A downtown Springfield company with owner roots back to the 1990s is helping businesses throughout the area

Tony Cooper and Kevin Schleinitz, owners at ProStratus, a Springfield-based IT company. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Tony Cooper and Kevin Schleinitz, owners at ProStratus, a Springfield-based IT company. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

An information technology firm based in downtown Springfield has steadily grown over the past two years, as local companies increasingly look to farm out IT services instead of performing that work in house.

ProStratus officially formed two years ago with just six employees. Now, the firm has about 25 workers and plans to double that figure over the next few years.

Tony Cooper, one of the firm’s three owners, said the company focuses on providing a variety of IT services, allowing its customers to devote resources to other parts of their businesses.

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“They don’t want to focus on technology,” Cooper said. “That’s not their core business, but it’s what we do.”

Although ProStratus is a relatively new company, it has a long history in Springfield. Cooper started a firm called Computer Free America in Springfield as far back as 1992. The company fared well, and Cooper ended up selling the business 14 years later. That firm eventually merged with QBase in 2008, but the partnership eventually faltered.

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As technology changed, Cooper noticed a trend in which many businesses no longer needed a full-time IT staff. He formed ProStratus with partners Kevin Schleinitz and Craig Terrell with the idea of providing IT services to area firms that might need specific services or help just a few days a week.

“There’s not as much emphasis for a company to have an IT guy all the time,” Cooper said. “That opened the door for companies to contract with us.”

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ProStratus focuses on a roughly 50-mile area between Dayton and Columbus, but the firm has clients in 20 states, including California and Texas, Schleinitz said. One strategy Schleinitz said sets the company apart is its system to evaluate a client’s current IT infrastructure. That allows ProStratus to make recommendations to shore up cyber security or improve the way the client collects and uses data to improve their business, for example, he said.

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ProStratus works with clients in several industries but has experienced a lot of success working with clients in the health care and education fields, Schleinitz said. As ProStratus added employees, the company offered expertise to solve IT problems other firms might not have dealt with in the past, Cooper said. The company also offers a help desk open 24 hours a day to serve its clients.

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As technology rapidly changes, Cooper said the company is also nimble enough to deal with other challenges like increasing needs in cybersecurity and other services.

“We’re not afraid to pivot where we see something that has great opportunity,” Schleinitz said.

The Springfield News-Sun will continue to provide unmatched coverage of small businesses in Clark and Champaign Counties. For this story, the paper spoke to executives from ProStratus, a, IT firm based in downtown Springfield.