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12/31/2004 - Aurora Consulting Group Joins Ascentium

Aurora Consulting Group is a Spokane success story. Their recent acquisition by Ascentium Corporation both confirms Aurora’s success and expands the capabilities and offerings of the combined firms. According to Jason Pegg, former Aurora managing partner and now Director of the Inland Northwest branch of Ascentium, the entire staff is excited about the merger and the growth and job creation capabilities that will occur.

Aurora Consulting Group’s special market niche has been enterprise level project and process management. As a Microsoft “go-to” firm, Aurora did project management, and strategic business consulting based on Microsoft SharePoint services. Aurora configured Microsoft software for their clients’ in such a way that Aurora was often recommended by people at Microsoft when companies like Boeing needed help. The customized and configured software was documented, the client properly trained in how to use their new software, and then Aurora would help them maintain and update the software. The result was that Aurora was growing by leaps and bounds.

Ascentium Corporation, based in Bellevue, is one of the top ten fastest growing companies in the State of Washington according to the Puget Sound Journal of Business. Ascentium is a technology and marketing consulting firm with more than one hundred employees, and they grow through acquisitions. Prior to Aurora, they had acquired Tattoo Media – a Seattle area, rapidly growing media firm. With each acquisition, Ascentium increases its capabilities and services --- adding new divisions that Ascentium calls “Practices”. With the acquisition of Aurora, Ascentium now has an “Enterprise Project and Process Management Practice” (EPPMP) and a branch office in Spokane. Beth Britt, PhD, former Aurora CEO, now is Director of EPPMP and located in the Bellevue office.

The Aurora success story is an example of the “American dream.” Three Eastern Washington University faculty, Beth Britt, Kris Rudin, and Jason Pegg, conceived of the company that became Aurora in 1997. They had only a small amount of capital, so their first corporate office was in Jason Pegg’s basement. However, their confidence was sufficient so that they all quit their day jobs.

When the company outgrew the basement, it was moved to a Terabyte Triangle space above a Subway shop on Third Avenue. Finally it moved to its current large location, also in the Terabyte Triangle, at 1522 N. Washington. Aurora prospered and grew during the dot com era, and then suffered during the dot bomb era. The time around 9-11 was difficult. Yet the work produced by the company remained top quality, and they were named a Microsoft Certified Partner, Microsoft Premier Project Partner (one of eighteen world-wide), Microsoft Certified SharePoint partner, Microsoft Content Management Partner, and a Microsoft Certified Exchange Partner.

Finally, last winter, Aurora began to grow and prosper again. Their growth and development was at an all time high, but they were doing most of their work in the Puget Sound area. Aurora had a branch office in Bellevue and several employees on that side of the state. This meant that Britt and Pegg were spending a huge amount of their time traveling to Bellevue. The cost of the growth was being subsidized by eighty hour work weeks being put in by the company’s principals. Each succeeding month recorded all time highs for bottom line figures, and Aurora began attracting the attention of companies like Ascentium.

After extensive negotiations, Aurora chose to become part of Ascentium. Not only does Ascentium now have a highly acclaimed Enterprise Project and Process Management Practice, Spokane has an Ascentium branch office that can offer all of the “Practices” contained in Ascentium. Britt has moved to Bellevue to head the EPPMP, but Pegg gets to stay in the Inland Northwest to head this branch and spend some time with his family.

New services now available to the Inland Northwest include networking and services, particularly those that relate to Microsoft server products such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server, and Microsoft Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Ascentium has an award-winning creative team. Pegg can draw on the people at the Bellevue office as needed, but the local office remains intact, and the contact point is in Spokane. Ascentium, through their Spokane base, is now poised to serve the entire Inland Northwest.

For more information about Ascentium Corporation, visit http://www.ascentium.com/. To learn more about Aurora, visit http://www.auroracg.com/default.asp.

Billie Moreland
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