By Todd Murphy | February 1st, 2018
Yes, you read this headline correctly and this is not an April Fool’s Joke. After almost 20 years in our current location, the decision has been made to move the Universal team to new offices. With this move comes some very clear benefits for our staff, as well as some great advancements in how we deliver our news monitoring and PR measurement services.
New Location-April 13, 2018
Universal Information Services
1700 Farnam Street, Suite 1260
Omaha, Nebraska 68102
Since 1908, our company has remained in Downtown Omaha, Nebraska. In those days, the Missouri River dictated where businesses would locate. This Downtown area, like many cities, remained the hub of business and commerce up until the 1970’s. After that, business development expanded beyond Omaha’s central core, leaving Downtown Omaha with a bit of an identify crisis. But for our press clipping service, close proximity to early mail delivery and the first drop for newspapers was reason enough to stay true to Downtown Omaha. In fact, over the last 110 years, our offices have only occupied approximately six different spaces, soon to be our seventh, all within about 6 blocks of each other. Some might say we have a blind devotion to our business neighborhood, but the reality is much more practical than that.
First, the telemarketing industry was effectively invented in the Omaha area. Because of our telecommunications infrastructure serving the military base at SAC (now STRATCOM), major phone and data connectivity was in the ground and connecting through Downtown Omaha before the rest of the world. This fact became a great benefit to Universal as data mining, electronic media monitoring, and the eventual transfer of audio/video files became a compelling component of our industry in the early 1990’s. Basically, our client users wanted faster information and since we sat on the fastest connections in the world, Universal was uniquely positioned deliver new and advanced services for the information age.
The connectivity and bandwidth available to us has continued to grow, as it has around the world. Now the best services are measured using metrics like “up-time”, route diversity, protection against geographic cable failure and millisecond speed over multiple internet connections. This is where Universal Information Services is going with our data… for our clients.
Now that we develop and deliver our media intelligence and PR measurement services around the world, having a command center that is highly connected, redundant, and geographically secure is critical. We are designing our new data center with state of the art cyber security, bandwidth stability, multi-layered backup, and a bunch of really cool blinking lights. The blinking lights are more for me, the real technical benefits are for our clients.
For our people, it’s important to note that our new location was also chosen with a focus on our office staff. We live in a time when employees are asked to invest more of their creativity and perform at their highest level. Providing amenities that people want is important if we expect this level of effort and want to retain the best people. To that end our new headquarters will have a full floor of booths and tables for lunch, reading, or any other break-time activities. We will all have access to a cafeteria that will make breakfast and lunch available, as well as a complete fitness center to help us work off those lunchtime calories. And to secure our data beyond our cloud storage solutions, as well as provide safety for our team, we will have 24/7 security guards, locked out floors, and cameras everywhere. Not that we’re paranoid, but a high level of security is a great deterrent.
I should add, our city of Omaha is considering the addition of a light-rail, modern streetcar that would run in front of our new location. The addition of this transit system would provide direct access to the most entertaining parts of our city. Although this project is still being debated, having the opportunity to locate our staff on the next wave of mass transit was very compelling. I hope in the very near future our team, myself included, will be able to catch a streetcar to Midtown for meatballs or street tacos, or at 5pm leave our cars in a secure garage while we head to the arena for a Creighton University basketball game.
So far 2018 is shaping up to be a very big year for Universal Information Services. We’ve launched Alpha Clips, a better way for news monitoring. We’ve further innovated PR measurement with dynamic graphing capabilities, and we’ve reinvested in our people and infrastructure. We look forward to our continued leadership in the Media Intelligence industry and thank all of our loyal clients for their trust… no foolin’.