Innovative IT Solutions

FXinnovation

Quebec based FXinnovation specializes in managed IT solutions with a focus on selective outsourcing and cloud computing services. Since its inception in 2002, the company has evolved with the rapidly changing IT industry in order to offer businesses the latest, most relevant solutions.

“The market is really changing right now,” FXinnovation CEO David Marotte points out, and staying ahead doesn’t happen by accident. “We put a lot of effort into innovating compared to our competitors,” he explains. “And we always ask ourselves, ‘how can we do this differently?’ We don’t want to be what we call ‘me toos.’ We want to try and do things differently, [in a way] that will enhance our relationship with a client and provide the client with an exceptional client experience.”

In fact, providing an exceptional client experience is FXinnovation’s number one focus, Mr. Marotte says. This means that the company’s solutions must be trustworthy and easy to use. It also means that FXinnovation employees must interact well with clients. “You have to hire people with a servant’s heart,” Mr. Marotte explains. “That is one of our biggest challenges, because sometimes we find great technical people, but they don’t have that.” Because a client-friendly culture is so important to FXinnovation, the company makes it a point to only take on staff members who demonstrate outstanding people skills as well as the highest level of technical expertise.

This commitment to customer satisfaction has led the team to develop an extremely effective, total management solution. IT service management is becoming increasingly complex, Mr. Marotte explains, and clients simply need more support than they did in the past. “We want to deliver peace of mind,” he says. “Our model enables us to manage, on a 24/7 basis, all the players that are involved [in a client’s IT system]. We can detect when things are not going correctly and correct them instantly. We help clients increase their IT service efficiency.”

FXinnovation’s Illuminate software is key to this monitoring service. “Our big differentiator is that we are one of the only companies in North America that can combine their own proprietary IT service monitoring tool within their services,” Mr. Marotte reports. The state of the art software is able to keep a close eye on virtually every aspect of a system, he explains. “With Illuminate we don’t only monitor infrastructure, we monitor infrastructure application, and most importantly user experience.” The software is specially designed to catch any potential problems before they cause trouble. “We are able to detect little problems that can turn into big problems,” Mr. Marotte explains. “And, with illuminate, we can automatically repair or correct the small problem before it becomes a big problem.”

FXinnovation originally sold Illuminate under a traditional software licensing agreement. Two years ago, the team made the switch to the current delivery model. “We did that because we realized that when we handed the product over to the client to manage, a lot of the clients didn’t assign the necessary people with necessary expertise to manage and evolve the solution,” Mr. Marotte recalls. “So we decided to attack the problem from a different angle.” Now, he explains, “you don’t have to assign people to manage it. We will implement the solution and we will manage it remotely for you and we guarantee [our work]. A lot of clients are saying that is a great idea.”

And it’s no wonder. Clients are freed from the hassle of IT maintenance as well as from the time and expense of training and equipping their own monitors. “We just bill a management fee on a monthly basis and we take care of everything.” Perhaps best of all, clients rest easy knowing that their IT solution is in good hands. “We not only have a monitoring solution, but we are also experts in IT service monitoring, so the client gets the best of both worlds,” Mr. Marotte points out.

Making the switch from selling a licence to providing a monitoring service has been a “game changer. It has transformed our marketplace because, when we sold a license, we competed with so many providers. There are far fewer players in the market that provide this service.” There are players who provide basic monitoring, he explains, “but we provide high-end, end to end monitoring from service to infrastructure. In that we are quite distinctive. And we are proud of it.”

The team realizes that not every client is seeking a complete management solution, however. “You have to adapt to the client,” Mr. Marotte points out. As a result, FXinnovation also offers consultation services. “Our IT consulting practice helps clients optimize their process and technology internally, and make sure they can deliver to their business units an efficient IT service.”

FXinnovation’s company culture stands out almost as much as its effective solutions. “I think that is one of our biggest strong points,” Mr. Marotte remarks. In fact, the company is currently a finalist in Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures. FXinnovation’s founding partners all worked in large firms before launching the company, and they all wanted to adopt a different management strategy than they had experienced at their previous companies. “I don’t think the companies of the future will manage the new generation of employees the same way [as they have in the past],” Mr. Marotte explains. “People like being part of something, so we built FX on a team culture.”

An avid hockey player, Mr. Marotte actually looked to his favourite pastime as inspiration for the team-based company culture. “The teams that win the Stanley cup are not the teams that have all the super stars,” he points out. “They are the teams that have great people that understand their roles clearly and their contribution to the team. They become so in synergy that they are unbeatable. We built the culture on that. Our values are aligned to that. We are a team trying to deliver exceptional client experience.”

Having fun is also an important part of the company culture. “The reason for that is because if you are not having fun on a hockey team you will not perform,” Mr. Marotte explains. “In any part of life, if you are not having fun in what you do you will not perform at your highest level.” FXinnovation also strives to give employees the freedom they need to perform at their highest level – even if this leads to some non-traditional arrangements. The management clearly defines each employee’s role and expected contribution at the beginning of every year – and then gives the employee the independence he or she needs to meet these expectations. “Every employee knows what they need to do,” Mr. Marotte explains. “And if they start at 11:00, we don’t care. If they have to go to the doctor or take care of the kids, we don’t care. We want people who will manage what they need to do and contribute to the team. We want people who are responsible and autonomous. We will give them the flexibility.” One employee, for example, works six months of the year out of Argentina. Another spent a summer telecommuting from his Winnebago. “The employees have to earn that trust,” Mr. Marotte adds, “but I think that this is the best way for them to express their talent.”

All of the company’s strategies, from its delivery model to its company culture, are designed to create the best client experience, employee experience, and partner experience, Mr. Marotte says. “And we think that if we increase the number of clients, employees, and partners that are really exceptionally satisfied to work with FX, we will be in business for a while.” The team is eager to grow the business over the long term, but only “at a pace that will respect our culture and values.” Right now, FXinnovation operates in Quebec, Ontario, and New England, and the company is working on increasing its presence in the latter two areas. “We are working hard on that in our business plan,” Mr. Marotte reports. “It is really exciting.”

The planned expansion seems a sure success considering the fact that FXinnovation has a unique, leading edge solution to offer. “We meet a clear need in the market.”

December 14, 2017, 11:35 PM EST

Critical Thinking

It’s something all of us could do without in our lives. Unfortunately, this crippling beast decides to rear its ugly head when and how it chooses. There is no individual, society, or country immune to its devastating presence. Neither are organizations, most of which have or most likely will have, to stare this beast in the face. Its name is ‘Crisis’ from the Greek word ‘Krisis’, meaning ‘decisive moment.’