IT consulting firm Manifest Solutions Corp. specializes in technical expertise with a human touch.
Nancy Matijasich approaches IT consulting with the mindset of a matchmaker.
She strives to find what she calls the "eHarmony" between clients and consultants, pairing the person with the right skills and personality for the job to achieve success.
In 20 years of running the Upper Arlington-based Manifest Solutions Corp., Matijasich has worked to balance both the personal and technical connections the business requires. But what sets Manifest Solutions apart are its passionate professionals, says Matijasich, 51, the company's founder and CEO.
"Our tagline is 'Individuals making a difference,' " she says. "That's our mantra. That's what we believe."
The firm offers customized IT solutions and expertise to its clients. Services range from staffing to professional training and education to a "virtual IT department"-a technical support team that tailors its work to fit the specific needs of each client.
And though clients' needs vary widely, there's always at least one common element: collaboration.
"We really try to look at the entire situation and say, 'Here are some ideas,' " Matijasich says. "My folks really like being entrepreneurial. You can't look at it from your perspective. You really have to get outside of yourself and look at it from that client who's talking to you."
Manifest Solutions' client base is "100 percent local" and includes companies of all sizes and industries. "Most of our clients, we do everything for, but we do it on a contract basis," Matijasich says. "They don't need a full-time person; they need help when they need it."
Recruiting and staffing IT talent have long been a strength of the company-Manifest Solutions currently has 15 staffers and roughly 80 contractors-but a new focus on training has helped spur growth and attract new clients. Matijasich credits business partner and Chief Technical Officer Christopher M. Judd with launching a boot camp designed to prepare the next generation of consultants with real-world knowledge, skills and work experience.
Judd says he geared the Agility Boot Camp toward recent college graduates and those transitioning into the IT field. The six-week paid program, offered several times a year, includes an apprenticeship with one of the company's clients. Typically, between six to 10 people are enrolled in each session.
"It is intense enough that about 10 percent of the people don't make it through the boot camp," Judd says. "I designed the curriculum to do a couple of things. One is to teach them what I wish I would have known early in my career, especially in the first two years, (and) also to teach them what has made my career successful and the current trends in the market."
The boot camps draw a strong pool of new talent, so clients reap the benefits, too.
"It has changed the whole way we do business," Matijasich says.
IQ Innovations LLC, an e-learning software company headquartered in Columbus, has turned to Manifest Solutions in recent years to expand its team of developers. The company needed additional resources to help manage the growth of iQity, its K-12 learning management system, which began in Ohio and has since been branded in South Carolina and California, says Greg Dye, vice president of operations at IQ Innovations.
Manifest Solutions has provided consultants and also helped to recruit full-time employees, Dye says.
"They hit the ground running," Dye says. "They know our environments. They know our technologies. They know our processes, and within a couple weeks they are producing code," Dye says. "They ramp up much, much quicker because the folks are qualified. … They understand our internal processes and don't slow us down."
Matijasich says she founded Manifest in 1994 with the goal of having a positive impact on Central Ohio's IT industry.
"We have a team that is committed to doing the right thing, making a difference in other people's lives, being accountable, willing to face challenges and fix what we do wrong," Matijasich says. "An owner can't do that alone. It takes the right people out in the field, as well as in the back office."
Dana Wilson is a freelance writer.