Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘Tech’

Procom – Recognized by Branham 300 for Industry Leadership

Posted by sweens on April 1, 2010

 Branham Group published its annual Branham 300 List today and Procom was recognized as a leader in its industry for another consecutive year.  

On the list announced today, Procom was named 6 on the list of the Top 25 It Professional Services Companies and 22 on the list of the Top 250 Canadian Tech Companies, taking the number one spot amongst its competitors.

Published annually in Backbone Magazine and circulated in the National Post, the Branham 300 List recognizes Canada’s best performing Information Technology firms. The rankings, which are based on revenue growth, recognize Canadian IT firms for their strong performance and industry leadership. It is considered one of the premier industry performance metrics.

“Recognition by Branham is a significant honour” says Procom’s President & CEO Frank McCrea. “We believe that our commitment to integrity, flexibility and responsiveness has created a strong foundation upon which our company is built and it is this strong foundation that allows Procom to leverage its core competencies and experience continued growth.”

Procom – Procom Consultants Group is a leading IT Staffing & Project Solutions firm in North America and for 4 consecutive years has been named one of the 50 Best Managed Companies in Canada. Procom has 12 office locations, over 2800 IT Consultants and is responsible for the delivery of hundreds of IT projects annually. Procom offers its clients customized services in IT Staffing, Payroll Administration, and IT Project Solutions.

For more information visit: http://www.procom.ca or www.branham300.com

For additional information please contact:

Allison McCrea
Procom Consultants Group Ltd.
1-800-461-4878 ex 600
allisonm@procom.ca

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2009: A year of flux in Ottawa tech

Posted by sweens on December 18, 2009

Published on December 15th, 2009

Jim Donnelly
Ottawa Business Journal

Heady startup activity counteracted by liquidation of various headquarters

It’s been a year of soul-searching, self-help and growing foreign influence for Ottawa technology industry, say observers, but they add that doesn’t mean it’s been a bad 2009 – quite the opposite, in fact, depending on with whom you speak.

But what were the main trends we saw this year, according to those in the trenches? Most obvious, says Pat DiPietro of VG Partners, was the conspicuous absence of venture-backed, early-stage companies hatched in the nation’s capital this year. “The lack of capital has created a gap in the sequence of planting crops and then husbanding them along,” he says.

That’s led to a diversification amongst the Ottawa tech scene from traditional telecom and other technology infrastructure markets, into more lithe, media-style software and social media companies not requiring heavy injections of initial capital.

“(OCRI) likes to continue the mantra that we’ve got a lot of companies starting these days, but they’re all two- or three-person operations,” he adds. “And they’re being bootstrapped.”

OCRI chief executive Claude Haw agrees that 2009 was a year of diversification for local firms. He says this past year was a “coming-out” period for digital media in the city, adding that his organization is now tracking around 200 local companies in the space.

“And the other trend was the retooling that’s gone on in the region,” he says, adding that programs such as Lead to Win are indicative of a series of initiatives recently launched to assist budding entrepreneurs.

But 2009 also saw its fair share of formerly Ottawa-headquartered companies bought and sold by foreign interests. The Nortel saga – which by December had seen the company sell off chunks of its former businesses to companies such as Nokia-Siemens, Ericsson and most likely Ciena, as well – needs little explanation. In June, local success story Tundra Semiconductor was bought by Silicon Valley-based IDT, trumping a bid by rival Gennum Corp. In September, it was revealed that Philadelphia-based Versa Capital would take local defence products maker Allen-Vanguard private. And in late November, Corel Holdings announced that Vector Capital’s all-cash offer for all outstanding Corel Corp. shares had been successfully completed.

Mr. DiPietro says the influx of foreign ownership isn’t a good sign for Ottawa, since it means the dissolution of executive office training grounds for nascent management teams.

“One of the problems with foreign owneship is that the decisions aren’t made here, and so we’ve allowed ourselves to fall into a bad situation,” he says. “We’re in the situation where we’re becoming a branch plant again. We were somewhat out of that for a while (in the late 1990s and 2000s).

“It’s really disturbing, because the problem we’ve always had in Ottawa will be reinforced – we’ve never had lots of management teams here who could create world-class companies. And as those functions get centralized, our people won’t be trained to be great managers.”

