IT service delivery operation to be managed almost exclusively from P.E.I.
By Margaret Magner
Recent news that Buchanan Technologies is now a preferred supplier partner for the Ontario Educational Collaborative Marketplace (OECM) is a success that bodes well for the company and the ICT sector in P.E.I. Buchanan Technologies has a full-service IT delivery centre in Charlottetown at the Atlantic Technology Centre, its only one in Canada. OECM, a procurement group, helps Ontario’s publicly funded organizations, including educational institutions, museums, and hospitals, achieve cost savings and increase efficiencies. Buchanan has already signed agreements with four Ontario colleges, including Humber College — one of Canada’s leading polytechnic institutions with more than 50,000 students at three Toronto-area campuses. Buchanan expects to engage another two colleges by the end of this year.
Headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, with offices in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, Buchanan offers turnkey management and monitoring of business IT infrastructure and business applications, as well as overall IT services. It employs 500 consultants, engineers and architects globally targeting the education, healthcare, financial services, government, retail, and manufacturing industries. The Charlottetown office, founded in 2014 with six employees, currently has 50 on staff, surpassing plans to create 46 jobs by mid-2017. The new OECM contract has the potential to dramatically increase P.E.I. hiring in the foreseeable future, with another P.E.I. location an option if the workforce tops 100. Sixteen new employees have been hired within the past month.
Buchanan president Stephen Sweett believes the caliber of the P.E.I. office was paramount to winning the OECM contract. “Our client wanted a bilingual onshore service operation in an adjacent time zone that understood Canadian culture and could deliver a seamless transition for customers. That specialist workforce was readily available in P.E.I. We’ll be managing the OECM relationship almost 100 percent from here.” The P.E.I. service delivery centre will act as the initial point of contact for Ontario colleges transferring their support services to Buchanan Technologies. “We’ll resolve 90 percent of their frontline networking and trouble-shooting issues. It frees up the college’s internal staff to focus on strategic initiatives without impacting the professional experience their end users require.”
Sweett, a graduate of St. Mary’s University with strong Maritime connections, led efforts to open the Charlottetown operation. “We selected P.E.I. as the location for our only Canadian service delivery centre based on the availability of ICT talent, stability of the workforce, conducive lifestyle, access to bilingual resources, and business-friendly environment,” says Sweett. “Our P.E.I. team works with major customers all over North America.”
Buchanan is intent on retaining its ICT professionals in P.E.I. and transitioning them into higher-level roles within the organization through education and additional certification. “We offer superb benefits,” says Sweett. The company is also building postsecondary connections to attract graduates launching careers, as well as seeking mature workers interested in retraining. “We’ve done very well in P.E.I.,” says Sweett. “We are excited about the future here.”
Margaret Magner, Ph.D., is a freelance journalist in Charlottetown (www.magnerink.com).