Sioux Falls city and the metropolitan area has a population of 124.096 and 172.412 respectively, according to the US Census Bureau in 2000. The entire state holds only 750.000 people. In Sioux Falls, over three-quarters of its population was originally from Germany, Ireland, Norway or Sweden. Sioux Falls is home to a number of national companies including Citigroup and Gateway Computers.
Before the offshoring trend began, Sioux Falls was a prime location for outsourcing internal business functions. Today, it is still listed as one of the most attractive places to live in America. Median home prices are at $101.000 in Sioux Falls versus $119.000 nationwide, and the morning commute averages only 15 minutes versus 25 minutes nationwide. The University of South Dakota is located 60 miles southeast of the city.
Over two-and-a-half years, we installed Lawson Financials, Human Resources/Payroll, and Kronos Time & Attendance in >230 nursing home locations across >30 states and three time zones. They remain the only client that I saw go completely with thin client architecture.
On most jobs, people come from all around the country. This was the first time and almost the last time that I worked with a majority of co-workers from Chicago. We remain friends to this day.
Because the weather was very unpredictable and inhospitable to regular air traffic, people took a variety of airlines back home. Some bet that transferring to a major hub would give them the best chance of arriving home on time. Others of us bet on the direct flight. Sometimes, we all adjusted our plans based on an incoming storm, and we would try to fly around it.
We had competitions on the best way to fly back to Chicago. It was not unusual for people to be stranded overnight when transferring St Louis and Minneapolis, courtesy of the former TWA and Northwest Airlines. Thankfully, by the final year of our engagement, direct jet service arrived from United Airlines.
In those days, a paper ticket was king. It was like real money. There were no change fees, and since we were already inside the 'secure area,' if we heard that an airplane from another airline was cleared to takeoff, we could all run there, and exchange our paper tickets for a boarding pass. With the current airline business difficulties and the realities of 9.11, such flexibility is no longer possible.