Present: IT as a Business Unit

Marc Beaulieu, President Marc Beaulieu has always been dedicated to the field of IT, starting his career at a consulting firm assisting businesses with their IT requirements. Yet, he felt that although the industry had a passion for IT, they strongly lacked a desire to serve the client well. Therefore, in 1990, he branched out on his own to establish Present. “My father was always in sales, and I recall when he came home from work with bright eyes, he told us passionately about the good things he did for his clients during the day. It goes without saying that when it was my turn in the workforce, his example guided my actions. And that's precisely what made me start my business, a great desire to serve clients better than the industry and push myself to make them succeed in their projects,”explains Beaulieu, president of Present.

In the leadup to the founding of Present, over a good bottle of wine, the inspiration came to name the new company Present, to be ‘present’ for the client. This simple but fundamental idea brought the company 27 years later to become one of the IT leaders in Canada.

Mission: IT as a contributor to business success

Today, their mission is still the same, and it has evolved for this new business era. They strive to help IT departments become a business unit in itself, that contributes to profits in the same way as marketing, sales or operations does, rather than a service to the company and a cost center. This drastic change in vision and in the use of IT spend has given unprecedented results.This is done with 4 simple but radical steps:

1. Make the decision to change IT from a service to a business contributor and put the management team and the entire IT team on board.

2. Develop an agile IT infrastructure that does not require time to set up and update, in order to support growth and host new projects.

3. Relieve IT of daily maintenance tasks that interferes with projects that have an impact on the success of the company

4. Align with external providers who will contribute to the success, rather than suppliers who will respond to requests.

Present’s offer has been tailored to help clients accomplish these 4 steps.

Positioned for long term growth

The goal of Present is to automate and streamline IT in order to free up time, money and resources so clients can focus on projects that will significantly impact the business.

Present offers best in class infrastructure and cloud expertise through the company’s strategic vendor and provider partnerships.
Having strong relationships with vendors gives Present the ability to know what’s available in the IT infrastructure and cloud market early on, and then pass along updated solutions and services to clients that fit the bill. Present’s leadership and team members embrace these partnerships by being involved in vendor committees, attending events, visiting manufacturing plants, and working directly with architecture teams. Each of these activities lends a necessary hand in staying abreast of what’s to come for IT infrastructure and how upcoming changes affect Present clients, now and in the future.

Strategic partner to manage daily IT operations

Aside from tailored infrastructure and cloud solutions, Present’s IT Managed services is a great example of how organizations can streamline their IT operations and get rid of daily operations that conflict with key strategic projects. Businesses can rely on a trusted and strategic partner to manage daily IT operations while enhancing security, efficiency and speed.

We help IT departments become a business unit in itself, that contributes to profits in the same way as marketing, sales or operations does

Through its Network Operations Center, client’s IT infrastructures are monitored in real time, remotely, so that potential issues that may adversely affect business operations can be identified and corrected quickly. User support is offered on a 24/7 basis and tasks are automated throughout the process which helps the team manage and follow best practices. Beaulieu states, “By reducing the risk of security threats, maintaining functionality, and ensuring systems and data protection, Present’s clients can stay focused on their core business and revenue-producing initiatives.”

The company also delivers excellence in other aspects of IT infrastructure management, including documentation, reporting on network operations, identifying and managing trends, and forecasting business needs. Through Present, companies have the opportunity to understand their IT assets, including hardware and software maintenance renewal timelines and warranties that are nearing their expiration. Either in part or in full, businesses can entrust Present with remote management of the IT department for a predictable, reasonable monthly cost. “Clients essentially have a virtual CIO at their fingertips,” Beaulieu states. The visibility enabled by Present’s IT infrastructure and managed services aids clients to reallocate their efforts toward projects that improve the bottom line.

Bringing Efficiency to large enterprise and SMBs

Beginning a relationship with a new client typically begins with bringing forward a vision of the goals and the challenges, which goes beyond a purely technical analysis. Beaulieu explains.
“With each new client, we ask questions, listen and work through a comprehensive checklist to ensure we understand the pressing needs of the business.” The company not only caters to the current IT infrastructure needs of the business, but it also recognizes the importance of knowing where the company has been in the past and where it is heading. This approach allows Present to develop the best solutions to meet their needs.

"Present was built on the premise that no company, large or small, should worry about IT"

Having served 50 of the top 500 corporations in Canada in the first 22 years in business, over the last five years, Present has taken the expertise of the large and this dedication to knowing its clients intimately to small and mid-sized businesses, or SMBs. The leadership at Present noticed a gap in the marketplace, with smaller organizations being overlooked in terms of their IT infrastructure and management needs. Beaulieu and his team decided to take the expertise and methodology they had gained over the years with larger corporations to the SMB market, offering these companies the same high-quality client service, tailored solutions, and dedicated support. Many small and mid-sized businesses expressed the same frustration with their IT solutions, including server downtime, lagging networks, and security breaches. Present has had the opportunity to work with many SMBs to improve processes across the board, creating a more efficient way to manage IT operations. With these implementations, Present’s small to mid-sized clients have been able to achieve more growth without significant investment.

"By reducing the risk of security threats, maintaining functionality, and ensuring systems and data protection, clients can stay focused on their core business"

Present’s Core of Success

Present’s journey to prodigiousness in transitioning IT away from a complex business service to a true business contributor has been adorned with recognition and numerous accolades. As Present celebrates its 27th year serving businesses in need of IT infrastructure solutions, the President accredits the success to its team. “The strong staff engagement, their passion for world class service and their commitment to ongoing improvement are at the core of our success,” he adds. Present offers ongoing training to its employees on the technical side, but more uniquely on client service and corporate culture, including the mission and values of the company. The mantra of ‘together we have the solution’ underscores the commitment to collaborative teamwork that shines through with each client experience. Beaulieu explains that when coupled with expertise, leadership and an atmosphere of fun, Present’s team members are always ready to deliver their best to the businesses who rely on their IT management and services.

Looking into the future, Present aims to focus on two core aspects: meeting the growing demands of CIOs in solving complex IT business challenges and delivering the same level of service and support to small and mid-sized businesses. “Working in IT is fun and exciting because it is always changing. But contributing to the success of our clients is the biggest motivator,” concludes Beaulieu.


Montreal, Quebec, Toronto

Marc Beaulieu, President

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