Written by Eliza LaJoie. Above: a 2014 video highlighted Fruition’s innovative culture.
The summer of 2015 has been a busy one for Inner City 100 alumni.
Fruition Partners announced its acquisition by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) on August 11. A 2014 Inner City 100 winner, the Chicago-based IT consultancy is the leading provider of support for users of ServiceNow, a professional services software. With its announcement, Fruition follows in the footsteps of Chicago neighbor and fellow Inner City 100 winner Coyote Logistics, which recently finalized its acquisition by UPS.
Led by CEO Mark Talluto, Fruition topped the 2014 Inner City 100 list with a five-year growth rate of 2,700 percent and was honored with the Staples Business Growth Award. “Staples is proud to partner with ICIC to support entrepreneurs who make more happen in America’s inner cities. We congratulate Fruition Partners on their success and support of Chicago’s economic growth,” said Neil Ringel, Executive Vice President of Staples Advantage.
Like the Coyote Logistics team, Fruition’s leadership made the decision to join a larger company after years of breathtaking expansion that included several acquisitions of their own. Fruition emphasized that the 2015 acquisition is the latest chapter in the company’s growth story, giving them access to a much wider customer base than ever before. Talluto will retain leadership of Fruition as a division of CSC’s Global Enterprise Solutions Consulting Group.
Fruition co-founder and Chief Growth Officer Patrick Stonelake told Crain’s Chicago Business that they chose CSC for its “impressive scope, scale and customer roster” as well as its dedication to preserving Fruition’s leadership team and culture. Stonelake told ICIC that in addition to its technical expertise, Fruition’s youthful, creative and urban culture attracted CSC as a buyer. He observed that 2014 Inner City 100 recognition had prompted his team to truly embrace their uniquely Chicagoan identity.
With this in mind, Fruition will retain its “center of gravity” in Chicago, a city whose proximity to major Midwestern universities has helped attract the smart, compassionate people that have driven the company’s success. Stonelake described the company’s location as an increasingly vital component of the Fruition brand, a brand he foresees growing even stronger and larger in scope as part of Virginia-based CSC.
And indeed, though Fruition is in a period of rapid change, some very important aspects of the company will remain the same. Stonelake said that even through rapid growth, Fruition has deliberately protected its “small company” culture of empowering employees and celebrating independent initiative. He advised the next class of Inner City 100 winners to do the same during their own rapid growth.
“Our company is big enough to provide a really good platform for people to do interesting and career-enhancing work,” Stonelake said, “but still small enough that our employees feel empowered to approach problems differently, speak up, and advocate for customers, fellow employees and… the company. You have to hang onto that culture as you grow.”