Ottawa business journal20161024

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Onward March March Networks boss says firm’s absence from spotlight doesn’t mean its star is fading > PAGES 14-15

October 24, 2016 Vol. 20, NO. 1



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Sweat equity Pro cyclist launches new startup aimed at offering insurance packages to athletes and other adventurers. > PAGE 4

Lasting legacy Ottawa tech pioneer and former Cognos CEO Michael Potter is Ottawa’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement recipient. > PAGES 6-7

David Ross’s decision to go after a ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ of doubling his company’s size within five years proved to be a game-changer. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

CEO’s ‘audacious’ gamble pays off Led by executive ‘dynamo,’ tech giant Ross Video keeps revving up growth engine Eastern Ontario firm’s relentless push to expand its global customer base earns David Ross CEO of the Year honours > PAGES 10-11, 21


Brittany Wilson*

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NOVEMBER 10, 2016


Assent Compliance Bellefleur Physiotherapy Calian Group Ltd. CanadaWheels Inc. Chipworks and TechInsights Equator Coffee Roasters Inc. N OFarmLead VEMBER 10, 2016 FileFacets T H Giatec E W Scientific E S T I N Inc. OT TAWA HostedBizz Inc. Keynote Group KRP Properties March Networks Nokia OakWood Ottawa 2017 and CIBC Prontoforms Pure Kitchen Ottawa RBR Global RendezVous LeBreton Simons Spivo Welch LLP You.i TV

Guests of Honour

David Ross CEO of the Year

Michael Potter Lifetime Achievement Recipient


Lianne Laing CTV Morning Live

Ian Mendes TSN 1200



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communities. Even today, many of these communities still lack cellular service, but SSi will soon change that with the launch of a new 4G-LTE network. The company’s Kanata North facility serves as its network operations centre and satellite backhaul teleport, using two Anik satellites to connect northerners to the world’s Internet backbone. From Kanata North, SSi has strategic access to a rich pool of local technical talent and proximity to key partners like Telesat Canada. It’s also valuable for the company to have operations near Parliament Hill as it lobbies on vital telecommunications policy issues. And being embedded in Kanata North’s ecosystem is always handy when it’s time to go shopping. “When we have to source customer equipment or network and test equipment, it’s all right here,” said John Muise, SSi Micro’s head of service implementation. “It’s so convenient to send our people to vendor meetings because they can often just walk over.”

John Muise, head of service implementation, SSi Micro. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Kanata North’s telecom heart still beats strong The sector that started it all is making new waves around the globe


Edgewater Wireless, Mitel, KodaCloud, SSi Micro and others.

Where technology and public policy meet SSi Micro hails from Yellowknife, but Kanata North is its ideal second home. The company is a premier Internet service provider for Canada’s North, reaching the most remote


Adversity breeds innovation Matt Massey, VP Marketing at Edgewater Wireless, is well aware of the rich history that underpins Kanata North’s telecom sector. His grandfather worked for the company that started it all – Bell Northern Research. He believes the area’s depth of talent gives it the resilience to bounce back from any market cycle. “People stayed through the downturn,” he said. “Bright engineers came up with innovative new ideas and started new companies. Fast forward to today and there are many companies here now that have their tech deployed all over the world. They are dominating emerging markets like India. You just don’t know it because it’s still the

nature of this area for companies to be quiet and humble. We keep our heads down and build great technology.” Edgewater is certainly one of those companies building great tech. It’s the only company in the world with a Wi-Fi router that can handle multiple channels through a single radio in order to overcome congestion and interference challenges in heavily trafficked hotspots. And it’s recently had the door opened to the $500-billion U.S. cable industry.


anata North has proven itself much more than a one-trick pony since that telecom bubble of years past. It’s thriving in a number of other markets. But telecom lives on, forever woven into the community’s fabric. Just look at the numbers. Ninety per cent of Canada’s industrial telecommunications R&D still takes place in the orbit of Kanata North. Kanata North’s collective telecom, wireless and photonics sector leads the way with 8,000 workers and $1.8 billion in annual revenues. Kanata North is home to a rich mix of homegrown players with global clout, as well as multinationals drawn here by the depth of the industry ecosystem and the level of talent. Names like Ciena, Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia live alongside Dragonwave,

On the cusp of the next big thing Bernard Herscovici, founder and CEO of KodaCloud (formerly Art2Wave), is a serial entrepreneur whose career began 30 years ago as an engineer at Nortel. He’s seen market cycles come and go – the evolution of the industry from the days when hardware ruled to recent advances like softwaredefined networking. In his view, the telecom industry is poised for its next big round of expansion and Kanata North is well positioned to benefit. KodaCloud is ready to claim its piece of this pie, with the first AI (Artificial Intelligence) system that can deliver true “network as a service.” It’s like having an IT department in the cloud. Because if an AI can drive a car, why can’t it also drive a network? “What we’re seeing now is the early stage of the next huge wave of expansion that will see telecommunications networks driven from systems in the cloud,” Herscovici said. “Many companies and many people here in Kanata North are skilled in the hot technologies of the future such as software-defined networking, SaaS and cloud services. We have no trouble finding the talent we need right here in Kanata North.” Learn more about Kanata North’s pedigree in telecom, wireless and photonics at

LAUNCH PAD Pro cyclist’s insurance startup ready to shift into gear Ottawa athlete and entrepreneur Angella Goran says existing plans fail to serve needs of customers with active lifestyles – a niche she plans to fill BY ADAM FEIBEL



thlete and entrepreneur Angella Goran is taking a leap into the insurance industry with a line of products designed specifically with active lifestyles in mind. Ms. Goran, a professional cyclist who also founded SokJok – a retailbased social enterprise that sells athletic socks while donating to youth initiatives – was biking coast-to-coast across Canada a few years ago and heard from many other fellow athletes and adventurers about the problems they had encountered while participating in or competing in athletic activities. “I was hearing more and more people saying, ‘I’ve seen accidents happen, I’ve had my bike stolen, I was travelling to a race but my kid got sick so I had to cancel and lost $2,000’ … It became this repetitive story,” she says. She came up with an idea: A comprehensive insurance plan similar to a Canadian Automobile Association membership, but specially tailored for people who live athletic lifestyles and whose needs aren’t all met by other insurance plans. At a tech conference in Toronto this month, Ms. Goran announced the soft launch of her new firm, Global Sports Insurance. The startup, which plans to officially launch in mid-November, will sell a product line called Athletica Protect that covers items such as gear



and equipment, accidental death and disability, and travel for athletic events (including rental cars, key loss and ticket refunds). The plans will be available to customers in Canada and the United States, who will be covered anywhere in the world. They’re offered in a three-tier coverage system, ranging from $300 to $1,200 a year. In February, the firm also plans to add an on-demand insurance line, which will let someone buy a short-term policy at a low rate to cover them for a specific event or to borrow equipment, for example. Athletica Protect will also double as a loyalty program with special offers and benefits.

people who do sports would have to tap into,” Ms. Goran explains. “If somebody chooses to live an active lifestyle, they’re choosing to do that 24/7.” Bootstrapped so far, Global Sports Insurance is meanwhile reaching out to angel networks in search of $500,000 in financial capital. More importantly, Ms. Goran says she’s looking for investors who will be helpful partners in expanding the firm’s network and market reach. The company projects revenues of $1.4 million in the first year, based on a conservatively anticipated 1,000 subscriptions.

“I was hearing more and more people saying, ‘I’ve seen accidents happen, I’ve had my bike stolen, I was travelling to a race but my kid got sick so I had to cancel and lost $2,000’ … It became this repetitive story.” – ANGELLA GORAN, PRO CYCLIST AND FOUNDER OF GLOBAL SPORTS INSURANCE

“You’re getting the membership perks of a program that’s focused on athletics and sports, and then an aggregate of some of the best policies and products that we have in the insurance realm that

“We already know the forecast of the potential behind this product line,” says Ms. Goran. “We will actually profit within our first year.” The firm has received support from


Marc Roy of Sportstats, an Ottawabased athletic statistics website with an estimated 700,000 members. Ms. Goran says that partnership will help the company with marketing and visibility. With access to Sportstats’ participant data for major events such as marathons, triathlons and obstacle races, she was better able to give insurance underwriters an encouraging sense of the scope of the company’s target market. It’s within that niche market that Ms. Goran sees plenty of potential for peerto-peer network capabilities. Customers who like the plan and have received good service are likely to recommend it to their friends and fellow athletes who could benefit from it, she says. Establishing and expanding that network is crucial – for hers or basically any startup. “My background was an elite athlete, so it’s easy for me to reach out to the larger names in my sport for their support,” Ms. Goran says. “You could be in the middle of a forest screaming, but if nobody’s out there to hear you it doesn’t really matter.”

