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Kontron Canada

A business model transformation

Supply chain management in the cloud





elcome to the July issue of Business Chief Canada! In this month’s issue, we speak exclusively to one of Canada’s most innovative technology startups, Tutela. With a CEO at just 26 years old, Hunter Macdonald understands the challenge ahead and how learning and growing fast will prove key. The threat of data breaches and ransomware are on the rise, with the cost of cybercrime expected to increase by over $2trn by 2019, we speak with software company EQUIIS to uncover the solution. Calgary, a city where business and people thrive, is our city focus this month. We caught up with two leaders in business as they speak to the attractiveness of Calgary for business owners, and how the city is a hub of transformative investments. We also take a look at the highest-ranking investment companies, ranked by revenue according to the Financial Post Canadian 500. With Investissement Quebec, E-L Financial Corporation Ltd and Fairfax Financial Holdings, see who makes our Top 10 Investment companies in Canada. Our special features include Kontron, talking mobile edge computing and open source software, as well as a discussion around the future of AI and cloud in supply chain management with the VP of Oracle.


Enjoy the issue!

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m









Business process outsourcing and the digital revolution




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Andres Cubero, the Jetro Restaurant Depot’s firstever CIO on recognizing the importance of digitization



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Exceptional entertainment, exceptional procurement

The cloud-based

future of


chain management

Dan Bloch, Vice President, Diversified Industries, Financial and Supply Chain Solutions for Oracle in Canada, explains his excitement at what the likes of AI and cloud have to offer the world of SCM Written by John O’Hanlon Produced by Glen White



hen it comes to business

and consumer life. “We are

computer technology,

finding increasingly that with the

Oracle is ubiquitous.

accelerating speed of change,

And when it comes to business

and emergence of disruptive

applications, Oracle has a similarly

technologies such as IoT,

strong presence with enterprise-

companies need a platform that

class products and platforms it has

can rapidly adopt new capabilities

developed in-house, integrated

without having to undergo

with best of breed solutions it has

periodic, massive transformations.

acquired over the years. In areas

That platform is the cloud”

such as supply chain planning, PLM,


In the case of IoT, the terabytes

logistics, transportation, warehouse,

of data that now floods in from

and global trade management it

a myriad of IP enabled devices,

has established itself as a provider

RFID, GPS and other sources

of best-in-class, regardless of

must be collected, consolidated

the backend ERP. Over the last

and thoroughly analysed. Bloch

several years the company has

adds: “This data has the potential

been on a journey to redevelop all

to help a supply chain assess

of these capabilities for the Cloud

what it can do because we get

– starting with CX, then HCM and

better insight into where materials

ERP, and more recently SCM.

are prior to manufacturing, for

Based in Canada, Dan Bloch

example, and where my post

is Oracle’s VP responsible for

manufacturing products are

customers’ financial and supply

relative to reaching their endpoint.”

chain needs, predominantly in

The challenge lies in making

Eastern Canada and the North

all that data usable, he says, and

Eastern USA, and across multiple

many companies still have some

industries. For him the cloud is not

way to go. Gaining insight from that

just the biggest opportunity facing

information, and translating that

Oracle, but a catalyst for change

into positive business outcomes

for almost every aspect of business

is where Oracle differentiates

J U LY 2 0 1 8


“As soon as you start dealing with equipment, even if you’re not manufacturing that equipment, you create an entire supply chain situation” – Dan Bloch Vice President Diversified Industries, Financial and Supply Chain Solutions

itself. “We have identified the different

And without the ability to translate

industries and sub-verticals and are

that into action, such as creating

bringing out specific capabilities

a work order, complete with the

designed for each. This will always be a

right tools, material and best-

continuous journey, but the horizontal

timed dispatch, that signal by

infrastructure that enables this is ready

itself is just not useful. “Oracle

now.” For customers this is crucial.

is transforming that signal into

For example, a device on a forklift can

real, actionable information and

detect that a piston is overheating,

then integrating that into the right

but without sophisticated predictive

ERP and SCM processes,” Bloch

analytics that signal is meaningless.

says. “That’s what is unique.” c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m



Oracle ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Design Tech (d.Tech) High School – a public charter school that works closely with the Oracle Education Foundation, a non-profit organization funded by the company


The power of 5G, IoT and AI Communication infrastructure operators justified the capital cost of building out the 4G network on the demand for video streaming. Now they are looking to IoT: the proliferation of devices will require mobile networks that can handle an exponential growth in data. That’s what going to drive the investment in new 5G networks and their 100x speed and capacity. In Canada he sees these forces converging: “Business needs the information these devices can provide, and the ability for those devices to communicate over mobile networks, and to be able to service J U LY 2 0 1 8

that information in a way that’s relevant to business goals.” Delivering these services in a cloud environment for supply chain is still relatively new. Oracle has been immensely successful with its traditional on-premise software. Major Canadian businesses are among the many that rely on Oracle supply chain solutions to produce and deliver products to their customers. The territory he looks after is geographically dispersed. Industries like mining and resources operate in remote locations, and for companies like one of the world’s largest


gold producers, 5G connectivity

connectivity and their data

will be crucial. “We have some great

centres. “As soon as you start

customers,” says Bloch. “They

dealing with equipment, even if

certainly understood where we are

you’re not manufacturing that

headed in terms of enabling IoT

equipment yourself, you create

information into business practice.

an entire supply chain situation,”

We have large commitments to one

Bloch says. “In the old days,

another to further that agenda.”

if there’s a failure somewhere, you would learn about it from a

Customer-led prioritisation The communications service providers (CSPs) themselves stand to benefit. They deal with huge amounts of diverse equipment, from their towers and signal boosting equipment to cable boxes, handsets and modems – even the devices that give cars mobile

customer, then locate and fix it. Today the fault can be detected automatically. The next step is to not just see a problem, but to predict it, locate it, and resolve it automatically without disruption. The preventative capacity that it creates is amazing and all of c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Perspective matters The future asks more of business. A demand to look at the world from a whole new viewpoint. With a global network of over 2,000 supply chain consultants, Deloitte delivers supply chain management with new perspectives, from strategy through implementation. We serve clients around the world to help them improve their supply chain performance and increase shareholder value. A fresh view on addressing your most challenging decisions awaits at: HeartOfWhatMatters.Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member Firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member Firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more about our global network of member Firms. © 2016. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

To make an Impact that Matters.

go-live. We understand Oracle

project costing and profitability,

That is Deloitte’s defined purpose

cloud is a catalyst, digital is the

improved order to delivery

and to act with courage and

mindset and transformation is

cycle times and improved order

conviction to make an impact

what’s next.

efficiencies. From a myriad

that matters every day—across

Our Supply Chain practice focuses

of complex systems our team

our businesses and around the

on delivering practical, strategy-

was able to leverage delivered

world. At Deloitte, we have been

driven value through advisory

processes and best practice

working closely with Oracle for

services that optimize, reinvent,

design to reduce the footprint to

the past 20 years to transform

digitize and improve the supply

a compact, efficient, cloud first

the way our clients do business.

chain from end to end — design,


Working hand in hand with Oracle,

plan, source, make, and deliver. We

With another client in the

we are defining the journey to

tackle organizations’ most complex

communications industry, we are

Cloud in Finance and Supply Chain

issues by drawing on global

helping them overhaul their supply


capabilities that span all areas of

chain platform. Leveraging our

For us, Cloud isn’t just another

business strategy and operations

proprietary Supply Chain Illuminate

technology platform, it’s the future

and industries including Consumer

Labs, we have helped them move

of technology. And Oracle’s suite

& Industrial Products; Energy &

in to the cloud with Oracle Supply

of Cloud applications are helping

Resources; Financial Services;

Chain and Inventory Management

Deloitte’s clients open the door

Technology, Media, & Telecom;

including working with Oracle on

to a world of new possibilities.

