Pictured above: Denis Carignan, President of PLATO Testing wins the ABM Hockey Challenge at ABM Alberta.
When the team at PLATO Testing decided to attend The Aboriginal Business Match (ABM), the biggest unknown was time. The idea of preparing for 31 pre-scheduled appointments in the span of 2.5 days sounded taxing, recalls Jarett Nickerson, Director of Sales and Marketing at PLATO Testing.
“It required us to have laser focus at the event and an understanding of what kind of business we wanted to do,” he explained.
But after signing on to the ABM business matching platform and identifying the company’s primary business goals, Jarett’s mind quickly changed on the subject. In only 20 minutes, PLATO Testing had an online profile and was engaging in conversations with interested Aboriginal communities.
“It’s as simple as you make it to be,” Jarett added. “If there was ever a perception that it’s a headache to get your schedule sorted – it’s not.”
PLATO Testing was established in 2015 to bring meaningful careers in information technology to Aboriginal communities across Canada, and bring software testing contracts that typically go offshore back to Canada. For the rapidly growing company, the Aboriginal-driven and business-focused nature of ABM was simply good value.
“In theory, it looked like a good fit,” said Jarett, expecting his team to walk away with a few business cards by the end of the show. Instead, PLATO Testing lined up several potential projects with both communities and companies.
“For us, it was a crossroad between Aboriginal businesses and communities,” Jarett explained. “One minute we were talking to a potential buyer and another, a potential community partner.”
The grassroot connections and the ability of seeing the geographic and economic activity of an area was a value point that brought PLATO Testing back for a second event. The efficiency and market intelligence received at ABM, Jarett stresses, is unlike any other event out there.
“If we’re going to open up a potential office at a new location, then we have to know that the area has the right ingredients for success,” Jarett continues. “[At ABM East] there were several communities who were all very receptive to speaking with us, as well as business leaders that recognized the value in our services. That’s promising.”
After successfully business matching at ABM East, PLATO Testing confirmed multiple post-event deals in the queue for 2017. Something, he says, goes beyond just “doing business.”
“Not only was I surprised to see how many people were actively engaged, but the sheer amount of passion around Aboriginal inclusion and business was enlightening,” Jarett concludes. “There’s a lot of people who care and want to make change. If we are in a room with people who recognize that Aboriginal Inclusion matters, then we are doing business with the right people.”
About PLATO Testing
PLATO Testing develops and leverages a network of Aboriginal software testers across Canada. PLATO Testing provides outsourced testing solutions to clients throughout North America, with a focus on projects that would have previously been sent offshore.
Established by industry leader, and PQA Testing founder, Keith McIntosh and led by president Denis Carignan of Pasqua First Nation, PLATO Testing addresses both the technology talent shortage in Canada and brings meaningful training and employment to Aboriginal people.
Check out our opportunities page to explore more opportunities out of the ABM National Network at our upcoming ABM events.