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Investing in your Home: Taking the Long View CHANGE LOG L-SPARK ANNOUNCES NEW ACCELERATOR COHORT Six startups have been selected to join L-Spark’s fall accelerator program beginning this month, where they’ll move into the organization’s Kanata offices for nine months and work toward scaling sales and growing revenues tenfold. The firms come from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo. The new members are Bluink, Hangry, Lurniture, Member365, Optimity and Worx. SNAPCLARITY LAUNCHES YOUTH MENTAL-HEALTH APP The One Young World summit in Ottawa late last month marked the launch of the Snapclarity app, designed to pair users with certified therapists so they can communicate by text about their mental health. The youthfocused startup, led by Terri Storey of Terrace Wellness Group and featured in the July edition of OBJ’s Launch Pad, piloted the app in Woodstock and in Cross Lake, Man., two communities highly affected by youth suicide. With revenues from subscription fees and transactions made by users enlisting additional services from their therapists, the firm has said it projects $2.8 million in monthly recurring revenues by its first year. MYDOMA STUDIO TO BE USED IN COLLEGE PROGRAMS Ottawa software-as-a-service startup Mydoma Studio has partnered with Algonquin College and Portland Community College to offer its software to students as a free teaching tool.


‘Nobody Cares About Your Business’: Pitching to Media Monday, Oct. 31 at 12 p.m. Invest Ottawa, 80 Aberdeen St. Info and registration at

The program lets designers manage their projects, collaborate with clients, accept contracts and payments, build a product catalogue and access other resources. This year, the company received a $275,000 shot of cash from the Capital Angels Network, Wesley Clover and two private investors. ESSAYJACK CEO SHORTLISTED FOR ENTREPRENEUR AWARD Lindy Ledohowski, chief executive of EssayJack, was named a finalist for the Canadian female entrepreneur of the year award at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Launched in 2015, EssayJack is an interactive web platform that helps students learn how to write essays. The L-Spark alumni firm was also nominated this year for an ELTon award for digital innovation, presented by the British Council. The Stevie Awards winners will be announced Nov. 18. CLINICONEX LANDS FIRST-SEED ROUND, LOOKS TO EXPAND Ottawa e-health software startup Cliniconex announced its first round of seed funding this month, led by the Capital Angels Network and Wesley Clover. The investment prompted the company to seek additional software engineers and sales representatives. As part of the funding agreement, Wesley Clover president Paul Chiarelli and Capital Angels member Rob White have joined the firm’s board of directors. Founded in 2011 and an L-Spark accelerator graduate, Cliniconex is a fast-growing provider of patient outreach solutions that aim to improve clinic efficiency.

Startup Foundations Bootcamp Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. Collab Space, 70 Bongard Ave. Info and registration at

You’re Social, Now What? Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. Ottawa Public Library (Main), 120 Metcalfe St. Info and registration at program

Illuminate: The Era of Bright Innovation Friday, Nov. 18 to Sunday, Nov. 20 Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Dr. Info and registration at illuminate

PitchBryt Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr. Info and registration at pitchbryt

SaaS North Wednesday, Nov. 30 to Thursday, Dec. 1 Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr. Info and registration at

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Startup Weekend Ottawa Friday, Nov. 18 to Sunday, Nov. 20 Morisset Library, 65 University Pvt. Info and registration at ottawa.startupweekend. org

until you decide to cash them in, a home is a tangible investment that surrounds your family with comfort every day.


Building an On-Demand Startup or App Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. Invest Ottawa, 80 Aberdeen St. Info and registration at


our home is likely the largest financial investment you’ll ever make. When the time comes to move on, the increased value of your home will yield money you can put in the bank – or, better yet, towards your next real estate investment. Thinking of real estate with an eye to its future worth can help you to make important decisions during your home search. It may encourage you to purchase a home in an up-and-coming part of town rather than a well-established area, with the knowledge that property values will rise as the neighbourhood is gentrified. Helping your investment stand the test of time may mean choosing a neutral kitchen backsplash rather than a trendier option. It may even mean selecting design features that you personally don’t consider important: just because you favour showers over baths, for instance, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to skip the bathtub in your master en-suite. Ten years down the road, that missing bathtub may be a deal-breaker for many prospective purchasers. Once you’re settled, it’s important to keep the value of your investment high. That means proper upkeep and getting feedback from your real estate team before undertaking any renovations. Landscaping is a terrific, cost-effective way to add value to your home: a sapling costs very little, but in time it will grow to be a beautiful, irreplaceable asset. Real estate is one of the few investments you can enjoy from beginning to end. While stocks and bonds put your assets out of reach

BUSINESS AWARDS Former Cognos boss Michael Potter to be honoured at BOBs Trailblazing tech CEO named Ottawa’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient BY PETER KOVESSY


ichael Potter has held many titles in his career: Chief executive, Philanthropist of the Year and even Honorary Colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Next month, he’ll be adding one more. Mr. Potter, who led Cognos for two decades and turned it into one of the largest software companies in this city’s history, is the OBJ-Ottawa Chamber of Commerce 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. The award will be officially presented during the Best Ottawa Business Awards (BOBs) gala at the Westin Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 10.

Mr. Potter told OBJ that he was “completely surprised” at receiving the news and quickly highlighted how there was a large team behind Cognos’ accomplishments. “The most striking and enduring memory of my Cognos years is how broadly the credit for the great success of the company is shared,” Mr. Potter said. “So many of the innovative product ideas and the effective marketing strategies that made Cognos into Canada’s premier software firm bubbled up from rank-and-file employees and not down from the executive suite.” Born in London in 1944, Mr. Potter moved to Canada at the age of seven with his family. He attended the Royal Military College of Canada and later earned a master’s degree from the University of British Columbia.

“The development of Cognos into a billion-dollar enterprise was a 30-year story. During that time, the technology environment for the software sector transitioned through multiple generations ... Very few companies of that era were able to manage such transitions.” – MICHAEL POTTER, OTTAWA’S 2016 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENT


Will robots take your job? Telfer MBA Conference explores how future tech will impact how people work





ig data isn’t just something we have to manage, it heralds a profound shift in how we live, work and play. And that’s just the beginning. We can’t talk about big data without putting it in the context of the Internet of Things – adding intelligence to everyday objects with sensors that collect and transmit data over wireless networks. “Big Data and Analytics has been the talk of the town since 2007,” said Dr. Greg Richards, MBA Director, Telfer School of Management. “Much of the focus has been on what we do with that data, how we manage and mine it for business intelligence. But it’s time to look deeper at how it will impact the way humans work and collaborate in the near future.” The University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management will explore this and other future tech topics during the November edition of its MBA Conferences series on Nov. 19. Consider the following: • Customer Analytics that allow a supplier

to ship replacements for a consumable product before you realize you need to order it. Anything from cleaning supplies to k-cups for the staff coffee machine. • Sensors embedded into durable goods like lawnmowers, refrigerators or stoves that allow for the product to be leased with rates determined by usage, instead of purchased outright. This would dramatically change business models for many suppliers. • Personal communication devices that bring an end to employment contracts and introduce markets driven by end-to-end contracts. Dr. Richards will moderate a panel that will discuss how managers must adapt to this brave new world. Panelists include: • Christopher Dziekan, Retired - former VicePresident and Chief Strategy Officer, Hitachi Insight Group. • Eme Onuoha, Vice President, Global Government Affairs (Canada), Xerox Corporation • Warren Tomlin, Chief Innovation Officer, IBM

GREG RICHARDS, DIRECTOR, MBA PROGRAM Register for this free event The Future of Work: Will Robots Take Your Job takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Telfer School, 55 Laurier Ave East, Room DMS 1160. All MBA Conferences are open to students, alumni and the community at large. But space for this free event is limited. To confirm your spot, please RSVP before Nov. 17. To learn more or to register, call 613-562-5800 ext. 4684 or visit

