Members of Open Systems Technologies’ app development team work at the firm's Grand Rapids office. Photo via fb.com
Open Systems Technologies has hit another growth spurt this year.
In 2003, the Grand Rapids based IT consulting firm had $5 million in revenue and seven employees. Today, the firm has 114 employees, $80 million in revenue and offices in Ann Arbor, Minneapolis — and soon Detroit.
“Many companies in this area will attest that our security team is second to none nationally," said Mike Lomonaco, OST marketing director. "We bring that national level of expertise and depth of knowledge here to Michigan and across the nation.”
Most of the company’s impact has been around security in the financial and health care industries, Lomonaco said, as the company establishes a national health care practice.
“A lot of our impact has been in the health care space," he said. “Health-leveraging technology has now come a long, long way and with our partnership with organizations like Metro and Spectrum Health and others, it has allowed us to have a national outreach.”
Part of OST’s growth is owed to an attitude of investing in employees and encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset, he said.
Nationally and globally, this attitude is not always valued, he said, but in West Michigan, it’s generally understood: the employee is family, and family comes first.
Lomonaco shared a story from a few years back when an employee, who had been putting 70 plus hours in weekly over several projects, was close to burnout and needed to spend time with family.
OST gave him a vacation, but when an emergency with a client came up, the client adamantly demanded to bring the employee in on the project.
OST remained firm on giving its employee needed family space and provided the client with other employees who were able to do just as good a job, Lomonaco said.
The wife of the employee eventually called and said thank you for giving them the much-needed space, he said.
“West Michigan has that culture where family is important. Whatever you’re doing outside of work, we want to honor that,” he said.
“We want our employees to come in every day with high energy and anticipation to be at OST and leave at the end of the day with more energy to be the best parent and spouse," he said. "That’s why we’re here.”
Technology is at the forefront of society’s evolution, he said, and although there are good and bad issues that make it challenging, it’s a conversation that needs to happen.
“The fact that we have this kind of talent right here in West Michigan, that we’re competing against the Silicon Valleys of the world . . . and beating them and bringing business outside of Michigan and the country to Grand Rapids, is really important,” he said.
Live video chat: Friday, May 17 at 1:30 p.m.
OST's Scott Montgomery — IT security practice manager — is scheduled to answer questions posted in the comments section below during a live video chat at grbj.com. The chat will be filmed via webcam at OST and streamed live below.
Montgomery will detail companies top 10 IT security holes, as well as spend some time walking through Wi-Fi security.
What questions do you have for Montgomery and OST? Post your questions — before or during the chat — and look out for the live discussion.
Watch a recording of the live video chat below.
Editor's note: Reporter Mike Nichols moderated the chat at OST.