Kari Simpson: How InGenius Software went all the way

Feb 4, 2022

1,076 words | 3.5 minutes

A $26.4 million USD acquisition in Kanata you say? Yes, we do.  

Ottawa’s tech industry is thriving and while Shopify might get all the glory, there is plenty of talent to go around. InGenius Software, an Ottawa-based company, was acquired by Texas-based Upland Software in 2019, selling for an impressive $26.4 million.  

For the second episode of Invested in Our New Reality, host Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh sat down with Kari Simpson, the Vice President of Product Management and Strategy, Contact Centre Products at Upland Software, formerly the Vice President of Product Management and Marketing for InGenius Software to discuss the acquisition.  

Founded in the 1990s, InGenius began as a research and development consultancy and shifted gears when they began to develop software that would integrate phone systems into CRM platforms. Today, their popular software connects CRMs like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and ServiceNow to enterprise telephone systems.  

How popular? LinkedIn and Expedia are clients, along with the Ottawa RedBlacks.  

“By connecting these two systems, we really focused on turbocharging agent productivity,” says Simpson. “We do things like, click to dial and automated call logging, so agents can quickly move through their phone calls.” 

The company enjoyed exponential growth over the past several years after its leadership team shifted to a bold new growth plan and its founder, Rich Loen, and long-time CEO, Dale Gantous, began eyeing an eventual exit strategy.  

Simpson, a successful veteran in the Canadian technology market, was brought on board in 2015 along with a slew of other executive-level team members. With a larger and determined leadership team at the helm, they were able to significantly scale the business and see a repeatable 30 per cent growth year over year. 

Paul Loucks, the former CEO of Halogen and now a sought-after executive coach, also supported the team and helped establish an annual operating planning process.

“He really held us accountable,” says Simpson. 

A long list of awards followed, and the marketing team began to tell the company’s story and tout their product lines with earnest, solidifying their reputation and fiscal attractiveness in the marketplace.  

It was no surprise, then, when Upland Software knocked on their door.  

Today, Simpson has transferred to the Upland Software executive team and is looking for ways to maintain its record of strong growth in the tech industry. “Upland Software is a $300 million company. We have about 10,000 global customers across thirty different product lines. Those product lines were previously companies. We’ve done 30 acquisitions,” she says. 

What’s next for InGenius Software, post-acquisition? One thing is for sure – they are staying put. The team is staying in Kanata and has a long-term plan to continue to grow the company and support their new parent company.  

Simpson is staying too. Ottawa is a great city for a lot of reasons and Simpson knows them all. She cites its talent pool, dollar and friendly time zone as reasons why international companies looking to expand their footprint often search within its city limits.  

“I don’t think the density and the skill of talent like we’ve got in Ottawa can be matched,” says Simpson. “Nothing would make us happier than to find another fantastic business in Ottawa and bring it into the Upland Software family.”  

To learn more, visit WhyOttawa.ca. Be sure to tune in to the rest of Season 7 of Invested in Our New Reality, a podcast hosted by Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh and produced by Invest Ottawa.  

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