I am pleased to let you all know the Informatics Centre has moved from our offices on Parkgate Road Campus at the University of Chester to Thornton Science Park.
Moving seemed like a good time to strategically invest in the equipment we have within the Centre and so we have moved away from traditional desktop computers and invested in a series of high-powered iMac computers and Macbook Pro's with Retina Displays. This investment helps us to develop for multiple operating systems without having to limit the number of projects we work on, something we were previously limited to by only having access to one Mac computer to develop iPhone apps.
We've also taken the opportunity to re-design our office, making it much more professional but at the same time retaining the friendly atmosphere. Desks are now set out in 'islands' which encourages collaboration and easier team working. A very important part of our project work is the ability to think through problems and solve them, we've therefore created a thinking space - it's less glamorous than it sounds, but quite effective! It basically consists of some comfy seating, a coffee table and a whiteboard.
In our old accommodation we used to have two offices, one for the development team and the other for management and a meeting space. I am pleased to say our management and development team are now in the same office space, again, making it easier to communicate and collaborate on our projects.
A meeting space has always been very important to us, it enables us to have ad-hoc project or team meetings, and a specialist space to meet clients and provide system demonstrations, so it was important we kept that space. Our meeting space is part of the office but is separated off by a glass-partition, this is rather beautiful in several ways, though is taking some getting used to as the development team often feel like monkeys at the zoo!
The last thing we've done is upgrade our phone system, you'll now find a welcome message and holding tone when you call, as well as out-of-office messages for when we're closed or during public holidays. This system also enables more of our staff to answer calls.
We hope this investment in a better office environment and better equipment will make our team comfortable and happy which in turn will help us produce better work for our clients and continue to drive our reputation up and we will continue to 'deliver business solutions through academic excellence'.
Since we've moved, we've gotten to know one or two people at Thornton Science Park and I thought I'd mention them briefly, firstly there is the High Growth Centre who provide support to SME organisations right through from basic advice to office space on-site, I recommend getting in touch if you're a company in engineering starting off, or fairly new and expanding looking for support. Secondly, we've made friends with plenty of members of our new Faculty staff and in particular I want to point out a very cutting-edge research group who specialise in laser engineering and manufacturing research.
That's all from me! All our contact numbers remain the same, though we do now have a new postal address - don't worry if you send anything to our old address, it will be re-directed, it may just take a day or two longer!