Local tech company continues to grow as result of merger

Leadwave Technologies has acquired ongoing business of Insight Data Systems

Leadwave Technologies and Insight Data Systems have merged. Pictured, from left, are Aaron Weir, Leadwave vice president of operations; Chris Jillson, former owner of Insight; and Mat Berube, CEO and president of Leadwave Technologies Inc.

Two of Sarnia’s best-known technology companies have merged under the Leadwave Technologies Inc. banner, the move becoming official on January 1.

For customers of Insight Data Systems, which Chris Jillson has owned since March 1992, the transition should be a smooth one.

“The decision was over a year in the making and represents a clear win-win for all parties involved,” says Jillson.

But there’s a fundamental change to the way Insight Data Systems operated the business that is also taking place, explains Mat Berube, president and CEO of Leadwave, which has been in business since 2006.

“We operate on a managed services model, which means having an ‘all-in’ monthly price that we set based on size and company requirements,” says Berube.

Insight Data Systems, which was most recently located in the Keelan’s Plaza on Christina St. N., had used what industry observers call “break-fix”—running systems until something goes wrong and then reacting.

Managed services is fundamentally different.

“We’re able to focus on preventive maintenance, which means we’re able to limit the ‘break-fix’ aspects of it,” says Berube. “It means not having to constantly fight fires, where it takes 10 times the effort to put out the fire than prevent it from happening.”

The break-fix is a model that Berube and a team that includes Aaron Weir, vice president of operations, were familiar with in the early days of Leadwave.

“We switched from that model pretty quickly, probably a year and a half after we started,” said Berube.

Five years ago, the firm started focusing on the managed services part of the business, which now accounts for 100% of its work.

Customers of the former Insight Data Systems will be supported in whatever way they are accustomed to for at least a year. After that, Leadwave expects it will have transitioned those customers to the managed services model.

“We have the opportunity of convincing them that it’s more cost effective to operate on a managed services model. Ultimately it’s going to be better for their business,” says Berube. “It really helps that we have aligned our interests with our clients, rather than the opposite where with break-fix we had our best months because our clients were having their worst from a technology standpoint.”

Leadwave, which operates out of ground floor offices in Kenwick Place, offers a complete IT management solution, with desktop support, server monitoring and maintenance and disaster recovery.

“A majority of our customers look at us as being their outsourced IT department,” adds Berube.

Leadwave says it has invested about $500,000 in systems, allowing it to be as proactive as possible, an essential element of the managed services model for IT.

“It really allows our clients’ productivity to remain up at all times,” says Berube.

For Chris Jillson, the process of turning over his client base is one that made the most sense since he was looking at retirement in the not-too-distant future.

“They (Leadwave) were growing and I was looking at exiting, so it’s a perfect fit,” says Jillson, who will work for at least six months at the combined company. The lead technician for Insight has also moved over to Leadwave.

Leadwave is online at www.leadwave.ca

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