David Hervieux, CEO of Devolutions
SME OF THE WEEK – In 2010, David Hervieux worked alone in his basement. His company, Devolutions, now has 45 employees and sells remote login and password management solutions in 124 countries.
Among the 270,000 or so users are big names like Walt Disney, the NASA, Boeing, Shell and Sony.
David Hervieux is the 2016 Investissement Québec 2016 CEO of the Quebec Technology Association (AQT). He has also won the Arista Provincial Young Chamber of Commerce of Montreal Award in the Young International Leader category.
His company makes 97% of its $ 5 million income abroad. "There are no borders on the Internet," says the one who only sells his products online and does not employ any vendors.
A network of more than 300 resellers enabled it to break into countries where people prefer to buy locally, such as Germany, as well as large organizations that focus their purchases on authorized suppliers.
"There are few companies in our industry whose marketing strategy relies solely on the Web," commented Nicole Martel, CEO of AQT. The fact that Devolutions has no salesperson impressed people at the gala where Mr. Hervieux was elected CEO of the year. Some wondered about their own business model. "
Over the past 18 months, the size of the Lavaltrie SME increased from 20 to 45 people. David Hervieux started his business in 2004 to offer computer consulting services. But in 2010, a software he designed to remotely access his clients' computers pushed him to change the vocation of his company. "Originally, I created Remote Desktop Manager for my own needs, but I quickly realized the business potential."
To describe his software for managing remote connections, network access and passwords, he makes the following comparison: "A password is like a key. If I give you a key, you can go to the hardware store to reproduce it. Our product is not the key. It's the doorman that controls access to a place and lets you in or out. "
The guy with the t-shirt stained with ketchup
Target audience? Network managers of companies. "We sell to the guy who wears a Stars Wars shirt stained with ketchup and mustard and is obsessed with data protection," says the 37-year-old entrepreneur. We are listening to him and it is with him that we have built our reputation. "
Devolutions put on inbound marketing. Its users are its spokespersons. They discuss the products on the help forum, answer the questions of others. "Some people are in love with our brand and have been given expert status," says Hervieux. We publish their advice in our blog. These people have become evangelists of our products. "
In addition, community members have translated the company's software into German, Chinese, Turkish, and a dozen other languages.
This customer-focused strategy even encompasses product development. Thus, all new features and extensions come from user suggestions.
A remarkable employer
"In our sector, companies are pulling talent," says Martel. Retention is also a challenge because the workforce is very mobile. "Devolutions is an exception, with only two starts in five years.
"We are attracting graduates from Cégep de Joliette and the University of Trois-Rivières, but also from competent people who are tired of working in major centers," says Mr. Hervieux, who reimburses employees who move to Lavaltrie half of the welcome tax.
Foosball tables, volleyball court, free snacks, group dinners on Wednesdays with sushi or street food trucks … The employees have it all. But they also benefit from the good human resources practices of a Certified Employer by the Quebec Bureau of Standardization.
"Here, nobody works more than 35 hours a week, says the CEO. In addition, there are regular flexible hours, that is, employees choose their arrival and departure times. "
The SME also discloses its financial statements to employees and gives them the opportunity to become shareholders. Everyone can also make a wacky request a year. "There are a lot of introverted people in computer science," says Hervieux, half of whose staff is made up of programmers. This measure gives them space to express ideas that are often not far-fetched at all. "
Software for work, charging stations for electric vehicles, oven for community meals are all accepted applications. "Recently, someone asked for a Tesla. Well, when you reach $ 10 million in sales, I'll get one! "
In a few numbers
Year of foundation: 2004
Number of employees : 45
Turnover: $ 5 million
Objectives for the next three years: Triple revenues and introduce new products targeting current customers.