SEP is a software product and design company that specializes in complex, high cost of failure product development engagements. Founded in 1988 by software engineers (who still refer to SEP as ‘an experiment that escaped from the lab’), SEP’s founders wanted to build a company where software engineers - not salespeople - worked directly with clients to streamline innovation and encourage collaboration. The ‘experiment’ launched more than two decades ago has proved to be highly successful, as SEP is ranked one of the Largest Software Developers in Indianapolis.
4 center green | carmel, in
Square Footage: 24,000
Employee Count: 108
Year of Buildout: 2010
General Contractor: Gilliate General Contractors
Architect / Interiors: Schott Design
Furniture: Office Works
How does your space drive productivity, collaboration and connectivity?
We work in teams, eschewing traditional staff augmentation or solo practitioner models, because we’ve seen the value of Agile and similar collaborative approaches for protecting creativity, learning and employee engagement. This dedication to collaboration extends to the way we serve our clients. Our space allows us to engage proactively, work side by side with peers and bring a more efficient approach to working on projects. All of these things help to cultivate a culture where we create lasting positive change within the teams and people we serve.
Our meeting spaces allow us to work interactively with our clients. We feel it’s important to make our space comfortable to the many guests we have in our office weekly. This includes our client lounge which serves as a hospitality space for clients. Clients that travel from out of state have a dedicated space to relax, work and eat privately so they can be just as productive while away from their office.
Our training room is one of our larger meeting spaces. The size of this room lends itself the ability to host outside speakers and training opportunities for those in the tech community.
Our break room is a great gathering space that allows us to relax but also is space we use to collaborate on project work outside a normal conference room. Our employees have the ability to sit out on the balcony for a change of scenery and to get fresh air during the day. In this space we host outside groups, ping pong tournaments, game nights, etc. all that benefit the tech community.
What is the one thing that is unforgettable when someone walks through your space?
One of the features of our space that we get the most comments on are the many balconies we have throughout the space. Our board room features a balcony that has amazing views of the Palladium, Monon Trail and Carmel City Center. Our large break room has the largest balcony, which is used for outdoor dining and even features a large gas grill. We have additional balconies outside private offices, common cube areas and conference rooms. The ability to step outside or open doors during the day is one unforgettable feature that always impresses!
How does your space tell your company’s story and reflect its brand?
Our clients come from healthcare, aerospace, heavy machinery, manufacturing, finance, energy, and a variety of consumer-facing brands, so we wanted our space to be a place that felt ‘different’ than where they work every day. When we bring our clients into our space, it reflects our innovative approach, professionalism and experience we bring to every project we work on.
Our people are the core of what we do. Our recruiting room is often the first place potential employees meet us, so we designed this room to help tell our story. The 125 gallon aquarium in our lobby is at the center of our design. Aquariums have been a focal point in each of our prior offices and it was important we continued that in this space. One of our employees mentioned in her interview that she’d like to design one in our office and 11 years later, she still designs and maintains the tank.
Our break room was designed to be one of the largest spaces in our building so we could all gather together for family activities and employee events. We play cards over lunch, ping pong in the afternoon and video games when we need to step away from coding.
Our engineering area is open and collaborative which allows for pair programming and high tech tools within the work spaces. Our clients can come into our space and work alongside the teams working on their products, giving them immediate feedback and making the product design process more effective.
How does your space engage your employee base?
We hire brilliant people who are dedicated to continuously refining their craft, learning from each other and growing new leaders. When we designed this space, we brought together a team of engineers who were interested in helping make the work spaces collaborative for our software teams. They helped pick out the cube layout, the furniture and the meeting space set-up, which resulted in them truly being engaged in the design process. Because we have an open design with so many places for employees to gather, our space is well suited for team conversations, building employee connections, and collaborative learning experiences.
SEP’s space allows employees to take a break from work without having to leave the building. Our space is also conducive to fitness, by providing a walking tread desk, standing desks, bike area to store our SEP bikes for rides on the Monon and weekly fitness classes.
We also have a dedicated space that includes a variety of tech, business and personal book options for our employees. The library is used for quiet reading time and book clubs we host weekly.
We believe that our space has contributed to the many awards we have received over the years, in 2010, SEP was named #1 in "Best Places to Work in Indiana" by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and has been ranked every year since. The Indianapolis Star also ranked SEP as a Top Workplace for the second time in 2016.