Best Ottawa Business Awards – Companies of the Year
OBJ Staff | Published on November 20, 2015
The Best Ottawa Business Awards were held Nov. 18 at the Shaw Centre. Today, OBJ profiles the Companies of the Year recipients.
Neptec has been an anchor of Ottawa’s aerospace industry for 25 years.
The company’s hallmark is the design, production and support of laser, infrared and optical sensors for satellites and space exploration. Its systems have assisted in the construction of the International Space Station and inspected the Space Shuttle to ensure safe returns from orbit.
The company is currently developing a camera that will be used to allow rovers to navigate Mars’ terrain and a laser camera that will be used to guide a spacecraft to a safe landing on the moon.
Over the years, Neptec has participated in more than 40 space missions. Its staff has logged in excess of 10,000 hours working in mission control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
In addition to its space work, Neptec has developed sensors to inspect oil and gas infrastructure on the floor of the ocean. A spinoff company, Neptec Technologies, produced sensors for the mining and construction industry to improve safety and increase productivity, as well as technology for helicopters operating in low-visibility conditions.
Neptec operates research, engineering and production facilities in Ottawa, Houston and Harwell, England. Its 85 employees have broad expertise in advanced sensors, optics, 3D algorithms, software, electronics, mechanical engineering, systems integration, project management and manufacturing.
Major customers include NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency, Orbital ATK, Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Airbus Defence and Space.
Versature was born out of founder Paul Emond’s own needs and challenges as a small business serial entrepreneur. Over the past 12 years, it’s grown into a viable alternative to traditional telecom offerings, providing voice-over-Internet protocol services to small and mid-sized businesses in hundreds of communities across Canada.
Growth is on a tear, averaging 30 per cent year over year. Versature now has more than 7,000 subscribers.
Innovation and adding value to clients have proven to be what sets the company apart from its competition. In addition to reliable VoIP service, Versature also provides integration with Salesforce.com to feed call activity directly into Salesforce’s customer relationship management system with a single click, as well as a social caller ID service that delivers social insight on all incoming calls beyond traditional call display.
All of this has Versature on track to achieve its seven-digit revenue target, but the company isn’t just about sales.
Versature recently reached the 1-1-1 corporate philanthropy designation. That means it pledges one per cent of its equity, one per cent of its time and one per cent of its services to charitable endeavours.
While Martello Technologies might not be a household name yet, its early success as a SaaS (software-as-a-service) innovator has already placed it alongside Canadian tech heavyweights such as Shopify and Halogen.
Its revenue growth for the past three years surpassed 600 per cent, brisk enough to propel it to the No. 1 spot on OBJ’s list of Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Companies for 2015. It’s also grown its head count by about 90 per cent over the past year.
The company attributes its success to a unique business model that combines SaaS innovation with unified communications (UC) expertise and a focus on one key vendor partner: Mitel Networks. Add a dash of vision to capitalize on the growing trend towards cloud-hosted UC, and you have Martello’s formula for success.
Martello has been developing fault and performance management software for unified communications, with a specialization in Mitel solutions, since 2009. Its MarWatch software helps service providers deliver better voice-over-Internet protocol quality to their customers.
MarWatch monitors performance metrics such as voice quality around the clock, sending real-time alerts when a problem is detected and providing tools such as remote access and active testing to quickly resolve the problem.
To some extent, the company was “in the right place at the right time.” Cloud-hosted UC was growing rapidly, network complexity had ratcheted up significantly and Martello had a solution that managed network complexity easily. At the same time, key partner Mitel doubled in size through the acquisition of Aastra, expanding the global market for MarWatch.
David Ross has led the charge as CEO of Ross Video for 24 years, turning a small family-owned company into a global success story.
One of his goals has been to “create a company that’s hard to kill,” through diversification by geography, customer type and breadth of product portfolio.
The company’s customer base is global, but it remains one of eastern Ontario’s largest employers. Ross Video still operates its original manufacturing plant in Iroquois, an hour south of Ottawa, in addition to its operations in the nation’s capital.
Ross Video operates by a code of ethics that empowers any employee to call even senior management’s behaviour into question if a situation warrants.
But it is world-class technology, in addition to a great team, that lies at the company’s heart.
Ross Video is one of the most dynamic businesses in the global broadcast and production technology industry. It aggressively grows its market share against industry giants such as Sony and Panasonic, putting Ottawa on the map with entertainment companies all over the world.
The company has enjoyed consistent average annual revenue growth of 18 per cent for the past 24 years, exports to 144 countries, and it has made 10 acquisitions in the past six years and employs 580 people.
Ross Video and its CEO are both staunch supporters of the Ottawa community. The company is a United Way workplace supporter and matches its employees’ contributions. Donations to date total in the six figures.
The Internet has broken the living room.
Services such as Netflix, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast mean consumers are spoiled for choice. Television broadcasters and service providers are investing billions of dollars to develop and maintain new multi-screen applications so they can remain relevant and retain their audiences.
This investment is scattered on an ad-hoc basis among a variety of graphic design studios and software development firms. There has been no single common platform on which to build, manage and update television apps as the market and the technology has evolved.
You.i TV has set out to change that by adopting the playbook of the video game industry. The Ottawa-based company has created a software development engine that simplifies and accelerates the creation of immersive custom TV apps that run fluidly on any screen.
Over the past year, revenues have grown fourfold. The company has worked with leading media brands, including Sony’s Crackle, Rogers and Corus Entertainment, and is now on an aggressive hiring spree to double its local workforce.
In September, You.i TV got a boost: $15 million in funding from Los Angeles venture capital firm Kayne Partners. Chief executive Jason Flick was also recognized recently as Startup Canada’s Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year.
You.i TV’s competitive advantage is based on proprietary technology, as well as an innovative business model. Later this year, You.i will open its software development kit to selected partners to empower them to build video apps on top of the You.i Engine.
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