Belated Big Reveal – Mantis a ProKarma Company
Is it still a big reveal when you are over a week late?!? After months of due diligence, Mantis leadership decided there was great benefit to becoming Mantis a ProKarma Company! You can read a copy of the official press release on our website, but this blog post is my own personal perspective.
I just celebrated my 13th year with Mantis. It was my most recent (and most satisfying) stop in what I call the 12 Most Jaunty Jumps in a Job Journey. As a guy who was raised by grandparents who lived through the Great Depression – grandparents who thought you should stay with the same company until you received the gold watch – that last job jump to become a principal at Mantis bordered on insanity. I had worked for the likes of Fluor Daniel, AT&T Wireless, and Sybase, so I was accustomed to working for larger and more stable companies. When I went from 7 years at Fluor, to about 4 years at AT&T Wireless, to 9 months at Sybase, to kicking off a startup company, those same grandparents candidly pointed out, “umm, aren’t you going in the WRONG direction?”
Believe me, I wondered the same thing! Was I crazy to risk financial stability to participate in a technology startup at about the worst time you could think to start a company (we incorporated December 2000)? I loved to create software solutions, and Mantis would give me the opportunity to be the primary data and software architect to provide solutions for the likes of AT&T Wireless…who was our first customer based upon 4 years of prior delivery history. With a backlog of work, and the support of a very faithful wife, I made the leap.
I will not bore you with the details, but we slowly grew from a couple of employees in 2001 to about 75 employees when ProKarma acquired Mantis. My own role transitioned from software architect…to focusing on data architecture while promoting a soup-to-nuts business intelligence (BI) strategy that included data modeling, data integration / data governance, and data visualization…to evangelizing the VERY COOL social listening and analytics available in our Pulse products. We went from having AT&T Wireless as our sole customer to having a Who’s Who of clients that spanned industries! It was an exciting ride, but the stresses of leading a company through a few major economic downturns can take a toll. We found ourselves wishing we had a larger infrastructure to support the company. We also had clients who questioned how much a “boutique solution provider” could scale to provide enterprise solutions for multiple clients.
Along came ProKarma…
ProKarma brought that valued infrastructure, their own Who’s Who of clients, and an incredible breadth and depth of offerings. We went from a company of 75 employees, primarily in the Pacific Northwest with some presence in Denver, to a company of over 2,000 employees across about 14 locations. And I am happy to report that one of the larger development centers is in my own neighborhood: Denver, CO! Over the years, Mantis had also lost bids because we did not have an “offshore component”. ProKarma brings a “shore agnostic” approach. Clients can choose to have onshore development teams in the United States, near-shore teams in Argentina, or offshore teams in India. And ProKarma’s delivery success, and long-term client relationships based upon that success, is astounding.
This may be the most excited I’ve been about Mantis’ future since that very first year we opened the doors. I still get to promote social monitoring via Pulse Analytics and Pulse Athletics, and I also have exciting opportunities to promote broader BI strategies for large companies. The best data is the kind that is timely, accessible, credible, and actionable. That data now exists both internal and external to organizations, and the Mantis/ProKarma combination brings the skills to reliably integrate that data and deliver it to organizations where they want it (including mobile devices) – when they need it.
I hope some of you can join me on this new journey as clients, partners, and perhaps even co-workers. I expect it to be as exciting, and as fruitful, as the last 13 years with Mantis Technology Group!