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Monday, 21 May 2012 10:22

OST hits 100 employee milestone

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GRAND RAPIDS — Open Systems Technology Inc., a technology consulting and integration company, added its 100th direct employee in April, making it one of the larger tech firms in West Michigan. 

The company posted 2011 sales of $68 million. It is hiring at its Grand Rapids headquarters, plus offices in Ann Arbor and Minneapolis.

Michael Lomonaco, marketing manager at OST, said the key ingredient in a successful hire for the tech company is ensuring the candidate fits into the corporate culture with the right skill set.

"Our culture is entrepreneurial," he said. "We don't stand over your shoulder all the time making sure you're getting the job done. Some people like more structure and that's OK. But they don't blend in with us."

OST recruits through a referral fee paid to employees, clients or alliance partners.

"We have an internal process for referring OST employees," Lomonaco said. "If they refer and we hire, they get $500. Even someone providing a lead for a new employee, we pay them $100."

OST also uses social media, particularly LinkedIn, as a recruitment tool. The company has a blog and also networks heavily at community and professional events, he said. What's more, OST works closely with professors at Calvin College where students do assignments like creating Android apps. OST provides feedback on the code and also participates in judging the final project.

"We are hiring applications developers, Cisco Unified Computing professionals for our data center, enterprise storage experts and SAP people," he said. "We're also looking for sales account executives for our Ann Arbor office."

Of the 100 employees, 14 people work in Minnesota and three are based in Ann Arbor. The rest are located in West Michigan at OST's headquarters, the former Drueke building on Grand Rapids' west side.

Lomonaco said a lot of tech companies in West Michigan do parts of what his company does.

"Few are able to offer the depth of services we are able to," he said.

The heart of what OST does is technology consulting and integration, he said. He claims to have the largest application development practice in Western Michigan.

An example of OST's work is creating executive dashboards, plus creating apps for a very large global supplier out of West Michigan that does energy consumption. He also said OST worked closely with Amway to develop its eCommerce site.

OST also has a robust ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) practice. ERP automates finance, accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, as well as customer relationship management through an integrated software application. ERP is particularly big among manufacturers.

Plus, he said, the company has one of the largest security practices in the nation. OST does what's called Penetration Testing to see if the bad guys can get into a client's computer network. If the test works, OST offers ways to shore up the leaks.

"What makes us unique is our ability to take different areas like application development, ERP, data centers and managed services, combine them and make that work and develop solutions that literally transform the way our customers do business, he said."

Mike Brennan is senior technology writer. His day job is editor and publisher of MITechNews.com.

Read 1022 times Last modified on Thursday, 02 August 2012 17:08
Mike Brennan

Senior Writer

mbrennan@mibiz.com

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