Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘IT’

CPSA and so much other stuff…

Posted by sweens on March 11, 2010

I wish I had more time as of late to blog but it has just been crazy busy for me at the moment that I have not had much down time at work to dedicate to this.  I have a few minutes to breath right now so I thought I should write something down.  Maybe it will help me de-stress.

Firstly, my firm has been busy trying to get onto Cyber Protection Supply Arrangement (CPSA).  We usually partner with other companies to meet CPSA requirements so we thought why not go after that procurement vehicle and be less dependent on our partners.  It certainly was time consuming and took a lot of effort by many individuals but we got out bid in on time and I look forward to seeing how we did on it. 

I personally enjoy recruiting for CPSA as the people are generally good to deal with and there are high pay and bill rates so it definitely is a win-win for most successful placements.

On top of all of that, my firm is recruiting a large IT services bid which needs some very technical and very specific people.  It has proven to be a challenge but it has really down the strength of my office at this point.  I am looking forward to seeing the final results of this bid.

Oh and I can not forget my regular order flow. 

Is everyone else insanely busy right now?  Sometimes busy is good right?

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Procom – One of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies

Posted by sweens on February 16, 2010

 Toronto, February 16, 2010 Procom is pleased to announce that it has been honoured for the fourth consecutive year as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.

Established in 1993 by Deloitte & CIBC, Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies is the country’s leading business awards program, recognizing excellence in Canadian-owned and managed companies with revenues over $10 million. Every year, hundreds of entrepreneurial companies compete for this designation in a rigorous process that evaluates the calibre of their management abilities and practices.

“Recognition by the leading firms that sponsor the program is a significant honour and appreciated greatly by myself and the entire team at Procom,” says President & CEO Frank McCrea. “We believe that our consistent application of best practices has created a strong foundation that has enabled us to weather the recent economic downturn and emerge stronger than before.”

In 2009 the IT staffing industry experienced a downturn affecting the demand for Procom’s core services. By reacting to the market and adapting its offerings Procom overcame economic adversity and developed closer relationships with its clients. The award is validation of the strong leadership and vision of Procom’s management team. Procom would like to thank its clients, consultants and employees for their continued support.

About Procom – Procom Consultants Group is Canada’s leading IT staffing firm. Canadian-owned and operated, Procom has 12 office locations, over 2800 consultants on assignment across North America and is responsible for hundreds of permanent placements annually. Procom’s service offerings include contract and permanent IT staffing, payroll administration, vendor management and IT project solutions. Procom is proud to be recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. For more information visit: or

More Information:
Corporate Communications
Procom Consultants Group

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2010 to be all about mobile technology: Deloitte

Posted by sweens on January 19, 2010

Krystle Chow
Ottawa Business Journal
Tablet PCs, eBooks and other mobile technology are among the top trends sighted for 2010 in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors, or TMT, along with the dilemma of tightening resources versus burgeoning demand, according to Deloitte Canada.
Deloitte’s 2010 TMT Predictions report said the increasing popularity of mobile Internet will lead the charge for innovation in the year ahead, with the e-book topping its list of trends to watch.
The headline-grabbing Amazon Kindle e-reader has been flying off the shelves since its introduction in 2007, spawning imitators from Sony and fellow book retailer Barnes & Noble among others, but the report pointed to the actual reading medium as the way of the near future, rather than the reading technology, which it proclaimed a niche-filler.“Although e-readers are securing headlines, they are an interim technology and sales growth will not meet expectations, as competition from alternative devices will likely slow their growth rate in 2011,” the report said. “E-books are expected to do well, but not be limited to stand-alone e-readers and will mainly be read on smartphones, PCs and tablets.”Deloitte drew parallels between the potential challenges for Canadian publishers, writers and distributors and those of the music industry, which has been seeking ways to deal with declining sales of hard-copy, recorded music in the face of digital downloads.

Other key industry trends include the emergence of the tablet PC and the media’s struggle to gain revenues from online content, the study showed.

That’s in line with what the report predicted would be the major driver of the three industries in 2010, namely the demand for the ability to access unlimited data “anywhere, anytime and on any screen.”

However, Deloitte pointed out that the slow recovery from 2008’s economic downturn means that demand will have to be balanced with limited budgets and clogged networks.

“Yesterday’s technologies can’t keep up with tomorrow’s customers,” said John Ruffolo, chief of Deloitte’s national technology, media and telecommunications industry group, in a statement. “Clearing the network traffic jams created by new mobile devices will not be easy and will have serious ramifications for customers and carriers alike.”

The report pointed to the dangers of recent “all-you-can-eat” data offerings among mobile carriers, especially with the addition of new entrants such as Wind Mobile, and said service providers will likely turn to short-term quick fixes to tide them over while they plan out new networks to accommodate the increased bandwidth usage.

That could be where local companies such as DragonWave and Bridgewater Systems come in, since the former deals with bandwidth-maximizing packet microwave radios while the latter’s technology allows carriers to keep track of and manage subscriber plans.