He joined the forerunner to Cognos, Quasar Systems Ltd., in the early 1970s and eventually bought out its co-founders. Under Mr. Potter’s leadership, the company underwent several key transformations including a shift from government consulting to software sales. “The development of Cognos into a billion-dollar enterprise was a 30-year story. During that time, the technology environment for the software sector transitioned through multiple generations ... Very few companies of that era were able to manage such transitions,” Mr. Potter said. For years, Cognos was Ottawa’s most valuable publicly traded company and employed thousands of people. The developer of business intelligence software was sold to IBM for $4.9 billion in 2007, slightly more than a decade after Mr. Potter departed. While he humbly downplayed his contributions to Ottawa’s current crop of startups in a 2012 interview with OBJ, others argue that his impact continues to be felt in Ottawa’s business community. EY managing partner Gary Zed, who describes Mr. Potter as a “close friend,” said Mr. Potter helped influence the next generation of local tech leaders. “A few years back, I introduced Mike

to a very senior Shopify friend who extended a simple thank-you to Mike for mentoring and paving the way for the next generation and inspiring young entrepreneurs in the city,” Mr. Zed recalled. EY is the lead sponsor of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Ian Faris, the president and CEO of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, said Mr. Potter laid the groundwork for many of the city’s companies. PHILANTHROPY AWARD “Ottawa’s tech sector would not be where it is today if not for pioneers like Mr. Potter,” Mr. Faris said. “His tireless efforts and outstanding business leadership has certainly paved the way for our tech sector to reach new altitudes.” Mr. Potter also supports several charitable causes, focusing on the arts, health and education, and was named the Individual Philanthropist of the Year at the 2009 Annual Ottawa Philanthropy awards. One of his most well-known charitable endeavors is Vintage Wings of Canada. After his passion for aviation led him to start collecting vintage aircraft, Mr. Potter launched a not-for-profit foundation to acquire, maintain and

Former Cognos CEO Michael Potter transformed the firm into a software powerhouse. FILE PHOTO

operate planes of historical importance to Canada and the world. This helped result in Mr. Potter becoming the Honorary Colonel of the RCAF Snowbirds Air Demonstration Squadron as well as bringing an annual airshow featuring the Snowbirds back to the National Capital Region in recent years.


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Tickets for the gala honouring Mr. Potter can be purchased online here. The BOBs will also celebrate the city’s top business performers in more than a half-dozen categories and recognize the city’s 2016 CEO of the Year, David Ross. Mr. Potter will also take his place in the Plaza of Honour outside the World Exchange Plaza in the new year.

COMMENTARY Great River Media 250 City Centre Ave., Suite 500 Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6K7

Learning the oldest lesson in the book

TELEPHONE Phone: 613-238-1818 Sales Fax: 613-248-4564 News Fax: No faxes, email PUBLISHER Michael Curran, 238-1818 ext. 228 CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Terry Tyo, 238-1818 ext. 268 EDITOR, PRINT CONTENT David Sali, 238-1818 ext. 269 EDITOR, ONLINE CONTENT Peter Kovessy, 238-1818 ext. 251

Michael Prentice says his experience with discount coupon producer The Entertainment Book over an unexplained credit-card charge reminded him of an old adage: Buyer, beware

REPORTER Craig Lord, 238-1818 ext. 285 COPY EDITOR Samantha Paquin ADVERTISING SALES General Inquiries, 238-1818 ext. 286 Wendy Baily, 238-1818 ext. 244 Carlo Lombard, 238-1818 ext. 230 SPECIAL PROJECTS Nikki DesLauriers, 238-1818 ext. 240 MARKETING & SALES CO-ORDINATOR Cristha Sinden, 238-1818 ext. 222





undreds of Ottawa-area retailers advertise in The Entertainment Book and thousands of consumers in this region buy the book each year for its discount coupons and two-for-one deals. There is no question the annual U.S.based publication can save consumers money – especially those who dine out a lot, since the book is packed with twofor-one meal deals. But my wife and I recently had an unpleasant experience with The Entertainment Book that has left a bad taste in our mouths. It was probably at least partly our fault. And the lesson we learned is the oldest one in the book: Buyer, beware! It began with a shock: We noticed a charge of US$35 on our Americandollar credit card when we received a recent statement. The charge was by – which turned out to be the e-mail address of The Entertainment Book. As far as we knew, we had ordered nothing from The Entertainment Book since we purchased the Ottawa edition of the 2016 book online almost a year ago for US$14.99. At that time, we used a Canadiandollar credit card that we have since cancelled. We used the Canadian-dollar card because we had assumed, wrongly, that the purchase price of $14.99 was in Canadian dollars. It was only when we got the bill in December 2015 that we noticed the $14.99 purchase price had been converted to Canadian dollars,

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tanya Connolly-Holmes, 238-1818 ext. 253 ART DEPARTMENT Regan VanDusen, 238-1818 ext. 254

$21.27 at that time. We promptly paid that sum, almost one year ago now. I wanted to telephone The Entertainment Book for an explanation of the recent US$35 charge, but could find no listed phone number. I phoned the Canadian bank that issued my U.S.-dollar credit card. A customer service person at the bank suggested the charge might be an annual membership fee. I then spoke with a bank supervisor, stressing that, as far as I knew, I had not authorized any payment of US$35 to The Entertainment Book. The supervisor said the matter would be referred to the bank’s security department. I then checked The Entertainment Book website and found what is almost certainly the explanation for the charge. A section is headed “Annual Renewal Terms and Conditions.” This annual membership includes online discounts that are in addition to those in the Ottawa edition of The Entertainment Book. Unknowingly, I might have accepted these terms when I bought the 2016 book. Since I learned this, there have been these developments: 1. The issuer of our U.S.-dollar credit card telephoned me with the good news

that, after investigation, it has removed the $35 charge and we owe nothing on the credit card. 2. I received by mail a copy of the 2017 Entertainment Book, with the option to return it if I did not want it. However, The Entertainment Book said I must pay $7.95 return postage, which I have declined to do, since I did not knowingly order the book. The book came with a pre-paid return envelope, and I have returned it. It remains to be seen whether The Entertainment Book will now bill me for that $7.95. There remains the mystery of how The Entertainment Book was able to bill me on my U.S.-dollar credit card. I do not believe I ever gave the number of this card to The Entertainment Book. I asked the bank that issued the card if it could shed some light on this, but it was unable to do so. The bottom line here is: You cannot be too careful when buying anything, especially when buying online. Indeed, it can be VERY difficult to even find the fine print when buying something online. Michael Prentice is OBJ’s columnist on retail and consumer issues. He can be contacted at

Celine Paquette, 238-1818 ext. 252 FINANCE Jackie Whalen, 238-1818 ext. 250 SUBSCRIPTIONS/DISTRIBUTION Patti Moran, 238-1818 ext. 248 PRINTED BY Transcontinental Qualimax 130 Adrien-Robert, Parc Industriel Richelieu Gatineau, QC J8Y 3S2 NEWS RELEASES Please e-mail to LETTERS TO THE EDITOR We welcome opinions about any material published in the Ottawa Business Journal or issues of interest to local businesspeople. Only letters with the writer’s full name, address and telephone number will be considered for publication. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published, but they might be used to verify authenticity. Letters can be e-mailed to

Ottawa Business Journal is published by

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Mark Sutcliffe PRESIDENT Michael Curran All content of Ottawa Business Journal is copyright 2016. Great River Media Inc. and may not be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher. Publisher’s Liability for error: The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with any advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue or the refund of monies paid for the advertisement. A guaranteed minimum of 11,000 copies per week are printed and distributed.


Opening New Doors to New Opportunities to Serve You As we continue to expand our local service offering to meet even more of our clients’ needs, we need a space that can accommodate our growth. MNP Ottawa is pleased to announce that we’re moving to a great new location, effective October 24, 2016. All of our contact information will remain the same except for our new address:

800-1600 Carling Avenue Ottawa, ON K1Z 1G3 We look forward to seeing you at our new office! Contact Mike Dimitriou CPA, CA, Partner at 613.691.4200 or


Our new location offers free visitor parking for vehicles registered with MNP and is located in front of the building with entrances on Carling Ave and Churchill Ave.


