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Posted on Thu, Jun 10, 2010 : 5:50 a.m.

Ann Arbor software firm SRT Solutions, marking 10th anniversary, says flexibility is paramount

By Nathan Bomey

As Ann Arbor-based software consultancy SRT Solutions celebrates its 10th anniversary this week, co-founder Bill Wagner refuses to predict what the software industry will look like 10 years from now.

Peering back a decade, programming was focused on C++ language, and “java was barely the hot new thing on the planet,” Wagner said.


SRT Solutions co-founder Bill Wagner attends a user group session at the company's downtown offices last fall.

Photo by Mark Bialek | For

“All the things we use today weren’t even around,” he said. “Trying to predict something that far in the future is really, really challenging. What we do know is this industry is going to continue to change and grow very rapidly, and the companies that are going to succeed are going to be the ones that can adapt themselves to new technologies, new idioms and solve problems that people don’t know they will have 10 years from now.”

That summarizes SRT’s own survival strategy. The firm is constantly conducting training sessions with its own employees and hosting local software groups to discuss new technologies at its offices on Fifth Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

Since the software industry changes so rapidly - witness the billions of privately developed applications sold through Apple’s App Store for use on the iPod, iPhone and iPad - SRT emphasizes the importance of its employees gaining new skills.
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SRT Solutions co-founder Dianne Marsh

Dianne Marsh SRT solutions

“We’ve consistently reinvested in our people because we see the continuing evolution of technology as contributing to our business model and continuing to understand that is important to us,” SRT co-founder Dianne Marsh said.

SRT has enjoyed organic growth throughout the tumultuous previous decade. The firm now employs 17 workers and recently doubled its office space to about 3,500 square feet to accommodate demand for its software expertise. The company offers custom software development services to a variety of clients, including startup companies, major corporations and some University of Michigan operations.

After witnessing the state’s economy crumble in recent years, Wagner and Marsh have publicly argued that Michigan needs to include software companies as a specific sector that benefits from incentives and funding distributed by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. A bill recently  approved by the state House and awaiting action in the Senate would do just that.

SRT argues that, since most software companies require only small amounts of capital to operate, the state should devote more incentives to the sector.

“These are important issues that other people aren’t talking about,” Marsh said. “It’s an easy avenue to grow in terms of low friction and low overhead. Everybody with a computer and good communication skills and good software development skills can start these companies. You don’t need a lot of manufacturing space, it’s not intensive from an environmental perspective. Why don’t we embrace this?"

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.