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Focus on Leadership Xerriss digital expertise proves vital in pandemic

Jeremy Tooley is president and chief executive officer of Xerris, a Calgary-based technology company that helps organizations automate their data processes. Photo by Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

While many organizations raced amid the pandemic to get their employees working from home, Calgary technology company Xerris was ahead of the curve.

“We’ve been a remote-first company from Day 1 when we started two years ago,” says Jeremy Tooley, chief executive officer and president of Xerris, which helps organizations automate their data processes. “Every single one of our workers is satellite, so we’ve never had a big office footprint.”

In this respect, the organization could not be better positioned to operate during a pandemic. Its products and services were also in high demand as companies moved to remote working models that require cloud-based technologies.

“We’ve grown really quickly,” Tooley says, adding that revenues went from about $500,000 at the start of 2020 to more than $10 million by year’s end. “In our first big year in business, we scaled from five people at the start, and now we’re clipping past 50.”

Indeed, Xerris has found itself in a market sweet spot, helping companies successfully manage the challenges of having most of their staff work remotely. It also helps that Xerris is among the few wholly Canadian owned technology companies that has earned AWS Advanced Partner status.

But it’s the innovative products and services offered by Xerris that many organizations have so desperately needed to operate over the past several months — and will continue to require for the foreseeable future. While Xerris’s business has boomed, keeping its team connected amid rapid growth has been an ongoing concern. Tooley says the firm has long organized regular Zoom meetings, for business and pleasure, including end-of-week virtual get-togethers.

Still, some of its pre-COVID-19 initiatives have been put on hold, such as free IT bootcamps for the Calgary community.

“We had everyone from a high school grad to waitresses to people who had retired,” Tooley says.

That said, Xerris is planning similar initiatives in the near future, recognizing the need to nurture homegrown talent.

“We want to reskill people, training them and maybe even bring them on board with the company.”

Xerris aims to double its workforce this year, Tooley adds. Hiring local is important, as is supporting Canada’s fast-growing tech industry.

“We really want to support growth, not only in Calgary, but across Western Canada.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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