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Rochester Top 100: Brighton firm transforms as industry shifts

Rochester Business Journal
October 9, 2015

Entre Computer Services Inc. opened its doors more than 30 years ago as a franchise offering the new wave of PCs and has morphed into an information technology services company poised to grow regionally and nationally.

The company was founded in 1984 as a franchise of what was then known as Entre Computer Centers. It focused on selling what Mark Lucas, executive vice president, called “the hot new products from IBM and other computers called personal computers (or PCs).”

But the company’s focus changed a decade later when Andre Godfrey, president and owner, came on board.

“IBM announced its desktop computer late in 1982, and businesses small and large were buying as many as they could get their hands on,” Lucas said. “Little did we know at that time that PCs would soon become the commodity that they are today.

“Andre came aboard around 1994, and when Andre and I bought the company, we realized that hardware and software sales would not be our core strategy and transformed Entre into an IT services business.”

The company has seen growth in several areas the last few years. Remote managed services and outsourcing has been a popular area, Godfrey said.

Entre Computer Services has seen growth in the development of custom software applications, including Microsoft SharePoint. This application allows organizations to search documents, system users and events as well as third-party database content all under a level of security that restricts search results to what users are allowed to see.

The company also has developed its own software application, eScreenz, which company officials said improves internal communication and enhances employee safety in hospitals, corporations, universities and governments.

Overall the growth has helped the company top $11 million in total revenue in 2014, up from $8.5 million in 2011.

Entre Computer Services has been adaptive in its approach, Godfrey noted, helping companies accommodate “untethered” employees. The eScreenz application also has emergency notifications that can be delivered directly to the smartphones of customers and employees.

Though Entre Computer Services does business across more than 20 states, it has used the local pool of expertise to fuel its internal growth.

“We are fortunate to live in a city that is rich in technical talent, much of it coming out of local colleges like RIT and the University of Rochester,” Lucas said. “Having such a great talent pool in Rochester has allowed us to assemble a software development team that is second to none and that has opened opportunities for us to be involved in core business projects for some of the largest corporations in the country.”

The company grew its employees from 92 in 2011 to 130 last year; there are currently 92 employees.

There is more room for growth as the local and national economies strengthen and the reliance on IT grows, Lucas said.

“Our strategy is to have the best people and programs available to help companies large and small support their IT operations,” he said.

The company also will continue to grow along with the area’s expanding sectors, Godfrey added.

“The Rochester area is a center of the health care industry, enjoys the presence of many colleges and universities and now we have the recent photonics effort,” he said. “Add to that the changing nature of the information technology industry and you have a success formula that practically designs itself.”

The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. The 2015 Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 4. For more information, go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com.

Entre Computer Services Inc.
Provider of IT managed services, web and application development, network services and supplemental IT staffing
Founded: 1984
Top executive: Andre Godfrey, CEO and president
2014 ranking: 56
Employees: 92
Location: Brighton
Website: www.entrecs.com

10/9/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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