Ottawa company wins tech Emmy

It doesn’t come with the glitz and glamour usually associated with television’s biggest awards show – ironically, in fact, the ceremony won’t be televised at all – but an Ottawa company has received a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award.

Unlimi-Tech Software will accept its award for secure and accelerated file transfer at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

Company co-founder and CEO Chris Bailey said the award is a general one for its FileCatalyst suite of products, and not linked to any specific client or program. He said he hopes it draws more attention in the industry for his small company based on St. Laurent Boulevard.

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“Perhaps some of the larger media and broadcast organizations even within Canada might not take us as seriously as some of our competitors, but I’m hoping this kind of raises some eyebrows,” he said. “You don’t have to be IBM to provide quality software and provide technology that meets a need. So I’m hoping that garners some new business for us.”

It’s not as if Unlimi-Tech doesn’t have some big media companies among its more than 1,000 customers.

NBC used the FileCatalyst product to transfer files during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Bell Media is another client that uses the product for its file transfers.

Mr. Bailey founded Unlimi-Tech Software in 2000 with partner John Tkaczewski, now the president and CFO.

A couple of angel investors, Raghu Kulkarni and Ian Bowles, were early investors, helping the duo design file transfer web plugins, but after that the revenue came from licensing the company’s early products.

By around 2004, some media clients were expressing concerns that file transfers weren’t fast enough. Mr. Bailey said he and Mr. Tkaczewski did some research and discovered the older dated file transfer protocol was designed in the 1970s for reliability, not speed.

So the partners went with user datagram protocol (UDP), which was popular with gamers for its speed, but wasn’t noted for its reliability.

“We took that technology and made it reliable like the old technology, so you get the speed benefits of the new UDP and get the reliability of TCP,” said Mr. Bailey, “and we bundled that together and built applications that made it easy for our customers and end users to integrate that into existing solutions or to access the speed.”

With the advent of high definition, and now 4K resolution, files keep getting bigger, and Mr. Bailey said the media industry is coming to Unlimi-tech Software for its solutions.

“We do have other verticals that we hit, but certainly the sweet spot for us has been media broadcast,” he said.

The company currently has a staff of 20, and Mr. Bailey said the Emmy award is a testament to all of them.

Unlimi-Tech Software continues to grow and is looking to add three or four employees in the next few months, he said.

“Everywhere,” he said, when asked what types of positions he’s looking to fill, but he did specifically mention developers, marketers and support staff. “We’re kind of in transition where we’re going, John and I, from being involved in development and wearing many hats – it’s just too busy. We have too much demand in all the different areas, so we’re looking for good candidates to help us move forward in all those areas.”

And moving forward means international expansion, Mr. Bailey said.

 “We’re trying to build our presence globally,” he said. “We’re building a network of resellers and distributors throughout the world, Asia, Middle East in particular. We’ve started doing some extra trade shows, particularly in media and broadcast, in those areas.”

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