Healthcare & Life Sciences; and

innovating new ways to integrate

Over 22,000 Deloitte professionals

Public Sector.

the Digital Supply Network.

around the world are helping client

Recently our team has delivered

We are helping organizations adopt

organizations move at the speed

transformative results to a

the Digital Supply Network and we

of innovation and drive business

high-tech manufacturer in

know we can help you turn your

value with Oracle cloud solutions

Canada. Deloitte led this client in

supply chain into a competitive

that are built and tested in an

transforming the manufacturing,

differentiator. Contact us to find

iterative and immersive way. Our

inventory, order management

out more about how we are helping

team focuses on empowering

and procurement processes all

our clients navigate disruption

clients to be innovative and thrive

leveraging Oracle Cloud. The

and leverage the opportunities of

in the Oracle cloud long after initial

benefits resulted in improved

Oracle Cloud.


• Enable new operational thinking and support changing networks to free resources to perform more value-added activities.


•Link related business processes to create efficiencies and enable greater transparency.


• Fewer integrations, less training, and consistent upgrades will empower workers.

J U LY 2 0 1 8


this is enabled through the seamless

not wait until it is more disruptive,

integration of IoT, analytics and SCM.”

costly or even catastrophic. I can

The information might be embedded

reroute my production capacity

into existing work processes to enable

based on a better understanding

action – or it can be made useful by

of the whereabouts of the problem,

applying artificial intelligence (AI) with

or dynamically solve my pre-

no human intervention. Bloch says: “It’s

manufacturing inventory issues.”

the added insights that AI can provide

Oracle is partnering with

in real-time that really makes the whole

customers to drive innovation.

thing exciting, and that is why you

“The specifics of a solution may

are starting to see the lightbulb go

differ but the benefits are not

off for leaders of supply chain. They

company or industry-specific,”

see tremendous opportunities to take

Bloch continues. “These are

out cost, to improve service and to

people who see that the IoT

decrease cycle times. Budgets stay

investment and the software

static at best, so their approaches

investment will drive value in

have to be smarter and more cost

their business. That is a vision

effective. AI will enable many savings.

we at Oracle share.” The majority

I can react to a problem earlier with

of companies today have some

a less serious maintenance task and

sort of work order management

“Business needs the proliferation of devices in the areas where it makes sense to collect information, the ability for those devices to communicate over mobile networks, and to be able to service that information in a way that’s relevant to its goals”

Dan Bloch Vice President Diversified Industries, Financial and Supply Chain Solutions c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m



• Minimal upfront investment, subscription-based pricing


• Easy expansion with minimal risk


J U LY 2 0 1 8

• The cloud vendor handles maintenance, and upgrades


Founded in

process, he says. They vary in the extent to which


these processes are digitised, but whether they

just IT implementation. In many cases a joint collaboration makes sense when approaching

an SCM transformation in the

are running their enterprise on an

context of broader corporate

Oracle backbone or another system,

goals. Industry-specific know-how

Oracle IoT and SCM solutions can

is of particular benefit. For

be integrated without the need for

example, it has a number of

a costly migration of their existing

partners that are very active in

backbone. Of course, if that backbone

Canada and North America.

were the Oracle Cloud, the capabilities

“One partner of ours is very

would be part of the platform.

experienced in implementing Oracle solutions across industries

Beneficial partnerships Oracle has an accreditation process for its implementation partners, with differentiation on the basis of their experience and the breadth, depth and value that they bring outside of

in Canada, and North America, so they can anticipate issues before they occur,” says Bloch. “For example, in the US there is a new accounting standard called ASC 606 which governs revenue c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m



“I am so excited about the wealth and the breadth of the capabilities we are bringing to market” –

Dan Bloch Vice President Diversified Industries, Financial and Supply Chain Solutions 20

recognition and deferred obligations in

burden, in resources and cost,

customer contracts, similar to the IFRS

of customisation and upgrading.

15 requirement. Given this particular

To that extent its benefits are

partner’s expertise in auditing, they

short term. In contrast, while

can anticipate the needs to collect

the Oracle Cloud does permit

contract level information during an

extensive configuration and

ERP or supply chain implementation

even the development of

and make the appropriate design

extensions, it does not allow the

considerations up front to satisfy

customer to customise. This is

this accounting requirement.”

a good thing. While customers

Again, this is something that

typically go through some

differentiates cloud from on-premise

change management to use the

solutions, he says. “On-Premise

software the way it is designed,

software brings with it a greater

this ultimately that puts them in

J U LY 2 0 1 8



a highly sustainable place and at a

market. That we have Canadian

much lower cost. It allows them to

data centres to provide these

standardise whatever they can and

services will allay any concerns

still to differentiate in the areas they

around data appropriation. We

need to – those areas that really create

can service customers of every

the identity and differentiation of their

size and complexity. And we can

business. And most importantly, it

help customers standardise and

allows then to continuously receive new

differentiate what makes their

capabilities and innovations without the

companies and products unique. I

need for complex and costly upgrades.

never want to suggest that we have

“I am so excited about the wealth

all the answers. We are always in

and the breadth of the capabilities we

partnership with our customers,

are bringing to market and the potential

who are our best teachers.

impact we can have on the Canadian

We love their feedback.� c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y


J U LY 2 0 1 8



Hunter Macdonald, CEO of Tutela at just 26 years old, on learning fast and growing one of Canada’s most innovative technology startups

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

ost business leaders are able to call upon decades worth of experience when steering their companies but for Hunter Macdonald, CEO of Victoria-based Tutela Technologies, his is a career that has been somewhat fast-tracked. Aged just 26, Macdonald has defied convention to help build and lead one of Canada’s most innovative technology firms over the last five years, with Tutela heavily disrupting the mobile industry and growing to become a strong influence in the sector. A leader in the crowdsourcing of wireless quality of experience information, Tutela holds the biggest data set the world over and uses that data to help some of the biggest mobile players on the planet understand their networks and improve their services. Macdonald spoke exclusively to Business Chief to discuss the company’s role in the market, the secrets to its success and his own unique journey‌



J U LY 2 0 1 8

Business Chief: Can you start by giving us an overview of your background and how you got to where you are today? Hunter Macdonald: I grew up in the small town of Fredericton, New Brunswick near where my mother is from. She has seven siblings who stayed close so I was always surrounded by a massive family. Technology was


“I studied Mechanical Engineering at McGill from 2005-2010 but eventually made the decision to transition into entrepreneurship and took two business minors while also volunteering with Wesley Clover” – Hunter Macdonald

never a major part of my life growing up, and still isn’t part of my personal life, but I loved math and logic problems. I would skip class with my high school friends but would always make sure to sneak back in for physics class. I studied Mechanical Engineering at McGill from 2005-2010 but eventually made the decision to transition into entrepreneurship and took two business minors while also volunteering with Wesley Clover, a family-run VC fund to line me up for c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y


post-graduation. In 2010 I moved to Victoria to start Tutela with Owen Matthews and my co-founders. I also enrolled in a Masters of Engineering program which I completed at the same time as starting Tutela. It took me four years to complete my engineering report because, not surprisingly, I was busy. Along the way I met some amazing University of Victoria Professors, Dr. Ted Darcie and Dr. Stephen Neville, who helped with Tutela’s early technology concepts. Together they had experience in telecommunications, data security and data privacy which were all essential for us.

How significant was one particular phone call from Wesley Clover? One phone call changed everything for me. I had been working with Wesley Clover as an Entrepreneur in Residence for over a year researching various opportunities with them. I J U LY 2 0 1 8

was already in the process of moving to Ottawa to be closer to their head office when I received a call from Owen Matthews, one of the partners with Wesley Clover. He liked one of the research concepts and wanted to work with me but it had to be in Victoria, and I had three days to move there. It was the quickest, best and most impactful decision I had ever had to make. Owen helped assemble an A Team of cofounders and we’ve achieved a lot together in an amazing city to live in.

Can you explain how Tutela has forged its position in the market? Initially we studied how wireless service providers were improving their networks for consumers and were shocked to discover that $7bn a year is spent on network drive testing to just determine where networks are good and where they are bad. Phones were being placed in


c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y


vehicles to run network test code and then these vehicles were driven up and down streets all day, every day to evaluate wireless networks – I couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a more efficient way. It also didn’t seem very environmentally friendly. We built code to turn any consumer’s phone into a test agent so that everyone could help collect this data instead. The difficulty then was figuring out how to get that code on enough phones and how to do it in a way that was transparent to the consumer. We had a breakthrough when we moved into a shared office with an advertising company. We learned through osmosis how mobile advertising worked and how mobile advertisers were paying mobile apps to integrate their code. We decided to copy their model but with our code base. We approached mobile apps and asked them to integrate our code as an alternative to advertising for making money from their apps.

