Follow-Up File: Local IT firm TekTegrity has success with growth

Name/Job: Russ Levanway, chief executive officer

Name/Job: Jeremy Koellish, chief operations officer

Business: TekTegrity

What they said then: In November 2010, The Tribune reported that Tek-Tegrity, which provides managed information technology services, was acquiring another San Luis Obispo company, Sentinel Network Systems.

“It just made good sense for us to join the team at TekTegrity,” said Geoff Lillich, Sentinel’s founder. “Our team and our clients have so much to gain, including access to a pool of technical experts for collaboration on ideas and projects.”

With clients in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Kern counties, TekTegrity had 26 employees.

What they say now: After the Sentinel merger, TekTegrity continued to expand.

Later that year, it acquired LiveFile. The local company, founded by Hans Sommer, made a content management and workflow software product that Tek-Tegrity could offer its IT clients.

Before the end of 2010, TekTegrity was also in discussions to purchase another IT support business, Fresno-based Integrated Advantage. The companies merged in June, with the San Luis Obispo firm assuming Integrated Advantage’s clients and employees.

“We manage over 4,500 work stations and servers,” said Jeremy Koellish, COO. “TekTegrity has been a consistently growing company.”

Such rapid change brings challenges, said CEO Russ Levanway. Much of their focus has been on smoothing the transition for both employees and clients.

“There is a degree of uncertainty that comes with a merger,” he said. “Success comes from integrating the team members into our company quickly and making them feel like they are part of the family at TekTegrity. It also comes from meeting in-person with as many clients as possible, establishing trust, building a connection.”

With 27 workers at its Suburban Road headquarters, TekTegrity now also employs six others in Fresno and Turlock. It closed an office in Bakersfield.

“We felt that we could service our Bakersfield clients well from our Fresno location,” Levanway said. “The commute time is about 90 minutes, and about 85 percent of the work we do for our clients is performed remotely from our offices, not on site.”

A contract with another company in Bakersfield provides a backup option if a technician is needed quickly on-site, he added.

With quality information technology technicians in demand, these mergers have provided experienced workers to allow the company to expand.

"It’s not just about bringing on new clients and new territory,” Levanway said. “They had great staff already. We were able to add two qualified engineers and two qualified technicians.”

Have an idea for a followup? Each week, The Tribune checks in with a business it has reported on before. Send suggestions to: followupfile@thetribune