Mishkumi engineers strategic shift into cloud market

Mishkumi’s Martin Reniere and Benoit Benson
Mishkumi’s Martin Reniere and Benoit Benson. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

For Mishkumi Technologies, a changing market became an opportunity for growth.

For most of its history, Mishkumi’s main focus was reselling computer hardware to the federal government. But as interest in cloud-based services started to grow, the company began a transformation of its own, focusing more on helping organizations move into the cloud by offering value-added services.

“Now we’re really a strategic partner,” says Martin Renière, the company’s vice-president. The company is now more focused on services and solutions and has added more people with engineering and software development skills to its team.

While the federal government remains Mishkumi’s main customer, the firm has increasingly started working with large crown corporations and private companies such as CN, Loto-Québec and Domtar.

“What is appealing to them is our innovation capabilities,” Mr. Renière says. “We really try to focus on being on the cutting edge of all the new technologies, so we can help these companies to stay competitive.”

The increased focus on private-sector customers is a result of those organizations adopting cloud-based technologies at a faster rate than the government. “In terms of adoption, usually the private sector moves faster than the government,” Mr. Renière says.

Still, he sees continued growth opportunities with the federal government as it continues to move into the cloud.

“We’re going to be ready to support the Canadian government when they decide to move forward with some massive initiatives that relate to the cloud,” Mr. Renière says.

Mishkumi Technologies

Founded: 2007

Local head count: Just under 25 in-house staff; also works with contractors as needed

Product / service: IT consultant and reseller

Three-year revenue growth: 223.8%

Mishkumi is working with some of the largest data centre operators and cloud-services providers in the industry, such as Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft Azure. That allows it to provide services without up-front costs, which Mr. Renière describes as a move from a capital expenditure model to an operating expense model.

He says the company has a big focus on training and certification. Mishkumi’s executives and managers all come from a technical background, which helps them anticipate the market and mentor younger staff, Mr. Renière adds.

“The technology is really moving fast,” he says, “so staying at the forefront really demands some understanding of what is happening in terms of transformation.”

The company has also added more software engineering capabilities in-house. “We add some value, leveraging some analytics, some artificial intelligence,” Mr. Renière says.

Mishkumi hasn’t seen major growth just in its revenues – its employee head count has also been rising quickly. Mr. Renière says the company is adding two to four new employees a month.

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