“Canadians and Canadian companies are at the front lines of the battle between demand for data and the realities of pricing,” stated Duncan Stewart, director of Deloitte Canada Research. “This tension is driving the TMT world to opt for solutions that may not be perfect, but are good enough.”

The report also pointed to cloud computing – in layman’s terms, the increasing use of hosted, virtual IT services provided over the Internet instead of the traditional on-site hardware and software ­– as one of the fastest-growing technology sectors, although it said it is “not taking over the world quite yet.”

“Concerns over reliability and security continue to make large enterprises and governments cautious about adopting cloud. In contrast, consumers and small enterprises are the logical early adopters, as the global cloud computing industry is predicted to grow almost 50 per cent to $80 billion in 2010,” the report noted.

It’s another area where Ottawa firms could benefit, including companies such as Embotics, which helps customers manage their virtual servers from creation to destruction, ensuring that servers are not deployed unnecessarily or lying dormant once created.

Other trends highlighted by Deloitte include increased competition and the threat of oversaturation in the clean-tech industry, along with the shift to the $80-billion online advertising market, which is expected to continue to steal market share from traditional ad media.

The report is based on research, interviews and input from Deloitte clients and alumni, industry analysts, 100 technology, media and telecommunications C-suite executives from around the world, and more than 6,000 Deloitte TMT member firm practitioners.

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Interesting times lie ahead for Procom’s Ottawa office

Posted by sweens on November 20, 2009

 While the effects of the recession are still in full force for the Ottawa IT market, some of Ottawa’s private sector companies are continuing to grow while others are still downsizing.  Ottawa’s unique blend of public and private sector IT business has helped mask the true effects that the recession has had on the city.  The large Government presence in Ottawa has continued to push forward with new IT projects but it has also begun to cut the budgets on some existing projects.  This has caused many IT consultants who were supporting projects to be back on the market looking for new contracts.

Labour market conditions in Ottawa have been fluctuating recently due to outside factors changing the shape of IT contracting and the vision of IT projects.  Many of our clients continue to push for contracting rate reductions as they look to get more production for less money these days.  The swine flu craze has caused the Government to throw more money at this issue which has forced them to create new projects and initiatives in the on-going effort to combat this issue.  We are continuing to experience growing pains with Government procurement methods as the push for full TBIPS compliance by all Government departments changes the landscape of procurement into the Government. 

Over the last few months we have seen increased levels of IT positions as Government employees returned from summer vacations and started getting their Q3/Q4 projects underway.  Over the last few weeks we have seen many departments looking to hire consultants prior to the Christmas break in an effort to staff their projects and hit the ground running as we enter 2010.

The Procom Ottawa office is really looking forward to sinking its teeth into the public sector once 2010 rolls around as many Government departs will look to spend their remaining budgets prior to their fiscal year end.  As we have seen many projects begin prior to the holidays we expect to see many supporting roles emerge following the holidays as our clients look for the go-to resources they are going to need to make these projects take flight.

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New Grads: Struggling to get hired??

Posted by sweens on February 25, 2009

I was sitting here in my office today wondering what I could blog about. I got to thinking and what I ended up focusing on was how ‘new grads’ are likely the largest group within the candidacy pool who will have the greatest struggle finding IT employment in the coming months or years. I personally do not monitor a lot of ‘new grad’ opportunities as it is not an area of focus for my firm, however from a business perspective, I can see this group having a difficult time.

As the candidacy pool grows during the recession – the volume of experienced professionals will clearly rise in correlation. And of this increased candidacy pool you will have two types of candidates:

1. Those who are unwilling to lower their salary expectations to compete in the market
2. Those who are willing to lower their salary expectations to compete in the market

Those who are willing to take a pay cut and are already of the beginner/intermediate experience level will directly challenge new grads for entry level positions.


Honestly I do not really know. I can see both sides of the coin here. First, it would seem beneficial to take the experienced professional over the new grad. The experienced professional will take less time to ‘ramp up’ and will likely make a greater impact on your organization in a shorter time. I would suspect that these candidates who are going to lower their salary expectations during the recession will also be the first people to leave for higher paying jobs when the recession is over.

That is where I see the problem of hiring the experienced professional over the ‘new grad’. Employee retention has to be on the mind of every hiring manager. Opting for the quick impact may not be the best long-term investment to make when a hiring decision is made. Employers also need to be cognisant of this situation and not take advantage of the recession in terms of compensation packages.

While offering a candidate a weak compensation package may help the company out now, it will likely send the employee out looking for a new opportunity once the market comes back around. The labour market certainly has changed in the sense that it is not uncommon for candidates to switch positions 4 or 5 times within their careers, rather then sticking it out with one company for 20 or more years. Employers need to be thinking about how to keep their employees rather satisfying their current needs.

Filling a small leak now with larger then required plug may cause a bigger leak once the plug is removed…

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