CEO OF THE YEAR “He’s not only a technical genius, but he has tremendous business and management acumen as well. He took the company into places that I don’t think were even thought of back in the days when John created the company. He has that sort of spark, that enthusiasm, which is very contagious. And he has the talent for surrounding himself with extremely competent people.” — BRIAN BALDRY, FORMER BOARD MEMBER OF ROSS VIDEO

‘He is a dynamo’ With a lot of meticulous planning and some creative – and audacious – thinking, Ottawa’s CEO of the Year David Ross has built a family business into a dominant force in the world of video technology BY DAVID SALI





ight years ago, David Ross decided he needed to do something dramatic to shake his company out of the doldrums. The chief executive of Ross Video took a cold, hard look at the numbers, and he wasn’t happy with what he saw. The firm his father John had founded in the basement of his Montreal home in the early ’70s, a business that had more than 15 years of “really good growth,” had basically shifted into neutral. A mix of factors – a sluggish global economy and currency fluctuations among them – had geared a company engine that was used to double-digit acceleration down to a mere one per cent growth for three or four years running. In the world of business, the old saying goes, if you’re standing still, you might as well be going backward. Reverse was a gear with which Mr. Ross was not familiar. “This isn’t right,” he remembers thinking. “This company is better than that.” Taking a page from Built to Last:

An Emmy Award is just one of a multitude of honours Ross Video has earned under David Ross’s leadership. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – one of the countless business books he’s read in a relentless drive for selfimprovement – Mr. Ross decided it was time to create a “BHAG.” That’s BHAG as in “Big Hairy Audacious Goal,” a medium- to-longterm organizational objective that is,

as the name suggests, daring yet not impossible to achieve. After some thought, Mr. Ross came up with what he figured was a BHAG worthy of the name. “I said, ‘We’re going to grow. We’re going to more than double the size of the company in five years, and we’re going to

increase the profit while we’re doing it.’” That was in 2008. Since then, the eastern Ontario-based video equipment company achieved Mr. Ross’s initial goal and is on pace to once again double in size within a second five-year span. Ross Video’s annual revenues are approaching $200 million, and its headcount has

Brian Baldry, who served on the company’s board of directors for 18 years before retiring in 2014, points to that deal as a prime example of Mr. Ross’s business acumen. It not only gave Ross Video a more visible presence in the mobile production field, he says, it also meant that freelancers who worked in the trucks would become familiar with Ross’s technology and, consequently, would be more likely to promote it to their bosses during gigs at major networks such as ESPN – thus expanding the firm’s customer base even further.

COMMON TOUCH The proud papa says his son is still an engineer in a CEO’s body, the man in the corner office who’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and figure out exactly what needs to be done to make sure a product fits a customer’s needs. “He doesn’t waste his R&D money,” John says. “He is sure when we start a project that it’s going to be a winner.” Mr. Baldry says he is a boss with a common touch – “It’s not ‘Good morning, sir.’ It’s, ‘Hi, David,’” he says – that instantly makes co-workers and customers alike feel at ease. “They don’t build a product, then ask the client if they’d like to use it,” he says of Mr. Ross and his team. “They go and see the client and then build the product the way the client wants it. He knows from the customer’s viewpoint what is required and what has to be done, and the products show that insight.” Still, there were times, both father and son concede, when they two didn’t see eye to eye on strategy. David, the young upstart, would push for expansion, while John, the seasoned business veteran, would champion a more cautious approach. Mr. Baldry was recruited to the board in the late ’90s to be an impartial voice, which helped smooth over their differences. “There was always a tension there – especially at budget time,” David says. “I’d always be pushing for more, and he’d always be pushing for restraint. It could get tense, but the nice thing is we always managed to resolve it.” Continued on page 21


VIRTUAL REALITY “That was the philosophy,” says Mr. Baldry, a former vice-president of engineering at the CBC. “It was not just to build mobiles. There was a strategy behind the whole thing.” Such moves, along with the company’s own commitment to R&D, have extended Ross’s reach into nearly every corner of the video production field, from virtual reality to robotic cameras. “The more products you have to sell, the more reasons you have to visit the customer, the more ways you have a relationship with the customer,” says the 51-year-old Mr. Ross, a fitness buff with a boyish mop of dark hair who looks a decade younger than his age. “And the more places you sell your products, the higher percentage of worldwide demand that you can take and put back into research and development.” Ross gear can now be found from New Zealand to Kazakhstan, and newscasts around the world are produced using the company’s equipment. The Grammys and Oscars are among its major clients, and last year the firm won an Emmy Award for its pioneering product openGear, a

combination hardware platform and software control system that allows users to perform tasks such as converting analog video to digital or compressing video streams. Ross equipment has even found its way onto the International Space Station, where it was used to convert video from analog to digital for transmission back to satellite receivers on Earth. Mr. Baldry uses one word to describe the man behind the company’s mercurial rise: “Dynamo.” “He’s not only a technical genius, but he has tremendous business and management acumen as well,” he says of Mr. Ross. “He took the company into places that I don’t think were even thought of back in the days when John created the company. He has that sort of spark, that enthusiasm, which is very contagious. And he has the talent for surrounding himself with extremely competent people.” He remembers watching one of Mr. Ross’s recent speeches at a broadcasting convention and being reminded of another much-lauded entrepreneur. “There he was on the stage, and I thought, ‘My goodness, there’s Steve Jobs.’ He had the same dynamism.” According to his father, David Ross the tech wizard emerged at about age nine after the family left Quebec and settled in Iroquois in the mid-’70s. Using an early home computer John assembled from a kit, David started designing video games, writing artificial intelligence software and winning national science awards. “Pretty soon, his programming skills had passed mine,” John says, laughing. “He was off and running. Nobody ever told him, ‘You’re too young.’ He was in there with both feet.” The future CEO began working at

his father’s shop in high school. After studying computer engineering at the University of Waterloo, he joined the firm full-time in 1991. Three months later, he was in charge of half the R&D department. “It was a little bit scary,” he admits. “I was a good engineer, but I had a lot to learn about management and business.” Thankfully, he’d been getting homeschooled for years. Rather than sports scores or idle talk about the weather, dinnertime chatter at the Ross household focused on topics such as HR issues, ongoing business challenges and the latest video technology. “It’s not like any of this stuff was foreign to me,” he says with a grin. “That was probably pretty good training.” Mr. Ross left no stone unturned in his quest for knowledge, soaking up wisdom anywhere he could find it. “I read as many management books, engineering books, strategy books, leadership books, as I possible could, and I still do today,” he explains. “I’m the only person I know that has competed in a half-marathon while listening to a business book. You multitask.”


rocketed from 400 in 2012 to about 640 today. The firm’s 80,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Iroquois, south of Ottawa on the St. Lawrence River, is running full tilt, and the company is planning a 40,000-square-foot expansion in the near future. Overall, the firm’s average growth rate over the past quarter-century is an eye-popping 18 per cent. Not bad for an operation that competes with the likes of Apple, Canon, Panasonic and Sony. Mr. Ross’s bold leadership has earned him the OBJ-Ottawa Chamber of Commerce CEO of the Year award. He’ll officially receive the honour during the Best Ottawa Business Awards on Nov. 10. “Nobody wants to be here on the year that we suddenly don’t grow,” he says during an interview at his modest office in the company’s R&D headquarters on Auriga Drive. “It’s not greed. It’s like you won the World Series three years in a row; you want to go for the fourth, you know? It’s the game – it’s the fun. We’re always looking at all of the angles of what do we need to do to grow the company. It’s just more fun to be part of a growing company. The other thing is it grows your brand, not just in Ottawa, but in our industry.” That growing brand awareness has been fuelled partly by an acquisition streak that has seen the company buy no less than 13 smaller firms since Mr. Ross issued his bold mission statement in 2008. A man who does his homework, he won’t pull the trigger on a deal until he’s convinced it’s the right fit. He searches for partners with expertise in products and services that complement Ross technology, and he has two key criteria: the company must align with Ross’s culture, and it shouldn’t be any larger than one-tenth of Ross’s size. “I look at it as saying, the most you can get out of something, especially if you buy a company that’s No. 1 in their industry, is you might save some (money) in sales and admin,” explains Mr. Ross, who took over as chief executive from his father in 2006. “If something goes wrong with an acquisition that’s 10 per cent of your size, it’s painful, but it’s probably not going to kill you. You buy a company that’s 70 per cent of your size and you make a mistake, it could kill you really fast.” So far, the perennial World Series of Business contender is batting a perfect 13-for-13 in the acquisition game, and those deals have given Ross a breadth of products many of its competitors simply can’t match. For example, its acquisition of South Florida’s Mobile Content Providers in 2013 literally gave Ross a new vehicle for its switchers and real-time motion graphics systems in MCP’s trucks that produced live college sports events.



Dr. Lauralyn McIntyre is a Senior Scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology Program and a physician in Critical Care at The Ottawa Hospital. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. One main area of interest ties all of these together: septic shock.



