Dan Behm keeps Open Systems Technologies on the cutting edge Featured

2:06pm EDT July 5, 2011

It wasn’t easy for Dan Behm to convince his wife and family that a press release was just as valuable as a paycheck when he and others put their houses and personal assets on the line.

Behm and his partners had just pulled up their financial bootstraps and purchased Open Systems Technologies, a division they founded, from its parent group. Behm, president of the company that got its start as a hardware seller, saw the importance of diversifying in order to grow. OST needed to appeal to larger companies and a larger geography.

He exercised careful planning and execution to expand the company into a well-rounded IT firm, offering hardware, software and services. In 2010, revenue was 10 times what it was when the company was purchased in 2003, Behm expects that to increase an additional 40 to 50 percent in 2011.

Not only did the company expand its horizons by growing its health care market share and acquiring a software development service and intellectual property, it was recognized by Inc. magazine for its rapid growth.

Because the company was built on the philosophy of entrepreneurship, employees are not afraid to try new ideas and invest in new business initiatives. Anyone at OST can start a new business practice if it fits into the existing business and makes sense financially. OST’s investment in those startups gives those with a notable idea the chance to build that business with the company’s support.

In addition, both company and its employees contribute to causes such as Supper House, a local soup kitchen, and Mentor1, where employees use work hours to mentor local youth.

Despite the company’s explosive growth, Behm is careful to maintain the company’s culture, stressing things such as “Don’t get too big for our britches,” “Be genuine,” “Make everyone feel welcome” and “Support one another.”

How to reach: Open Systems Technologies, (616) 574-3500 or www.ostusa.com