If you’re not a techie, reading Alexandra Putman’s resume could quickly cause you to blow a fuse. An IT overachiever, she has tackled Web-enabled supply chain management development and integration for multimillion dollar projects with teams spread out across multiple companies. She has managed consortium-based projects software involving the Department of Defense and key players in the aerospace and submarine-building sectors. Her expertise covers software development, database application development, and computer design architecture. And did we mention she can cook? Clearly, she could have her pick of clients anywhere in the world. But the Poughkeepsie resident isn’t focused on attracting big names. The president and CEO of Integrated Enterprise Solutions (IES) considers it her mission to help the little guy.
With cofounder Eric Gorman, the firm’s Executive VP and COO, she offers IT infrastructure services to local businesses, including CPA firms, banks, and local manufacturers.
“Because of our experience dealing with larger enterprises we can take that knowledge and streamline features for small- and medium-size businesses,” says Putman. “We bring our high-end experience and capability to a smaller business.”
Since its founding in 1998, IES has grown consistently. “Customers are mostly in the Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, and Orange County areas,” says Putman. “But we have some in Manhattan and north of here as well. We haven’t expanded beyond that because we have a lot to do!”
When a client comes to IES, the first priority is to make sure that its day-to-day operations are smooth and that the level of technology needed to allow the company to grow is in place. That often means implementing virtual servers and desktops, which allows clients to run multiple servers on one physical piece of equipment. If needed IES will help craft a strategic plan that looks to future growth. Prevention of data loss and business continuity solutions are huge components, a process that might involve running an image backup on the virtual server while the physical equipment is being repaired. “There are all sorts of easy ways to minimize having catastrophic issues,” says Putman.
Putman hires women — currently there are five full-time female employees — whenever possible. “We have a female techie, and I’m proud of that,” she says
With such a fierce commitment to local businesses, you might think that Putman grew up here. But in fact, she was raised all over the world — Africa, Greece, Switzerland, St. Lucia — as her family moved for her father’s work with the U.S. State Department.
“A few years ago, some friends gave me a crash course in an American childhood: We sat in front of a VCR watching all the movies that I missed growing up,” says Putman. “I often don’t get a lot of cultural references.” It wasn’t until this self-described “global nomad” came to Smith College, where she double majored in math and computer science, that she settled down for a bit. She worked at IBM in Poughkeepsie in one of their summer programs, was hired after graduation in 1984, and worked there for 14 years. Since then, she has made her home in the Valley, raising two now grown children.
Busy as she is, Putman still finds time to participate in local initiatives. She is on the board of directors for the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and chairs the Women’s Leadership Alliance Mentor Committee. “We established a program for the community in which women and men act as career mentors in a year-long program,” explains Putman. “It has had a lot of success for a number of years.” At her own company, which employs 11, Putman hires women — currently there are five full-time female employees — whenever possible. “We have a female techie, and I’m proud of that,” she says.
Putman is also on the board of directors of the World Affairs Council for the Mid-Hudson Valley, a national organization whose mission is to build awareness of world affairs in local communities. “Most Americans tend to view the U.S. as the only part of the world that matters. What I think they miss is that so much of what is going on globally does impact us here.”
Naturally, Putman still loves to explore. She’s happy taking just a weekend hop to her Finger Lakes second home or enjoying a couple of weeks in Bordeaux: “I love the simpler lifestyle there. Just walking to the market with your basket and cooking up the day’s meal.” Would she ever move there? “I’d consider going back and forth and living there for a while. But being involved with the business community here has made it truly feel like home.”