Although septic shock is a serious medical condition that has been portrayed on countless medical dramas, it isn’t widely understood. Sepsis refers to a body’s response to a serious infection and can manifest itself in many different ways. The “new” definition refers to a serious infection and at least one dysfunctional organ. This could be your brain, lungs, kidneys, or bone marrow – and it could happen to anyone – especially individuals with chronic diseases or suppressed immune systems. If symptoms include low blood pressure, it’s called septic shock and carries with it a high mortality rate and risk of long-term complications for those who survive. Over time, the medical community has made some improvement in patient outcomes with better identification, resuscitation, and antibiotics. Survivors, however, are often faced with serious long-term issues including psychological and post-traumatic distress, physical weakness, and depression. “It goes on and on,” describes Dr. McIntyre. “It has a huge burden of illness, both from the perspective of death and even for the people who survive it.” In Canada, approximately 50,000 patients every year are admitted to hospitals with sepsis or septic shock and 20 to 40 per cent of those patients will die. Dr. McIntyre estimates that sepsis and septic shock account for about 20 per cent of admissions to the ICU at The Ottawa Hospital. Sepsis and septic shock represent an enormous challenge to patients, to the health care system, and to the caregivers who look after patients after they leave the hospital. Dr. McIntyre and her colleague Dr. Duncan Stewart, saw a big challenge and lots of room for potential. And that’s where stem cells come in. They have been part of a team of specialists who’ve spent the last five or six years working towards conducting a phase one trial to treat septic shock using stem cells. “The type of stem cells that we’re studying for the treatment of septic shock is completely novel and highly experimental, and has great potential to help patients,” says Dr. McIntyre. Early research in animal models showed stem cells reduce death in animals with sepsis by calming








the immune system, restoring organ function and clearing the pathogens faster from the system. In the phase one trial, medical staff tested stem cell treatment in a small subset of patients with septic shock. They were looking at the tolerability of cells and trying to determine the best dose to use in a subsequent randomized control trial. That first phase was completed in June and it was a success. It was the first clinical trial of its kind in the world. “The cells were very well tolerated and that has given our team the impetus, the rationale, and the motivation, to go forward to a much larger study, which will be a randomized study,” says Dr. McIntyre.


The cells at the centre of the study are stem cells that come from the bone marrow of healthy volunteers who donated their marrow for this clinical trial. When researchers originally isolated stem cells, they thought they supported blood and the bone marrow. Scientists eventually discovered these cells have a great ability to modulate inflammation. “This is a very key process central to septic shock,” describes Dr. McIntyre. “It’s an inflammatory cascade gone awry.” “We used to think the cells facilitate their actions by grafting, through implanting themselves in wounded tissue or into the organs that are not working – say in sepsis,” says Dr. McIntyre. As it turns out they don’t make themselves at home, they just seem to “cross talk” to host cells – including cells that are responsible for killing pathogens – to regulate them and restore homeostasis. They are like the traffic cops of their microscopic world, and what’s more, within a few days they are gone from the system. This is a critical area of research, not only because of the numbers of patients affected but the trickle down effect that results, such as days lost at work and extra labour for caregivers. Septic shock also comes with a hefty price tag. The estimated cost to the Canadian health care system is $4 billion. “I think it’s important because there’s so much potential to help,” says Dr. McIntyre. The results of the phase one trial will be published within the next few months and funding applications are already being made for the next phase of the trial. If the funding falls into place, the team hopes to begin the next phase by the middle of next year, and take one step closer to a treatment that may help thousands of people across Canada, and the world beyond. This research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Stem Cell Network and The Ottawa Hospital Foundation To find out more on how you can support stem cell research at The Ottawa Hospital visit






GO GLOBAL Four years after acquisition, tech firm still on the march Despite keeping a low profile since its 2012 sale to a Chinese conglomerate, Kanata-based video surveillance equipment provider March Networks says it’s never stopped making inroads in the global marketplace BY DAVID SALI


hen March Networks CEO Peter Strom tells people what he does for a living, the response is usually not what the head of the videosurveillance technology company is hoping for. “Oh, really, you guys are still around?” is the reaction he often hears. But if the Ottawa firm’s relatively low profile since it was acquired by Chinese holding company Infinova in 2012 bothers Mr. Strom, he’s not showing it. He can even chuckle about the fact that

a business that helps customers around the world keep a vigilant eye on their operations has itself become hidden in plain sight, at least in the public’s mind. “It really hasn’t impacted us that much,” he says. “We’ve stayed fairly active, I think, from a marketing perspective in the industry itself.” In fact, Mr. Strom says, much of the firm’s retreat from the headlines was part of a conscious decision to “take a break” from the rigorous reporting requirements required of a public company after March went private. March has spent much of the four years since it was acquired working at making inroads in other parts of

the world outside of its core markets in North and Latin America. The firm recently opened a sales and support office in Singapore with the goal of expanding its presence in Southeast Asia, an effort that has been “mildly successful” so far, Mr. Strom says. Last year, for example, March won a contract to supply PVcomBank, one of Vietnam’s fastest-growing financial institutions, with video-surveillance equipment at 115 branches across the country. “That was largely as a result of us getting a direct presence in the region,” says Mr. Strom, adding the company sees a major opportunity because many


banks in Southeast Asia are stepping up efforts to standardize their videosurveillance platforms. “We do fairly well in the financial services, the banking market and the retail market, and we have a number of large banking customers who do have operations or are currently investing in operations in that region, so a lot of the


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“Because we now have a much bigger presence in that market, we’re able to support those customers as they invest and grow in the China market. It certainly has been a real advantage for us when we can sit down and talk to some of the leading corporations in the world and basically say that we have a combined 1,500-1,600 employees in China.” – MARCH NETWORKS CEO PETER STROM, ON THE BENEFITS OF THE FIRM’S ACQUISITION BY CHINESE HOLDING COMPANY INFINOVA

Tire Centre, the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum and OC Transpo stations. Such lucrative clients have built March Networks into one of the largest businesses of its kind in the world. But separating itself from the pack in a crowded field that includes powerhouse competitors with names such as Bosch, General Electric and Panasonic isn’t easy, Mr. Strom concedes. To that end, March has spent the past few years pouring big money – about 7580 per cent of its total R&D investment – into developing products to complement its video surveillance equipment. This includes software that monitors and analyzes ATM and retail point-of-sale transactions in an effort to weed out fraudsters, as well as a platform that lets retailers use security footage to better understand customer traffic patterns – for example, knowing when to open up additional checkout counters.

How the airport’s revenue comes and goes Last year, the airport generated $118.25 million in revenue. About $45.4 million came from the airport improvement fee (AIF) charged to passengers to help finance the cost of capital improvements at the airport. Another $37.7 million came from the aeronautical revenues charged to carriers for landing and terminal usage. The airport also engages in a number of commercial endeavours

to ensure travellers have the amenities they expect for a comfortable trip – from limousine services and retail, to grabbing a coffee or a healthy lunch. Concession revenues generated another $10.9 million and car parking revenues totalled $13.7 million. The airport also leases surplus land for commercial development – this generated another $6.2 million. But over $24 million was spent last year on interest alone, on outstanding debt of $630.9 millio. These monies were borrowed to fund capital programs like runway improvements, new boarding bridges, carpets and new snowclearing equipment. Salaries and benefits accounted for $21.5 million, and materials, supplies and services for another $31.1 million. And then there is that $8.7 million in federal rent as well as payments in lieu of municipal taxes of $5.0 million. “All of the revenues we collect are reinvested in the airport’s operation,” said Laroche. “This allows us to maintain our commitment to providing our passengers with a world-class terminal and an exceptional customer experience, and to offer airlines among the lowest fees of the large airports in Canada.” To learn more about YOW’s finances, you can read the annual report at


SUBSCRIPTION MODEL “We’ve kind of evolved from being just a video-surveillance player to now being a true visual-based business intelligence company,” Mr. Strom explains. March is also preparing to launch a subscription-based video-surveillance service aimed at small businesses. Many SMEs, particularly in the hospitality sector, are increasingly reluctant to shell out thousands of dollars up front for security equipment, Mr. Strom says, making the monthly pay model an attractive option. “We think that’s going to be a huge growth opportunity for the company,” he says. Mr. Strom says it’s all part of a neverending effort to stay one step ahead of the competition. “In technology, if you stand still, you’re pretty much dead,” he says. “The challenge for us is to continue to be innovative, No. 1. Secondly, customer requirements are changing very quickly today, and new technology comes down the pipe very quickly.”


