Les Kent: Progent's Founder and President
Les Kent has a 35-year track record of successful technology integration, business management, marketing, and operations. During this time he has demonstrated a talent for developing complex computer and network based technical solutions while working as a system architect, software developer, project manager, implementation expert and troubleshooter.
Mr. Kent became convinced that it was possible to provide enterprise-class IT services to small businesses that are severely underserved by conventional support delivery options. Most small companies have few if any full-time support personnel, yet network availability, security and performance is as vital for their business success as it is for large enterprises. Giant support firms ignore prospects unable to commit to expensive, long-term service contracts, while freelance consultants can’t respond consistently to emergencies or stay up to date on the increasingly complex integration and security requirements of modern networks. Mr. Kent’s idea was to use proactive network monitoring along with secure VPN connections for remote management and troubleshooting, and to assemble a team of support experts who could resolve most problems quickly and escalate others to certified specialists. The result was Progent.
A proven entrepreneur, Mr. Kent has founded two businesses that were subsequently acquired by public companies. Mr. Kent’s reputation as an expert in Microsoft technology was established by overseeing and actively participating in the installation, deployment and support of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Exchange Server, along with associated communications infrastructures, for over 500 companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Prior to starting Progent, Mr. Kent was most recently the President of Allin Corporation of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Allin is a nationwide, publicly-traded consulting services and technology integration company with over 150 employees and offices in four states.
Mr. Kent’s accomplishments include:
Mr. Kent’s Professional Background:
- While leading Allin, Mr. Kent oversaw the transformation of the company from an unprofitable and unfocused interactive technologies company into an IT services and network integration firm specializing in Microsoft and Cisco technology.
- Mr. Kent has been a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer since 1994 and has been a software engineer since 1975.
- As a technical editor of InfoWorld magazine (http://www.infoworld.com/) and a member of the magazine’s Review Board from 1991 to 1995, Mr. Kent published 34 reviews and technology articles.
- Mr. Kent’s interactive television system based on Microsoft Windows and SQL Server technology has been deployed by the world’s leading cruise lines including Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and Norwegian.
- Mr. Kent developed the interactive television systems used in hundreds of hotels worldwide, including the Las Vegas MGM Grand, the world’s largest hotel.
- Mr. Kent was the technical architect for the application that won Microsoft’s "Best Application of the Year Award" in 1996.
- In 1988 Mr. Kent designed and developed a real-time multi-tasking operating system deployed worldwide by Siemens AG, Germany, for industrial control systems.
- Progent Corporation, San Jose, CA, Founder and President, 1999-present
- Allin Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA, President 1996-1999
- Kent Consulting Group, Oakland, CA, Co-founder and President 1994-1996 (Acquired by Allin Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA)
- Vision Network Systems, Oakland, CA, Co-founder and President 1983-1994
- Gifford Computer Systems, San Leandro, CA, Co-founder and Vice-president Research and Development, 1981-1983 (Acquired by Zitel Corp, San Jose, CA)
- Morrow Designs, El Cerrito, CA, Software Development Engineer 1980-1981
- Northstar Computers, Berkeley, CA, Technical Support Engineer, 1979-1980