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AHEAD names Kaplan Chief Technology Officer

CHICAGO, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Eric Kaplan was named chief technology officer of AHEAD®, LLC, an information technology consulting services firm headquartered in Chicago. Specializing in data center infrastructure and next-generation technologies, Kaplan leads the AHEAD engineering team while playing a vital role in product development and management, along with short- and long-term strategic planning. He also oversees the evaluation of new technologies and partnerships for AHEAD.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130220/CG63050)

"This promotion acknowledges the contributions Eric continues to make within the organization and the passion he has for our industry," said AHEAD CEO Daniel Adamany. "Eric directly impacts our business strategy. His deep understanding of existing data center technologies coupled with his ability to envision next-generation solutions are an asset to our business and more importantly, to our clients' businesses."

Before joining AHEAD three years ago as vice president of engineering, Kaplan spent nine years at EMC, ultimately serving in the Office of the CTO. While at EMC he focused on integrating the storage giant's platforms with VMware. That work continues at AHEAD as Kaplan and his team leverage an extensive hybrid cloud environment in building sophisticated data center solutions for clients.

The hybrid cloud solution developed by the AHEAD engineering team is now in its third iteration. "At the end of the day our clients need comfort and confidence that the resources they invest in IT will provide an agile, elastic, automated, and self-service platform," Kaplan added. "Our lab is an ideal place for clients to test workloads and experiment with innovative technologies before making a financial commitment." The newly updated lab also now includes an expansive briefing center.

The lab has also been the ideal proving ground for Kaplan and team for putting new ideas through the paces. As a result the group is exhibiting a propensity for recognizing transformative technologies before they generate market-wide awareness and acceptance.

For example, AHEAD engineers were evaluating and working with leading-edge technologies like XtremIO (acquired by EMC), DynamicOps (acquired by VMware), and Cloupia (acquired by Cisco) well before they were recognizable brands. "When your company name is AHEAD there is an inherent motivation to stay in front of the industry," says Kaplan. "We really thrive on exploring, testing, affirming, and reaffirming the business value provided by new technology."

During his tenure at AHEAD Kaplan has also been instrumental in developing AMP, the firm's scalable operational platform primarily built upon Salesforce.com, Google Apps, and Amazon Web Services. "Eric and his team have leveraged their experience in designing and architecting enterprise-level solutions in the development of our internal business systems," Adamany notes. "Their expertise enabled us to sustain an accelerated rate of growth while building a set of unique and customized applications in an extremely short period of time. Our experience with integrating the public cloud, SaaS applications, and traditional infrastructure for our own needs gives us a deeper understanding of the challenges facing our own clients."

"As an operational platform AMP provides a set of business services and real-time metrics that allow us to satisfy the business needs of our employees, management team, and clients," said Kaplan. "AMP is a truly unique platform that allows us to move faster than our competitors and address the needs of our clients in a timely and accurate fashion."

The strategy is paying big dividends. AHEAD continues to rise on the CRN Solution Provider 500 rankings, reaching 141 in 2012 after just five short years in business. The company ranks 167 on the INC. 500/5000 list of the fastest growing private enterprises in America. Last year's list placed AHEAD at number 11 among technology firms and 7th in its home state of Illinois.  

"Helping guide our clients through the data center revolution is an exciting challenge, both personally and for AHEAD," said Kaplan. "We have a tremendous opportunity to help our clients innovate, deliver new services, and improve their overall time-to-market. Beyond AHEAD, few organizations have built the offerings, partnerships, operational platform, and team to help their clients meet these marketplace challenges."

Kaplan attended Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, earning a bachelor of science degree in information systems.


AHEAD is a new kind of company with a practical knowledge of where business technology used to be, where it is now, and where it is going to be tomorrow. By working closely with clients to understand their organization, AHEAD data center technologists and consultants are able to recommend solutions that meet current needs while anticipating what the future will bring. As a result, clients can be confident AHEAD solutions won't be obsolete the moment they are implemented. This is what is known as Thinking, Looking, Planning, and Moving ahead.

AHEAD, the AHEAD logo, and the Think | Look | Plan | Move logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of AHEAD, LLC in the United States and certain other countries. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contact: Doug Knuth AHEAD, LLC, 312-924-4491, [email protected]

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