“So we began knocking down walls,” recalls Jody Campeau, the company’s president and chief executive.
The consulting firm’s global headquarters now stretch across the entire second floor of its building near Churchill Avenue and Richmond Road, comprising some 5,000 square feet.
Then it bought the building across the street, another 5,000 square feet, to showcase the technology it resells.
The decision proved fruitful for the company, which now boasts six offices across the country and projects it will close its fiscal year next month with more than $100 million in revenues.
Along with an appetite for organic growth, the profitable firm is working to close acquisitions in New York and Chicago to reach the next big target: $1 billion. It will fund the purchases of the technology companies through its consulting annuity business; details are still under wraps as the takeovers are not yet complete.
“We both grew up playing hockey, so we have that team spirit,” says Jason Campeau, a former player for the University of New Brunswick and now chief operating officer of Maplesoft, working alongside his brother.
“You’re setting goals and targets at the beginning of the year, and it’s not just one person. The culture is everyone here is working to hit their goals.”
Maplesoft is growing quickly. In just a couple of short years, it opened offices in Calgary and Montreal, and will soon expand to Halifax. In 2010, it bought Markham-based IT firm Parameter Driven Solutions for an undisclosed amount. The company was a heavy Sun Microsystems reseller, especially with servers.
“We had a huge appetite to get into Toronto and we knew the company was looking for a succession plan,” says Jody Campeau, adding PDS already had $20 million in revenues and 220 customers spanning an area from Whitby to Windsor, Ont.
Maplesoft did not let go of a single PDS employee and will follow the same process for integration, Jody Campeau says: clear communication with customers as well as a focus on providing good service.
Like many others in Ottawa, Maplesoft began solely as a consulting business to the federal government, which still forms the core of its work in the city.
“It’s really understanding the landscape in the government and understanding procurement; I’d almost say that we understand that to a science,” Jody Campeau adds, saying 15 years of experience in the field has allowed the firm time to gain privileges such as top-secret clearance.
But as Maplesoft looked to move to other cities half a decade ago, the company began to bring in private-sector business.
Its biggest coup came through reselling agreements with Oracle and Terry Matthews-owned Wesley Clover, which it is showcasing at three executive business centres across the country – including Ottawa.
The centre is showing off the unified communications solutions for voice, data and collaboration of Mr. Matthew’s Mitel, for example. Fellow Wesley Clover firm Benbria, a startup, has its “intelligent notification” system in the centre.
“It’s impressive to see how they’ve grown the scope of the type of personnel they have on board, the depth of experience and knowledge that they have, and the fact they have a lot of feet on the street across Canada,” says Wesley Clover’s vice-president of sales, Ben Morris.
“As their business continues to grow, they become more and more attractive to Wesley Clover.”
In particular, he praised Maplesoft’s ability to target the federal government, which he says is a difficult client to market to due to the number of people involved in each purchase and who use the goods.
“Maplesoft is able to tell us who we need to talk with, and the processes,” Mr. Morris adds.
Maplesoft also has a hockey outfitting business in Missouri, which represents 245 clients that include 80 NHL players – including Rich Peverley, a forward for the Stanley Cup-winning Boston Bruins.
Through Maplesoft’s other businesses, it’s been generating endorsements for the players and in return, it offers a fun event to take clients to, says Jody Campeau.
Combining the federal government and reselling sides of business ensures it can grow organically, in a space that is not occupied simultaneously by the competition, which includes Modis, Onyx, CGI and IBM, he adds.
“The (hockey) players like to get involved in the community, and we bring them together with the big (company) names,” he says, citing a recent charity golf tournament in Ottawa as an example. He called it the perfect example of networking.
“We create a corporate culture where everybody has a voice in building the business, we work hard to succeed and then we take a portion of that and bring it back into the community.”
MAPLESOFT - BY THE NUMBERS
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 115
REVENUES: $100+ million annually (as of July 31)
MARKETS: Consulting, technology reselling, hockey outfitting
HONOURS: OBJ Forty Under 40 for Jody Campeau (2009), Carl Nappert (2010), Jason Campeau (2011); #65 on the 2011 Branham300 listing; Mitel Highest Applications Sales in 2010.