Chicago-based cloud technology company AHEAD has officially moved into Ann Arbor.

The company set up its new 2,000 square-foot-laboratory in the William Street Argus Building earlier this month. Known as the Cloud Innovation Center, the lab is a $3 million investment and one of several of the company’s Midwest locations, which include offices in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio. There is also a North Carolina office.

Greg Thursam, head of cloud and enterprise service management, told MLive the company is excited to be in Ann Arbor.

“The center will be a hub for our experts and clients to innovate and collaborate on new and exciting solutions on cloud-based technologies,” Thursam said. “The location is ideal for clients to come and collaborate on solutions with our cloud experts and to walk downtown to enjoy the local Ann Arbor scene … being in Ann Arbor is perfect, because it has been a great location for innovation with a growing startup scene and the University of Michigan’s renowned technology research facilities.”

Ann Arbor’s tech scene has grown rapidly in the past few years. Tech startups such as Duo Security and Backyard Brains have made Ann Arbor home, creating a culture of technological innovation and creativity that is bolstered by having the University of Michigan down the street.

According to Thursam, the Cloud Innovation Center will be a research and development center, with a focus on cloud computing and DevOps-based solutions. It will provide new services to customers to grow businesses and help them gain market share.

“Our clients in Michigan have made an investment in us and we wanted to return that investment back to them by providing this facility and our expertise as they continue to innovate,” Thursam said. 

AHEAD’s chief technology officer, Eric Kaplan, told BusinessWire the company aims to help technology leaders manage all their different needs.

“Whether they’re focused on the public cloud or just optimizing workloads in their own data centers, technology leaders seek the same attributes of speed, elasticity, and scalability,” Kaplan said. “At the same time, they need proper security, visibility, and governance. This lab will help clients with those balancing acts at all stages of the cloud journey.” 

The Ann Arbor center will have 12 employees. Other Michigan offices employ another 18 people, and 250 people work for AHEAD in the Midwest.

Clients of the lab include Dell, Amazon, Cisco and Microsoft, but beyond that the company can assist 600 customers a year in all different areas of cloud technology. 

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