AMTRA Solutions is a great example of a Calgary-made company that has been here to see all of the ups and downs of the market. AMTRA’s President and CEO, Tasso Chondronikolis, has led his company through technology industry shifts, market ups and downs, and all the challenges that leading a company presents.
How did AMTRA get started?
“We started in November 2006 as Coretech Staffing, focusing on IT recruiting. In 2008 we shifted more towards the professional services side when we were asked to bid on an application packaging project. We bid on it, and identified that there was a big need in the market around application packaging as a service. So, we sourced our current European partner, who we’ve been partnering with since 2008 as their exclusive services and software provider in Canada.”
What does AMTRA stand for?
“[our professional services] grew, and over the years we began doing more professional services than staffing. At that point, we rebranded as AMTRA Solutions. We’ve been asked many times “How did you guys come up with that name?”. So, we had an internal employee contest on the new company name, and one of our employees came up with AMTRA, which is Alexa, Markus, Tasso, Raquel and Ariana, which is the first initial of all of our family members, and we threw Solutions on the end of it!”
What was your approach to leading a company through the latest downturn in the market?
“Managing the overhead and basically sticking to our relationships with our customers. Obviously, the downturn is tough, and you have to make tough decisions to get through it. We managed to provide great service to our customers and weather the storm, and coming out of the downturn now we’re feeling like we’re well positioned to take advantage of the market as it’s turning around.”
Where do you think Calgary is at currently in terms of economic recovery?
“I feel like we’ve started the recovery, you know, 2017, there’s more confidence in the market now, and customers are starting to reinvest in IT – looking at Cloud technology and Windows 10. A lot of new technology around data platform and advanced analytics is really helping drive that to reduce costs. A lot of companies over the last few years haven’t invested that much in IT, so they’re simply playing catch up as well.”
What do you see as being the next big disruptor in IT?
“I think the next couple years especially are going to be very disruptive in IT from a Cloud perspective. Obviously, companies are going to reduce their investment in hardware. New Cloud technologies, advanced analytics, machine learning – basically predictive analytics is going to help drive a lot of that change. Just a lot more insights from a business perspective in regard to how to spend the money, where to spend it and when to spend it.”