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For the third time, Entara appears on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the US

Inc. magazine revealed that Entara is on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. This marks the third straight year that Entara, a leading IT Managed Services Company based in Chicago, has made this prestigious list.

“I am so proud of our team at Entara for making this list three years in a row,” said Linda Maclachlan, Entara CEO. “Sustained growth is difficult, but great fun!  Of course, none of the growth would be possible without our outstanding clients who fuel our innovation and commitment to excellence.”

Being named to the Inc. 5000 list is the third award/recognition received by Entara this year. The company was recently honored by CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, and named to its 2019 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Security 100 category and the National Association for Business Resources (NABR) named Entara one of Chicago’s 2019 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For (3rd year in a row).

Maclachlan continued, “We pride ourselves on hiring a vibrant and ambitious staff who are dedicated to impeccable service and who make a positive, lasting impact on our clients’ businesses. Our success would not be possible without them.”

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have followed so many different paths to success,” says Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “There’s no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities.”

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

3 Technology Trends Top Businesses Are Embracing in 2019

(This is part 1 of our guide. Click here to view the full guide)

It is evident that technology is rapidly changing how every industry functions. This change has proved to be difficult for businesses to conquer over the years, leading many to take a reactive approach with their IT infrastructure rather than a proactive one. As more widespread technological change is anticipated, this reactive strategy is no longer an option.

Studies show a high correlation between firms that have significantly invested in technology and those that are the top-ranking firms in each field. Additionally, more and more companies are realizing that improved technology results in happier associates and well-served clients. With that in mind, here is part 1 of the 3 technology trends that top IT businesses are embracing to gain a competitive edge in 2019:

The Days of “Break/Fix Are Over”

There will always be systems that break and an internal staff member or Managed Service Provider who will provide a quick fix. However, if you want your business to thrive, your IT service levels must extend beyond the simple realm of “break/fix.”

You need an IT strategy that is constantly evolving to lead your business into the future at a steady pace. Most top-performing companies already have their technology projects planned out in detail for the upcoming quarter, as well as a full roadmap of IT projects and timelines planned for the coming year and beyond. Managed Services Providers and internal IT departments need to be driving this roadmap with an ROI mindset from today into the future.

At Entara, we derive our client IT roadmaps from the Gartner Business Model and divide them into four categories: Run, Grow, Transform, and our newest addition – Secure. As you categorize your own roadmap, it is essential to customize it in a manner that ensures you don’t get left behind.

Click here to view the full guide or contact us to speak with a member of our team.

Businessperson’s Guide to the IT Service Provider Landscape

(This is a shortened version of part 2 of the Businessperson’s Guide to IT Service Providers; full guide can be downloaded here)

A great aspect of our market economy is that one company’s challenges become another company’s opportunities. That’s why numerous IT service providers offer businesses the ability to offload their technology headaches so they can focus on scaling and innovating.

However, IT service providers have very different business models and very different capabilities, so you have to carefully consider a variety of factors in selecting an IT management partner.

It’s important to choose a service provider whose business model best aligns with your objectives. These IT service provider business models can be classified into six categories:

1. Staff augmentation

You are provided with additional staff on a temporary (but usually full-time) basis from a company that maintains an ongoing inventory of trained, qualified IT professionals.

Pros

  • Spares you the time and effort of recruiting and hiring the IT talent you need
  • Eliminates HR issues such as on-boarding, benefits administration, and termination

Cons

  • Can be the most expensive model – You pay a premium on personnel costs and still have costs of management, tools, software, and process development
  • Limited coverage of skillsets – Similar to hiring internally, you have to pick the most important skillsets for general coverage. Usually not able to fund resources across all requirements.

2. Managed hosting

Your IT infrastructure is hosted at a service provider’s facility and the service provider offers management of that infrastructure as a value-add.