Can you walk us through exactly how your technology works, from implementation to results delivery? Our software runs on over 200mn end user devices worldwide, collecting over 10bn crowdsourced mobile data measurements every day. This data is then used to create J U LY 2 0 1 8

“Initially we studied how wi were improving their netw were shocked to discover t on network drive testing to networks are good and wh

ireless service providers works for consumers and that $7bn a year is spent o just determine where here they are bad� – Hunter Macdonald

actionable insights which enable the mobile industry to understand mobile quality and usage. Our network performance testing software runs in the background of more than 2,000 popular consumer mobile apps and games on Android and iOS to anonymously collect sensor data across the world. Our methodology and configuration are set to simulate typical user mobile behaviour, such as accessing websites from popular CDNs. This data helps our customers understand trends in network usage as well as benchmark against competitors. We then process this data into web-based dashboards and reports, delivering insights to our customers that are actionable immediately.

How do you turn that data into the tailored solution required for the customer? Last year, Tutela partnered with MapD Technologies, the leader in GPU-powered data analytics. Tutela used this GPU platform to build a mobile data analytics solution called Tutela Explorer, that provides real-time, interactive and highly visual insight into the performance of mobile networks and device usage. Telecom providers, mobile device manufacturers and industry analysts can access Tutela’s massive crowdsourced dataset and GPU-powered analytics platform to quickly gain insight into mobile network quality from the country level all the way down to the street level. c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


L E A D E R S H I P & S T R AT E G Y

How do you create business with app developers? What is your strategy there? Tutela offers mobile app developers a new revenue stream through our partner programme. By installing our code in their apps, our developer partners receive a share of revenue based on their total number of daily active users. This is great because it can reduce the amount of advertisements they need to run.

Do you have any new innovations in the pipeline that are set to transform your business?


We plan to continue with advancements in AI and machine learning. Data is great but you need to make it predictive, insightful and actionable. This is how you become something that your customers can’t live without.

What does the future hold for yourself personally – do you see a longterm future at Tutela? There is so much more for Tutela and I couldn’t be more excited for our future. We have created a service that improves the world’s internet while reducing the amount of advertisements that need to be shown to monetise mobile apps. We’ve developed a special winwin scenario for everyone while addressing a $7bn/ year market. However, there’s so much more ground left to cover. Tutela is going to bring these same data insight innovations to half a dozen more industries over the next couple years. J U LY 2 0 1 8

Data sales is a new monetisation option emerging for mobile app developers, creating a new information market that will be worth tens of billions sooner than you’d think. This information market also doesn’t require personal or sensitive data from users to fuel it. The industry is just now getting wise to data, AI and machine learning and even basic information types can produce massive transformations. Personally, I’m going to be at this for a long time. I’m having too much fun to not see this through and it’s only getting better. I get to play with data all day and show customers things they didn’t know that they didn’t know. What could be better? Someday, but no time soon, I’ll need to move on from Tutela. On the toughest days, I daydream about giving up the entrepreneurial lifestyle and becoming a hiking guide or something relaxing like that. However, the reality is that I’m addicted now and will start more ventures – hopefully with the same people if they can still stand me by then. Without any exaggeration, I have never met a successful entrepreneur who hasn’t gone back for more. The data shows that I will too.

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


We deliver you the stories that matter‌ Click to read



“We recently worked with BizClik Media on an article which characterizes and explains the total value that Kudu Supply Chain has on company growth plans. From start to the finish, it was a pleasure working with the BizClik team. The feedback we have received from different audience groups on the article was phenomenal. It has attracted a lot of interest and attention to our company, our growth plans and has definitely created additional value to what we are trying to achieve.”

– Murat Ungun, Senior VP Supply Chain Kudu Corp




Cyber solutions WRIT TEN BY


to cybercrime

With data breaches highly publicised and ransomware threats on the up, Business Chief caught up with software company EQUIIS to find the solution

J U LY 2 0 1 8

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m



ith the cost of cybercrime to business in 2016 estimated at $500bn in lost revenue, and this figure

expected to increase by over $2trn by 2019, businesses both public and private are still struggling to implement secure communication. EQUIIS CEO Derek Roga is adamant more needs to be done to offer economical and intuitive solutions. EQUIIS provides enterprises with a range of secure communications solutions so that from oil and gas companies to law firms, businesses can communicate securely and efficiently with each other and with clients, protected against the ever-increasing

“The idea was dangers of cybercrime and ransomware. to provide an With a recent report from NTT Security having revealed one third of global business decieasy-to-integrate sion makers prefer to risk ransomware platform that demands rather than investing in cybersecucould provide rity, despite attacks having increased by the enterprise 350% in 2017 alone, it’s no surprise there are with a tool to so many issues with keeping data secure and communicate that EQUIIS is growing exponentially in a presecurely” viously neglected space. — Derek Roga, CEO EQUIIS

Derek Roga, a tech entrepreneur with 25

years’ experience, previously worked in the telecom software space, working with Blackberry before founding EMS in Dubai in 2005, which involved “taking the Blackberry solu-

J U LY 2 0 1 8

tion to the marketplace through

go out on his own in the space and founded

mobile operators”. Within three

EQUIIS to assure clients with similar needs of

years, EMS became Blackberry’s

a secure, compliant communication method.

largest partner, representing 18%

Speaking to Business Chief, Roga was

of the company’s global sales

joined by Joe Boyle, CEO and co-founder of

and working with 105 mobile

SaltDNA, who started working closely with

operators worldwide.

Roga when the businesses formed a tech-

Roga went on to work with

nology partnership in 2017. Previously,

clients in the intelligence com-

Belfast-educated Boyle had worked for Irish-

munity. “They had a need to

based startups as well as Ericsson. “After

understand what type of com-

a number of years working in telecoms, I made

munications took place where

a switch to work in enterprise networking.” In

and if there was anything surrep-

2013, he founded SaltDNA, which was largely

titious they could identify.” Thus,

focused on “giving enterprises solutions for

in 2016, Roga was well-placed to

securer, compliant managed communication”. c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Together, both entrepreneurs’ experience helped fill the cybersecurity gap. “What drove us to start the business was that over the past

“A lot of organisations are grappling with how to do the most to ensure cybersecurity solutions are implemented with the least amount of investment” — Derek Roga, CEO EQUIIS

several years there had been a significant uptick in cybercrime,” says Roga. “It’s a significant issue being faced by entrepreneurs. The idea was to provide an easyto-integrate platform that could provide the enterprise with a tool to communicate securely: secure messages, calls and file transfer, and being able to spontaneously have conference calls in a secure manner, regardless of where the team was in the world.”

J U LY 2 0 1 8

EQUIIS also offers the option

explains: “the administrator controls who has

to burn messages at both ends

access, who is communicating with them,

once read in case a device

how they are communicating and where they

becomes vulnerable.

are communicating from, ensuring the integrity of the platform.”


“The reason clients choose us,” Boyle adds,

EQUIIS’s closed communication

“is really that control and management of

network gives clients two options

closed user groups. Being able to do secure

to communicate. “We have our

conference calls within their own network,

own cloud network where we

not having to trust anyone else, is a key

host the solution. An enterprise

requirement for these large organisations

subscribes and we give them a

and government bodies that can’t afford to

portal through which they can

take any risks.”

manage their subscribers. It’s in

Key markets for EQUIIS include the oil and

our secure network and they can

gas industry, and the business is now grow-

deploy it across their whole

ing in the legal and government sector.

enterprise really quickly.” The

“A number of law firms use our solution,” says

second way is an on-premise

Roga. “In some cases, law firms are man-

solution which affords the client

dated to ensure the protection and integrity

organisation complete control.

of their attorney-client privilege communica-

“We take the infrastructure we’ve

tions, so they use our solution to accomplish

developed and replicate that in

that.” In terms of government, particular areas

the client’s own network.”

include police, military and intelligence organ-

How does EQUIIS’s offering

isations. “They are required, or have their own

differ from a consumer-facing

mandate, to ensure they’re getting the best of

communication service? “The

the best in regards to technology, and that the

WhatsApps and Vibers of the

solution they implement has the highest of

world enable somewhat secure

security built around it. Over the last two

communications but are not

quarters we’ve had some significant wins with

made for enterprise,” says Roga.

government agencies.”

