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Creating a new business model

Perhaps the biggest measure of success of the solution Cactus Commerce built for EPSI is that it opened-up entirely new markets and created a new business model for the Montreal-based human resources consulting company

A Microsoft Gold partner based in Gatineau, Que., Cactus Commerce worked with EPSI to develop a customized solution to quickly and securely turn around thousands of recruitment tests across a multitude of industry verticals, a solution that won Cactus a Gold Award in the E-Commerce category.

“We’re thrilled with the win,” said Scott Cairney, vice-president product management with Cactus. “Just being recognized for doing something like this, to us, is of huge value.”

EPSI has developed and markets a series of customized recruitment tests which evaluate the skill set and character traits of a recruitment candidate, with an eye to finding the right person for the right job and ensuring the person hired will flourish in a particular company’s environment.

“They came to Cactus and said ‘we have this process and you have the computer systems ability, can we get together and do something really creative?’” said Cairney. “That’s really the result of our work, and what we got nominated and won for.”

Using Microsoft technologies, including SQL 2000 and .Net architecture, Cactus created a Web-interface that balanced the need to be user friendly for job candidates with being sufficiently elastic to allow EPSI to maintain and update their tests as well as monitor activity and score results.

A key part of the solution was also security, said Cairney. It was important the test submission process be secured so it could be free of third-party influence. Also, during the testing procedure, mechanisms were developed to lock-down the candidate’s computer so they couldn’t surf other Web sites for help. It was a challenge, he said, as candidates could be taking the test from any Web-enabled PC.

“It’s (a) fairly innovative (solution),” says Cairney.

It’s also a solution that has allowed EPSI to broaden its business model. In the past its clients were mainly companies looking to hire staff, but now EPSI is able to market its tests directly to job seekers looking for a leg-up in their job search who pay a fee to take the test.

“They’ve been able to get their business to a broader audience,” said Cairney. “Now they’re reaching-out to people that are applying for jobs in general.”

End to End Networks Inc. received the Silver award in this category.