How These 8 Solution Providers Grew Fast And Made The Inc. 500

Solution provider executives from companies that made this year's Inc. 5000 list said finding a niche and offering data software, as well as cloud solutions, are the keys to their rapid growth as they've increased revenue by millions of dollars in the last three years.

The ranks of the Inc. 5000 list -- released earlier this month by Inc. Magazine to recognize of fast-growing private U.S. companies -- feature hundreds of solution provider organizations, including around 70 in the Inc. 500 (CRN's exclusive ranking of North America's fastest-growing solution providers, the Fast Growth 150, comes out in September on and in our October print issue). CRN spoke with executives from several solution provider organizations that made the Inc. 500 ranking -- the top echelon of the list -- focusing on those who have seen growth of at least 1,000 percent over a three year period, to find out the secrets to their success. Cloud solutions emerged as the key factor to their growth, and nearly all of the solution providers interviewed spoke about specialization as an important factor.

Srini Raj, senior vice president of St. Louis-based Gemini Consulting & Services, said his company continues to focus on becoming a "boutique provider" to succeed. Gemini, No. 91 on the Inc. 5000, has a core business in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The company profits off finding key verticals and sticking with those industries, Raj said.

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"We focused and invested in nontraditional verticals for IT services, like higher education, health care, engineering research and development and precision agriculture to differentiate us," he wrote in an email to CRN.

Gemini experienced 3,870 percent growth in revenue from 2010 to 2013, and brought in $6.5 million last year. Raj said Gemini has been focusing on emerging markets in India and the Middle East, as well.

Berkeley Heights, N.J.-based Axtria, No. 32 on the list, also focuses on health care and financial services while narrowing in on the ever-growing data and analytic software and services market at this time. Axtria had a whopping 7,351 percent boost from 2010 to 2013 with $9 million in revenue.

Prabhu Patil, CEO of Farmington Hills, Mich.-based Prolim, No. 133, said his company has found its niche in a suburb of Detroit offering analytic services to the auto industry, among others. Patil touted the company's product life cycle management software, which can be applicable for many other fields.

Mariano Lopez, managing member with ANALYTICA, located in Washington, D.C., said the government's focus on cybersecurity is driving his business, along with a company initiative to concentrate on big and open data. The company was ranked No. 81 with 4,056 percent growth through 2013 with $15 million in revenue that year.

"I see the continued focus on open data in the public sector [for the future]," he said. "The government has a push to be more open ... There's a renewed focus on cybersecurity with all the recent breaches. That funding is starting to trickle through and giving the agencies the amount of funds they need to help bolster their networks."

David Litt, CEO of Blue Star Technology in Bloomingdale, Ill., said his company, though, with 2,033 percent growth at No. 221, focuses on numerous verticals. He said finding a niche isn't always essential.

"We really focus on companies that are a good fit for us," he explained. "[It's about] how they consume IT services, rather than the vertical."

Prabhakar Reddy, CEO of Motivity Labs, at No. 138 on the list, said his Irving, Texas, company is devoted to mobility solutions, as well as cloud development.

NEXT: Top IT Companies Say Cloud Is King

Cloud continued to be on the tip of nearly every resellers' tongue regarding their stellar growth. Many of the most impressive companies singled out by Inc. said they continue to ride the new technology wave, including the New York-based company Nimbo, which at No. 480 had 987 percent growth over the last three years.

"I think we definitely jumped into the cloud at the right time," said Ira Bell, Nimbo's co-founder and COO. "It becomes the language of our organization. We basically have a take on it where we're very active in the community."

Bell said, for example, he has all of his employees at every level memorize flashcards with key terms for public cloud platforms to ensure the business is concentrating on the latest developments.

Rajesh Pericherla, CEO of Fishkill, N.Y.-based Novisync, at No. 206 with 2,144 percent growth, said the cloud movement offers cost savings to customers, which has them jumping on board.

"Any solution that is going to make it cost-effective for small-and-medium businesses is going to be good, and we're working on that," he said.

For 2015, Gemini's Raj anticipates businesses who have yet to implement automation technology will start centering around that next year so it continues to be a big focus for his company. He added, with more than 30 billion smart devices expected to be interconnected by 2020, a massive amount of data will be available for gathering and analyzing, noting that's where the future lies.

Jassi Chadha, president and CEO of Axtria, told CRN, in 2015, his company will have to find more data scientists to conduct that sought-after analysis. Chadha said there's a shortage of data scientists in the market at this time.

Litt with Blue Star said, further down the line he sees a shift taking place where service providers will become dedicated business analysts. He said VARs will have to be ready for the change.

"We're going to be asked to have more analysts help our clients achieve objectives and shed light on those things that are very important to them. [We'll have to] extract the data so it's clean," he said.

Sarah Kuranda contributed to this report.