The Fixers

Employee count at data-analytics company Apption might be small, but it solves problems of grandeur

The data analytics experts at Apption, led by CEO Brian Joe, have won numerous accolades for their tech capabilities.

Apption is an award-winning data analytics software company in Ottawa that helps organizations solve complex business problems by building predictive analytics software solutions in a unique and cost-effective way. As a small, expert data-science and -software company, Apption can handle the toughest problems normally reserved for the very large software consulting firms.

Many business process systems that were built in the ’90s are in need of upgrades, and a full system replacement can cost millions of dollars. Apption builds upon its clients’ existing software and database systems, modernizing them up with intuitive user interfaces and powerful back-end analytics. This allows its clients to realize the great benefits of new software and data science at low risk and at a fraction of the expected costs. This has been an especially attractive offering during the current economic situation.

Apption works with large enterprise organizations, public-sector, and Crown corporations. “Because we focus on solving challenging problems, we find our clients like to retain us as ongoing strategic technology partners,” says Brian Joe, CEO of Apption. “We have solved many challenging problems and have grown exclusively based on referrals and recommendations from our happy clients.”

5 Questions
with Brian Joe

 

1. What does innovation mean to your company?
Innovation means applying our expertise in the latest in software technologies and predictive analytics to solve complex problems in unique ways, to create extreme value for our clients. Our innovative solutions help enterprise work smarter and saves them money.

2. Is there a technology, trend, or idea that’s driving your company forward?
We started seven years ago, focusing on building predictive data analytics solutions. In that time, the amount of usable data has grown astronomically, and cloud computing has lowered the costs of getting analytics working for any enterprise. The market need in getting the power of analytics into operational systems is what is driving us forward.

3. Where do you hope this innovation will lead you in the next five years?
We are not only active in creating embedded analytic solutions as part of re-architecting and modernizing the complex systems of our enterprise clients, we are also creating new, innovative solutions in the dynamic pricing and marketing campaign optimization spaces. We expect these solutions to have global appeal.

4. How has the notion of innovation changed in the past decade?
I think the exponential growth of Internet and mobility has really unlocked the power of software applications. The speed of adoption of innovation has increased dramatically, as well as the ability for nimble and focused companies like Apption to get their innovation into the market more easily than in the past.

5. How do you cultivate innovation among your workforce?
Innovation is in our culture. We encourage it by creating a learning environment where risk taking is encouraged. People share with others the challenges they are solving and how they did it, which sparks new ideas and approaches. Innovation is cultivated at Apption every day by the nature of the work we do and the type of people we hire.

Successful serial entrepreneur Joe and his team of 28 software and data analytics experts at Apption have won numerous industry awards for growth and technology capability, including the prestigious Microsoft MSN award for Best Software Team Development. The company got involved early in the big data analytics field when it began in 2005, deciding to focus on what was then called the Artificial Intelligence market. It quickly built an enviable reputation in modernizing applications with new software architectures and adding innovative data analytics within those applications. This let organizations get much more from their systems by making sense of their data and directly optimizing business performance through better workflow and better decision-making.

Apption uses its software and analytics frameworks to rapidly develop analytic solutions and de-risk the deployment of them. For example, Apption designed a suite of data algorithms for a large organization to glean insights from the massive amounts enterprise data it was generating but was unable to make use of. Apption built these ground-breaking data analytics into a system that runs on a private virtual cloud in one of its main buildings, which analyzes more than 40 million pieces of data a day. “This innovative system is allowing them to understand their clients better and how well their business is performing,” Joe says. “This new data-driven information is creating new revenue opportunities and has spawned more ideas for new analytics projects in the company.”

The company has been encapsulating what it has learned and has implemented it for different clients, putting it into reusable frameworks that let the company rapidly prototype new solutions for clients. “We have a family of analytic solutions that we can easily adapt for new environments to bring our customers new cost-saving and revenue-generating solutions at low cost and low risk,” explains Jennifer Francis, vice president of analytical solutions, who previously held VP positions at IBM in analytics. “Apption has the unique, proven ability to match business needs with big data science and operational deployments to create winning pragmatic solutions.”

The firm makes it a point to stay on top of leading technologies, like cloud computing and the many advances in data analytics and software architectures. Apption’s corporate culture is about innovation using the best of new technologies and putting this expertise to use in systems that are delivered on-time and on-budget to make its clients successful.

Apption also likes to tackle general problems and invests in R&D to incubate new inventions.  From this process, the company launched wholly owned Gazaro Inc., a technology company that analyzes retail prices of millions of products on a daily bases. “It chronicles all of the pricing and product information that is on the Internet, in order to come up with what the competitive prices are and provide the analytics and price intelligence and trend analyses that our customers are looking for,” Francis explains. Gazaro, with it’s 360PI platform offering, has won supply agreements with several major North American retailers and is positioned as the technology leader in the fast-moving field of price analytics.

Apption has recently been investing heavily in analytics R&D to optimize outcomes and performance within the lucrative online marketing campaign space. “We will soon be releasing a new analytics solution that we think will blow the doors off online marketing campaign effectiveness,” Joe says. “I get very excited thinking about this offering and the other analytic solutions we are able to provide for our clients as we continue our growth and leadership in the embedded data analytics solution space.”