Techopia Live: Ottawa’s HubStor riding a ‘flood’ of data storage demand

Virgin Hyperloop One, like many of the world’s biggest businesses, faces challenges with managing and protecting its data. The ambitious firm looking to disrupt the way we all get from point A to point B announced last month it’s getting a little help in this department from an Ottawa startup developing software to change how the enterprise market manages data.

HubStor CEO Geoff Bourgeois joined Techopia Live this week to discuss the challenges his 25-person firm is helping Hyperloop One address. Though the Los Angeles-based firm has raised millions in financing and garnered a great deal of media attention in its quest to develop a functioning rapid-transit system, Bourgeois said that when it comes to data management, Hyperloop One is not really that different from the rest of the enterprise space.

“Their story and the challenges they face are not unique to them. Many companies are faced with similar challenges,” he told Techopia Live.

“There is a flood of data storage happening in the enterprise space … The problem is that getting to the cloud isn’t always as easy as you think it would be.”

HubStor helps its customers, which also include security tech firm Axon and German manufacturer Kuka, to manage data as it moves through on-premise, cloud and hybrid storage systems. Its SaaS solution gives clients a singular view of data across all storage solutions, with the ability to protect and access that information as needed.

The security layer to HubStor’s software is key for a company like Hyperloop One, Bourgeois said, as it’s moving into a heavily regulated world and needs to have a handle on its information and who has access to it. With jurisdictions across the world implementing privacy legislation in line with the European Union’s GDPR laws, the demand for secure access to data has never been greater.

HubStor’s SaaS solution helps address that worry, Bourgeois noted. As opposed to hardware or licensed software models, SaaS firms’ abilities to quickly on-board a customer – and, if needed, off-board – can make the difference in whether a prospect gives the solution a chance. The ability to retrieve data from a management platform is critical.

“We don’t have any delusions of grandeur that just because someone is using our software-as-a-service that we own the data,” Bourgeois said. “It’s their data. We make it very easy to on-board, but also ... (if a customer’s) business circumstances shifted, to get that data out.”

It seems counter-intuitive that the ability for a customer to quickly leave can be considered a company’s strength, but Bourgeois said he’s perfectly happy with the dynamics of the SaaS model. The “stickiness” comes not from locking a customer into a long-term contract or a deep-rooted system, but in proving the software’s capabilities day-in and day-out.

“It puts a lot of emphasis on customer success, a lot of emphasis on good-quality software,” he said.

“I think that’s a very healthy dynamic. We always have a good fire under our butt … to do a good job.”

To hear more about HubStor’s solution and get tips from Techopia sponsor Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP on setting up shareholders’ agreements, watch the video above.