Since COVID-19 hit and most professionals started working from home, SonicWall has noticed an uptick in business. Keith Trottier, Vice President of Customer Success for SonicWall, has been working non-stop to help protect new and existing customers via the company’s Boundless Cybersecurity vision.
The company has been in the cybersecurity business for 29 years and has evolved to identify and stop the world’s increasing cyber threats. Today, it boasts more than 500,000 customers — from SMBs to enterprise companies in everything from banking to education. Customers span six continents, it has offices in 10 countries and 1,700 employees around the world.
Boundless Cybersecurity stops even the most evasive cyberattacks by leveraging global threat intelligence and seamless real-time protection for a reasonable price. With its 1.1 million active global sensors, it blocks 28 million malware attacks daily and provides 24/7 technical support to allow customers to focus on their core business.
Headquartered in Milpitas, California, SonicWall launched its Ottawa operation in 2016. Today, it has 100 employees in Ottawa, working in three divisions: sales, service and engineering.
Trottier has been working in high-tech in Ottawa since 1998 and knows the talent pool is strong.
“It’s Silicon Valley of the Great White North, but it doesn’t stop there,” Trottier says. “Ottawa is also a great resource for language skills. I can staff a service centre — I have one in North America and one in Europe — and I can expand my service hours because of the plethora of languages. We have Mandarin, Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French.”
And, he says his annual costs for that talent is between $4,000 and $5,000 cheaper in Ottawa than it would be in the U.K. or Ireland.
“Ottawa has a robust skillset of languages for companies to leverage and use,” he says. “I don’t think we really publicize that enough.”
In addition to those skills, Trottier notes that being in the capital gives him good access to government and Ottawa’s geographic location allows him to get to Montreal and Toronto quickly, too, to meet with larger enterprise customers.
“I’m situated between Montreal and Toronto, but I don’t have the cost margins those regions have,” he says. “I do a lot of servicing of accounts in Calgary and it’s quite quick and accessible. And it’s a short seven-hour trip to Europe.”
In addition, he says the city is full of engineering and inside sales talent.
“Ottawa is good for those,” he says. “Always has been. For inside sales, Ottawa is one of the diamonds in the rough.”
Trottier also lauded the strong cybersecurity curricula at Ottawa’s Algonquin College, Carleton University and University of Ottawa and noted that UOttawa professor Carlisle Adams is an eminent cybersecurity expert who previously worked for Nortel Networks and Entrust.
To explain Ottawa’s skills and the city’s affordability, Trottier notes that the company had more than 400 people in service when he started.
“We modified that and changed that structure, set up the Ottawa office and we’re now running about a quarter that number, with people in Ottawa, the U.S. and Ireland.”
Trottier has worked with Invest Ottawa with SonicWall and two previous employers, and would recommend its services to startups and companies new to the city.
“The team at Invest Ottawa is like a partnership,” Trottier says. “They’ve helped us find out what grants are available to us and they helped with the document-submission process and they do it at no charge. Organizations in other countries do it for a fee.”
Trottier also appreciates Invest Ottawa’s personal touches.
“Our Invest Ottawa representative also arranged for the mayor to come and meet the team,” Trottier says. “There’s that human touch and you just can’t really put a price on that.”
SonicWall at a glance:
100 Employees in Ottawa
29 Years in business
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