Entrepreneur Stories · Friday, February 17, 2017

Devolutions: When a computer whiz becomes an entrepreneur

David Hervieux’s Story

In February 2016, David Hervieux was nominated as CEO of the year by Investment Quebec. A well deserved title for this former IT technician who founded Devolutions, a company that currently supports more than 300,000 users throughout the world by securing and facilitating the use of communication technologies within their company. Let’s take a closer look into this inspiring journey. 

David Hervieux had been an IT developer for the last few years when he decided to become a consultant in 2004. "I wanted to give myself the opportunity to have more choices, to choose the level of the mandates, the clients. By putting myself first, I suddenly felt like I had a lot of freedom, "says the training programmer.

In parallel to his consulting work, David Hervieux continued to develop applications. "At first, I created excellent products, but nobody wanted them," says the guy who just kept on building himself a beautiful portfolio.

The defining moment, the one that was going to propel Devolutions to where it is today, happened in 2009. "One day an American gave me $150 for a product I had created, it enabled me to connect to my customers' computer remotely," says the president. The program was among the products presented in my online portfolio, and the American gave me the donation so he would be able to use it. That's when I realized that I just might have a product that had some potential."

It is also from this anecdote that David Hervieux learned his greatest lesson.


«As an entrepreneur, we are always searching for that miracle solution," he says. However, the solution is often in the small problems of everyday life. You have to listen to the market. When you create something that is too innovative, you're wasting your time explaining it, not selling it.»

-David Hervieux


TARGET A REAL NEED 

The product, which is now the cornerstone of Devolutions, is called Remote Desktop Manager. It is a program that makes it possible for a company to centralize all its remote connections, passwords and identifiers in the same platform that the users can share with other users in a secure way. 

"Basically, I take on the role of a gatekeeper who holds all the keys to enter the servers, routers, printers and other communication technologies that a business can have," says David Hervieux. Rather than giving the key (password) to the user, the gatekeeper (the program) opens the door directly to the user, increasing the security, productivity and performance of the organization, while reducing the risk for its IT department. To see the popularity and the ever-increasing demand for this product, I realize that it meets a real need that several companies have. A need that I myself had, by the way, when I was a consultant."

A unique business model Another factor that explains the company’s quick growth – which is now approaching sixty employees – is its sales model. Devolutions relies on an inbound marketing strategy to sell its products. This method involves attracting the attention of prospects by producing quality content on its site, so that it is highly identifiable by search engines and shared on social networks. This also means that rather than having sellers who approach customers, the products are sold directly online, and it is the customer who comes to them. "The main advantage of this business model is that there is no sales stress within the company," says David Hervieux. All employees are programmers serving our customers."

A strong presence on social networks and on specialized websites, the maintenance of a blog, a help forum and a newsletter also help to position the company as an expert in the management of long distance connections.

David Hervieux is not alone on the Devolutions adventure. He firmly believes that by surrounding himself with the best people, his company will have the strongest foundation. "My partner Stéfane Lavergne owns 10% of the company and last year I sold another 11% to a group of 8 shareholders. The reason I did it is simple: to secure my employee heritage. By consolidating the heritage and selling only a small part, it makes you feel more liberated on Monday morning at work."

When asked to describe the growth of his business, the entrepreneur answers without hesitation: "Like lightning! We haven’t stopped doubling our numbers and our products are now in 130 countries. "The future of Devolutions promises to be an exciting one, named twice as an outstanding employer by the Quebec Bureau of Standards and has customers such as HP, Nike, Rogers, Walt Disney, Adobe and Expedia.

DEVOLUTIONS IN NUMBERS

  • 55: The number of employees
  • 130: The number of countries using Devolutions products
  • 300 000: The number of users using their products 

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Visit the Devolutions website

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