A couple of years ago, Jim Pinto started saying that no system integrator could ever get larger than $30 million in revenue per year. Jim's law has been broken, but in fairness, it was done by going around it, rather than smashing through his $30 million barrier. This press release from Maverick Technologies illustrates the point. Maverick is one of the dozen or so independent system integrators who are flirting with the $100 million a year mark. They did it by expanding and putting offices in other trade areas. Pinto's point that control system integrators are still geographically-challenged by the need to be within a two- to three-hour drive from their customers is still correct...so the big integrators have started going where the other customers are, too. MAVERICK Technologies, a next-generation engineering, systems integration and operational consulting firm, broke ground yesterday at the site of its new corporate headquarters in Columbia, Ill. The proposed two-story building will span 35,000 square feet and offer state-of-the-art facilities for research and development. Move-in is scheduled for Dec. 1, 2007. The new, high-tech building is the perfect representation of who we are as a global leader," said Paul Galeski, P.E., CAP, CEO and founder, MAVERICK Technologies. "The relocation will give us the room we need to continue to grow right here in Columbia. It was important for all of us to stay here because our business and our families are an integral part of this community." Key features of the new building include a learning center, collaboration rooms, three simulation labs and a hardware integration facility, allowing MAVERICK to extensively test and thoroughly implement proven solutions for all its clients. The building will also provide space for a large boardroom, seven conference rooms, 30 offices and more than 80 workspaces. "The ability to support project team collaboration during design and development, as well as to provide dedicated facilities for testing and simulation processes, will help us deliver superior quality for our clients. The new building also gives us the opportunity to easily explore new technologies and ideas in automation," said Kevin Rhoades, P.E., PMP, Vice President of Quality. The new building is just the latest in a series of recent expansions and announcements demonstrating MAVERICK's continued growth. The company recently opened new offices in Chicago and Detroit, augmenting its network of more than 30 domestic and international facilities, and also announced several large project wins. So, Jim is right, but he's not. What is interesting is that John Berra's prediction a few years ago that there would only be a very few Main Automation Contractors doesn't seem to be coming true, either...because the larger integrators are easily able to compete with the integration arms of the larger control system vendors. For the end-users, choice is good.