After the Internet bubble burst in 2000 and the IT industry dipped into a remarkable recession, some thought that Internet and technology businesses would never be the same. How could the industry possibly imitate the boom it experienced in the late 1990s? Surely, the excitement and opportunity were lost.
Gregg Gallant and Bill Russell didn’t think so. “We agreed that the industry was never going to be the same, but we recognized that this turning point could mean new technologies and better solutions,” Gallant says. “We were willing to take a chance.” In October 2001, Gallant and Russell founded Allegient LLC, a technology consulting firm, confident that change could translate to a new era of IT solutions. Today, Allegient is a Top 5 Indiana IT consulting firm that tripled in size the last four years because of its focus on delivering business solutions that reflect the industry’s increasingly important knowledge workers. This means partnering with the industry’s top experts and embracing the Internet’s latest capabilities, Gallant says. For example, a key difference between the old-school Internet era in the 1990s and how Allegient operates today is its partnering model.
“Our partnering philosophy allows us to be a lot more targeted in how we bring together a solution for our clients,” adds Russell, executive vice president. “Because we partner with suppliers, we don’t have to own all the experts. Our expertise is bringing together [knowledge workers] and managing them to provide a complete solution for our clients.”
With more than 100 consultants on board, Allegient’s professionals supply solutions to business problems, Russell explains. When a company needs to adopt technology to improve its operations, efficiency or other business functions that require hardware, software and business know-how, the company can rely on Allegient to connect it with the best support possible.
“When a business owner says, ‘I have a problem,’ we can help them leverage technology to solve the issue,” Russell says. As examples, using new business and technology standards, Allegient helps businesses with performance dashboards, worker collaboration and business process management solutions. These information worker oriented functions represent opportunities for businesses to reduce costs and improve results and efficiency, Gallant says. Allegient manages these projects and assumes responsibility for technology and leadership support.
Strong partnerships are the key — as are relationships with several platform providers. For one, Allegient is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Gallant points out. “Being a Gold Certified Partner allows us elite access to Microsoft’s experts that most consulting companies don’t have,” Gallant says. Only a handful of consulting firms in Indiana hold this certification, he adds. Additionally, Allegient partners with other local consulting firms in developing the project teams that reflect the best resource combination for its clients’ needs. Meanwhile, the company’s partnership model extends beyond its relationships with clients. Applying this mentality to employee benefits, Allegient provides its workers benefits after their first day on the job — that includes health insurance, a 401(k) plan and focused training programs. For example, Allegient Project Managers are certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and follow the latest industry best practices, Gallant says.
The result of investing in employees has a direct and immediate impact on performance overall, Russell says. “We consistently experienced 20 to 25 percent top-line growth year over year,” he notes. “We look to continue that growth by expanding regionally.” The company will extend its footprint in Indiana and also has plans to open offices in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, as well as Louisville, Ky., St. Louis, Mo., and other targeted Midwest metropolitan markets. “We think it’s a partnering and collaboration model for IT consulting for this decade,” Russell concludes. “We are very excited about the future.”