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Think about this for a moment: DataKinetics is older than the internet.

How many tech companies are older than the internet? The list isn’t that big, and the internet – as we know it now – has only been around for about 25 years.

Even fewer companies make it to 40 years. As Forbes pointed out several years ago, life expectancy in even the Fortune 500 stands at only 15 years and is declining all the time.

And even fewer have done it in Ottawa. DataKinetics has been a part of Ottawa’s tech community since the late 1970s, outliving firms that were once household names such as Nortel, Gandalf and JDSU.

So how has DataKinetics defied the odds?



DataKinetics helps the world’s largest banks as well as credit card, brokerage, insurance, healthcare, retail and telecommunication organizations process more than a billion transactions every single day – speeding up things such as your bank machine withdrawal or that credit card authorization from your shopping trip last night.

It’s not glamorous, and we don’t usually make headlines, but the fact is that our products and services are generally not removed once they’re installed into production environments. They make that much of a difference each and every single day – quietly running in the background and helping our clients make things easier and faster for their customers.

At 40 years, we are durable. We have thrived in some of the greatest periods of growth in the history of the tech business, successfully weathered some of its biggest slumps and, to top it all off, been profitable in almost every single one of those years.

While we’d like to think there was that one thing that made us unique, the truth is simply not that glamorous. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears and a laser-like focus on meeting the needs of our customers – often times anticipating them. While buzzwords such as In-Memory Acceleration and Big Data have only recently entered the mainstream lexicon, we can honestly say that we’ve been doing these things for decades.


We started with a home run

To be completely honest about it – we hit one out of the park in our first at bat. Our flagship product, tableBASE was, and still is, enormously successful.

It runs in the mainframe data centers in three of the top five global banks, three of the top five global credit card companies, three of the top five U.S. property and casualty insurance companies, and two of the top five U.S. health insurance companies.

In fact, if a Fortune 50 company is running a mainframe, tableBASE is most likely helping it with its large-scale transaction processing.


More than just one product

Years ago, we were about one product, one platform and one operating system. But now we’re reaching out to all platforms, databases and operating systems – through data integration and replication – including the cloud.

Today, we offer several complementary products – some developed in-house and others supplied through strategic partnerships – designed to further provide data optimization and performance enhancements for our customers. It’s simultaneously allowing us to diversify and evolve with the technological core of today’s data centers.

Our goal is to be around for at least another 40 years helping our customers deliver new service offerings and meet their business objectives.  

To that end, DataKinetics recently started a spin-off company – omNovos – designed to bring our data expertise to the burgeoning omni-channel business in the retail sector, growing the workforce of the combined companies by 50 per cent.

Our research team is also hard at work on building the pieces required to support new and emerging technologies such as Blockchain and Smart Contracts.

Ultimately, it is our fundamental understanding of data and rules-based processing that allows our clients to save billions of dollars while simultaneously improving mainframe asset performance and reducing overall IT risk.


We’re also about people

We support our customers with– get this – live human beings.

OK, I’m being facetious. But our customers are very important to us, and if a customer has a problem in their data center (as we say, if a customer is “on fire”), we’re ready to help. Now.

We’re on it. No hunting on a support page searching frantically for a phone number. No 10-minute automated attendant recordings telling you to go back to the website. A live person will be able to help.

A person in one of our offices. And no offshore “first line” support shops either.

Our customer support and engineering staff are tasked with addressing our customer’s problems. Occasionally, that means fixing problems with products from other vendors. We are in it for the long haul.


And about our community

We love the city, its organizations, and institutions for all that it has provided to our employees and their families.

From the quality of life that is hard to find anywhere else (trust us on this), to the fantastic support and promotion that such well-run organizations such as the Kanata North Business Association provide, you’ll be very hard-pressed to find a comparable place to live and work.

That’s also why DataKinetics and its employees are committed to giving back to the community and support some of the community organizations that focus on improving the lives of people in this beautiful and vibrant city.

Locally, DataKinetics is a leader among tech firms for per-capita donations to charities such as the United Way, attaining 100-per-cent employee participation and the highest average donation per employee.

Of course, it doesn’t end there. We are also recognized contributors to several other important organizations such as The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, and CHEO, among other organizations.

Collectively, this is who we are today and why we’re still in business after 40 years. The same corporate culture, technological innovation and approach to customer excellence is also why we’re still going strong and see years of additional growth ahead.


Andrew Armstrong is the chief customer officer at DataKinetics.

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