FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES #9: Focus on customer service pays dividends for Decisive

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Ottawa has its fair share of value-added resellers and database solution companies, so standing out in the crowd is no small task.

Mike Smith is president of Ottawa's Decisive Technologies.

By Alexia Naidoo

“If you launch yourself into a fairly saturated market space and you do well, then basically you’re filling a niche that someone else hasn’t got to,” says Decisive Technologies president Mike Smith.

The task was made all the harder with the creation of Shared Services Canada, which is moving to consolidate the government’s IT infrastructure and is causing a dramatic dropoff in federal business for many firms.

“If you talk to anyone from the manufacturers or the VAR community, they’ll tell you that business is not as plentiful as it was,” says Mr. Smith.

“We’ve always done well in the government,” he adds. “We’re very happy about that but we make sure we protect against the buying cycles in the government by having a good commercial-side business.”

Mr. Smith says that for Ottawa-based database solutions companies, Decisive is in the top five.

“The big differentiator for us is that we have good salespeople,” he notes.

But, on top of that, he says the company has a high ratio of tech to sales people.

“We have a very strong technical team. Everybody who works on our technical side has worked for large companies running data centres, running companies, or being the manager of an IT team,” says Mr. Smith. “They know how to implement the technology, but they also understand the business drivers and the thought processes of our customers because they used to do that for a living.”

He adds that another secret of their success is putting a lot of attention on supplier relationships.

“If I really wanted to, I could sell hundreds of different vendors’ products,” says Mr. Smith. “We really focus on five or six, so that means I’m giving roughly 20 per cent of my mind share to an organization, rather than a lot of other competitors that are giving five per cent of their mind share to a vendor.”

Decisive also benefits from the offerings of its sister company, BriteSky Technologies, which has its own physical cloud. Providing customers the traditional path of dealing with a VAR as well as having access to a cloud solution is a double benefit when it comes to sales opportunities, he says.

Mr. Smith says he is proud of his team and what his company has accomplished. But he’s also thankful for the good fortune that has followed the hard work.

“We thank our lucky stars,” he says. 



MAJOR CUSTOMERS/MARKETS: Federal government, municipal organizations, high tech

PRODUCT/SERVICE: Value-added reseller of data centre solutions


Each year, OBJ profiles the fastest growing private companies in the National Capital Region. Firms are ranked by percentage revenue growth over their three most recent fiscal years. Companies must be cash-flow positive in all three years. Click here for more information.

Organizations: FASTEST GROWING COMPANIES, Decisive Technologies, Shared Services Canada BriteSky Technologies CUSTOMERS/MARKETS

Geographic location: VAR, Ottawa

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