Thanks for the brief chat after the screening of “Sustainable Me” last night at the Metro Theatre; a perfect venue for that topic!
As we briefly spoke about and you asked me to email you on:
We are a software company here in Edmonton. We’re doing business almost everywhere except Alberta (with several exceptions) – Latin America, USA, Europe. We have a foundational platform that we’ve built over the last 4 years (called DECK DecisionWare) which is a Business Management Platform. It’s claim to fame is that it provides “actionable analytics”: the combination of 3 large engine’s inside of it – Analytics, Business Process (or Workflow) and Policy (Rules) allow our product to notify users of important situations that are emerging (based on the data entering our customer’s data sets) – which is different from the plethora of analytics tools available today which require a user to notice situations emerging and take action on them (opening up all manner of human error).
When we spoke with Susan Anderson (ADM of Alberta Health) in 2014 about what we were doing, she urged us to set up a meeting with CGI (who holds the Master Services Agreement) and partner with them. Instead of being productive and valuable, the meeting with CGI had undertones of protectionism and defensiveness. They worked hard to land that contract – can you blame them for being defensive?
The way that AHS specifically, and the GoA in general does business shuts out small local companies with good ideas and great products from landing their first big referencable customer. If the GoA is truly wanting to redirect the Alberta economy away from natural resources, it MUST adopt an attitude of “try first, buy first” with local Alberta businesses. Only then will local businesses have an opportunity to grow – meaning add employees as their sales grow based on customers who can be referenced.
Here at Spieker Point, we know what we’re good at, and we know what we suck at. By forcing a niche company like Spieker Point to grow into something that it is not – say, to compete with CGI for the Master Services Agreement – the GoA and AHS is killing the startup/entrepreneur mentality.
While it is very expensive and time consuming for us to open up foreign markets, this has been a necessity as we’d be out of business trying to do business in our own back yard. The “thinking local” movement is wonderful at a micro level – consumers going to farmers markets and meeting their neighbours on a Saturday.
The important question is: can Alberta be held up as a shining example of how, on a macro level, a province can incubate startups to climb out of it’s dependence on natural resources using an attitude of “Living Local”?
Now is the time to try.
President & CEO
Spieker Point Inc.