Creating the next generation builder in Kansas City with the help of Google Apps

Kansas City's next generation builder is a Serverless Enterprise. 

Kansas City's next generation builder is a Serverless Enterprise. 

In 2010, Richard Wetzel and Steve Swanson left JE Dunn Construction and joined forces with Courtney Kounkel of McCownGordon Construction LLC to launch Centric Projects. Centric Projects launched with three employees (them), but quickly expanded to over forty full time employees in just a few years. Meanwhile, Centric’s revenue grew from $1.3 million in 2010 to around $35 million today.

From the outset of Centric Projects, the mantra has been that technology should make life simpler, not more complicated. The team approached Google Enterprise Partner Umzuzu to help enable this vision. Umzuzu introduced the Centric team to Google Apps and found a perfect fit. Google Apps provides an extremely powerful messaging and collaboration platform that is also very easy to use and could be scaled effortlessly to meet the demands of a growing company. As a new and innovative company, the firm would not be burdened with legacy systems; racks of servers, VPNs, miles of cable and fiber, complicated mobile logins, and clunky hardware.  The partners couldn’t reconcile why the “enterprise” environments they were familiar with in the corporate world were less usable and less efficient than their “consumer” experiences on the web. The tools they used in their private lives like smartphones, tablets, cloud storage, Gmail, Macs made more sense than the legacy approach. No desktops.  No servers.  No wires. And no problems scaling.

Centric Projects knows being a Serverless Enterprise is a strategic advantage. Google Apps is at the core of their systems and helps enable their vision: that IT should make life simpler, not more complicated.

Founding Partner Richard Wetzel explains:

When we launched Centric, the Umzuzu team got us up and running with Google Apps for Business. We have used Google Apps for Business since we launched our company in 2010.  Since then, we've grown to 40 people on over 100 laptops and mobile devices.  

All company email, calendars and contacts are managed on the cloud, which means we have full and constant access to the most up-to-date information from any location and device.

Gmail's search is unbelievably robust, with plenty of storage, which means we can have easy access to a full record of all email communications forever.  

In addition, from an overhead management standpoint, we've never had the capital expenditure of a server or expensive enterprise software. Google Apps licenses are a variable, easily scalable operating expense.  

In short, working with Umzuzu and leveraging Google Apps make our lives simpler, not more complicated - and allow us to spend more time on the client and their project, where we belong.

Centric Projects is realizing their vision of creating the “next generation builder” in Kansas City. Leveraging the world's best modern cloud computing services like Google Apps provides key advantages. Centric is able to optimize their IT operating expense as a percentage of revenue. While competitors are forced into large capital expenditures, over-provisioning hardware and software licensing in hopes of potential growth. Centric Projects’ overhead is a third of the industry average, while also supporting tremendous growth. This allows Centric to create more value internally and offer a better value to their clients.  

Centric Projects is building the future of Kansas City in more ways than one! Explore some of the their projects here, you may be enjoying them already.