SDI Presence

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Privately Held Company
IndustryIT consulting, managed services
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois
Area served
Key people
David Gupta (CEO)
Number of employees

SDI Presence LLC (commonly referred to as SDI and formerly named SDI Solutions LLC) is an IT consultancy and managed services provider (MSP) founded in 1996, that provides technology-based professional services. As of 2019 the firm has over 160 employees.[1] SDI is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) with the City of Chicago, State of Illinois, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) and the California Public Utilities COmmission (CPUC). SDI is ranked as a Top Workplace by Crains Chicago Business [2] and the Chicago Tribune [3].


David A. Gupta founded the company as System Development Integration (SDI) in 1996 in Chicago as a spinout from his father's mechanical engineering company, Environmental Systems Design, Inc.; its business was systems integration.[4][5]

With Gupta serving as CEO, by 2012 SDI had $40 million in revenue, 130 employees, 3 other US offices, and offices in the Caribbean, and was known for its security systems work in government-run systems, like transportation and housing, and in commercial buildings. For example, from around 2003 to 2013, SDI earned around $137M from contracts with the city of Chicago for security systems at O'Hare and Midway airports, a paperless permit system in the buildings department, customer service and billing for the water management department, and the city payroll system.[6]

In 2012 SDI raised money to expand from private equity firms Monument Capital and LLR Partners, which took a controlling interest in SDI and left Gupta holding less than 7.5% of the company.[6][7][8] In 2013 it acquired i-sys Corporation which specialized in security, environmental and fire safety solutions,[9] and also bought X7, a Washington, D.C.-based company that had major government and commercial clients.[10] By the end of 2013 it had 250 employees and had 10 office in the U.S., one in Puerto Rico and one in Istanbul and projected revenues of $70M.[10][11]

Also in 2013, SDI made Chicago political news due to donations made to Rahm Emanuel by the wives of Gupta and the company's president, without disclosure of their connection to SDI; SDI was bidding on a contract for Chicago's red light camera system and for its speed camera system at the time.[6]

In the spring of 2014, David Sullivan was hired as CEO to integrate the acquisitions and grow the business to $200M in revenues over the next few years, with Gupta becoming Vice Chairman of the board.[8][12]

In 2015 SDI started going into debt, as it was unable to integrate the Washington DC businesses and contracts had been renewed on unfavorable terms; it laid off staff and tried to find ways to get cash to operate, including selling debt to PGV Solutions,[13] an LLC founded by Gupta that year.[14]

In March 2016 SDI filed for bankruptcy with about $19M in debts.[13]

In June 2016 Gupta acquired SDI and merged it with PGV Solutions; the new entity was named SDI Presence.[14] The company had about 130 employees at that time.[14]

In 2017, the firm acquired NextLevel Information Technology Inc., an IT management consulting firm whose clients include over 200 West Coast government agencies and special districts. Co-founders Terry Hackelman and Frank Otto and the NexLevel consulting team operates under the SDI Presence brand.[15]

As of 2019 the firm has grown to over 160 employees. The firm is a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) with the City of Chicago [16], State of Illinois [17], National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) [18] and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) [19]. In 2020, SDI Presence was named one of 2020's Best Places to Work by Built In Chicago.[20]


  1. ^ Teeley, Adrienne (2019-10-14). "Meet the Team at SDI Presence, the IT Keepers of Chicago's Aviation, Transit and Utility Industries". Built In Chicago. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
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  4. ^ Laura Stepanek for SDM Magazine. November 1, 2007 An Engineering Mindset
  5. ^ John Pletz for Crain's Chicago Business. Sept 7, 2013 In digital era, technology finally catches up with SDI
  6. ^ a b c David Kidwell for The Chicago Tribune. June 19, 2013 Emanuel got $10,000 in donations linked to red light camera bidder
  7. ^ Martha Entwistle for Security Systems News. June 13, 2012 SDI secures investments from LLR Partners, Monument Capital Group
  8. ^ a b Martha Entwistle for Security Systems News. May 21, 2013 David Sullivan named CEO of SDI
  9. ^ Martha Entwistle for Security Systems News. June 19, 2013 SDI is $55m business after purchase
  10. ^ a b Martha Entwistle for Security Systems News. August 28, 2013 SDI is now $70m business after buying X7
  11. ^ Wailin Wong for The Chicago Tribune. August 28, 2013 Chicago technology company SDI buys rival
  12. ^ John Pletz for Crain's Chicago Business. for May 16, 2014 New CEO tapped for tech services firm SDI
  13. ^ a b Matt Chiappardi for Law360. March 14, 2016 IT Security Firm SDI Solutions Hits Ch. 11 Seeking Sale
  14. ^ a b c Staff, SDM Magazine. June 2, 2016 SDI Presence LLC Acquires SDI Solutions, Founder David Gupta Returns as CEO
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  20. ^ "SDI Presence LLC Named One of 2020's Best Places to Work | Markets Insider". 2020-01-14. Retrieved 2020-03-09.

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