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Decisive move pays off in spurring BriteSky’s rise A few years ago, Decisive Technologies was one of the fastest-growing companies in Ottawa. But its executives knew that if they were going to maintain that trajectory, they were going to have to look for growth opportunities in a slightly different area. “The market was saturated and we wanted to continue growing, because if you’re not growing, you’re dying,” says Mike Smith, the president of Decisive Technologies and the executive vicepresident of sales at BriteSky Technologies. BriteSky Technologies, an enterprise cloud provider, was born in 2013 out of that desire for continued growth. It was the result of Decisive’s executives taking an intentional look at the marketplace and being in the right place at the right time. “We started listening to our clients,” Mr. Smith says. “Our customers were asking for cloud solutions, hybrid cloud solutions, on-premises, private clouds.” At the same time, Decisive – a database solutions company that landed in ninth spot on OBJ’s list of fastest-growing firms in 2014 – was moving its infrastructure off-site and building its own data centre, which quickly became the basis for a new cloud offering. BriteSky and Decisive are now separate companies, but they continue to share some staff and resources. Mr. Smith says that means his sales staff can focus on what’s best for the client, rather than trying to push them towards an

YEAR FOUNDED: 2013 LOCAL HEAD COUNT: BriteSky has seven dedicated employees, while another 15 work for both BriteSky and Decisive Technologies. PRODUCT OR SERVICE: Enterprise cloud services THREE-YEAR REVENUE GROWTH: 1,237.21%

on-premises or cloud-based offering. “We can offer both solutions and we don’t mind which one wins,” he says. “Quite often, it’s a combination of the two.” It also allows customers who have been using on-premises solutions to move into the cloud at their own speed. “I don’t go into an account saying, ‘I gotta sell cloud, I gotta sell cloud,’ or vice-versa. I go in saying, ‘What’s best for you?’” he says. Mr. Smith says the equipment used to

BriteSky’s Mike Smith, Richard Losier and Joey Harrison. PHOT0 BY MARK HOLLERON build his company’s cloud infrastructure has also played a role in its growth. He says it’s all “enterprise-grade gear” designed to be robust and dependable. For a small Canadian company, keeping the data it stores inside the country has also been a selling point. “We respect privacy and data sovereignty,” he says. Mr. Smith also credits much of the company’s strong growth to its people, adding both BriteSky and Decisive have built strong corporate cultures. “We’re winning because of the way we’ve

structured the organization, the culture. ‘Do the right thing’ is the tagline for both companies,” he says. He says BriteSky also took its time to get things right before launching. “We’ve done everything organically,” he says. “We didn’t go to market until we were ready and we didn’t have to borrow any money to do it.” Part of that has to do with how BriteSky started. “We used to call this our hobby,” Mr. Smith says. “We built this for our own company, to have our own infrastructure.” – Jacob Serebrin

seoplus+ illuminating the ‘black hole’ of digital marketing

Brock Murray and Eddy Abou-Nehme of seoplus+. PHOT0 BY MARK HOLLERON Despite serving clients across North America, seoplus+ has a large contingent of clients here in Ottawa, including Tiny Hoppers, Laurier Optical and Sleepwell Management. The two founders say the local connection helps their team connect with their clients. The other way to achieve that, Mr. Murray says, is by hiring locally instead of outsourcing SEO, as many marketing firms do. Having an Ottawa-based workforce more readily available makes the entire process feel less transactional. Mr. Murray adds that having access to a strong talent pool of graduates from local schools such as Algonquin College is a huge incentive to keep the workforce in Ottawa. – Craig Lord

YEAR FOUNDED: 2012 LOCAL HEAD COUNT: 16 PRODUCT OR SERVICE: Digital marketing services for small and large companies THREE-YEAR REVENUE GROWTH: 417.06%


While reading a book that was literally titled SEO for Dummies, he says he knew there must be other companies in the same situation in which he found himself. He reached out to Brock Murray, with whom he had worked previously, and the two hashed out the beginnings of seoplus+. Today, the company is 16 employees strong, with revenue growth of more than 400 per cent over the past three years. Mr. Abou-Nehme says the key to this impressive growth is the firm’s solid relationships with clients, which seoplus+ achieves by demystifying digital marketing. “A lot of people describe SEO to us as a black hole,” he says. In order to illuminate the topic, the firm built an app that would track and report what tasks and time is being spent on a customer’s project, giving the team data that it can correlate to increased traffic or sales. “We really wanted to simplify it, break things down, be transparent, communicate it to clients,” says Mr. Murray. “And that really impresses them; they know that you’re actually working for them,” Mr. AbouNehme adds.

MONDAY, MAY 8, 2017

Many regard search engine optimization as a secret art, with few gurus privy to its benefits. SEO, as it’s often abbreviated, refers to a brand or website’s likelihood to turn up in search engine results. A confusing combination of tags, trusted referrers, hyperlinks and more can be the difference between a potential client finding your site or a competitor’s. For seoplus+, keeping your site at the top of a Google search is the ticket to revenue. Founded in 2012, seoplus+ is a digital marketing services firm that helps clients stand out in the murky waters of SEO and generating online traffic. The startup features clients as large as Fortune 500 companies and the federal government and as small as local landscaping firms. “That’s the beauty of digital marketing. Every company needs (it) at some level,” says co-founder Eddy Abou-Nehme. Seoplus+ isn’t the only company Mr. AbouNehme leads. In fact, it was while he was trying to figure out digital marketing solutions for Revolution Networks, his Ottawa-based IT firm, that he stumbled upon the idea of providing services for others.

Profile for Great River Media inc.

Ottawa Business Journal May 8, 2017  

Local Ottawa business news, start ups, technology, real estate, marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, local commentary, reader comments, peo...

Ottawa Business Journal May 8, 2017  

Local Ottawa business news, start ups, technology, real estate, marketing, tourism, entrepreneurship, local commentary, reader comments, peo...