Innovative global technology

Global software consultant Macadamian helps companies create innovative technology products and offer a complete range of user experience design and software development services. The company was created when one of Canada’s top engineering companies and top design companies merged in 1997. This combination of both back end and front end software development is the crux of what makes Macadamian such a success. The company has its roots in Canada and headquarters are located here and also has two labs in Eastern Europe. They also operate a large design studio in Silicon Valley in order to tap into that market.

Experienced design experts work in tandem with top-notch engineers to turn something as simple as an idea into a high quality, market ready product. Matt Hately, General Manager of Macadamian’s California offices, and Scott Plewes, Usability Project Manager, spoke about the company’s services. “What Macadamian offers is a unique service to help consumers design and develop compelling products from start to finish,” says Hately.

Synchronicity of design and engineering

They key element of Macadamian is the synergistic energy that occurs between the design and the engineering. These two elements are the core of developing a product. Essentially, clients are able to utilize design and engineering expertise the entire way through the product cycle. Although each side of the development process has their own expertise, it is an inevitable result that input from the other side is considered throughout. Design and engineering teams affect the way they work with each other. Ideas, energy and excitement bounce off of each other and often result in a truly innovative finished product. This collaborative process is proven to be strikingly intuitive. Major industry players such as HP, Cisco, Juniper, Ariba and Adobe have all utilized the services of Macadamian. Comments Hately, “Some companies design software, some companies build software—we create software.” 

In an industry where sleek design reigns supreme, Macadamian has kept functionality firmly planted as well. The balance between desirable and successful has to be equally met for a product to remain competitive. Explains Hately, “One of the reasons that a product such as BMW or Apple is so compelling is that they understand the quality of the product is integral to how someone experiences the product. You can have a wonderful design, but if the product is of poor quality, it is going to mar the experience.” On the other side of the coin, companies that are highly technically based—such as surgical software—are beginning to see the profitability of having a more appealing user experience.

Across the board, companies are seeing the success of design-based enterprises and are becoming interested in differentiating through design. And according to Plewes, differentiation truly does lie largely in the hands of design. He comments, “If you want to differentiate your product it is no longer viable to do so only by technology.” Technology, it seems, is easily copied and applied to other products. These days, Plewes explains, it is a virtual rarity that a piece of genuinely innovative technology drives a product. Companies distinguish themselves through design. However, he is quick to note, the visual appeal of the product and its interactive design are tethered to its ability to effectively do tasks—both sides are of equal importance in today’s competitive landscape.

Survival of the fittest

The technology industry is famous for its booms and crashes. This history, however, is likely what kept Macadamian’s business afloat during the recent economic downturn. Unlike other industries taken by surprise, technology has ridden the waves before, so to speak. Says Hately, “Downturns are interesting times for us. Customers start to get cautious; they start to approach research and development in smaller pieces.” Having survived two technological downturns—first the .com crash and then the telecom crash—the recent recession hasn’t seemed to faze Macadamian. The strategic approach to survival, accordingly to Hately, is keeping the focus on marketing and sales. “We kept engaged with customers. We didn’t cut back.” This continued effort, despite a wary client base, left Macadamian in a very strong position at the end of the recent downturn. Adds Plewes, “A downturn can actually prove you more credible sometimes.” In a crowded marketplace, an economic decline can highlight the skills which differentiate a software company from its competitors.

Company culture

Macadamian is proudly a featured member of The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC). ITAC represents a diverse community spanning from telecommunications and internet services. Its members provision of information technology products or services is a significant component of revenue and of strategic importance to the Canadian Technology sector. Macadamian is a proud proponent of the Canadian technology sector. The company prides itself on being a place where people love to work and the environment is fuelled by the creative energy of its people. That energy, in the consulting business, is of paramount importance.