The Ottawa MacdonaldCartier International Airport Authority (OMCIAA) is a complex and well-oiled machine. It has to be given how entwined its operations are with Transport Canada, other regulatory authorities, law enforcement and border services. The airport must maintain its own fire department, specially trained to deal with masscasualty events on the tarmac and act as first responders to nearly 200 medical calls in the terminal each year. Then there are the costs associated with security at every level, to guard against every imaginable scenario. The costs and complexity of its operations only escalate in winter with ice and snow. And the airport is responsible for paying for these costs from revenues it generates, without receiving any government assistance. That’s right: OMCIAA is not a government agency or Crown corporation. It is a private, nonprofit organization responsible for generating its own revenue. Its airport lease comes at a cost as well—last year, it paid $8.7 million in rent to the Government of Canada. “Much of our budget is spent on what the public doesn’t see,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO. “We are constantly reinvesting in the equipment, training and infrastructure necessary to maintain and grow an efficient, secure and world-class airport befitting the capital city of a G7 nation.”


time they’re asking us if we can support them in that region as well.” When Infinova announced in late 2011 it was planning to acquire March for $90 million, Mr. Strom hailed the deal as a “platform to work to accelerate our growth.” Following a round of layoffs shortly after the acquisition, March’s headcount is now back to about 270 worldwide and 155 in Ottawa, virtually the same as before the takeover. Revenues last year cracked the $100-million mark, a similar figure to what March recorded in its heyday as a publicly traded company. While the growth spurt Mr. Strom talked about five years ago hasn’t kicked in yet, he believes the partnership with Infinova is still paying dividends. March has many U.S. and European customers with operations in China, he explains, and the company had been exploring ways to penetrate that lucrative market well before the acquisition. “When Infinova came along and we had discussions with them … we thought it was a very good fit and very consistent with our overall growth strategy,” says Mr. Strom, who joined March in 2003 and was named Ottawa’s CEO of the Year in 2005, shortly after the firm’s IPO. “Because we now have a much bigger presence in that market, we’re able to support those customers as they invest and grow in the China market. It certainly has been a real advantage for us when we can sit down and talk to some of the leading corporations in the world and basically say that we have a combined 1,500-1,600 employees in China.” Most of March’s clients are enterprise customers in the banking, retail and transportation sectors. They include Wal-Mart, four of the top five Canadian banks, Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank, the Bank of New Zealand, U.S. bookseller Barnes & Noble, Japanese clothing manufacturer Uniqlo and the Toronto Transit Commission. Locally, March’s surveillance technology can be found at the Canadian

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GTEC is an overlooked opportunity for some companies, executives say. PHOTO COURTESY GTEC

GTEC ‘front door’ to government partnerships: Eclipsys co-founder BY CRAIG LORD



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rom the windows of his Kanata office, Jack Gulas has a fine view of the Peace Tower. For the co-founder and partner of Eclipsys Solutions, it’s a reminder that sometimes the best business partners are those closest to home. Another reminder – and for his companies, an important opportunity – is the upcoming Government Technology Exhibition and Conference (GTEC), an annual chance for the federal government to shop around the showroom floor to find businesses that can help deliver on promised services. Mr. Gulas is a member of the board of governors for GTEC, and Eclipsys, an IT service provider focused on the Oracle suite of products, has set up at the exhibition for the past seven years. The exhibition has been a regular priority for the company because of the returns it sees on making public sector connections. “It creates one front door, as opposed to going through 50 doors,” Mr. Gulas says, adding the complex nature of the federal government sometimes makes it difficult to find, secure and deliver on contracts.

GTEC, he explains, is the one time the federal government will come to you with exactly what it’s looking for. Mr. Gulas says the timing of the fall exhibition and conference lines up well with government spending patterns. After the slow days of summer, business picks back up, with departments looking to deliver by budget time in early spring. “We gain a lot of insight at GTEC ... in the busiest sales period of the year for the federal government,” he says. The conference is also a chance to take the pulse of the feds. Changes in government or shifts in geopolitical focus can affect what kinds of services departments are seeking. One year on from the election of the Trudeau government, Mr. Gulas has noticed a shift in tone. “I think in the last government, it was a little more, save money, look inwards, and a little more restraint,” he says. “This government has given us the impression that it’s a little more in growth mode.” The difference, he explains, could be that government looks for more mobile and cloud-focused services as opposed to offerings aimed more at optimization and consolidation that were common in the previous regime. Eclipsys is not the only reason Mr. Gulas has a keen eye on GTEC. In May,

“For some reason, Kanata-based companies spend more time thinking about how to get into China than the federal government. They’re like 20 kilometres down the road, and they have a $3-billion IT budget.” – JACK GULAS, CO-FOUNDER OF ECLIPSYS SOLUTIONS

he launched a startup called YoppWorks that he incubates out of Eclipsys. YoppWorks, which operates as a strategic partner for IT service firms, will also be showing at the exhibition. The aim for fledgling companies like YoppWorks is to catch the attention of a government department with a smaller project in its pocket that could be a valuable kickstart for a new firm. “Those are the seeds that we need as a startup to really get some exposure,” Mr. Gulas says. For all the buzz that GTEC generates in Mr. Gulas, he is surprised that local companies don’t take better advantage of the enormous business partner in their own backyards. “For some reason, Kanata-based

companies spend more time thinking about how to get into China than the federal government. They’re like 20 kilometres down the road, and they have a $3-billion IT budget,” he says. Mr. Gulas says that companies often know how to get funding from the government through the Industrial Research Assistance Program and other grants, but they rarely see the value in selling back to the feds. To that end, he recently started working with the Kanata North BIA to spur businesses to go after government contracts. “I’m on a little bit of a mission to see if I can help there,” he says. GTEC runs from Nov. 1-3 at the Shaw Centre.

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he federal government’s office space modernization program is a “disaster,” according to its top real estate executive, who also suggested he was cool towards continuing to own, rather than lease, some properties. Kevin Radford, an assistant deputy minister at Public Services and Procurement Canada, made his remarks on Oct. 19 during a wide-ranging presentation at the Ottawa Real Estate Forum. In 2011, the department – then known as Public Works and Government Services Canada – began implementing a program called “Workplace 2.0,” rethinking how and where public servants work. Mr. Radford said too much emphasis was placed on reducing the real estate footprint of civil servants without sufficient attention to integrating workplace technology into the revamped offices. “Workplace 2.0 is a disaster,” he said. According to the government, the average federal employee used 18.4 square metres in 2012-13, which is the most recent fiscal year for which records are published. That’s down from 21.6 square metres per employee in 2006, according to an auditor general report. The goal of Workplace 2.0 is to create “Workplaces of the Future” that encourage more collaboration between employees, offer greater flexibility and allow bureaucrats to make better use of technology such as videoconferencing. It directly affects the private sector, specifically those firms that supply the federal government with office furniture, architectural services and leased space. Old cubicles were to be replaced with shared and collaborative spaces, as well as work stations with lower panels

aimed at encouraging interaction, increasing natural light and improving air circulation. However, Mr. Radford said steps were missed during the rollout, such as ensuring bureaucrats could wirelessly access the Internet in shared work areas. “How can we be going to various buildings and changing the furniture around and not ensuring that modern technology (such as) basic, secure access to Wi-Fi is available?” he asked. During his speech, Mr. Radford also outlined a vision for dramatically rethinking where in the National Capital Region civil servants work. In recent years, the federal government has been reducing its presence in Ottawa’s central business district and looking for opportunities to relocate to other areas close to mass transit, such as the Ottawa Train Yards. However, Mr. Radford said he’d like to go further and allow bureaucrats to work closer to home. His vision includes federal office hubs scattered throughout the National Capital Region. Employees could choose where they wanted to work and use an electronic registration system to reserve a workstation. Mr. Radford also questioned the wisdom of the federal government owning its own office buildings, especially given the challenges in accurately predicting future demand. Any shift towards leasing more space would create significantly more business for private-sector landlords. “I was thrilled to hear (Mr. Radford) say that they they really shouldn’t own buildings, that they should be leasing buildings,” said Bernie Myers, vice-president for eastern Canada at Morguard, during a later panel discussion. Morguard is one of the federal government’s largest local landlords.

TRADE Chinese entrepreneurs scout local business opportunities BY CRAIG LORD


everal Chinese billionaires were in Ottawa earlier this month, meeting with the city’s business leaders and eying investment opportunities in the nation’s capital. Delegates from the China Entrepreneur Club, a non-profit organization that includes 31 of the Asian country’s leading entrepreneurs, diplomats and economists, stopped in Ottawa on Oct. 18 during a cross-country tour of Canada. Local economic development officials and Ottawa entrepreneurs pitched several local companies and made-in-Ottawa innovations to delegates of the club, whose members collectively bring in US$460 billion in annual revenues. Presenters included Spartan Bioscience founder and CEO Paul Lem and L-Spark’s Leo Lax, who positioned Ottawa as an innovation hub.

