Rapidly growing solution providers say helping clients cut through the noise is the clear path to success

With files from Tom li


Staying ahead of the curve and keeping a close eye on customer feedback is how you remain relevant in the Canadian IT channel. It also helps you earn CDN’s Top 100 Solution Providers Fastest Riser award.

ProServeIT and SoftwareOne grabbing the winning spots as the Top 100 Fastest Riser category winner is no coincidence. They took different paths last year to make big leaps up the Top 100 ladder, but each company placed big bets on advisory and implementation solutions.

“[2019] was a successful year for us worldwide, but even more so for the Canadian subsidiary,” said Michael Charter, vice-president of business development, SoftwareOne.

Hailing from Switzerland, SoftwareONE ranks as one of Microsoft’s largest channel partners globally. As an end-to-end cloud solution provider, it connects 65,000 customers to over 7,500 software publishers and boasts 5,400 employees operating in 90 countries, offering services in the digital supply chain, managed cloud services, and software cycle management along with a plethora of services.

The company works in four-year visions, Charter explained, and last year was a major step in a new direction. “Last year we successfully transitioned away from the traditional on-premises cloud software reselling, and now, the majority of our business comes from advisory solutions that surround system lifecycles and technology implementation.”

With the world’s biggest cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform planting more flags in Canada with new Availability Zones and other services, Charter said helping customers navigate it all remains a critical part of the business.

There was also, of course, the acquisition of IT services provider Comparex back in February 2019, which ultimately expanded its services across its software portfolio.

SoftwareOne’s clients, especially the small to medium-sized businesses, doubled down on containers and Kubernetes Web Services.

The ProserveIT team at its annual general meeting. Photo submitted.

“We’ve had more success with our SMB customers,” explained Eric Sugar, president, ProServeIT. “I think that’s based on their ability to be agile and invest in new technologies. They’re also more willing to take some risks.”

Sugar said the company’s biggest wins last year involving containers were with clients that are less than 100 employees looking to “reimagine their business”.

He also attributed the company’s 2019 success to its collaboration with Microsoft, who provided ProServeIT with the proper support services.

ProServeIT has been a leading managed and cloud services provider since 2001. Bolstered by its portfolio, ProServeIT now operates Canada, U.S., France and Vietnam. Its excellence has been recognized across the industry and has earned it a Microsoft Gold Partner and Citrix partner.

A lot of that success over the years, according to Sugar, can be traced back to a conversation with the company’s vice-president of services who coined the term “Happy Meal Zone”. The description relates to customers buying multiple service lines from ProServe. Once they commit to repeated purchases, you know they’re in the Happy Meal Zone.

“It’s a funny story. He was trying to describe to our internal team the importance of having customers buying multiple different service lines from a services business and how we can optimize a customer’s technology experience by having them buy more from us. And the first thing that jumped into his mind was the McDonald’s Happy Meal and the toy it comes with,” Sugar explained. “It created a whole movement inside of our business when it comes to how we describe and measure growth.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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