Reflections from the Rearview Mirror

Michael Riener
President,
RCH Solutions

A few months ago, I shared some of the observations I’ve made while leading a company—a company that exclusively supports R&D in the life sciences, no less—through a global pandemic brought upon by a novel virus.  

While there’s no doubt, the realities of much of what transpired in 2020 presented challenges not yet seen or felt by many in my generation and younger, they also fueled a new type of perseverance; one where even the slightest glimmer of silver was enough to line our conscience and tell us to push forward through the tribulations, no matter how hard they seemed. 

And in fact, it was through these toughest of times that I have come to appreciate how meaningful our successes really are, not just from a business perspective, but more importantly, as individuals.

Of all that RCH has accomplished this past year, I think I’m most proud of the fact that RCH’s headcount increased by 58% in 2020. In a time where so many around the world faced the added anxiety of joblessness or financial insecurity, we were not only able to retain our team of incredible professionals but add to it. 

And within that team, it was a year of personal and professional growth. For example, Mohammad Taaha, Senior Systems Engineer, recently earned the AWS Architect Pro Certification. More important is his ability to help the customer implement solutions through his unique blend of technical efficiency and understanding of the needs of R&D I.T. as they evolve to support science initiatives.  

Lyndsay Frank, Systems Engineer, has been with RCH for over seven years. During that time, and in the last year especially, she has emerged as a leader thanks to her unique desire—and ability—for problem-solving. With a background in science (Biology) and I.T. (Bioinformatics), she personifies RCH’s unique ability to tackle those most challenging issues faced by research scientists today. 

And Mike Wlodarczyk, Account Executive. Mike joined RCH in March of 2020, just as the world was shutting down. In spite of the limitations he experienced in a customer-facing role, his tenacity has proved invaluable, and RCH has experienced significant growth in the Boston area primarily due to Mike’s efforts to support existing customers and expand our relationships within new business as well.  

These are just three of the many examples of impressive resilience and determination the members of our team displayed this past year. And for their efforts, RCH earned the ability to expand our business in new ways…. 

Like working with existing customers on larger, global-scale scientific computing projects within architecture, engineering, and operations functions.  

Providing more direct services in the areas of data science and data management in the Cloud and on-prem, across multiple organizations from research, manufacturing, customer services, and beyond. 

Stepping in as a thought partner on how to best implement emerging technologies in support of tools for research teams.   

And simply being asked to provide an objective assessment and guidance on existing platforms, applications, workflows, and strategic initiatives as they relate to our experience in scientific computing for Life Sciences organizations of all size and scale across the globe.  

In total, our services business increased 52.7% last year, signaling an important shift in the perception of the value RCH delivers. Sure, we can still be the team you call to fix things. But better yet, we’re cementing our role as the team you should call to help establish and implement the right bio-IT strategy the first time around and set your team on the proper path for scale.   

As we look at the potential of the year ahead, I feel confident that we will continue to grow as a valuable resource within our industry not only because we provide a very specialized offering to a very specific industry, but also because of our trusted reputation that allows companies to make safe decisions in this uncertain time.  

In 2021, we will continue to focus on providing the best support to our customers, with new solution offerings, flexible services delivery, and dedicated resources.   

We will continue to create a work environment that breeds success and security, safely, introducing new development, training and certification programs to enhance our team’s skill-set and satisfaction. 

And we will continue to be a champion of scientific innovation and the life-saving discovery work our customers are called to deliver.  

After a year of such difficulty, there is no greater promise of hope than that which is made possible by the power of scientific innovation. And that will serve is inspiration and motivation for our team, even on the most challenging of days still to come. 

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