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Seven Group aims to be vendor neutral

VAR looks for more vendor relationships

Founded in 2001 and initially a solution provider specializing in storage and data management systems, Vancouver-based Seven Group Inc. has since expanded its presence throughout Canada and the U.S. to be known today as a full service solution provider.

Anthony Brown, managing director of business development and one of the founders of Seven Group, said he and his colleagues saw an area in the market place that wasn’t being managed well when it came to data storage management ­solutions. From there, Seven Group was formed and the company quickly took flight. Brown says the company has been able to maintain a steady growth rate of 40 per cent year-over-year for the past three years.

Brown also said a few years ago Seven Group identified a need for expertise in the digital media space. The company eventually created a separate group called Seven Group Digital Media to address this market demand.

“We found the applications and architectures were so different from traditional IT that there wasn’t anyone who could address this in the market,” he said. “Today, we have approximately 70 per cent of the market share in the animation, special effects and video game B.C. market space.”

The company, Brown says, currently has close to 40 staff members on board in its offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal and Toronto.

On the enterprise side of things, Brown says Seven Group deals with vertical markets ranging from financial, municipality and government sectors and beyond. The company currently targets medium to large-sized enterprises and has relations with about 100 vendors, including EMC, IBM, NetApp, HP and Symantec.

Brown says that perhaps what is one of Seven Group’s biggest business challenges is managing the relationships with all of its vendors because many of them compete with each other in the market place.

He says Seven Group prides itself on being able to successfully attain and maintain these vendor relationships by keeping the company what he calls “vendor neutral.”

“We’re vendor neutral so we can consult with our clients to see what they need,” he said.

“We’re that trusted advisor with our clients and we help and advise them instead of just selling them something. We realize that without products to sell, we don’t have a business, so we make sure our value proposition is not only for our customers, but it’s for our vendors too.”

Seven Group, he says, is always looking for new vendor relationships and technologies. Before partnering with a vendor, Brown says Seven Group requires the vendor provides them with a demo of their software or hardware so it can be tested in their B.C. lab before actually going out to sell the solutions to customers.

“We have a five-year goal right now to be the largest solution provider in Western Canada,” Brown said.

“We pride ourselves that our company is run on a team effort that fuels our success and growth both now and in the future.”