Position: Chief Executive Officer
A few years ago, Ottawa-based DataKinetics was at a crossroads. The company – which provides data performance and optimization solutions for mainframe systems at some of the largest companies in the world – had hit a sales plateau, thanks in part to stagnant growth of mainframes themselves.
Its co-founders knew a new CEO was required to lead DataKinetics into its next growth phase, and initially set their sights on bringing in a typical technology executive with years of sales experience at the helm of large IT enterprises.
But after retaining Perry-Martel International to lead the executive search, the company soon began to see things differently. Because after seeing their search through the lens of Perry-Martel’s comprehensive Inside-Out Approach, it became obvious that the candidate DataKinetics really needed wasn’t the one they initially thought.
Perry-Martel International co-founder David Perry knew in his recruiters’ gut that he had the perfect candidate to lead DataKinetics – someone with not only a deep understanding of technology products and applications, but also a visionary who could both sell and recognize new opportunities in an Industry 4.0 world. But he first had to convince both the candidate – who at the time was happy at another company – and his client that the match was as good as he suspected.
“I was not actively looking for work,” confirmed current DataKinetics CEO Allan Zander, who had a product management background and at the time was VP of Business Development at another technology company.
Zander had been recruited by Perry-Martel in the past, however, and knew he’d be foolish to not at least listen to the recruitment pitch. “David clearly goes a lot deeper than the average recruiter. He didn’t just want to talk about the job description – he was very interested in me and my goals, why I was interested in the role, and where I wanted to go in my career.” That mattered, said Zander.
In the decade since that fateful decision, Zander has guided the firm to a 3x revenue increase while opening up new markets for Data Kinetics within the fast-growing Customer Data Platforms (CDP) space – including spinning off point-of-sale and customer engagement solution omNovos, of which Zander is also CEO. He’s helped push the company into new geographies in Europe, Asia- Pacific and LAMEA (Latin America, Middle East & Africa), while using his vast understanding of technology and CDPs to establish new applications and partners in areas from grocery store apps to office supplies.
Zander also helped optimize Data Kinetics’ pricing and simplify its value proposition to enterprise customers. “I’ve got a degree in engineering and a degree in computer science, and I’m pretty good when it comes to understanding technology,” said Zander, “But Bill had to explain to me about five or six times what it was that Data Kinetics actually did.
“And I knew that if we could fix the sales and marketing issue, maybe look at some globalization, we could get sales going. And then from that we could really begin to re-imagine this business and go in different ways.”