“Here in Ottawa, we have a rich number of organizations and companies that are creating new innovations on a daily basis,” Mr. Lax told the crowd, offering L-Spark grad Better Software as an example of a local success story. Mr. Lem pitched directly to the Chinese crowd, suggesting that his company’s DNA diagnostic technology could pave the way to eliminating deaths from stomach cancer in China, the disease ranking among the highest causes of death in the country in 2015. “Imagine the market that’s available there,” he told the crowd. Chinese delegates in the room were eager to form connections. Upon hearing Mr. Lem’s ideas, ChinaEquity Group chairman Wang Chaoyong suggested the name of a Silicon Valley company doing similar work in DNA sequencing that he could connect to Mr. Lem. After the presentations concluded, T&T Supermarkets founder Jack Lee gave an impassioned multilingual speech


on the great market he sees in Ottawa, calling the city a “top performer” for his company, Canada’s largest chain of Asian supermarkets.

Invest Ottawa managing director of investment and trade Blair Patacairk, the agency’s host for the event, explained to OBJ why Ottawa is so attractive for Chinese businesses. “It’s by no coincidence that people like Huawei came into this market for talent,” he said, referring to the technology expertise birthed from the booming days of Nortel and the telecom industry as well as the research and development that continues in Ottawa today.


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“Nobody wants to be here on the year that we suddenly don’t grow. It’s not greed. It’s like you won the World Series three years in a row; you want to go for the fourth, you know? It’s the game – it’s the fun. It’s just more fun to be part of a growing company.”



Continued from page 11 Today, there is a hint of amazement mixed with a healthy portion of pride in John’s voice when he talks about his son’s accomplishments, particularly the “BHAG” that came to define the company. “That was an awesome goal, but it was achieved,” the elder Ross says. “I watched with great awe as he did achieve it. He certainly took the company through very difficult times because it was so ambitious, but in the end, it was the right thing to have done.” As for the future, Mr. Ross made another momentous decision last year when he turned 50: Ross Video would go public within 10 years, giving him enough of a “runway” to retire at 65 if he so chooses. The father of two teenage daughters says his kids have no interest in taking over the family business. After looking at various potential scenarios, including

selling the company to a competitor or a private equity firm, he concluded an IPO would be the best way to preserve the Ross name while giving the business room to grow. “When I looked at all the possibilities, I said taking the company public is the only option that I actually like,” he says. But that’s still a few years down the road. For now, Mr. Ross is eyeing more acquisitions and continuing to explore new technological frontiers. And, for a few hours on Nov. 10, he’ll stop to savour a bit of recognition for what he describes as the ultimate team effort. “I’ve had so much help and so many mentors over the years,” he says. “This is a really nice award for me to win, but I just happen to be at the centre of a whole bunch of people working really hard trying to accomplish something.” Something big and audacious. And lo and behold, they’ve done it.


The Artpreneur Ottawa Conference brings artists together with creative experts, and business leaders to inspire and develop their professions.


• Skill building seminars and panels • Expo Hall and product demos • Rich conversations and cross disciplinary networking Read the complete program and speaker bios at:

until Oct 3, 2016

@artpreneurottawa @artpreneur1




z e h n (+)S t u d i o D E S I G N




OBJPrintAd.indd 1

2016-09-16 1:52 PM


One small change really can make a big difference What can your business do to make a difference where it counts?


$5 to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario for every customer who switches to E-Billing. An additional $5 will be donated when a customer signs up for pre-authorized payments. So consider: as your organization looks to encourage ”green”behaviours, how can you shift your strategy to support a worthy cause?

CHEO patients Ben and Jack, age 9.

are compatible with CHEO’s electronic (and paperless) health record system. “By engaging their customer base and offering the incentive of helping CHEO by simply signing up for E-Billing, Hydro Ottawa is making a huge difference for families in our region,” said Jacqueline Belsito, VP of Philanthropy and Community Engagement at the CHEO Foundation. “We

offer our sincere thanks to everyone at Hydro Ottawa for allowing us to build on the huge success of last year’s Go Paperless campaign and for helping even more children and youth get better.” Make a difference today! Register for E-Billing at www. or ask a Customer Service agent for assistance at 613-738-6400.


Boosting patient care at CHEO All the funds collected during this year’s Go Paperless campaign will help upgrade CHEO’s patient monitors. “We give where we live, and CHEO is truly an institution

that touches the lives of so many in our community,” said Bryce Conrad, President and CEO of Hydro Ottawa. “With a few simple clicks, you’re able to access your bill online, contribute to sustainability and help make a meaningful impact in children’s lives and wellbeing at the same time – a real win-win-win.” CHEO uses patient monitors almost every minute of every day at bedsides across its inpatient units, but the current units are outdated and not compatible with new software. Using the funds raised by Hydro Ottawa, CHEO will drive forward with its own “go paperless” effort – new monitors will be upgraded so that they


ometimes, the easiest way to do a good deed is to just do what you were going to do anyway. This is certainly true in the case of Hydro Ottawa’s Go Paperless campaign, which encourages customers to switch to E-Billing. E-Billing saves trees, and empowers customers to manage their bills and account online. To date, about a third of Hydro Ottawa’s customers have switched to E-Billing. As part of this year’s Go Paperless initiative, Hydro Ottawa has once again teamed with the CHEO Foundation. Between Aug. 15 and Dec. 31, Hydro Ottawa will donate

THE LIST 1 2 3


Nokia* 600 March Rd. Ottawa, ON K2K 2E6 613-591-3600 Ciena* 3500 Carling Ave. Ottawa, ON K2H 8E9 613-670-2000 Rogers Communications* 475 Richmond Rd. Ottawa, ON K2A 3Y8 888-ROGERS-1 Securitas Canada 500-1335 Carling Ave. Ottawa, ON K1Z 8N8 613-745-7554 / 613-745-6483 NAV Canada 77 Metcalfe St. Ottawa, ON K1P 5L6 613-563-5588 / 613-563-3426 Scotiabank Group 119 Queen St. Ottawa, ON K1P 6L8 613-564-5194 / 613-564-7946 Ericsson Canada* 349 Terry Fox Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 2V6 613-963-8987 / 613-963-8996 Abbott Point of Care 185 Corkstown Rd. Ottawa, ON K2H 8V4 613-688-5949 Canadian Bank Note Co. 145 Richmond Rd. Ottawa, ON K1Z 1A1 613-722-3421 / 613-722-2548 General Dynamics Mission Systems – Canada 1941 Robertson Rd. Ottawa, ON K2H 5B7 613-596-7000 / 613-820-5081 Innovapost 365 March Rd. Ottawa, ON K2K 3N5 613-270-6262 / 613-270-6525 CAE Canada - Defence & Security 1135 Innovation Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 3G7 613-247-0342 / 613-271-0963 The Minto Group 200-180 Kent St. Ottawa, ON K1P 0B6 613-230-7051 / 613-788-2758 Telus Communications* 215 Slater St. Ottawa, ON K1P 0A6 877-310-6110 MD Financial Management (A CMA company)* 1870 Alta Vista Dr. Ottawa, ON K1G 6R7 613-731-4552 / 613-745-2644 BlackBerry 4000 Innovation Dr. Ottawa, ON K2K 3K1 613-599-7465 / 613-599-1922

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 14





Bell Canada 160 Elgin St. Ottawa, ON K2P 2C4 613-785-0770 Commissionaires Ottawa 24 Colonnade Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 7J6 613-231-6462 / 613-567-1517 Costco Wholesale Canada 415 West Hunt Club Rd. Ottawa, ON K2E 1C5 613-221-2000 / 613-221-2001 TD Bank Group 45 O’Connor St. Ottawa, ON K1P 1A4 613-782-1201


17 18 19 20


No. of local employees Industry

4 6

LARGEST PRIVATE-SECTOR EMPLOYERS Key Ottawa-based executive(s)

Year established locally Product/Company description





Provides consumers and businesses with communications solutions including wireless, high-speed Internet, satellite TV, Fibe TV and home phone.



Paul A. Guindon CEO


Security solutions: mobile and on-site guarding; non-core police services; digital fingerprinting; pre-employment screening; criminal background checks; threat risk assessments; workplace investigations; mobile alarm response; oaths and affidavits


Membership warehouse clubs offering an assortment of nationally branded and select private-label products.


Full range of financial products and services including Canadian personal and commercial banking, wealth and insurance, wholesale banking and MBNA, a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Andrée Brien senior vice-president and general merchandise manager Pierre Riel senior vice-president and general manager for eastern Canada Jane Duchscher senior vice-president of TD Canada Trust Megan Jones vice-prisident of credit cards Andy Massa senior vice-president of business banking


Wholesale; retail


Financial services



James Watt chief operating officer of IPRT group


Provides fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services.



James Frodsham senior vice-president and chief strategy officer


Optical networking; network automation.


