Spotlight with AOT Technologies

Describe your company and its product.

AOT technologies is an award-winning integration and analytics solution company based in British Columbia. Our integration and intelligence-first approach allows us to build intelligent systems for enterprises and governments.

What year did your company start?

2011

Which city (or cities) are you located? 

We are based out of the beautiful Victoria, BC. We have an office in Gastown to server Vancouver customers. We are starting to grow in Seattle and have a dedicated WeWork space there. We also have an office at Technopark (one of the largest tech parks in the world) in Trivandrum, Kerala to serve our Small and Medium business clients.

Describe your company culture in three words.

Expertise, Values, Coaching

How do you celebrate company or employee wins? 

The guiding principle is that we try to make all our celebrations meaningful to everybody involved. As an example, we have rented a commercial kitchen so that employees can come together and cook for each other to celebrate their ethnic diversities.

What is the problem that you are trying to solve?

Due to the fast-changing nature of the analytics and integration technology landscape, there is a real lack of expertise in these two areas in BC. This affects the ability for both public and private organizations to take advantage of these advancements. We empower our clients to serve people better by building intelligent systems and leveraging our expertise in integration and analytics.

What is your biggest milestone to date? 

One of the milestones that we are proud of is our growth milestone. Last year we were recognized as the 7th fastest growing company in information technology category in Canada by the Canadian Business and Maclean’s name the Annual Growth 500 list. We grew in size from 2 to 60 people and had a revenue increase of 1300% over the last five years!

What is your biggest challenge?

Finding people with deep expertise in system integration, predictive analytics, and data science is our biggest challenge. It is always difficult to attract and retain people with proven experience and expertise in building and maintaining large enterprise systems, but we have had great success recruiting people coming out of BC universities.

What is your motto?

We empower our clients to serve people better

How are you making an impact?

By leveraging our expertise in integration and data analytics, we empower BC ministries to serve people better. This includes several BC Government organizations like Ministry of Health, Natural Resources, BC Housing, and Citizen Services. We are very proud that we have a part to play in delivering key services to the people of BC. As an example, our team was excited to be involved in the roll out of the recent childcare subsidies.

Another high impact aspect of our business is that, we routinely help BC based entrepreneurs to bring ideas from mind to market, creating world class startups that in turn attract investments and create jobs in our communities.

What is your hope for the future of tech in BC?

We hope to see world-class tech products designed and built in British Columbia. We already see BC attracting best and brightest from around the world, allowing our cities to set the stage for entrepreneurs to start world class companies right here in BC!!!

Lightning Round with George Philip and Praveen Ramachandran, Co-founders at AOT

What excites you about your job? 

The fact that we are in the process of creating world-class solutions in the analytics space is very exciting. But more than that on a personal level bringing the best out of people to create innovative, kickass products is the most fulfilling part of our job.

What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome?

We are both engineers and programmers who love to build software, but as business owners we also need to build all the non-technical aspects of the business – like marketing, sales, HR, etc. As programmers that is a very challenging process and we are learning everyday to continuously improve.

If you can give advice to your 20 year-old self, what would you say?

I would say to me, or any 20-year-old: do not be afraid to start a business. A lot of times, successful business people that you see are also flying by the seat of their pants. They don’t have all the answers. The important thing is to try, it’s okay to fail as long as you don’t compromise your values. Remember to be yourself and have fun along the way.

What are your pet peeves?

Organizations trying to pepper diversity and equality for appearance’s sake instead of understanding the competitive advantage generated by genuine diversity of ideas, gender, and backgrounds. The team is just smarter overall with more diverse points of view and working styles. Poster child hires really makes us go ….oh no…..not again !!!!

Words of wisdom to other tech CEOs or founders?

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. As BC Tech companies we think we should go together to create world class products and services.

Favourite city you visited?

Victoria. We came, we saw, we stayed!!!

What is your formula for success?

1+1 = 3. The sum is bigger than the parts. We love to collaborate with other Canadian companies – together we are stronger.

Name one book that everyone should read.

The Moment of Lift – by Melinda Gates. You should read chapter eight. I won’t tell you more as you should read it for yourself!

How do you decompress?

Unwinding at the pub with the team is a great way to relax after a hard day’s work.

Favourite movie?

John Q, starring Denzel Washington. The movie remind us how fortunate we are to enjoy the public health system here in BC.