January 28, 2017 — From Mlive by Shandra Martinez
GRAND RAPIDS, MI — West Michigan tech firms, Open Systems Technologies and Configura, say they have entered into a strategic alliance.
The arrangement will create OST Configura Services, staffed with six employees and two full-time contractors. Housed in OST’s Grand Rapids office, the team will offer design, development and support for companies using Configura’s space-planning software.
Bringing in OST as a implementation partner is intended to expand Configura’s customer base beyond office furniture and design companies to new industries.
“With our OST collaboration, we can develop and offer more extensions, products and functionality to our manufacturer customers and end users,” said Peter Brandinger, Configura vice president, in a statement. “Any manufacturer and dealer that makes and sells configurable products can benefit from our solution.”
Founded in 1990, Configura is privately owned with more than 130 employees worldwide and annual sales of more than $13 million. It’s software can create 2D and 3D design, photorealistic renderings, fly-thru videos, instant bills of materials and installation documents and virtual reality experiences.
The first OST Configura project will be working with Herman Miller to upgrade its CET software with an extension that will be available later this year.
The Zeeland furniture maker is being credited as the catalyst for the new business partnership. What began as sort of brainstorming session between the tech firms and their mutual client evolved into a plan for collaboration.
“In today’s digital world, it is partnerships like these which help us succeed,” said Jeff Kurburski, Herman Miller’s chief information officer.
Geography was also important in the arrangement. The Sweden-based Configura operates its U.S. headquarters in Grand Rapids, at 100 Grandville Ave SW, less than two miles from OST’s headquarters at 605 Seward Ave NW.
That proximity makes it easier to serve Configura’s West Michigan customers, says Michael Lomonaco, OST marketing and communications director.
The 210-person, $160 million global technology and design firm also has a global reach with offices in Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago, London, Hong Kong and Singapore.