The Capris Group
The Capris Group, a Mississauga-based IT managed services company, began primarily as a development shop in 1996. At that time, the focus was on developing custom-based applications and database work. As business grew, the demands of clients began to shift. Clients began asking the company to host their services as well. President and CEO Boris Novosel began expansion from development services based largely upon client demand. After expanding to hosting services successfully, the company continued to grow. Today, The Capris Group has a wide variety of solutions and is a diversified IT services provider. They offer development services ranging from web applications to ecommerce solutions to CRM customization and more. As well, they offer managed hosting and technology maintenance, cloud-based SaaS services, and a number of disaster recovery services.
The Capris Group differentiation is the emphasis on high-touch customer relations, plus a deep understanding of their complex business needs. They operate within a fairly flat corporate structure, giving knowledgeable, highly-skilled employees the flexibility to truly help customers. This is likely why they have flourished into such a successful, diversified company. Joe Damiani, VP of product management, comments, “It became more of an accidental business”. Customers, it seems, had an appreciation for the high level of personal contact and continually requested further services. As expansion continued, it helped to solidify the market differentiation for the business. Notes Damiani, “Usually companies focus on one particular service; we offer a one-stop-shop.” This dynamic combination of both development and infrastructure services creates a unique selling proposition in the industry.
The latest expansion for the Capri Group was the foray into providing business continuity services. This compliments their disaster recovery services—technical and operational recovery support. So what does this service entail? The business continuity service offers emergency office space for businesses that need a workspace for key staff in the case of being offline. People are able to use office space provided in the case of any disaster. The space is protected and accessibility is guaranteed—a 500 kilowatt diesel generator is available in the case of any power failure. With only one major competitor who services primarily big banks, The Capris Group has found their niche by focusing on mid-market clients. “We are a smaller, more agile corporation”, comments Damiani. The level of high-touch support for which The Capris Group has become known is highly marketable to the mid-market sector. As well, as a Mississauga-based company, they are the only competitor offering business continuity services outside the downtown core.
Competition and outsourcing
In a competitive landscape such as IT services management, one must consider the popularity of outsourcing, which has definitely impacted the market segment over the last four or five years. Has The Capris Group felt the impact of this trend? In the past, according to Damiani, this was the biggest competition for the company, but there has been a noticeable retreat back to insourcing now. Management believes there is a sense in the market now that an outsourced company gives a different level of service and support. People are shifting back towards an interest in specialized support. Damiani comments, “People are interested in better quality, locally-based development services.” The Capris Group can offer consumers a highly skilled, trusted advisor who has the capacity to meet any organization’s needs. In fact, reference clients are a large part of their business, and they operate a referral program for customers who care to share their positive experiences with other business.
Research, development and future plans
Naturally, as a technology-based company, The Capris Group keeps a keen eye on new research and development in the sector and are always open to new products and services that can better the customer experience. Future goals include the development of an increasingly dynamic CRM, and deeper expansion into cloud services. A move which, given the company’s success with small and mid-market clients, is an intuitive step forward. As well, this proud Canadian company has recently expanded into the U.S. and operates sales offices in both Boston and California which account for about 15-25 percent of revenue. This export market into the U.S. is an exciting prospect for the Mississauga-based company. And although U.S. expansion is indeed a source of pride, they are quick to promote their roots here. They proudly support many local, youth-related charities including Toys for Tots, the Cabbagetown Youth Centre, the High Park Choir, Wings of Hope and The Ride for Heart foundation. There are also intentions to develop a partner channel with a company.