Winning a Mira Award was a powerful talent recruitment tool for Schneider Corporation

After quietly reinventing itself from a 50+ year old land surveying and development company into a national e-government software powerhouse, The Schneider Corporation decided to apply for a Mira Award for the work it’s technology team had done in 2015 for local governments all across the country. According to Jeff Corns, executive vice president at Schneider Corporation, they thought it would be a nice first step to get more involved and introduce themselves to the tech community, since they were fairly unknown in the local market.

Jeff Corns

Jeff CornsExecutive Vice President

“To be honest, we applied for the Mira Award more to increase our participation in the Tech community and increase awareness of Schneider for recruitment purposes,” said Jeff. “There are so many great companies in Indiana working on incredibly innovative things, we weren’t sure how we’d stack up. We were so excited just to be part of it; it took most of us by surprise when we won!”

Schneider Corporation has now won two back-to-back “Best of Tech in Indiana” Mira Awards: their first for Tech Services (2015) and last year for Corporate Innovator of the Year (2016).

The company’s first win recognized the sheer volume and value of Schneider’s tech achievements. They saved taxpayers over 12 million trips to the courthouse and handled more than 450 million requests for information by providing innovative, industry-leading SaaS solutions that change the very nature of how citizens interact with local governments, improving constituent service while lowering costs. The estimated financial impact of Schneider Corporation’s e-government solutions reach into the hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

It’s easy to see the disruption Schneider Corporation is achieving in the way communities are providing significantly improved services at much lower costs. It’s why the company’s solutions have been so rapidly embraced by communities at an 89 percent adoption rate.

“The Mira Awards are a high energy and prestigious event. Just being there fills you with excitement about what’s going on in the Indiana tech community,” Jeff said. “Winning an award among this community of tech leaders and innovators is truly humbling. It has reinforced our energy level and vision, and has impacted us from winning new work and clients, to hiring great talent, and continuing to build a great culture.

We asked Jeff to share more details about the significant impact winning the coveted Mira Awards have had on Schneider Corporation. His answers are included below.

Did you or your company experience some immediate gains after winning a Mira Award?

JEFF CORNS: One of the immediate gains was increased awareness from potential tech talent.  The growth of tech in Indiana also means an increase in competition for great people. We had a lot of interest from talented individuals that didn’t know much about us before winning the Mira Award. This has resulted in the addition of a new leader in our software engineering, a new sales team in a new vertical, and several new professional services and support people. Winning the Mira Award has been one of the best recruitment tools we’ve had.

We completed an acquisition shortly before winning the Mira award.  As we were on-boarding 300+ new clients as well as new team members that didn’t know much about us.  As they were researching us, the Mira Award and interview provided them an exciting glimpse into the company we are and increased their confidence during a typically stressful time.

Since winning a Mira award, how has your company grown?

We’ve expanded the number of clients on our main platform by over 130 percent.  We’ve launched a new data platform, and created a new sales team focused on a new vertical market.  We won a major new project to convert the City of St. Louis, MO from a paper to digital environment. We’ve increased our recurring revenue sales by almost 50%. We’ve hired some great new talent that were excited and intrigued by our Mira win, and want to be part of our company and vision.

What role do you feel winning the Mira award played in this growth?

Winning the Mira Award helped in all of the above. In addition, it’s helped us continue on our path as an emerging tech company within a 55 year old engineering and survey company.  Even on our traditional side of our business, clients are much more aware of our tech abilities and are engaging us in new and exciting ways.

What advice do you have for people considering applying for the Mira Awards this year? Is it worth it?

I would highly encourage companies to consider applying.  Even if you don’t win, the process is a great learning tool and the community and event is so exciting to be part of.

How did you share the news of your win after the Mira Awards?

We were so surprised and excited that we celebrated in many ways. We had polos and tee shirts made for all of our staff. We had a big Mira cake made for the team, took a ton of pictures. Of course we shared the news extensively through social media and on our website and blog.

Schneider Corporation celebrated their Mira Award win by making shirts for employees emblazoned with the program logo and Corporate Innovator of the Year designation.

We added the announcement to our email footers, and incorporated it into our proposal templates. At our users’ conference we had additional recognition and celebration with our clients. We also incorporated it into a recent TV interview that we participated in promoting STEM careers.

What is it like hearing your company name called out from the stage at the Mira Awards gala?

Overwhelming. As I mentioned above, we didn’t expect to win. We bought our tickets late, so our team was way on the side of the room. We were just excited to be there and having a great time celebrating with the nominees and winners as they were announced. Our whole table went quiet when they announced we won and we just sat there for a moment — stunned. Being recognized among this crowd is pretty humbling. Then the excitement catches up with you and you feel on top of the world.

What’s next for your company? How are things going?

We continue to grow and expand our market position. We are in the process of launching our new data platform, which will allow us to build and enhance products much quicker. It will also allow new partners to build complimentary solutions or consumer level apps on, without having to invest all of the R&D Schneider has done over the years in this space.

Learn all about this year’s Mira Awards season, nominate those you think should apply or complete your own application for the state of Indiana’s top technology awards!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joshua Hall is editor of techpoint.org. He writes about Indiana tech companies, jobs, people & events. @joshua2349