With EQUIIS’s solution, he

In addition, business in the healthcare and c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


finance sectors is picking up.

seconds so they can use the

“We offer something unique in

solution. It’s intuitive; there’s not

this space: the ability to be com-

much training required and this

pliant, particularly around

can then broaden to a wider

regulatory requirements. In the

group of users. It’s an elegant

financial services industry,

way for us to build rapport

there’s a requirement that every

and relationships.”

transaction and communication be recorded and kept for


future reference.”

In addition, Roga feels use of

A key added value for clients is

open-source software assures

the assurance of compliance and

users the solution is safe. “What

safety when using EQUIIS’ solu-

we have is not proprietary tech-

tion. “Clients are looking for a

nology. We use open-source

partnership,” Roga explains,

encryption: it’s tried, tested and

“And if the partner and the people

validated. Frankly, when you start

representing it can really empa-

touting proprietary solutions in

thise and understand their

the market, two things happen:

challenges, and provide real

there isn’t enough user experi-

world solutions, not hypothetical

ence to validate the technology,

ones, it becomes a partnership.”

and secondly you are opening

A consultative process also helps assure customers the solution suits their needs. “We can get a test group running within

yourself up for people to try to be the first to hack it.” “We don’t see ourselves as cryptographers,” Boyle explains.

“We can get the latest encryption techn then wrap up the management, cont and compliance around these techn — Joe Boyle, CEO and co-founder of SaltDNA

J U LY 2 0 1 8

hnology and trol, visibility nologies� c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


“We take the latest and greatest encryp-

nitely something we see as becoming

tion technology and if something better

more and more important across organi-

comes along, it’s about a three to four-

sations and sectors. Our technology

week process to upgrade. We’ve done

should definitely be something anyone

that four times in five years. What makes

who has a trusted engagement with a

us different is that we can get the latest

client where they are dealing with sensi-

encryption technology and then wrap up tive information should leverage.” the management, control, visibility and

Echoing the NTT study, Roga empha-

compliance around these technologies

sises how little organisations are willing

to make it something an enterprise can

to spend on cybersecurity, even in 2018.

easily buy, because we tick all the boxes.” “If I’m a corporation, and I’m going to With data breaches these days widely invest say $10mn in a marketing campublicised, Boyle argues “the vast

paign for example, I can see my return

majority” of businesses and indeed cus-

on investment (RoI) in a very tangible

tomers are unaware of potential dangers way. It can be measured and quantified. and how much data isn’t encrypted.

Whereas if I take the same $10mn and

“There’s a level of apathy. But it’s defi-

invest in cybersecurity, that RoI is intan-


revenue lost from cybercrime in 2016 J U LY 2 0 1 8

gible. A lot of organisations are

America lots of people send voice

grappling with how to do the most

clips. Not only does this allow you to

to ensure cybersecurity solutions

have an asynchronous conversation

are implemented with the least

with someone, but it is actually highly

amount of investment.

compliant as you can keep a record of

“We come in offering a very elegant solution giving peace of mind that one

things as they progress.” In addition to voice notes, Roga

part of the issue is covered – and

adds: “From a technology perspective

covered economically.”

we’re always innovating. Our service is significantly enhanced: we’re bringing


in video conferencing and communica-

An area of increasing important for the

tion… A lot of the enhancements

future will be voice clips, says Boyle.

we implement come from direct

“A lot of organisations on the consumer

interaction with our customers and

side are sending voice clips and voice

understanding the landscape we

notes. It’s catching on more in the UK,

exist in. That’s going to happen

and in Asia and North and South


c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m




City Focus





J U LY 2 0 1 8




Where business and people thrive

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


For this month’s city focus, we caught up with two business leaders from Calgary to find out why the city is an attractive place for industry – and individuals – to flourish av Dhunay is a Canadian tech entrepreneur and investor. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Imaginea Ai. Clark Grue is CEO of the Calgary Convention Centre. He previously spoke to us about his role in the March edition of Business Chief Canada.




Dhunay: “Calgary is a vibrant and diverse city that attracts big thinkers and entrepreneurs from around the world to start or grow a business. A young, highly-educated workforce is a catalyst for economic development.” J U LY 2 0 1 8

Grue: “I moved here with my family 20 years ago and we never imagined we would fall in love with the city – but in the end, it was a city of opportunity and had great amenities and programmes for our kids.” WHAT BENEFITS DOES THE CITY OFFER FOR BUSINESSES?

Grue: “Calgary offers many builtin incentives that are often overlooked: low taxation, Universal Health Care, an affordable world-class education system, an entrepreneurial ecosystem of support for business growth, excellent flight connections and a clean, healthy lifestyle. There are funding supports in place for many types of business that are innovative, clean and job creating.”


(Left) Nav Dhunay, Co-founder and CEO of Imaginea Ai (Below) Clark Grue, CEO of the Calgary Convention Centre

Dhunay: “As a whole, the province of Alberta offers the greatest subsidies for business. There is no provincial sales tax, no payroll tax, no healthcare premiums… there are lower personal income tax rates and the lowest fuel tax among provinces. Over 50% of those subsidies are through tax credits and the rest through grants and loans. If you're creating new products, developing new processes, or using new materials, you can be eligible to claim the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit. “In addition, in response to the current economic environment the City of Calgary established the ‘Opportunity Calgary

“In response to the current economic environment the City of Calgary established the ‘Opportunity Investment Fund’ as a tool to attract and support transformative investments in the city” – Nav Dhunay, founder and CEO, Imaginea Ai

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m



Investment Fund’ as a tool to attract and support transformative investments in the city. The $100mn fund offers opportunities for private sector companies, non-profits and public institutions making transformative investments in Calgary that will be catalysts for economic growth, diversification, increased employment, and expansion of the property tax assessment base.” 54

their fortune… and many have. This has created a culture of entrepreneurialism and community partnership. Both built on pioneering traits: building businesses and community spirit. This led to hosting the 1988 Winter Olympics and potentially repeating this honour in 2026. This spirit creates a culture of volunteerism second to none.”

Dhunay: “Nestled in the base of the Rocky Mountains, there's an WHAT MAKES CALGARY SO undeniable spark and energy VIBRANT AND UNIQUE? that Calgary offers. The city has Grue: “Youth. Innovation is all the benefits of a large metrodriven by young, ambitious peopolitan and sophisticated centre ple and Calgary is full of bright in a relaxed and friendly lifeyoung professional minds. With style. The community is rich in one of the lowest average ages of a arts, culture, entertainment, and major city in Canada (36.8), Cal- leisure activities. gary is a place where people come Calgarians embody the true for career opportunities and to spirit of Western hospitality. Our start new businesses. city comes together in good “Calgary has, above all, been times and times of tragedy. We built by pioneers – people who help our neighbours when the have come to the city to make city flooded in 2013, we volun-

J U LY 2 0 1 8



c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


teer, and we get involved in helping our communities. Over 75% the Canadian athletes involved in the latest Winter Olympics used the Calgary WinSport facilities, which have benefited 100 Canadian Winter Olympic medallists since 1988.” WHAT BUSINESSES AND SECTORS THRIVE IN THE CITY?


Grue: “Calgary is Canada's second-largest headquarter location. All major Canadian energy companies are headquartered here, as are the many major agriculture, finance and logistics firms. Calgary was built on agriculture; ranching and farming. This base was then supported by the transportation sector (rail and air) followed by the banking and insurance industries. Later in is history, Calgary became an international energy hub. This was driven by a rich resource base and has evolved into the renewable and clean energy space. All of these industries are supported by an excellent education sector and technology community.” Duhnay: “Calgary was built on sectors that sustain us: we feed the world (agriculture), we heat your homes and fuel your car (energy) and we are a hub for getting you consumer goods (T&L). Being situated next J U LY 2 0 1 8

“Innovation is driven by young, ambitious people and Calgary is full of bright young professional minds. With one of the lowest average ages of a major city in Canada (36.8), Calgary is a place where people come for career opportunities and to start new businesses” – Clark Grue, CEO of the Calgary Convention Centre


to some of the largest oil and gas reserves in the world, the majority of the top corporations in Alberta, specifically in Calgary, are energy-related. In fact, 70 of Calgary’s 134 top head offices are categorised as energy companies.

