Building a Firm Foundation in Microsoft Expertise

Internosis' experience in public and private sectors creates balanced approach to business.

Since its inception six years ago, Internosis has maintained an unwavering focus on Microsoft technologies. As a result, the service provider and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner has developed repeatable processes while simultaneously remaining flexible enough to react quickly to market changes.

"We focus on Microsoft for a fairly dispassionate reason: They are a market-maker," says Robert Stalick, CEO of the Greenbelt, Md.-based company. "Microsoft is a continuously growing market force, which drives demand for consulting services as it changes its technologies." The company combines its Microsoft expertise with a broad offering of services that includes IT strategy, application development, IT infrastructure and productivity services. The company differentiates itself by its Microsoft expertise and emphasis on repeatable processes, which are designed to reduce time-to-market and customer costs while improving reliability and quality of service. For example, the company developed its Business Advantage Framework, a set of methodologies based on experiences with previous implementations, to streamline the planning, the preparation and construction of the infrastructure, and the support and optimization of the technology.

"Internosis is a company that projects a large presence in the market, while maintaining an agile, small company attitude," says Kevin Donoghue, vice president of U.S. sales at NetPro Computing Inc., a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Microsoft Gold Certified ISV that partners with Internosis on marketing and generating sales leads.

A Look Back
Internosis was born in January 2000 when the company's executive team garnered backing from General Atlantic Partners, a Greenwich, Conn.-based venture-capital firm, and bought the Technology Services division of Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Software & Technology Inc. (CS&T).

"As an operating business, we have roots that go back 26 years," Stalick says, referring to the company's earliest history as Corporate Software Inc., a large-account reseller that focused on value-added services offerings targeted to software resales. Following a complex series of mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations in the 1990s, that company evolved into CS&T, which continued to specialize in helping customers manage software investment from needs assessment through solution recommendations to software deployment and training.

When founded, Internosis employed about 160 consultants. Today, the company has more than 300 consultants spread throughout offices in Boston, Colorado Springs, New York and Washington, D.C.

John Hollinger
Internosis vice president John Hollinger

The Microsoft Advantage
Customers rely on Internosis to help them work through the increasing complexities of Microsoft technologies. "We view ourselves to some degree in the role of strategist for our customers," says John Hollinger, Internosis senior vice president. "Five or eight years ago, a product manager could reasonably understand the Microsoft product line and how it worked," he says. Now, those same product managers simply can't keep all the pertinent information in their heads, Hollinger says, pointing to a broad range of business and information worker solutions, as well as platforms and tools that make up the Microsoft technology offering.

Internosis helps customers understand which Microsoft applications will be most valuable to them, and then assists them in integrating those technologies into their existing environments. For example, Internosis has been working with Analog Devices Inc. since 2000, when the Norwood, Mass.-based chipmaker sought help in implementing Active Directory and moving from Windows NT to Windows 2000.

Originally, Analog's IT team approached the project thinking that they would need to work directly with Microsoft to get the necessary technical expertise, says Luke Martin, Analog's director of technical infrastructure.

"But after working through it, we became comfortable with Internosis. The tight relationship that they have with Microsoft was important to us." Since then, Analog has returned to Internosis for a variety of infrastructure and application-implementation projects. Internosis' close focus on developing expertise in Microsoft technologies has allowed the company to grow an average of 15 percent to 20 percent annually over the past three years, says Stalick, citing revenues that will be in the "high $40 millions" for the 2005 calendar year.

