORATE OFFICE IN BISMARCK!
4204 Boulder Ridge Rd Ste 160,
Bismarck, ND 58503