“These companies enjoy access to Calgary’s highly educated workforce with the second-highest level of educational attainment of any city in Canada; a low cost of doing business; and an exceptional quality of life.”


Duhnay: “The oil and gas sector may have softened in the past few years, but the people in our city have not. With the abundance of entrepreneurs and tech talent, the number of high-tech startups in Calgary has exploded. These range from leading-edge internet of things (IoT) manufacturing to drone development, wearables, blockchain, and autonomous vehicles operated by advanced artificial intelligence.” Grue: “Most of the change that has happened in Calgary's economy in recent years has been around the application of technology and innovation to reduce the environmental footprint of energy extraction. This has led to the birth of companies focused on AI, IoT and blockchain applications. In addition to this, the convention business is growing as Calgary becomes a strategic location to connect with growing businesses and leaders in innovation.” c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


T O P 10



This month, Business Chief takes a look at the top 10 Canadian investment companies, ranked by revenue according to the Financial Post Canadian 500 WRIT TEN BY


J U LY 2 0 1 8


c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

T O P 10


Like Investissement Quebec, capital development company Fonds de Solidarité FTQ is also focused on managing investments and holdings in the Quebec area. The company was created in 1983 by the Fédération des



travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec


organisation. Fonds de Solidarité


Investissement Quebec is a government-sponsored company specialising in managing investments, holdings and ventures for international and domestic companies operating within the province. The company reported a net revenue of $713.7mn in 2017, according to the Canadian 500. This represents a 6.8% decrease, year on year. In January, 2018, Investissement Quebec confirmed its involvement with companies investing a total of $210mn in various sectors of Quebec’s economy by 2020, following negotiations at the World Economic Forum in Davos. J U LY 2 0 1 8

(FTQ), the region’s largest labour achieved a net revenue of $890mn in 2017, representing a 22.2% growth in sales year on year.


The E-L Financial Corporation Ltd. is based in Toronto and operates as an investment and holding company, owning investments in equities and fixed income securities directly and


indirectly through common shares, investment companies and funds, according to Bloomberg. E-L’s main subsidiary is Empire Life. E-L Financial


reported a net revenue of $1.54bn in

Based in Vancouver, the Futura Corpo-

2017. While this represents a 16.8%

ration engages in the acquisition and

reduction in sales in comparison to the

ownership of public and private com-

previous financial year, the company

panies, according to Bloomberg. With

maintained profitability.

additional specialisations in loan portfolio administration and property management, Futura Corp operates as a diversified investment house with particular focus on building material fabrication. Futura uses a decentralised management structure with light oversight of its acquisitions and prioritises growth when purchasing new holdings. The company reported a net revenue of $1.13bn in 2017, which represents a growth of 7.8% year on year. c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


T O P 10


Headquartered in Regina, Saskatchewan, the Crown Investment Corporation of Saskatchewan functions as the principal holding company for the government’s investments and assets in the region. According to the 62


CI Corp website, the company focuses on “strategic direction”, managing a “framework designed to strengthen governance, performance and


accountability of Crown corporations

Also based in Toronto, CI Financial

and to assist Crown corporation

Corp. provides asset management

boards in discharging their responsi-

services to private equity holders and

bilities”. The public company reported

businesses. The company specialises

net sales of $3.99bn in 2017, which

in managing separate client-focused

represents a 1% decrease in sales,

equity, fixed income, and alternative

despite the company’s liquidation of

investments portfolios, as well as

multiple assets belonging to the Sas-

managing various funds for its clients

katchewan Transport Corporation in

through its subsidiaries, according to

May 2017 in order to raise funds.

Bloomberg. In 2017, CI Financial reported a net revenue of $1.55bn, which represents a 6.3% growth in sales year on year. J U LY 2 0 1 8


Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is based in Toronto and, in addition to property and casualty insurance ser-


vices, provides investment management services to clients, both at home and as far abroad as Africa and Asia, according to Bloomberg. The company also has holdings in the


food and drink, veterinary services, lei-

Winnipeg-based agribusiness and

sure and home improvement goods

investment firm James Richardson &

industries. Fairfax Holdings reported

Sons Ltd. specialises in international

revenues of $9.54bn in the last finan-

grain trade and agri-food, energy, real

cial year, representing a net growth in

estate, financial services, as well as its

sales of 10.6%. The company

acquisition and management of

announced in April 2018 that it intends

investments and holdings, according

to purchase the Canadian unit of the

to Bloomberg. The investment sector

recently liquidated Toys ‘R’ Us brand

of the company provides wealth man-

for approximately $233mn.

agement services to families and entrepreneurs, as well as investment dealership. James Richardson & Sons reported a net revenue of $8.1bn in 2017, which represents a 9.8% increase in comparison to the previous financial year.

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


T O P 10



according to Bloomberg, which


pension funds, insurance companies


primarily provides advisory services to and other financial organisations. The CDPQ reported a net revenue of $16.46bn in 2017. Although this

Another Crown company makes it into

represents a 14.8% decrease in sales

Canada’s investment top 10.

in comparison to 2016, the company

Operating in Quebec province, the

reported the largest profits of any

Caisse de Depot et Placement du

Canadian company, according to the

Quebec (CDPQ) is a privately-owned

Financial Post, with a net income of

investment and holdings manager,


J U LY 2 0 1 8


The Toronto-headquartered private equity firm, Onex Corporation, reported the highest revenue of any Canadian investment company in 2017, with a net sales figure of $19.61bn, representing a staggering 34.8% increase year on year. Onex specialises in the acquisition of companies in a variety of sectors including: technology, manufacturing, retail, leisure, financial services and real estate.


With 144,000 workers, Onex is also Canada’s second-largest employer.

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m





Inside Kontron Canada’s business model transformation Written by Tom Wadlow Produced by Glen White


Benoit Robert, VicePresident of Strategy & Marketing, and Steve Séguin, Vice President of Operations, discuss how Kontron Canada has leveraged new technologies to remain an industry leader



n a world that is increasingly

continues to rise – Statista forecasts

defined by software and all

global spending to reach $1.12trn by 2019,

things virtual, organisations

up from the $987bn spent in 2013.

across industries are reaping

For Kontron Canada Inc., a globally-

the benefits of migrating critical

active subsidiary of the Kontron Group, its

functionality away from on-

mission statement is to design hardware

premise and into the cloud.

fit for this software-defined world.

Indeed, IDC predicts global

“Our business model has had to change

spend on public cloud to hit

dramatically over the past five years,”

$160bn this year, an increase

comments Benoit Robert, Vice-President

of 23.2% on 2017. Offering

of Strategy & Marketing. “Where we used

cost efficiency, scalability

to selling the hardware to a customer

and increasing reliability to

who would then sell a complete solution

its beneficiaries, it appears

to a service provider, however we now

the software and cloud

work directly with these service providers

computing tide is gathering

to expose them to what we’re doing.

irreversible momentum. However, hardware still has a critical role to play. IT hardware spending J U LY 2 0 1 8

“We show them what integrated hardware and software can do and how this can fit into the new type of virtualised networks they’re trying to build.”


Kontron Canada’s portfolio includes best-of-breed OEM hardware and its SYMKLOUD open

model has been the emergence of mobile edge computing. The premise of mobile edge

infrastructure platforms, built to help

is simple – to bring processes

clients deploy virtual services using

closer to the end consumer,

software-defined networking and

thereby reducing congestion

network function virtualization.

on networks and boosting

Such clients predominantly operate in three core industries – telecoms, media (video and broadcasting) and cloud.

performance of applications. “This is all about the computing and the support services closer


Central to the firm’s shift in business 69 BIO

Benoit Robert is Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for Kontron’s Communications Business Unit and responsible for product strategy, planning and implementation of market and consumer penetration strategies. Benoit specializes in cloud infrastructure and communications technologies and has spent the last 25 years managing product lifecycles, gathering and prioritizing customer requirements and defining product vision.

