On the eve of Insum’s twentieth anniversary, we sat down with its co-founders Francis Mignault, Michel St-Amour, and Patrick Bonneville, to ask them about some of the things that got the company to this significant milestone. These Q&A sessions uncovered layers of interesting stories and knowledge that brought about the company’s success. This series is intended to be an opportunity to share these insights with you as we celebrate the culture, journey, community, and methodology that has brought 20 years of success to this company.
The Insum Way: What makes Insum successful for our clients and our employees?
Everyone loves working for Insum, an IT Service and Consulting company specializing in Oracle APEX. This is the one constant a new employee will find as they are introduced to their colleagues. Not one person will pass up the opportunity to share about how great the team is and how wonderful the culture is. After asking the co-founders a few questions, it’s easy to understand why people feel that way.
Define the Culture=Values
Twenty years ago, when Francis, Michel, and Patrick founded Insum, they were well established in their careers. Together they decided their first order of business was to establish the essential values they wanted their team to work from. These values centered on having fun, working together, and having team spirit.
“We decided we’re not here to squeeze productivity out of people. We’re here to work together and build something together. These are values that we put in place in the first days. And we’re very proud of that.” – Francis Mignault, Insum Co-founder and President, highlights the importance the company sets on the community and culture.
Retired President Michel St-Amour will tell you that it was crucial for him to ingrain his values when building the foundation of the company culture. “I wanted to instill the values I deeply believe in; in the way of working and interacting with people. I told myself that one day, if I start my own company, I’ll do it my way, with values I’m comfortable with. I guess these are not bad values: Looking around at our team, we see that we’ve attracted people who share them.”
One proof of these shared values and the culture it has created is that Insum employees have staying power. “Insum is a place that has allowed me to grow in different roles. That is due to the trust and understanding between management and employees.” Réginald Horacius has been with the company since 2008, when he started as an intern. “It is a place based on respect and having fun while working. Which are two of our core values”.
There also is an ongoing interest from others to join the team. This interest comes from people seeing what Insum does, not only from a technological standpoint but also because of the company values. For the founders, that’s just as important.
“Success isn’t just a matter of longevity or the number of superheroes on your team; it is also the way you work internally.” – Michel
This sentiment is echoed by employees like David Schleis when asked: “Why do you like working for Insum?”
“My first thought is that’s the wrong question. The correct question is: “Why do you like working with Insum? Because I honestly do not feel like I am working “for” anyone, as much as I feel I am working “with” everyone. Both triumphs and failures (rare, but they do exist) are shared, so we can celebrate and build on the success of our comrades and learn what to look out for in the future. So, why do I like working with Insum? It’s the people.” – David
Build a team that will embrace the culture
With Insum reaching 100 employees, we believe we’ve figured out the secret sauce for finding other unique individuals who share the essential values that define our culture. Monty Latiolais, Director of Business Development, is celebrating his 8th anniversary with Insum this month and is continuously impressed by the level of hires Insum continues to make. “When we look to add to our team, we try to find individuals who will embrace and enhance the special culture we have in place. It has little to do with technical abilities as those can be taught. We’re most interested in the things you’re born with. Honesty. Loyalty. Trustworthiness. Professionalism.” – Monty
Culture + team = Customer Success for 20 years and Beyond
The company values extend beyond the employee workspace, and into the relationships it fosters with its clients. “We can see the teamwork between our employees. They are professionals who want to succeed, and they see that client success happens through collaboration. I believe the people of Insum have the maturity to really listen and serve the client, and that comes from the will to help and knowing that doing so is a win-win situation for all involved.” – Michel
VP of Business Development Roger Leblanc adds, “I often tell clients there’s an entire team of experts behind each Insum employee. So when you hire us, you’re hiring the strength of an entire team.” – Roger
Insum doesn’t just “get the job done.” We partner with our clients and are a team they can lean on, trust, collaborate with, and work with long-term. Much like Insum’s employees have staying power, so do many of their clients. A huge part of Insum’s business comes from repeat clients, which says a lot.
There are more challenges and milestones ahead for Insum and its amazing team, especially with the firm’s acquisition by The Talan Group in November 2021. According to Patrick Bonneville, VP of Client Services. “We were very careful to choose a company with similar ethics so we could be sure they’d help us continue our growth without changing our values.”
“To now be positioned as APEX experts, as Oracle experts within the Talan Group, is a great accomplishment and something that will continue well into the future,” says Francis about the common goal behind the recent Insum-Talan union.
“The spirit of our transaction with Talan wasn’t about saying, ‘Well, it’s done, and we’ve arrived’ but rather, ‘How can we take the company elsewhere, continuing our journey and continuing to build and grow our expertise.'” This growth will mean adding to the Insum team and sharing more opportunities to celebrate the insum culture, an integral part of the company’s success.
We can’t wait to see what the next 20 years hold for Insum.