Top 20 Innovators in BC, Vivonet Inc
Congratulations to Vivonet, #13 in 2011's Most Innovative Companies in B.C.
One of our panellists calls Vivonet a “10-year overnight success.” The decade in this case was actually only six years and it was spent developing a cloud-based point-of-sale system for the food-service industry. The overnight success was when it won a game-changing contract with one of the world’s largest food-service companies. Sodexo SA is a $15-billion-per-year French multinational that serves 50 million meals a day. And it’s in the process of rolling out 9,000 of Vivonet’s Halo terminals.
Going up against hospitality POS Goliaths such as Micros Systems Inc. for a $60-million contract, David-like Vivonet should be at a disadvantage. Halo is packing a slingshot, though, by running its software and storing clients’ data on remote servers. For a big operation like Sodexo – which is installing Halo at 6,000 sites – that means management can access sales data from locations all around the world through a web browser. There are also benefits to the consumer, like a mobile app for placing orders that Vivonet developed for Sodexo’s Jazzman’s Cafe & Bakery chain.
CEO Ryan Volberg doesn’t pull any punches when he talks about his company’s biggest differentiator. To him POS systems using on-site servers “are like the cash registers we used 100 years ago.” That seems like a bit of an exaggeration, but who are we to argue with the guy who just landed the $60-million deal?