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m



Team building activity on water J U LY 2 0 1 8


to the cell towers and at the actual cell tower itself,” explains Robert. “Mobile edge computing is about using a lot of new virtualisation software technologies and mixing that with a cloud data centre type of environment. “As a hardware vendor who is also getting increasingly involved with open source software, edge computing represents a tremendous opportunity for us to provide hardware-software solutions to our customers.”

“Edge computing represents a tremendous opportunity for us to provide hardware-software solutions to our customers” —

Benoit Robert Vice-President of Strategy & Marketing

Mobile edge computing, Robert explains, stands at the

environmental challenges at

frontier of the 5G network.

the edge is where Kontron’s

Promising to deliver unrivalled connection speeds and immense

expertise truly comes to the fore. “We develop types of

bandwidth capacity, 5G will see an

hardware that can now sit at

unprecedented number of devices

the base of the cell tower, a

connect to a single network. Providers

specialised product that fits

of such networks will thus be dependent

in that environment where the

on mobile edge to disperse this demand

space is very limited and where

and ensure optimum experience for

the environmental constraints are

end users, and Kontron Canada’s

very tough,” explains Robert.

solutions can help them deliver this. “We’re actually building operating

“It needs to be able to support freezing cold temperatures

hardware that provisions multi-access

all the way up to searing heat.

edge computing, compatible for devices

Some markets are very hot

beyond just mobile, i.e. anything that

and you need to develop

can connect to IoT,” adds Robert.

products that can withstand

Addressing the physical and

that kind of punishment.” c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


We think in terms of Solutions!

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Kontron’s hardware also


stands up to the shock and


vibrations caused by extreme

A crucial facilitator of Kontron Canada’s

events such as earthquakes

hardware-software evolution has

and fire. Today’s software-

been open source software.

based world very much

Integration of OpenStack in particular

relies on equipment that

has proven a differentiator for the company,

can withstand the physical

not least because it can tap into the

elements, and Kontron Canada

expertise of a community of experts at an

has carved its own niche in

economical price. Open source software

provisioning this requirement.

also enables flexibility for clients to build networks and data centres in their own way. However, while the perks of cloud adoption for organisations in industries 73 BIO

Steve Séguin is Vice President of Operations for Kontron’s Communications Business Unit. Steve is a goal-oriented and results driven operations executive with extensive experience in high technology manufacturing. With over 15 years management experience spanning operations, production, manufacturing engineering and global supply chain, Steve has a strong record of success developing strategic initiatives, delivering cost reduction and profit improvement, driving organizational change and implementing LEAN through leadership and motivation.

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m




SYMKLOUD series of converged open infrastructure platforms are commercial-off-the-shelf x86 (COTS) platforms for carrier clouds, content delivery networks, hosting and cloud (XaaS) provider infrastructure. They allow organisations to massively scale VNF, edge datacentre, and video/OTT /broadcast workloads and enable fast and efficient roll-outs. MS2900 Series of converged platforms feature nine high density modular nodes managed by redundant gigabit ethernet switches and include compute, storage and dual 600GbE ingress switch fabric in a single 2U short depth enclosure. If an operator wants to run the entire stack for AI from their central office and data centre, for example, the SYMKLOUD MS2910 has a single socket Intel Xeon processor and a PCIe slot on each of the nine nodes, whereby consumable components such as storage, FPGA and GPU can easily be added. SYMKLOUD can also be used to run Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) on top of it – several can run on the same platform which eliminates the need to purchase numerous pieces of hardware. J U LY 2 0 1 8


such as telecoms are well-documented, deterrents such as higher than anticipated costs, start-up delays and being locked into a vendor’s specific approach do exist. Kontron’s OpenStack turnkey platform solution, fully integrated with the Canonical distribution of Ubuntu OpenStack, alleviates these concerns. Robert explains how Kontron’s hardware must keep aligned with updates from Canonical and the OpenStack community: “Canonical have their own releases of their

“We developed an ecosystem of key partners that are integrated to our supply chain, as if they were an extension of Kontron”  — Steve Séguin Vice President of Operations

distribution of OpenStack and our


software team does all the work

through a separate licensing

behind the scenes to make sure

agreement with Canonical, used

that it will be fully validated and

for automating deployment,

integrated on our hardware.

scaling and management of

“This is one of the key advantages of using open source software, especially

containerised applications. “Particularly at the edge of a

when considering a community as

network, we have seen increasing

large as OpenStack. I don’t know

interest in Containerisation.

how many thousands of developers

Containers are integrated in the

are part of different projects within

Kontron SYMKLOUD MS2910

the OpenStack community, but when

platform in a turnkey manner,

there is a new release you’re gaining

providing a modular approach

the benefits of all the work done.”

that is designed to fit into the

Robert also mentions Kontron’s work with Google’s Kubernetes, another open source software solution sold

sorts of rack spaces available at the edge,” explains Robert. Software can be more c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


OPEN SOURCE MISSION Kontron is enabling the networks of the future by offering turnkey, modular, converged hardware platforms that incorporate fully validated and supported Open Source cloud provisioning. Open Source turnkey solutions offer operators a disruptive deployment model, reducing operational costs whilst giving operational freedom. This includes the freedom to mix and match multi-vendor service solutions without the consequences of being locked-in. 76

WHAT’S NEW Kontron recently updated its SYMKLOUD suite of products, launching the ME1100, a flexible, high-performance platform for vRAN and mobile edge computing (MEC). The platform can enable IT and cloud computing capabilities within the radio access network and easily integrates with telco cloud infrastructure.

J U LY 2 0 1 8



Sigmapoint, a “Lean Enterprise” contract manufacturer based in Ontario, is taking on the manufacturing of the SYMKLOUD suite, while Hitek Logistics has been a key transportation and logistics partner, able to quickly ship products anywhere in the world from Kontron warehouses in Canada and Shanghai.


efficiently tested, benchmarked or even

turing and supply chain partners to

developed by partners and customers

provision this is the domain of

on SYMKLOUD hardware in SYMLAB,

Steve Séguin, Vice President of

a remote colo environment deployed

Operations. A company veteran of

by Kontron Canada. This greatly

more than a decade, Séguin has

accelerates the purchase decision

spent time both in Germany and

making process with minimal risk.

Canada in various roles. “As part of our operations


strategy over the last few years,


we developed an ecosystem of key

On the operational side, Kontron

partners that are integrated to our

Canada Inc. is in the midst

supply chain, as if they were an

of reshoring the SYMKLOUD

extension of Kontron,” he explains.

product suite to its homeland. Building up an ecosystem of manufac-

“The SYMKLOUD product family was produced in Asia, and we’re c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


reshoring this so that we can reduce lead times and also increase flexibility.” Sigmapoint, a “Lean Enterprise”

Southeast Asia if the need arises. “Our customers now expect flexibility in our supply chain, short

contract manufacturer based in

lead times, configure to order, and

Ontario, is taking on the manufacturing

programs like vendor managed

of the SYMKLOUD suite, while

inventory,” Séguin adds. “We

Hitek Logistics has been a key

must be able to deliver the right

transportation and logistics partner,

product at the right time and at the

able to quickly ship products

lowest total cost of ownership.

anywhere in the world from Kontron

“These partners contribute

warehouses in Canada and Shanghai.

directly to meeting these key

The company may expand this

objectives, and this helps us grow

network to Morocco, Europe and

our business.”


