Rapid growth Featured

9:54am EDT July 22, 2002

John Colangelo has ambitious growth plans for Infoworld Enterprise Solutions, a technology reseller and solutions implementer.

From almost $19 million in 1996, Colangelo, CEO of IES, expects the company to surpass the $200 million mark by the end of next year. With its track record, the company just might make it. IES had net sales of just over $56 million in 1998, and Colangelo anticipates topping $80 million this year. The company was named a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year competition.

“I just think it’s quite an honor to be nominated for this type of award with such prestigious organizations that are running the event and also the associate companies that have been nominated,” Colangelo says. “To us, we feel it’s a recognition of our spirit and our energy to drive and run our business.”

Infoworld began in 1975 when Chairman Leo A. Higley began offering IT and consulting and technical services. Higley was asked to develop a customized application for a Hewlett Packard computer and was so impressed with the system, the company became an HP reseller in 1979.

According to Colangelo, the company’s success is built on four basic principles.

“One of our first virtues is being customer-centric,” he says. “We still service those same clients that the founder of the organization served 25 years ago. We believe in retaining a client for life.

“The second premise is we believe very strongly in employee participation and development. In return, we expect participation; we expect them to make us better by looking at ways of driving the business and changing the business.

“The third element is partnerships,” Colangelo says. “In our industry, we realize we can’t be everything to everybody. But we also believe very strongly in establishing partnerships, and we don’t mean that by just putting a plaque on the wall saying ‘We’re an alliance partner with a company.’ We work very diligently with the organization that we partner with to find effective ways to either go market or effective ways to increase the efficiency in the operations of our organizations.

“And then the fourth, we’re a very highly ethical company,” he says. “We don’t engage in bad business. And we treat our partners and our employers with the highest degree of ethics.

“I think those founding premises, those founding virtues, really do assist us as we move forward in these changing times,” Colangelo says. “We stay true to those virtues.”