Headquarters: Greenbelt, Maryland

Web Site:

Phone: 240-542-2200

Top Executive: Robert Stalick, CEO

Established: 2000

Microsoft Partner Level: Gold Certified

Microsoft Competencies: Enterprise Systems and E-Commerce Solutions

Annual Revenue: High $40 million range for 2005

Growth Rate: 15 percent to 20 percent in 2005 over 2004

Number of Employees: 300-plus

Top Verticals: Enterprise and midsize organizations; 60 percent commercial, 40 percent government; financial services, professional services, manufacturing, health care and life sciences

Awards: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Challenge; Microsoft Partner of the Year (six times); Finalist, Ernst & Young 2002 Entrepreneur of The Year; Finalist, Microsoft TechEd 2002 Business Productivity Awards

Clients: Public sector engagements include large projects with the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marines, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of the Interior; commercial clients include Analog Devices Inc., Digitas Inc., Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. and Sunoco Inc.

Working with a Giant
To remain up-to-date on Microsoft and its technology, Internosis participates in several Microsoft partner advisory groups, including the Microsoft General Council and individual councils focusing on federal customers, .NET technology, collaborative solutions and portals, enterprise systems, e-business, business intelligence, and U.S. sales and services engagement.

"We [also] invest early and often in technologies that may not come to full fruition to our customers for years," says Hollinger. For example, Internosis personnel often participate in "airlifts," in which a few select partners are invited to sit down with the Microsoft development team to get a deep understanding of new and upcoming Microsoft technologies. "That leads to rapid deployment and adoption programs with some of our early adopter customers," Hollinger says.

The company counts on its close relationship with Microsoft to acquire this expertise. "Our relationship with Microsoft puts us at the nexus of a lot of new technology," Stalick notes. "However, our corporate philosophy calls for a fair degree of independence. We don't try to tag around behind Microsoft and pick up what it tosses to us. We work with it happily on things, but that isn't key to our strategy on how we build our business."

In addition, Internosis hires and develops personnel who act as technology experts to ensure that the company stays on top of important technology trends. "For us, the key differentiator that Internosis provides is that it is a small company and nimble -- but , in spite of that, it has a lot of key talent," says Analog's Martin. "We were always impressed by the level of technical expertise it could bring to the table. The company has a huge depth of expertise and a willingness to commit key individuals to these engagements."

Internosis' technology leads are expected to absorb new technology knowledge and competitive intelligence in their areas of expertise. "We need to look at the offerings from Microsoft and other big players and be able to map for our customers the advantages, disadvantages, the features and functions, and where the fit is for them," Hollinger says.

The company cites its hiring methodology as its main way of ensuring that its employees are able to achieve this somewhat daunting goal. "The basic principle we operate on is that we hire and retain employees for attitude and reward for performance and skill," says Stalick. The company hires people who are enthusiastic and want to continue to add to their technology knowledge, and then provides incentives, in the form of monetary compensation and professional advancement, for those who perform.

The Internosis team earns more than 100 certifications per quarter, says Stalick.

Twice the Opportunities
In 2001, spurred by a flagging economy, the company began tackling public-sector projects. "In the face of declining commercial demand, we were able to exploit our knowledge of government and grow nicely," Stalick says. Internosis executives believe their company's strength in Microsoft technologies served as a strong bridge to the military sector.

As a result, the company has evolved from being 100 percent dedicated to commercial customers in 2000 to maintaining a 60/40 split between commercial and governmental work, with the private-sector projects still claiming the lion's share. The split focus has brought advantages to both customer sets, Stalick says. For example, he says, the company has been able to bring best practices from the commercial market to its public-sector customers, while the often large-scale governmental engagements allow the Internosis team to gain real-world experience that, in turn, helps the company's commercial customers.

The divided approach also serves as a key differentiator for the company's technology partners. "Internosis successfully markets our solutions to both public sector and commercial accounts," says NetPro's Donoghue. "This is extremely important to us, as our directory management solutions add value for both key market segments."

An Eye on the Future
As Microsoft unveils increasingly sophisticated and full-featured software, Internosis plans to continue focusing exclusively on that company's products. "Microsoft will continue to be a market-maker for services because they put out more technologies over more areas and do it faster than anyone else," Stalick predicts. "This rate of change puts products in the marketplace so quickly that it creates confusion for users -- and opportunity for partners like Internosis."