J U LY 2 0 1 8



Séguin expects the reshoring effort to be fully operational by the end of June, by which time Kontron Canada Inc. will be primed to deliver its unique set of products and solutions not only across its native territory, but worldwide. So, what are the priorities for the two executives heading into this post-reshoring future? “I think we will continue to adapt to our customers footprints and requirements and maintain our very flexible operations so that we can transfer as needed or increase in capacity as needed, and adapt to this evolving market,” Séguin says. For Robert, deciding which of these evolving trends to pursue will be paramount: “I think one of our biggest issues will be trying to remain focused because there are many new trends or markets that are opening up now, and in most cases, they

“I think one of our biggest issues will be trying to remain focused because there are many new trends or markets that are opening up now, and in most cases, they involve computing hardware of some sort” — Benoit Robert Vice-President of Strategy & Marketing

involve computing hardware of some sort. “We’re monitoring which are the new directions that we would like to be a part of, but when it comes to how things are being built and are being designed, the mindset of everything is software defined. “Everything’s being managed by software

Website | Youtube | Blog

– there’s so many new opportunities for us, and we’re already starting to look at some,” he concludes. c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m





Plains Midstream Canada (PMC) has an extensive network of pipeline transportation, terminals, storage and gathering assets strategically located in key crude oil and NGL producing basins, transportation corridors, and at major market hubs in Canada and the United States. PMC has embarked on a digital transformation roadmap to help them prioritise new business capabilities and achieve operational excellence




ormed in 2001 with just 130

strategy team can look at the

employees, Plains Mid-

business holistically instead of

stream Canada (PMC) has

just focusing on a singular aspect,

grown to over 1,400 employees and

such as implementing new tech

provides oil and gas transport and

solutions. “Rather than having

storage solutions across Canada

that quite narrow tactical discus-

and the United States. The compa-

sion with the business around

ny’s network of pipelines along with

software for instance, we engage

a fleet of truck trailers and railcars

them in business terms, better

provide oil and gas producers with

understanding their needs and

flexibility for transporting crude oil

desired outcomes before analys-

and natural gas liquids products link-

ing how to positively affect a

ing petroleum producers with

change to support them. In effect

refiners and other customers.

we’re acting as that internal tech-

The organisation is currently in the

nology broker, working with the

midst of a five-year digital transfor-

business to address their prob-

mation plan to drive improvements

lems by creating new business

to business processes, improving

capabilities. Sometimes our aim

the use of its existing technology or

is merely digitally enabling what

introducing new digital technologies.

we have, but we are absolutely

To design and enact this, the com-

planning for digital optimisation

pany brought in Chris Leonard, a

and transformation.”

Senior Business Strategist who is

“Not everything on our road-

now their Director of Strategy and

map is about introducing

Digital Transformation. In his words,

technology,” Leonard continues.

he and his team “plan the right work

“Often we’ve discovered that a

at the right time.”

review and improvement of exist-

The roadmap to digitisation is underpinned by a triad of people, process and technology improvements which means the digital J U LY 2 0 1 8

ing business process is just as valuable.” However, he adds that they are looking at planning initiatives to



Chris Leonard immigrated to Canada with his family in 2012 after a very successful 20 year career as a commissioned Officer in the British Army. His aim was to join Corporate Calgary where he hoped to employ his previous strategic planning and operations experience. A brief spell working at the main Syncrude site in Alberta’s oil sands was a prelude to working for Brion Energy back in Calgary. Leonard subsequently joined Plains Midstream Canada in the Summer of 2015 to lead the Strategy and Digital Transformation team within IS, working directly with the CIO. Over the past three years he and a growing team have helped establish a comprehensive Digital Transformation Roadmap which will lead Plains Midstream Canada into the Digital era. As he openly admits, he is not a technologist by background, but is finding the challenge of matching new technologies to business problems and a fascinating area of longterm interest.

“We partnered with leading industry experts from Sapient, Microsoft and IBM and to look at how best to plan our work, to realize our strategic goals and focus on business needs” — Chris Leonard Director of Strategy and Digital Transformation add new digital assets to the business in the long term. For instance, they are looking at combining technologies such as digital twins, augmented and mixed reality, and the internet of things (IoT). “Being responsible for both OT and IT enables us to look at the whole picture, applying an IoT lens to the SCADA world for instance,” says Leonard. Leonard has also created a strong governance structure that uses analytics to support these strategic goals, which has led to a significant rise in capital investment for Information Services (IS) led programs. “It’s great having that long-term vision and roadmap, but unless you’ve got that governance to really help you prioritise what work you’re capable of doing first, it’s very difficult to see the wood for the trees,” Leonard says. c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m



“There’s always more work than there are

provide assessments and analy-

means to complete it. We’ve got to ensure

sis on power consumption data at

we’re prioritising the right work at the right

PMC facilities and pump stations

time, and that’s inextricably linked to our dig-

which will reduce overall con-

ital transformation roadmap.”

sumption and improve utilities

He envisions that PMC’s digital transforma-


management – we’re really quite

tion and partnerships with strategic vendors

excited about that.” Through the

will result in significant cost savings. “We part-

work they have done with Sapient

nered with leading industry experts from

to introduce a comprehensive

Sapient, IBM and Microsoft to leverage global

Energy Trading and Risk Man-

expertise and capitalise on other industry

agement capability, they also

applicable use cases with a view to help

expect to pay significant divi-

accelerate the realisation of our IS strategic

dends. “Working with partners

goals to drive enduring business value. Our

such as Sapient allows us to lev-

Power Utilization adviser for instance, which

erage different industry expertise

we’re co-developing with IBM Watson, will

and apply it to our unique circum-

J U LY 2 0 1 8


stances. It really does become a

environment in the communities where PMC

partnership where strategic ven-

operates, digitising safety plays a key role.

dors help us to address focused

Another key initial development with the IBM

business needs.”

Watson program is the production of a Safe

It is also going to be beneficial

Work advisor. PMC is now using data analyt-

for training staff on the systems

ics to assess and leverage as a tool for their

the company already uses.

safety teams to expand upon and help

“Process efficiencies go hand-in-

improve safety performance. PMC will be able

hand with introducing new digital

to move from descriptive analysis to predictive

technologies,” says Leonard.

analytics to better prevent potential incidents. The company is also looking at future wear-


able technologies and how they could be

Safety is a core value at PMC,

used. Live information feeds could help on-

and as the organisation strives for

site workers by helping manage potential

protection, security and safety of

hazards through real time information sharing

employees, the public and the

without having to communicate via a radio.

1,400+ Approximate number of employees

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


“Advanced analytics might be able to provide greater business intelligence but existing business models and how people do business also need to change” 86

— Chris Leonard Director of Strategy and Digital Transformation

J U LY 2 0 1 8



c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m



Year founded

COMMODITIES At Sapient Consulting, we combine our business and digital transformation expertise with a deep understanding of how industries operate to drive innovative solutions for your business.



Across oil & gas, utilities & energy, retail, agriculture & processed foods, we help your business refine its strategies, from optimizing trading and risk management to innovating digital customer engagement. LEARN HOW SAPIENT CAN HELP, VISIT:



Leonard explains further: “We’re looking to

PMC is now working on a capa-

exploit existing technologies that can read the

bility called “Unified Stakeholder

environment an employee is in, whether they

Management” to pass crucial

have maybe been exposed to a particular

time-sensitive safety information

chemical, or whether an individual is showing

onto all stakeholders.

signs or symptoms related to abnormal stress by measuring heart rate or even if that individ-


ual is still upright or on the ground, which

Looking ahead, one of the main

might indicate a slip, trip or fall. The technol-

challenges for the industry will be

ogy is creating better situational awareness

adapting to change. “Nobody

without encumbering the individual to manu-

really likes change,” Leonard

ally provide regular updates and reports.”

says. “Advanced analytics might

PMC is also focused on stakeholders and is

be able to provide greater busi-

committed to maintaining strong relationships.

ness intelligence but existing

With operations that span across Canada and

business models and how people

the United States, the effective management,

do business also needs to

tracking and dissemination of information to

change in order to properly real-

their many stakeholders is vitally important.

ise the untapped value c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m



“It’s a great time to be part of that journey, strategising and planning the right work to effectively allow an organisation to take advantage of Industrial Revolution 4.0” 90

