TITUS celebrates 10 years keeping your data safe

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Ottawa firm charts its future in mobile and cloud security

Ten years ago, TITUS was a three-man security consulting firm in a small office near Kettleman’s bagel shop on Carling Avenue. Today, it’s an international data security and governance company, serving enterprise customers such as Dell, Intel and NATO.

TITUS is coming off a record year for sales, revenue and profit. The team has grown to more than 130 employees in Ottawa and at regional offices in the U.S., Europe and Australia. Another 65 positions will be filled this year. 

TITUS has definitely made its mark on the international security software industry, while keeping its roots firmly in Ottawa.

“Sometimes entrepreneurs feel they have to sell their soul and move to Silicon Valley to play on the global stage,” said Founder and CEO Tim Upton. “But we’ve been successful in becoming a top-of-the-line technology company from Ottawa because we’ve been able to find top talent right here with the dedication and loyalty that’s important to our business.”

TITUS now occupies the eighth floor of the Adobe Tower on Preston Street. As a nostalgic throwback, you can still find in this office “Kettleman’s Corner.” This bright lounge area is meant to encourage impromptu brainstorm sessions, celebrate birthdays, host charity events and even feature international cuisine from the talented individuals who work for the company. 

Tapping into a growth market

After a decade of being privately held and profitable, TITUS is now considering venture capital (VC) financing to help accelerate its growth. 

“We are still a bit of a hidden gem in Ottawa,” said Charlie Pulfer, Founder and VP. “We’re not a household name because we never had a VC round. We always funded ourselves through our growth and our sales. It’s only now that we’re considering VC investment to really expand and accelerate our growth.”

TITUS’s information classification technology has become an essential tool for many organizations to identify and protect every piece of critical business information. The company has built a base of three million users worldwide. 

“From Ashley Madison to Target, data breaches have become an unfortunate reality of modern business,” said Stephane Charbonneau, Founder and CTO. “Information can now be monetized quickly, increasing its value. Companies need to protect their brand and reputation, and effectively secure their customer information. TITUS helps organizations identify what information they have, where it is, and who has access to it so it can be protected.” 

New opportunities in mobile, cloud

TITUS sees some big market opportunities before it, including the shift in data storage and collaboration to outside the traditional firewall. This has left high-value data to spread everywhere, Charbonneau added.

“Files with personal employee information, customers addresses and payment details, legal contracts, design schematics and intellectual property and trade secrets are now all over the place, from the biggest servers to an individual smartphone,” he said. “We want to help our customers effectively manage their risks around data security and privacy on premise, in the cloud or over a mobile device.” 

To expand its capabilities in mobile and the cloud, TITUS is making greater investment in talent with the right technical expertise, as well as senior experience in all departments. It expects to grow its headcount by 50 per cent by year end.

Building community spirit

The founders all agree that the key to building a great team is to ensure the workplace culture is fun and inclusive. It begins with a strong focus on community involvement and team-building events. 

“We’ve always been a pretty flat organization that takes the emphasis off hierarchical divisions and encourages innovative thinking,” said Mitch Robinson, President and COO. “People can get to know each other through social activities outside of the usual work day.”

This includes supporting local charities such as Trips for Kids Ottawa, Toy Mountain, Cornerstone Housing for Women and Daffodil Month for the Canadian Cancer Society, as well as fundraising through the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival.

Even the founders get out of their comfort zones with dance and airband performances at staff events (think Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light). The annual holiday party sees TITUS fly in its sales staff from around the world.

“We’ve worked hard to preserve that entrepreneurial spirit that brought us here,” said Robinson. “We encourage our employees to generate ideas that management will then support.”

For example, staff can take part in TITUS FORUM, an in-house business competition that gives everyone the chance to contribute and develop new ideas to help drive innovation and impact the company’s bottom line. 

Software Development Manager Matthew McCormick has been along for most of the ride, having joined the company nine years ago. Even then, the passion of the team was a big draw.

“I had never met a group of people who cared so much about what they were building, and I wanted to be a part of it – they made me want to be a part of it,” he said. “Naturally a lot has changed over the years, but that overriding passion is still here. In engineering, we hire based on cultural fit as much as technical skill. The culture here is what makes TITUS great, and makes it easy to recruit great people.” 

Learn more

In June, TITUS will host FOUNDATIONS 2016 in Ottawa. This exclusive thought-leadership conference brings the world’s top IT, security and compliance professionals to the nation’s capital.

To learn more about TITUS and new career opportunities, please visit www.titus.com 

Organizations: Intel, NATO, Adobe Tower Cornerstone Housing for Women Canadian Cancer Society

Geographic location: Ottawa, Kettleman, Carling Avenue U.S. Europe Australia Silicon Valley Preston Street

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