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An anchor of the Kanata North technology park is entering a new era of global success and recognition following the company’s move to dive deeper into digital products and services.

Security software firm Entrust Datacard – which also develops physical credit and bank cards as well as government IDs and passports – is undergoing a digital transformation journey to keep up with customer demand and the increased need for online security services. 

Through various acquisitions of digital security firms and R&D investments, the company is establishing itself as a leader in cybersecurity and online identity management. 

The digital shift has also fuelled growth throughout the company – especially in Kanata North, where the team is relocating to a new office space. 

Entrust Datacard also recently rebranded the company – renaming the business Entrust – to better match its new corporate focus.

“As we look forward, the name Entrust better reflects the totality of our portfolio, the intent of our strategies and positions us more effectively as a leader in identity security,” says CEO Todd Wilkinson. “Beyond that, we’re also expanding our offerings as we continue to acquire companies that can build up our capabilities and broaden our services.”

New branding on the Entrust HQ in Shakopee, MN.

Digital moves

The initial step in the company’s transition to digital offerings came about in 2013 when Datacard Corp. acquired Kanata North’s Entrust. 

At the time, Entrust was a spinoff company from Nortel, working to secure online communications, while Datacard was a U.S.-based ID card developer. 

When the two companies merged and became Entrust Datacard, so too did the services and offerings. 

While the incorporation of Entrust’s digital focus put the company on a new path, the string of acquisitions and digital rebranding did not stop there. 

Since 2013 the company has gone on to acquire several firms in North America and Europe, such as public key infrastructure providers Trustis and Safelayer, as well as authentication provider SMS Passcode. 

“We continue to bring our portfolio together, both organically and through acquisition,” adds Wilkinson. “We are constantly investing in order to bring our vision for the company to life.”

Most recently Entrust acquired United Kingdom-based nCipher, which develops hardware security modules. 

These acquisitions broadened the company’s service offerings to include website security certificates, two-step verification and encryption hardware, all while maintaining its stronghold in ID card creation, says Wilkinson. 

Expanding its roots

As part of Entrust’s continued evolution in digital security, the company has also continued to invest in research and development, particularly in Kanata North, says Sam Morcos, senior vice-president of certificate solutions at Entrust. 

The tech park team has experienced several ups and downs throughout the years – raising record-breaking funds when the company went public in 1998, then losing momentum during the dot-com bust in the early 2000s.

But since joining forces with Datacard Corp., the Kanata North team has watched the company rebuild and thrive, with Entrust’s global revenues hitting $800 million, and the tech park team growing exponentially since the merger, says Morcos. 

“We’re sitting at over 320 employees, which is huge from where we were just three or four years ago,” he says, pointing to the 40 per cent growth the company has experienced since 2014. 

The team has expanded so much over the years that the security firm is relocating to a new office at 2500 Solandt Rd. – not far from the company’s current office on Innovation Drive – which gives the Kanata team more space to grow and creates opportunities to design its office with COVID-19 safety measures in mind.

“We were planning to move at this time regardless of COVID, so the timing has actually been fortunate,” adds Wilkinson. “With the move, we’re introducing new programs around flexibility, how much time people spend in the office and rethinking how to use the space safely and efficiently.”

As digital security becomes increasingly important for companies with employees working remotely due to COVID-19, Morcos says the team is looking forward to continuing to grow its status as a leader in security services both in Kanata North and around the globe.

“The development team here is pretty pumped about some of the things that we’re working on and bringing to market,” he adds. “It’s been a great experience for our team of native Ottawans to be able to say that we are touching the entire world with our data security services.”

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