Mr. Haw takes a somewhat different angle to the foreign ownership question. He says most consolidation has happened in mature sectors, where there’s always been a constant push to become bigger and more market-dominant. “It’s all about the big, broad market opportunities with these sectors,” he says. “And unfortunately Nortel didn’t make it as a consolidator – they became consolidated.

“But if you look at Alcatel compared to Newbridge Networks, that consolidation has worked in our favour. We’ve had more high-paying jobs locate here after that merger, than if Newbridge hadn’t consolidated.”

And as for the effect of the Nortel consolidation, Mr. Haw says locals shouldn’t think of it as a loss of one, large anchor tenant – indeed, he says it’s almost a misnomer to think of Nortel as an Ottawa company, since they haven’t been headquartered here for years. Instead, thanks to the increased presence of world-class firms such as Ericsson and Nokia, Mr. Haw says we should look at the situation as the gaining of three or four new anchor tenants.

“When a company like Nortel is acquired by Ericsson it brings stability,” he says. “Look at Cognos. They’re now bigger and better than they ever were (before being acquired by IBM).”

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2009-12-15/article-281645/2009%3A-A-year-of-flux-in-Ottawa-tech/1

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White paper looks at why Canuck tech firms are “disappearing”

Posted by sweens on November 6, 2009

By Ottawa Business Journal Staff
Wed, Oct 14, 2009 11:00 AM EST

Canada is wasting the productive lives of “many brilliant and courageous knowledge workers, and losing large sums of money doing it.”

At least, that’s the hypothesis of a white paper released Wednesday morning by Toronto-based Impact Group, which aims to answer the question of why Canadian technology firms are “disappearing.”

Using interviews with former CEOs and investors from 18 R&D performing companies no longer part of Canada’s business landscape, Impact says it discovered that 10 of the 18 firms became insolvent with the other eight disappearing through merger or sale. In five cases, those mergers or sales were profitable, it added.

The extinct firms, however, shared a number of characteristics, Impact said:

– A lack of commerce competence through poor customer engagement;

– Preoccupation with technology and idea-driven R&D “often resulted in a large R&D team with… an unsustainable burn rate”;

– Dysfunctional governance, including lack of shared goals between management and the company’s board of directors, and a lack of enterprise experience among investors.

“While Canada is second to none in technology, there is a significant lack of commerce skills among our technology entrepreneurs”, says Douglas Barber, founder and former CEO of Gennum Corp. and now a distinguished professor-in-residence at McMaster University, in a statement supplied by Impact Group.

“Companies often find themselves dependent on U.S. and other foreign nationals for executive talent especially for customer-facing experience and skills. If we are to succeed, the notion that technology coupled with sufficient venture capital will lead to success in the knowledge economy must be complemented by a deeper understanding of the human dimensions of enterprise and of the value exchange that is commerce.”

 

 Available at – http://www.ottawabusinessjournal.com/295648957466126.php

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Put yourself out there and be found!

Posted by sweens on October 15, 2009

I have taken it upon myself to do a lot of research on the recruitment industry and if there was one thing that popped up over and over again it was this message:  if you want the right job to come to you, put yourself out there!

 I am sure this sounds obvious to most of you. But when you really start to think of it, how “out there” are you?  Is your resume on Workopolis? Do you have a LinkedIn account? What about a Facebook account? Do you have a blog? A website? Is your name on published documents?

 I am not saying that you should join every social network or post your resume on every site but I am saying that you should think about your own presence online. The fact of the matter is, if you are a talented and skilled worker in the tech industry, you should definitely make yourself available to be found. The labour industry is facing some incredible challenges and companies are always looking for talented people. But, those opportunities won’t always come your way if you are hiding in your office cubicle.

 It should also be said that recruiters are always vying for that coveted passive candidate, which means we are desperately looking for that person that is not looking for us.  So, hate to break it to you, but if you are the kind of person that applies incessantly to job offers, you are not exactly putting yourself out there in a way that gets results. You are better off making a name for yourself on LinkedIn writing comments on blogs and even joining “Talent Pools” for specific industries (jobs that go to you). The point is, get your ideas, your achievements, your personality posted in areas that will be seen and opportunities might just come knocking on your door.

 You would be surprised how many candidates, both passive and active, have been turned on to new opportunities which were made possible by the powers of social networking, and the ability to be found.  So, there you have it: make yourself known, make yourself accessible and make yourself found.  What is the worst thing that could happen??

**Article inspired by Jane and Marta**

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