How We Began
Delivering software and services for decades as a Value Added Reseller with Primavera Systems, Inc., we’ve worked with clients from a variety of industries, including Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Manufacturing, IT, Financial Services, Insurance, Energy, Oil & Gas, and Transportation–customers whose businesses are project-intensive. We’ve enjoyed demonstrating that improving the way they manage their projects, dramatically improves their bottom line. Many of our customers have been consulting with us for almost thirty years, including Westinghouse Electric Company, FirstEnergy, dck Worldwide, Erie Insurance Group, Federated Investors, Bayer Corporation, and Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc., to name a few.
Helping our customers gain the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to manage projects more successfully has always been challenging and satisfying work for us–and also a lot of fun. We’ve had the opportunity to work on large and complex industrial power projects, as well as with Engineering and IT companies who are struggling to manage resources and gain visibility over their entire portfolio of projects.
In our dealings with sophisticated tools like Primavera, we realized that many companies were really only utilizing a small portion of the software’s capabilities–and paying hefty license fees to do so. The amount of training that was required for users to get up to speed was excessive. And most importantly, there was still so much additional project information that was not being organized for collaborative use. Many project team members were storing vital documents in disparate places–on a file server, their desktop, an FTP site, in e-mail. . .on cocktail napkins! And the challenge we found even more interesting was that project information didn’t only need to be shared logically among people on a customer’s internal project team. It was often external collaborators whose project information required the most re-organization.
What We’ve Become
With this expertise and these experiences, we’ve created the best project management solution on the market today: VPO. Our approach? Make it simple. In keeping with our company name, Simplex, we simplify the complex.
In order to add value, information must be more than available; it has to be managed proactively. If timely reviews and approvals of documents are critical to the success of a project, for example, then the process by which those documents are circulated should be standardized and automated—using communication methods, such as e-mail, which are already in everyday use by team members; and document formats which are familiar and intuitive. We created a secure, Web-based workspace that project stakeholders use for viewing and privately publishing up-to-date information, and measuring progress—while streamlining cumbersome processes that commonly diminish success on projects.
By leveraging leading Cloud-based solutions from Microsoft’s Office 365 suite like SharePoint Online, Project Online, Exchange Online, Office, and Skype for Business, and combining them with our project management expertise and content, we’ve packaged a scalable project management system that works for small, fast-paced projects as well as for large, complex projects–and for a combination of both.
We’re able to deploy VPO quickly by using proven content that can be customized for the client and enhanced over time to develop a system that is truly built for the customer. And we don’t simply hand it over and expect clients to get up and running themselves; we take a hands-on approach throughout, to support our customers and the people they invite into their systems. We want our clients to be able to focus on what they do best–managing their projects–and leave the administration to us.
Laura M. Nee
Owner, President and CEO
As Owner, President and CEO of The Simplex Group, Inc., Laura M. Nee serves as the company’s visionary and director while managing her staff and promoting their solutions. Since joining Simplex in 1998, Laura has led the company in various areas including training, consulting and sales.
After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Science with a Bachelor of Science degree, having majored in Information Science and minored in Computer Science, Laura began her professional career as a software developer in the IT department of a local public utility company. After a promotion to Business Analyst, Laura realized that the real goal for developing software applications should be supporting the essential business processes within an organization. She decided her experience and expertise would be better leveraged in a consulting firm that worked with various types of organizations, enabling her to learn the business drivers of many different companies. In 1996, Laura joined a consulting firm as a Business Analyst and worked closely with clients to determine their software requirements, and then to design business applications to satisfy those needs. By meeting required deliverables and deadlines in a project-focused business, Laura got her first taste of true project management.
Through these various experiences, Laura had grown confident in her desire, and ability, to run a business; so, when the opportunity to purchase The Simplex Group, Inc. arose, she jumped at it and has never looked back. She enjoys working with a wide range of companies, discovering what their business needs are, and providing technology solutions to meet those needs.
Beth L. Anderson
Implementation ManagerSince 1999, Implementation Manager Beth Anderson has combined her extensive computer science background with strong creative thinking in order to analyze our clients’ business practices and meet their unique demands.
While earning her B.S. in Computer Science, her B.S. in Business Management and her Master’s degree in International Business Management from Point Park University, Beth’s relationship with her alma mater extended beyond the classroom. As Manager of the Computer Center, she directed campus and student lab computer work, and she also served as Instructor for Basic Computer classes and Introduction to Cobol.
Beth used the knowledge and experience she gained at Point Park as a Programmer and Business Analyst at Black Box Corporation, where she spent eleven years helping to develop the core systems for the company. Having gained a taste and a talent for business analysis, Beth then joined Solutions Inc. as a Consultant, where she created informative custom reports to aid in strategic planning, and served on-call to keep the systems up and running.
At The Simplex Group, Inc., Beth directs both training and consulting. She has designed and conducted public and private training courses in Oracle Primavera and Microsoft project management solutions, as well as in Microsoft productivity tools such as SharePoint and Office applications.
As a consultant, Beth enjoys showing clients what technology can do, and then guiding them step-by-step through the creative process of discovering what they can do with technology.
Sales Support SpecialistA former teacher, Daisy Miksch has brought a variety of talents and interests to Simplex since 2006.
As Sales Support Specialist, she enjoys improving collaboration and problem-solving among groups of people through the creative use of technology, and spreading the word about the valuable VPO solution and project-management consulting expertise that Simplex offers.
While earning a B.A. in Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Daisy taught part-time at a local Montessori school. Having attended a Montessori school herself at age three, she decided to study its principles and methods by completing Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) training at Washington Montessori Institute and earning an M.Ed. in Montessori Education at Loyola University in Maryland.
Daisy found it challenging and satisfying to survey, analyze, and prepare appropriate and successful environments for human needs and capabilities. After directing several classroom environments for 2 1/2- to 6-year-olds, she served on Greater Pittsburgh Montessori Society’s Board of Directors for four years.
Selected in 2009 as one of Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP’s 40 Under 40 honorees, Daisy also created Household Harmony, an award-winning family activities company offering Music Together classes and events. Having served in leadership positions within various volunteer organizations, Daisy currently invests her free time in operating the parent group she started at her sons’ Montessori school—which supports faculty, staff, and families as well as facilitating parent-child volunteering opportunities in the greater community.