ProServeIT Corp. of Mississauga, Ont., was humming along providing professional cloud and managed services to its customer base. The company was growing and became part of the CDN Top 100 list. Last year ProServeIT was recognized by Microsoft Canada as its Partner of the Year.
But, according to Eric Sugar, the company’s president something was off with the company’s timing. So Sugar along with ProServeIT’s director of business development Jaime McMahon orchestrated a management buyout of the company.
“Jamie and I owned most of the key relationships in the business and after 14 years put the company in a good position,” Sugar told CDN.
Nothing fundamentally changed with the management buyout, except ProServeIT would have a new road map built on speed to market.
ProServeIT was already a go-to channel partner for Microsoft Canada with cloud services, managed services and software development. With the new road map ProServeIT plans to step up its cloud technologies practice, while also putting more emphasis on creating apps for customers.
“The driver for me is that I like building things and I come from a family of entrepreneurs. It’s in my roots. Building something that is interesting is the culture I want to give the employees here,” he said.
Sugar’s strategy is to focus on vertical industries such as legal and financial services. “With the cloud we get contracted into providing data residency by our customers. They say data must stay in Canada. It provides us with an interesting opportunity to double down on cloud in the commercial space with legal and finance. I think this is an inflection point for cloud in our business,” he said.
Currently ProServeIT offers a full range of IT managed services featuring the Microsoft and Citrix stack along with a software development team for custom solutions and app design. The company also sports a data centre project business.
The company is headquartered in Mississauga, but it also has a considerable presence in Vietnam. Sugar and the team established a remote office in the south eastern Asian country on the South China sea as an after-hours resource for its managed services practice.
One of the special programs it has in its Vietnam office is rewarding employees who progress to attain certain technical certifications. Last year ProServeIT rewarded employees with refrigerators.
Sugar said that many parts of Vietnam are rural and an item like a refrigerator is of high value. ProServeIT presented 15 refrigerators for families of the employees in 2015.
“The language, the technical skills and the culture of Vietnam we found very interesting. The people there speak French and English and have a development culture. We were also fortunate to have a Canadian citizen living there. We started with three people and now it provides us with a great cost advantage,” Sugar said.
Winning the Microsoft Canada Partner of the Year award provided ProServeIT will a lot of recognition and became a rallying point for both Sugar and McMahon.
Sugar said he would like ProServeIT to win the award two years in a row but acknowledged it would be “tough.”
Instead Sugar has a more attainable goal; to add 25 new jobs at ProServeIT and 20 more refrigerators to its Vietnam group.
“That’s my encore.”