Epiphan Video a leader in its class thanks to remote learning trend

Jeff Kushner
Jeff Kushner

Like more than a few Canadian businesses, Epiphan Video has been grappling with supply-chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not that anyone at the Kanata-based video technology firm is really complaining. With colleges and universities across North America closing campuses and moving their courses almost entirely online to combat the spread of the coronavirus, demand for Epiphan’s products ​– which capture, stream and record video for easy playback on computers and mobile devices – has gone through the roof.

But rapid growth doesn’t come without its headaches. Securing the components that go into Epiphan’s hardware and software has been a tough task for CFO Jeff Kushner, the company’s top-ranking local executive, and the Ottawa team.

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“I can’t get enough product to meet our sales,” he says. “It’s a very good problem to have – it’s just taking up a lot of time.”

Founded in 2003, Ephiphan has thousands of customers around the world – including NASA, which has used its technology to help capture and transmit video of experiments on the International Space Station.

But its bread and butter is the education sector, where Epiphan’s video-capture devices are used to record and stream lectures at institutions such as Harvard University. Kushner says that while other markets have dropped off during the pandemic, the company’s customers in the  post-secondary education space have more than picked up the slack.

Epiphan had its two best sales months ever in March and June, he adds, and last month, the firm booked its biggest order yet – a million-dollar deal with a university in the central United States. Epiphan, which has grown its revenues every year of its existence, is forecasting sales to rise by as much as 25 per cent in 2020 compared with last year, a rate that would be its best since 2013. 

“We’re in a very fortunate spot,” Kushner says. 

The firm has hired a handful of employees since the pandemic began, boosting its local headcount to 46. Epiphan also has a nine-person sales and marketing team in Silicon Valley, where founder and CEO Mike Sandler – who previously had stints at Nortel and Newbridge Networks – is now based.  

One of the first Ottawa companies to close its office when the coronavirus hit the region back in March, Epiphan will continue with its remote-first strategy for at least the next few months, Kushner says, adding employees have experienced “very high levels of productivity working from home.”

The veteran finance executive, who has worked at Epiphan for nine years, says he believes the best is yet to come for the Kanata firm. 

“We’re very encouraged,” he says.

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