 — Chris Leonard Director of Strategy and Digital Transformation

J U LY 2 0 1 8


technology can provide. Just throwing smarter technology at problems does not in itself create digital transformation.” Another challenge is the scarcity of skillsets, with a shortage of data scientists and digital security specialists in particular. However, Leonard believes this presents an opportunity for organisations to work more closely with academic institutions, helping them to tailor their programs to meet the emerging needs of businesses through the next industrial revolution. The major disruption is yet to happen, as Leonard explains: “The big digital disruption in oil and gas will come when someone figures out how to monetise assets without actually owning them, in the same way Uber monetises the cab without owning it.” He sees PMC as planning to take advantage of digital opportunities in the next decade. “I think our holistic digital transformation roadmap will ensure we’ve invested optimally in the right technology to effectively solve the right business problems and create new business capabilities. I also think we’ll be sufficiently mature in our digital strategy and planning to take advantage of future opportunities created by digital disruption in the midstream segment.” On the whole it’s an exciting era for Plains Midstream Canada. “It’s a great time to be part of that journey, strategising and planning the right work to effectively allow an organisation to take advantage of Industrial Revolution 4.0. These opportunities don’t come around on a frequent basis.” c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Exceptional entertainment, exceptional procurement WRITTEN BY



Every year, BCLC gambling activities generate more than $1 billion to support provincial programs like healthcare, education and much more. In doing so, BCLC also delivers exceptional entertainment to players; however, none of this would be possible without leading procurement practices

B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A L O T T E R Y C O R P O R AT I O N ( B C L C )



CLC is a Canadian Crown Corporation mandated to conduct and manage lottery, eGaming, and casino entertainment on behalf of the Province of British Columbia. BCLC delivers socially responsible entertainment to customers while delivering important revenue to support healthcare, education, community programs and charitable organisations across British Columbia. Commercial gambling in B.C. is a $3.3bn-a-year industry and in 2016/17 BCLC delivered $1.3bn in net income to the province to support services that British Columbians count on, like healthcare, education and more. To ensure that it achieves best value for money, BCLC has undergone continuous procurement transformation to drive driving cost efficiency, sustain vendor relationships and champion best business practices. “This transformation continues to impact the company in a J U LY 2 0 1 8

“BCLC continues to evolve, and what was considered efficient and acceptable two years ago is being continually questioned as we look to drive efficiency in order to compete with the overall entertainment industry for customers’ discretionary dollars”  — Keith Bolen Director Corporate Procurement


RIHF 2018 Radiothon Sponsor BCLC

big but positive way,” explains Keith Bolen, BCLC’s Director of Corporate Procurement. “It’s helping us deliver products to the customer that are fresh and help keep them entertained.” “BCLC continues to evolve, and what was considered efficient and acceptable two years ago is being continually questioned as we look to drive efficiency in order to compete with the overall entertainment industry for customers’ discretionary dollars,” Bolen adds. “Procurement is an integral part of the organisation’s operations because we interface with all departments across the enterprise, whether it’s at a transactional level, ensuring that orders are placed or invoices are paid, or up to a strategic level, where we’re partnering with business units to source critical services and materials,” he continues. “Therefore, we have to continually question the status quo and look for better ways to deliver our services in a faster, efficient c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A L O T T E R Y C O R P O R AT I O N ( B C L C )


‘Every year over $1bn goes back to the province to help fund healthcare, education and much more’ manner.” As a Crown corporation, there are strict rules that BCLC follows on a day-to-day basis. The company is subject to significant oversight, whether it’s through Canadian-based laws and regulations, international trade agreements, audits or the necessity of preserving its integrity and brand. It’s clear that this same integrity and meticJ U LY 2 0 1 8

ulous approach also applies to BCLC’s procurement practices. As part of its transformation story, BCLC has embraced a centralised procurement model. “This procurement transformation journey started through centralising the procurement process across the enterprise,” says Bolen.


“We scale the complexity of the sourcing methods to fit the individual business objectives, within the confines of public procurement practice. For example, the processes that we implemented to justify contract awards within our lottery division are the same for other business divisions across the organisation.” Digitisation is also starting to reshape BCLC’s procurement function, making it more efficient and visible than ever before. Bolen describes his team’s increased engagement and efficiency thanks to the streamlined technology, such as an e-sourcing tool called Bonfire. “Vendors register and sign into the system and download their proposals to Bonfire, and then the system facilitates the evaluation process using an automated scorecard,” Bolen explains. “The Bonfire system has organised the information in such a manner that it’s greatly improved the efficiency of how evaluators access the proposals and greatly enhanced how each evaluator may compare each response to a question across every proposal. It’s provided us with real-time reporting as to which vendors have replied, what stage each evaluator is at in reviewing proposals, and elapsed time taken at each milestone in the review process.



Year founded

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


“We have to continually question the status quo and look for better ways to deliver our services in a faster, efficient mannerdollars”  — Keith Bolen Director, Corporate Procurement “The product is highly scalable, so we’re able to manage a significant number of bid solicitations at any one time, and it’s also highly configurable as we tend to have fairly complex methodologies that we apply to our scoring method.” By reducing the administrative burden of the process, Bolen says that BCLC has warmly received this digital tool. In conjunction with this, the entertainment gaming company has also applied automation to track its internal requests and approvals. “We have another system in place called ServiceNow, which is an enterprise-wide ticketing system that captures and digitises specific requests,” Bolen says. “It supports and tracks communication

between procurement and the requester and it also supports approval workflow. On top of this, it also creates those records that are very helpful for reporting and looking back historically at decisions that were made.” Looking to the future it seems that more technological innovation could be on the cards at BCLC. “I expect we will see exponential adoption of new technologies, such as cloud services,” predicts Bolen. “As an example, we are moving in favour of adopting a service that requires less capital investment and is scalable to fit the peaks and valleys of demand. “I think we will also see a continued, steady adoption of automation in our business process,” he continues. “As we learn how to manage big data, I think we’ll see that our marketing efforts will become more targeted, as opposed to broad approach to marketing.” Like many organisations today, BCLC is also championing a c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A L O T T E R Y C O R P O R AT I O N ( B C L C )



Keith Boden is a public procurement specialist who has held the position as Director of Corporate Procurement with BCLC since 2009. Prior to that he worked in purchasing with the company, after joining from Fraser Health Authority where he worked initially as a buyer and Purchasing manager.

J U LY 2 0 1 8

lean and agile methodology, which Bolen describes as a “natural progression” to its transformation story. “As we changed and improved on our business processes, we found that there is a constant need to improve business processes,” reflects Bolen. “There’s a real drive to keep our operating costs in check and, in order to do that, we have to become more efficient with the existing resources that we have. One way to do that is to look at lean and agile methods to help us better utilise our resources so we can get more done without existing resources.” Undertaking a companywide transformation is no easy feat and at BCLC, but it seems that the company of 920 employees has been vital in making its vision a reality. With offices in Kamloops and Vancouver as well as field staff across the province, a belief in strong leadership and


innovative thinking is apparent throughout the company. “The senior leadership in the organisation continually challenge the status quo,” explains Bolen. “At BCLC, we have a complement of senior leadership expertise that make up our Executive team. The executive team consists of leaders that have joined BCLC from other industries as well as those who have been with the organisation for upwards of 15, who bring a variety of different and fresh perspectives to the business. “The culture of the organisation is described as being very entrepreneurial in that there is a real desire across the organisation to try new things and challenge the status quo,” he adds. On the road ahead, Bolen predicts that there will be increasing legislative requirements and transparency needed by public bodies. “The biggest challenge we have today is really competing at that private-sector level within

the confines of a government entity,” he reflects. “We’re held to a much higher standard through legislative rules and that causes internal conflict in the sense that we want to move quickly and we want to make business decisions rapidly, however, we have rules that we have to follow that actually prevent us from moving as quickly as we might otherwise.” Another core challenge Bolen sees is the need to stay relevant with its customers. “The other challenge is really staying relevant with the population base because as the population ages our main players are ageing as well,” he says. “As a result, we promote innovation so we can stay relevant with our players and remain a viable revenue-generating organisation.” With the continued efforts supporting procurement transformation, a keen eye for innovation and a dynamic team behind it, it seems BCLC is set to continue on its upward trajectory.

c a n a d a . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Deliver an enhanced customer experience We can support your business to simplify its IT infrastructure and achieve its strategic objectives on its digital transformation journey. More than 8 million businesses across 170 countries trust us to keep their business ahead of the curve.

Business Chief Canada Edition - July 2018  
Business Chief Canada Edition - July 2018