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SHI is bullish on the Canadian market

The global procurement outsourcing company and solution provider has opened four Canadian offices, and is growing strong

With a North America-wide expansion already on the books for last spring that included significant growth in Canada, Software House International (SHI) isn’t letting the economy hamper its aggressive plans for growth.

SHI was founded in New Jersey in 1989 and is a US$3.6 billion global procurement outsourcing company and solution provider. It entered the Canadian market as SHI Canada in 1996 as a value-added reseller of software, hardware and services, and has relationships with vendors that include IBM, Lotus, Microsoft and Novell.

Adam Belzycki, director of sales with SHI Canada, said up until last spring SHI had a regional coverage model in Canada, with one representative per province. That changed last April when SHI opened offices in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, as well as a headquarters for SHI Canada in Toronto that includes a new inside sales centre to support its Canadian clients.

Today, SHI Canada has some 40 employees, and Belzycki said they’re updating the organizational chart almost daily.

The Canadian growth was part of a North American-wide expansion that saw SHI open 24 new offices as part of the company’s strategic decision to move beyond its traditional Fortune 100 bread and butter into the corporate market, which SHI terms as 5000 PCs and below, all the way down to the mid-market/SMB.Belzycki said SHI Canada is bullish about its prospects in the current market.

“We don’t think it’s a cakewalk, it’s a tough market out there, but we’re fortunate to have a strategy that’s based on knowing where the market is going,” said Belzycki. “We enter with a clean balance sheet and strong organic growth. We don’t do acquisitions, the company doesn’t believe in them. We’re a private company and decisions we take are based on how to we enter a market to best service our customers. In essence, our customers are our shareholders.”

As SHI executes on its growth strategy in Canada, Belzycki said one of the challenges for himself and he management team has been finding the right candidates to join the organization. There are a lot of people looking for work right now, Belzycki said, but you’ve got to be careful you get the right fit.

“We’re looking for growth, so attracting the right talent that’s ready to go into the market and make it happen is important,” said Belzycki. “It’s finding people to balance the sales ability with being responsive to the customer, as well as having the technical capability to speak authoritatively with customers about products and services.”

In the Canadian market, Belzycki said SHI has traditionally been strong around licensing and license management and has a strong asset management practice. The provincial government market has been strong, as has financial services and energy.Belzycki added SHI Canada has a strategy in place that he believes will ensure its bullishness isn’t misplaced.

“We need to enable our salespeople with the resources and training they need to be able to use their sales abilities with confidence and hard work,” said Belzycki. “And fundamentally, we have a history if taking care of customers better than everyone else. For me, it’s a matter of taking a culture that has worked for close to 20 years and instilling that to our new sales teams.”