Pros

  • Management costs can be reduced in the short term due to the hosting provider’s economies of scale
  • Better physical security and operating environment for IT equipment

Cons

  • Incomplete solution when looking for outsourced IT help. Limited management and support scope (for example, does not typically include end-user support or end-to-end troubleshooting)
  • Focus is on upselling additional rack space

3. Consulting/SI firms with managed services offerings

A firm primarily focused on technology-based business innovation provides you with IT management services as part of a broader engagement.

Pros

  • Steady stream of forward-looking ideas for potentially high impact IT projects
  • Often strong competency for project work, ranging from infrastructure implementations with specific vendors’ products to specialized industry niches

Cons

  • Managed services are not their primary focus as a business model, so offerings are generally not highly resourced
  • Usually your first call /contact is with a dispatch service versus an actual engineer

4. Local value-added resellers (VARs) with managed services offerings

A firm primarily focused on sales of technology solutions from selected vendors (HP, Microsoft, Citrix, etc.) provides you with IT management services as part of a broader engagement.

Pros

  • Strong competency with selected vendors’ technology products
  • Onsite technical assistance may be available when necessary

Cons

  • Despite marketing material, managed services is not their primary business model. Profits come from infrastructure project work and hardware or cloud sales (typically tied to a limited number of vendors). As such, managed services is not their key focus and offerings may be under-resourced.
  • Not vendor-neutral; tend to have weaker competency in products other than those of their selected partners

5. National/global managed services provider (MSP)

Your IT management needs are addressed by a large company providing services across a broad geographic footprint, often using off-shore employees for day-to-day delivery.

Pros

  • Strong technical competencies for common, widely used technologies
  • On-site support in multiple cities around the world can be available (depending on contract negotiated)

Cons

  • Off shoring is widely used in this model;end-user experience, especially for first level call support, is often not high quality
  • Outsourcing engagement follows their methodology and covers only general technologies; will likely not be customized to

your environment or cover specific and unique technologies in detail

6. Local managed services provider (MSP)

Your IT management services are addressed by a specialized company that focuses exclusively on your local or regional market.

Pros

  • Focus on managed services as core business, resulting in all resources (personnel, financial, investment in tools/technology) focused on Managed Services, not other practice areas
  • End-user experience is usually much higher in this model

Cons

  • Significant variation between different providers’ service levels and process maturity
  • Little or no on-site support for geographically remote facilities

There are many other factors that distinguish the categories of service providers from each other. Narrowing in on the right category before you begin your search for your specific IT partner will save you a lot of time and unnecessary headaches.

Click here to download the full guide or contact us directly and learn how to find the IT provider that best meets your company’s needs today!

i.c.stars Capitalize 2019

Entara was honored to participate in the i.c.stars Capitalize 2019 event, bringing together over 200 C-Level IT executives, sponsors, i.c.stars alumni ​and ​board ​members. At this event, attendees ​shared ​and ​learned ​about a variety of technology related topics that are immediately relevant to professionals who have their finger on the future of IT.

Linda Maclachlan, Founder and CEO of Entara, participated on the keynote panel, which highlighted the story of the evolutionary partnership with Entara’s client, Golub Capital. Golub Capital is a market-leading, award-winning private debt platform that has leveraged Entara’s commitment to providing the best-in-class IT Service Management for businesses to scale and grow today, tomorrow, and beyond. Linda recognizes the responsibility of discovering and deploying the latest technologies and solutions that, working together with clients, will create successful futures.

“IT is a journey moving at an ever-increasing speed. The pace of digital change will never be this slow again,” said Linda Maclachlan. “We need to position the newest technologies and solutions quickly so our present days and futures are what we want/expect them to be.”

Widely recognized as a leader in the Chicago IT community, Entara is pleased to be associated with an admirable organization that is committed to finding, training, and putting talent to work in the IT field. i.c.stars provides a rigorous technology-based workforce development and leadership training program for low-income adults, developing Chicagoland’s most promising information technology talent with leadership goals and connecting them with career opportunities.

If you want to learn more about our latest technologies and solutions, contact us here.