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See where technology from all over the U.S. goes for a dress rehearsal: Lenexa

A brick building that may look like an unassuming warehouse in a Lenexa industrial park is setting the stage for leading technology projects throughout the country.

Overland Park-based JMA Information Technology Inc. opened the space earlier this year but had to quickly expand, doubling its space to 10,000 square feet this summer because of high demand from clients, such as Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ).

This site, which JMA calls a staging facility, is where servers, routers, switches and other pricey tech equipment go before their big reveal at data centers.

Typically, manufacturers mail equipment in multiple shipments directly to data centers, where hundreds upon hundreds of boxes collect dust until companies are ready to unpack, test and install equipment. Often, the equipment is stored in multiple locations in the same data center, causing a lot of confusion when the curtain finally goes up.

It’s an inefficient, timely and chaotic process.

The Lenexa staging facility allows JMA to accept all of a client’s equipment in one temperature-controlled location. JMA then unpacks, configures, tests and prepares the technology for use later. As a result, clients eventually receive all of their equipment at one time. Knowing that it all works and is immediately ready to plug and play saves clients time and money, said Raqib Huq, JMA’s vice president of corporate IT.

“We aren’t acting as a storage facility,” Huq said.

Although other tech facilities like this exist, Huq explained that sites like JMA’s, which focuses on high-level enterprise technology, are rare.

Maria Will, JMA’s vice president of technology solutions, said Verizon approached JMA with the idea to assist with some of its projects.

JMA used to perform some staging services at its Overland Park headquarters but found it needed a dedicated site to accommodate the growth it expected from clients.

Based on the staging services’ popularity and current bookings, JMA expects a 10 percent bump in sales.

“It’s taken on a life of its own,” Huq said.

The staging facility marks the latest milestone for JMA, which has shifted from an IT staffing firm to a high-end, niche professional services company since 2008. The strategy has helped JMA become one of Kansas City’s fastest-growing companies, reaching $52 million in revenue in 2012.

JMA has grown to 350 employees; 140 are local.

JMA has added six new positions to support the staging facility.

[ Kansas City Business Journal | 16 – Aug – 2013 ]