I love where I work, but it’s hard to deny that some professional jealousy swells up when I visit a place like BlackInk IT. Located in the Tinker House building on 16th Street (near O’Bannon Park and the Monon Trail in the Old Northside), a visit to the managed IT operations company comes with equal doses of historical significance and future-forward thinking, capped off with a stunning view of the Indianapolis skyline.
Originally founded in 1993, BlackInk IT has been on a steady growth path since the IEDC announced the company would make a nearly $250,000 investment in new facilities and create 30 new jobs. With construction of phase two nearly complete and BlackInk IT ready to occupy the rest of their third floor headquarters, that growth path appears likely to continue.
Director of Client Success Jim Mayes met me in the parking lot and showed me to the elevator past tables filled with people working on laptops and having meetings inside the Provider coffee bar on the first floor. Tinker House is also home to one of Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery’s production facilities, Tinker House Events event space, and Provider which provides a unique coffee experience with an outdoor patio that also serves craft cocktails and local beers.
“This is a fun place to come to work every day, for sure, with all of the history surrounding us, the interesting architectural detail, and sharing brick walls with Provider and Hotel Tango,” Jim said. “You might say we’re the target demo for our fellow tenants and we’re thrilled to be a part of this community.”
As a managed IT operations business, BlackInk IT is a go-to partner for small- to mid-sized companies that want to focus on their core business and just have all of the technology work the way they want it to when they need it to. From servers and the cloud to networks and mobile devices, IoT, software and security; BlackInk IT can manage pieces or all of the components of a client’s IT environment, including all of the strategic planning, implementation, monitoring and associated support.
“Some of our clients have been with us for 15 plus years and they’ve stayed with us because we’ve taken a responsible approach to growing while maintaining and improving our technical expertise and service,” said Doug Allgood, president and CEO. “Our clients become part of our BlackInk family and we become part of theirs. It’s no secret how we do this. It is all about the most important asset: people. We hire the best tech talent around and we provide exceptional training.”
The BlackInk IT way, which takes its name from the strength, determination and cleverness of the ocean’s mysterious cephalopods, is to hire for the person first and then develop the skills. Doug explained that with the tech landscape changing so fast and a high-quality training program in place, new skills can be taught but caring fiercely about the clients and the work is something people either have or they don’t.
“There’s a level of trust in the managed IT operations business that can never be compromised,” Jim said. “A client can go years without experiencing any problems at all, and then suddenly they have a power failure or some other emergency that requires restoring files from backup and it better work. That trust, that ownership and caring are the most valuable assets our employees bring to the table along with their knowledge.”
It’s the ever-changing complexity of the modern work environment that keeps referrals coming in to BlackInk IT from previous and existing clients. Startups, scale-ups and established companies alike recognize that a single security breach or tech failure could send customers running to competitors, and the precariousness of not mitigating those risks is untenable for most leaders. BlackInk IT works with clients in a broad range of industries including financial services, utilities, manufacturing, life sciences, professional services and nonprofits.
“No matter what industry you’re in, but especially for those highly regulated industries like financial services, life sciences and utilities, the tech they rely on just has to work every time or they can’t be successful,” Doug said. “Whether it’s traditional infrastructure or supporting artificial intelligence engines, we’re continually seeking ways to effectively support the present and build the future together with our clients.”