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Informatique EBR wins fastest riser award

Quebec City-based company rose 14 spots from last year and is branching out into the Ontario marketplacern

Mohamed El Khayet was surprised his firm was named CDN’s fastest rising solution provider for 2004.

He said CDN does a great job in informing the industry, along with its sister publication in the province of Quebec, Direction Informatique.

But he thought that because CDN is based in Toronto

and its residents believe their city is the “”centre of the universe,”” they would not notice a company from a small French-speaking village (Quebec City).

But Informatique EBR is a solution provider that is hard not to notice. The company moved up 14 spaces from last year, settling in at No. 36.

The company earned between $30 to $40 million, predominately in its local market.

The VAR specializes in the development and implementation of intranets, including the deployment of management tools for enterprise portals.

All of EBR’s applications support integrated management of content within an enterprise (“”content management””) and fit in seamlessly with the existing technical infrastructure.

The EBR stands for…

El Khayet, along with his partners Denis Blais and Guy Roy started the company in 1990. The first letter of each co-founder’s surname make up EBR. However, Roy left the firm shortly after it was founded.

A native of Morocco, El Khayet was educated in Spain before moving to Canada.

“”I fell in love with this French village,”” he said of Quebec City.

The company’s philosophy is to take a high-touch local approach with customers. “”We have a belief that people buy from people they know, and in our industry customers buy from those they can trust.””

He also believes his company must remain as flexible as possible. For example, at its small Toronto-area office employees have the freedom to deal with customers as they see fit.

“”They do not need to ask me for a demo server or (to) give money to participate in a golf tournament. They do not need authorization. This is important with customers because you have to act quickly in this industry,”” he said.

EBR’s solutions are also flexible, he added. EBR competes with heavyweights but the company’s knowledge of the local market helps the solution provider remain nimble in terms of customizing solutions quickly.

El Khayet claims his company’s development team can design a specific application in a matter of weeks, while his competitors are not interested in adapting its enterprise-level applications to any small or mid-market business.

“”IBM will not redesign their software, but we can,”” he said.

Informatique EBR can also build on top of solutions from IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. El Khayet added that while these firms are his competitors they are also his partners in many cases.