Great Interview | Stéphane Garneau, CEO of Micro Logic: Driven by the wind of cloud computing

Twelve years ago, Micro Logic was a simple consumer computer store in Quebec City when Stéphane Garneau bought it to focus its operations on government and large corporate services. In 2014, Micro Logic made the move to cloud computing by creating the first Project Cirrus Clouds Quebec, which provides subscription computing services to businesses and government agencies.

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Jean Philippe Decarie

Jean Philippe Decarie
The press

After 20 years as a business recovery specialist in the computer technology industry, Stéphane Garneau decided to settle down by buying the Micro Logic business in Sainte-Foy, which was then in trouble.

“I bought the inventory for $70,000, but I got my hands on 20 competent employees who allowed me to do the development I wanted to do. I closed the shop and refocused on reselling computer equipment and services to governments and businesses,” says the IT entrepreneur.

From the first year we went from 5 to 25 million sales. In 2014 I launched the Cirrus project, the creation of a Clouds Quebec, when cloud computing was just beginning.

Stephane Garneau, CEO of Micro Logic

A month ago, Stéphane Garneau was awarded CEO of the Year by the Association des technologies Québécoises (AQT), while Micro Logic now serves more than 2000 customers, companies and government agencies through its Cirrus project.

“Since 2014, we have consistently reinvested 90% of our profits into the development of our cloud services reseller activities. We are the only 100% Quebec operator with a data center in Quebec and another in Montreal,” says Stéphane Garneau.

And near- and mid-term growth promises to be strong as the Quebec government, public entities and large corporations commit to shifting their IT support to cloud computing rather than continuing to self-manage their own data centers.

“Faced with labor shortages, companies and public institutions are looking to outsource services and re-enter corporate jobs to better achieve their digital transformation,” observes the Micro Logic CEO.

Originally, Quebec wanted to find Quebec-based suppliers, but agreed to do business with cloud computing companies that only resold solutions from Google or Amazon.

“It was a bit like Le Panier bleu. However, two years ago, Quebec decided to do business with Quebec companies that offered their own solutions. Since 2020, we have been able to play at eye level with the five big American names in cloud computing,” says Stéphane Garneau.

growth ambitions

In the last four years, Project Cirrus has expanded its scope. The company offers not only data backup and computer support, but also managed services, security, virtualization, it offers recovery plans and virtual workstations.

“We have two data centers in Montreal and Quebec and plan to expand into Ontario and British Columbia. We are already starting to bid on tenders,” explains the entrepreneur.


PHOTO PHILIPPE BOIVIN, THE PRESS

Stephane Garneau, CEO of Micro Logic

On the corporate side, there are still 85% of companies that have not yet migrated to cloud computing, and it is expected that 85% of them will within five years. We will continue to sell equipment to the remaining companies for their own servers.

Stephane Garneau, CEO of Micro Logic

Micro Logic has signed an agreement with Dell that allows it to resell its servers in its data centers for its own customers at the same discounts as the multinational would sell them itself.

“The cloud computing market is $10 billion per year for the Canadian market. The big American players hold 70% of this market, leaving 30% for local players like us. We are already the third largest provider of cloud computing services to the government of Quebec,” emphasizes Stéphane Garneau.

So far, Micro Logic has funded all of its development from its own resources, but the strong growth expected over the next few years will force it to resort to external funding.

“We will close a first round of 150 million very soon without diluting our holdings. We are planning a later round in which we could water things down a bit,” anticipates the CEO.

In particular, the funds will go towards purchasing new servers to support demand and hiring new employees.

Micro Logic has 320 employees and plans to hire an additional 700 over the next five years to support its development.

The company is not ruling out acquisition opportunities to accelerate its establishment in new markets elsewhere in Canada and even in the Northeastern United States.

“Data sovereignty is important, it has to stay in Quebec. In the event of a computer attack, organizations must have a third vault to hold their data and allow them to resume operations once the threat has been removed. We offer them this protection,” recalls Stéphane Garneau.

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