Solace has turned to a well-known Kanata North tech executive to scale up operations and help the company expand to new industries and markets.
Les Rechan previously served as CEO at Halogen Software before it was acquired by Saba earlier this year. He’s also held senior positions at Cognos, IBM and Oracle and worked abroad in Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S.
Rechan was compelled to help Solace – which develops technology to improve the speed of data transfers via hybrid cloud and on-premise infrastructure – address an increasingly “cloud-driven, digital first” world.
“Connected cars, phones and shop floors and all the data that moves around has opened up a total addressable problem for us, which is 10 to 20 times bigger than what we’re currently doing,” says Rechan.
This foray into being a software and cloud solution provider, in addition to hardware, will be the primary focus for Rechan in 2018.
In addition to shifting to a subscription-based model, Rechan says the next calendar year will be dedicated to building out new digital marketing programs and executing go-to-market strategies.
He says the timing was right to take over as CEO, a position formerly held by the company’s founder Craig Betts. He had always wanted the opportunity to work with Betts, calling him “a real visionary and entrepreneur at heart.”
“He’s really done his life’s work at Solace to get it to this point,” Rechan says. Betts still serves on Solace’s board of directors, as does Tom Manley of Bridge Growth Partners, which owns a principal stake in the company.
Rechan says he’s also thrilled to work in close quarters with former colleagues Mychelle Mollot, the company’s chief marketing officer, and Paul Fitzpatrick, Solace’s vice-president of business development. Rehan worked with Mollot at IBM and Cognos and with Fitzpatrick at Halogen.
“There really is an incredible base of people,” Rechan says, adding that it extends beyond the executive team.
Solace draws upon a wealth of expertise held by individuals who built their careers at storied institutions like Newbridge and Nortel.
This Kanata connection extends to the company’s first investor, local tech titan Terry Matthews, who still sits on the company’s board of directors today.
With 13 offices around the world Rechan says Solace frequently highlights the location of the company’s headquarters when speaking with its global clients.
“We love showing (customers) the picture of our building with our logo (and) all the buildings around. We always talk about assembling these appliances here in Kanata,” he says. “We play up the fact that we’re ‘Made in Canada’ and we’re experts.”