Monday, February 15, 2010

Platform Lab gives businesses economical way to test IT applications

Platform Lab may be flying under the average person's radar, but within Ohio's information technology world, the "the nation's only state-funded IT test and training facility" seems to have come of age.
Formed in 2001 as a partnership between the Ohio Supercomputer Center and the Columbus-based Business Technology Center (now known as TechColumbus), the center's client list has grown to more than 240 companies ranging in size from startups to established giants like Victoria's Secret Catalog.
The non-profit organization, located with parent TechColumbus, was launched with a $250,000 state grant to give companies an economical place to test IT solutions, says lab Director Steve Gruetter.
"They put together a focus group with 43 consulting companies, and what they decided to do was to create a facility where companies could go to test solutions to get to market quicker," he says.
Then came the Sept. 11 attacks and the dot-com implosion. Platform Lab needed to remake itself quickly. The answer: disaster recovery plan validation, a decision that led to a number of big clients like Wendy's and BMW Financial.

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