Ottawa’s BP&M acquired, positioning IT firm to respond to feds’ digital demand

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An Ottawa-based IT and management consulting firm says being acquired will give it the capacity to meet increasing demand from the feds, as the Liberal government increasingly makes digital transformation a priority.

BP&M, a 30-person firm founded in 2006, has been acquired by Quebec-based Linovati. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Though it occasionally works with municipal clients, the Ottawa firm has largely focused on the federal government. As Linovati is primarily focussed on provincial government and private sector clients, BP&M founder and CEO Jean Barbosa says the resultant firm will have broader service offerings.

Barbosa says BP&M is focused on helping the government with its digital transformation agenda, primarily by giving employees the tech skills they need to operate in the modern era.

“There’s new roles that come into play and we work with employees to help develop those new skills,” he tells OBJ.

Since the Liberal government came into power in 2015, Barbosa says he’s seen a change in how the feds approach information technologies.

“There’s been a migration of what is digital transformation,” he says. “I’d say a key change is a broader focus on accountability and results.”

In the past, Barbosa says the government approached IT as a tool-based sector: install a new server or app, see how it works and move on to the next project. Today, the focus is on overhauling how work is done and adding efficiencies to create a leaner government.

“It’s not just IT projects. We’re really changing things, streamlining processes,” Barbosa says.

Ministers and public servants have recently highlighted the need to embrace digital solutions in governance.

Judy Foote, then-minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, told a gathering of the country’s IT professionals in Ottawa last year that way government does business needs to be “simpler, less burdensome.” The federal government’s chief information officer Alex Benay told Techopia last spring that Canada’s government needs a “wake up call” on digital transformation or else it risks becoming obsolete.

Barbosa says this acquisition will give the firm the tools to bring the public sector up to speed. Linovati’s experience with private companies means the combined firm can meet public sector needs with private sector solutions, such as the adoption of cloud-based services.

“There’s much more appetite to adopt private sector concepts,” Barbosa says of the feds’ new attitudes towards IT.

Barbosa says he expects more hiring in the Ottawa area as the new firm attempts to tackle to needs of the federal government.

“The acquisition, from a growth perspective, made a lot of sense to meet this demand.”