Even though his college degree is in mechanical engineering, Jay Fernando taught himself how to code with the help of a few friends and, in 1999, he landed a software engineering job 8,000 miles away in Central Indiana. He married Leena Victoria (an electrical engineer and computer programmer by trade), and she, too, found success in tech after emigrating to the U.S. from India in 2003.

As Jay tells it, it was Victoria’s early consulting gigs in the public sector that inspired her and Jay to strike out on their own and start Brite Systems, which today is one of the fastest growing “companies to watch” in the IT consulting and services space.

After 14 years of experience working with the state of Indiana on major strategic IT planning, staffing and technology implementations, Brite Systems is now escalating its presence outside of the public sector and unleashing its creative IT talent on the commercial world. In September last year, the company was officially designated a Salesforce Silver Consulting Partner with employees who hold 53 Salesforce certifications, and Brite Systems has a customer satisfaction score of 10 on Salesforce’s 10-point scale.

“It’s about opportunity and going where we can help and make a difference,” said Jay Fernando, CEO and co-founder of Brite Systems. “My degree is in mechanical engineering, but I learned to code because that’s where the jobs were and that brought me to the U.S. The work we’ve done with the state has been at incredible scale and we have all of this digital transformation knowledge and experience that offers us a great opportunity to help commercial companies become more efficient and do what they do best, rather than being overwhelmed by the technology.”

Two of Brite Systems latest engagements with the state demonstrate just how helpful they can be when it comes to solving problems and making a difference.

The company launched a modernized Salesforce solution for Indiana Public Defenders Council (IPDC) to replace the agency’s 20-year-old database. The cloud-based solution enabled IPDC to support public defenders with extreme caseloads more effectively by automating business processes and reducing their administrative burden.

For the Indiana Department of Child Services, Brite Systems developed Enlite, an innovative case management system built on the Salesforce Lightning platform that replaced a 20-year-old legacy casework system. It’s the single largest Salesforce implementation that the state has ever embarked upon with more than 1,000 active system users from day one. Enlite had been in use for about a full year when the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S. and led to stay-at-home orders.

“Because of Enlite and the advanced digital transformation work we did, DCS didn’t have big disruptions with the services they provide to families across the state,” Jay said. “Everything was seamlessly switched to virtual home visits and online forms and records because Enlite is safe and secure and it’s 100% optimized for mobile. It’s as easy for case workers and the families they serve to use as any social media platform like Facebook.”

In addition to significant agency savings of time and resources due to the upgrade in efficiency, Enlite has helped improve turnover at DCS, which has been reduced by up to 15% during the first year following implementation. Perhaps the most important result is that Enlite allows DCS to take a proactive approach rather than risking a delayed response that could forever impact the life of a child. The improved services translates to improved quality of life for Hoosiers.

Brite Systems is now ready to bring Enlite to other states, and with some serious data-backed street cred in enterprise software development, Jay believes the company will break out over the next 12-18 months. Major cities in neighboring states with corporate headquarters are likely targets for the company’s new senior account executive and channel manager for commercial accounts (Tony Martin), including Indianapolis-based Fortune 1000 companies and other enterprises.

“We have a moment here to take our place as one of the leading custom, commercial software developers to match the success we’ve seen in public sector IT consulting over the past 14 years,” Jay said. “We’ve already hired some great people to join the experts who helped us get to where we are now, and we’re going to keep hiring because there’s so much opportunity out there and so many companies that could really use our help.

Brite Systems currently employs 55 people and its workforce is about as diverse as the leadership team, which is 50% female and 50% people of color. The company also participates in the Salesforce Pathfinder program and has hired four Pathfinders so far.

“We like to hire smart, clever people who tend to think of themselves as Swiss army knives,” Jay said. “We really want to meet those experienced professionals who know like five or more technologies inside and out and can really challenge our thinking and push us toward excellence in everything. That’s how we see ourselves and you can never have too many of those people around you.”