Telecommunications and media

Jacob Glick, chief corporate affairs officer


Wireless; data; digital cable; Internet; home phone; business solutions; media; customer care centre.



Trevor Thompson area vice-president


Security services including on-site, remote and mobile guarding; technology solutions; and investigations.


Aviation services

Neil R. Wilson president and CEO


Owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation system. Provides air traffic control; flight information services; weather briefings; airport advisory services; aeronautical information; electronic aids to navigation.


Financial services

Frank Bilodeau district vice-president Luigi Bastianelli vice-president and market lead


Retail; business; corporate; wealth; investment management



Kristina Allgurén head of radio software and Ottawa site leader


Provides communication solutions including wireless network technology, advanced mobile Internet solutions, IP and data systems, transmission solutions and managed and consulting services.


Medical devices

Andrew McNiven site director


Develops, manufactures and markets hand-held medical analysis devices and cartridges that perform common medical blood tests at patient’s bedside.


Security printing and systems

Ronald Arends president and CEO


Provides secure documents and systems for payment, identification and lottery markets in Canada and internationally.



David Ibbetson general manager


C4ISR and defence electronics company.


Information technology services

André Turgeon pesident and CEO


Application development; application management; infrastructure service management; architecture and technology; IT strategy, research and innovation; governance and IT security management.



Mike Greenley vice-president and general manager


C4ISR; ASW; EW; integrated information environments; training centre/system design and operation; requirements analysis, design, development; systems integration, test and evaluation; human factors engineering; in-service support; ILS


Real estate

Michael Waters CEO


Family-owned and fully integrated home builder, construction and property management company with operations in Canada and Florida.



Ted Woodhead senior vice-president of federal government and regulatory affairs


Wireless; Internet access; voice; health care; television


Financial services

Brian Peters president and CEO


Wealth and practice management firm owned by the Canadian Medical Association.



John Wall senior vice-president and head of QNX (a wholly owned subsidiary of BlackBerry)


Provider of security software serices for the enterprise; designer and marketer of secure smartphones.

WND = Would not disclose. *Did not respond to 2016 survey – using data from previous years. Should your company be on this list? If so, please send details to This list is current as of August 11, 2016. © 2016 by Ottawa Business Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced by any method in whole or in part without written permission by Ottawa Business Journal. While every attempt is made to ensure the thoroughness and accuracy of the list, omissions and errors sometimes occur. Please send any corrections or additions by e-mail to OBJ lists are primarily compiled using information provided voluntarily by the organizations named. Some firms that may qualify for the list are not included because the company either failed to respond to requests for information by press time, because the company declined to take part in the survey or because of space constraints. Categories are drawn up in attempt to gather information of relevance to the Ottawa market. Research by Patti Moran. Please send questions and comments to

FOR THE RECORD Contracts The following contains information about recent contracts, standing offers and supply arrangements awarded to local firms. GPEC International Ltd. 2880 Sheffield Rd. Description: Environmental remediation St. Germain Foundry Buyer: PWGSC $9,821,164 Capital Property Guardians 895 Jacques Cartier Description: Snow removal and ice maintenance services on the Rideau Canal Skateway Buyer: National Capital Commission $7,807,064 Entreprises Beaudoin 600 de Vernon Description: Building envelope refit and window replacement Buyer: Canadian Space Agency $4,980,000 GRC Architects Inc., Dialog Ontario Inc., in joint venture 47 Clarence St. Description: Advocate architect Buyer: Library and Archives Canada $3,217,262

The FIA Group 360 Maloney Blvd. E. Description: Edmonds Lock 25 weir and overflow dam heritage stone masonry rehabilitation Buyer: Parks Canada $2,378,922

Munro & Scullion Contracting Inc. 4100 Belgreen Dr. Description: Ground maintenance and snow removal Buyer: Industry Canada $395,477

Gaulec Contracting Ltd. 790 Taylor Creek Dr. Description: M-38 flexible research facility Buyer: National Research Council of Canada $2,232,000

Ottawa Security Systems and Communications Ltd. 675 Industrial Ave. Description: Access control system Buyer: PWGSC $330,000

Airbus DS Communications Corp. 200 boul. de la Technologie Description: Telecommunications/digital data network Buyer: RCMP $1,753,250

Next Technology Systems Inc. 360 McLeod St. Description: Access control system Buyer: PWGSC $330,000

Donald Servant Electric Ltd. 219 Bruyere St. Description: Generator replacement at NRC Buyer: PWGSC $599,000 Frequentis Canada Ltd. 1400 Blair Pl. Description: ADP input-output and storage devices Buyer: DND $403,089

People on the move Feenics announced the appointments of two new members to its executive team. Denis Hébert joins the company from the Security Industry Association with his extensive experience in the security industry. Fadi Hajjar, the new director of sales in Canada, was most recently with Future Security Controls/ Convergint, and will contribute his years of background dealing with various government departments.

consultant; Gary Teelucksingh, partner in wealth and investment management at Capco; Staci Trackey Meagher, vice-president of corporate accounts at Microsoft; and Rob White, an independent adviser and investor in startup technology firms and a former vice-president of mergers and acquisitions at IBM.

Hats off Trent Young, CEO of The Rhodes & Williams Group of Companies, was awarded the Hal Rogers Fellow Award by the Kin Club of Canada. The award is given to Canadians who have made a significant contribution to their community, country and Canada’s citizens. Several Ottawa companies and entrepreneurs were recognized at Startup Canada’s 2016 awards event. Eli Fathi, CEO of MindBridge Ai, was presented with the Senior Entrepreneur Award, CanvasPop was recognized with the Global Entrepreneurship Award and SuraiTea received the Social Enterprise Award. Mr. Fathi was also recently recognized with the Alumni of the Year award from Algonquin College.

Terrix Construction Corp. 220 Terence Matthews Cres. Description: Loading dock crane replacement at the David Florida Laboratory Buyer: Canadian Space Agency $219,809 Atwill-Morin (Ontario) Inc. 9 Antares Dr. Description: Scaffolding services, Supreme Court Buyer: PWGSC $143,350

Calian Ltd. 340 Legget Dr. Description: Search and rescue instructor Buyer: DND $140,526

The Aim Group Inc. 130 Albert St. Description: Project monitor/ foreman for construction for the David Florida Laboratory in Ottawa Buyer: Canadian Space Agency $122,888

INNOVATION Do you think Ottawa has the potential to be more innovative than it is or do you think it is doing the best it can to be an innovative city? DON’T KNOW

8% 9%




“More than just the capital of Canada, Ottawa is emerging as a renowned hub of technology and innovation that is known for its talent worldwide. The talent of the individuals who live, work and play in the technology sector is unparalleled and crucial to Ottawa’s economic future. No matter where in the world I am, conversations about Ottawa always converge on our talent pool. Now more than ever, this talent is our fuel moving forward.” — JENNA SUDDS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, KANATA NORTH BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

This data is part of the Ottawa Business Growth Survey. Conducted by Abacus Data and made possible by Welch LLP, the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal, the survey gathered input from hundreds of local businesses. A free 36-page report can be downloaded at


Pythian announced it has appointed a new board of directors comprised of CEO Paul Vallée and the following four independent board members: Lori O’Neill, a corporate director and independent financial and governance

Acme Future Security Controls Inc. 2170 Thurston Dr. Description: Access control system Buyer: PWGSC $330,000

Baxtec Management Corp. 2470 Don Reid Dr. Description: HVAC inspection and maintenance – five years Buyer: PWGSC $248,803


With 27 years of experience in architecture, interior design and urban design behind it, David S. McRobie Architects announced the evolution of the firm to MCROBIE Architects + Interior Designers. With the change comes new branding for the company’s online presence and printed material designed to reflect the firm’s growth and future.

Marcomm Systems Group Inc. 29 Antares Dr. Description: Access control system Buyer: PWGSC $330,000

Exel Contracting Inc. P.O. Box 13539 Stittsville Description: Richmond Landing shoreline access ceremonial landing Buyer: National Capital Commission $255,320

BUILDING A REPUTATION ON EXCELLENCE Innovative, high-quality customer-focused end-to-end construction solutions With hundreds of satisfied new and repeat customers throughout the Ottawa region as well as across Canada, BBS Construction has completed a broad range of industrial and manufacturing facilities, warehouses, recreation centres, arenas, automotive service areas and showrooms, churches and much more. We offer a complete one-stop-shop for your new construction, renovation and retrofit needs.


• • • • •



Pre-construction Consulting Butler® Pre-engineered Buildings Re-Roof Solutions Design Build Construction Management


(613) 226-8830 |

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