ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2020 - 19

spotlight

In late June of 2020, after a joint venture between real estate software company Altus Group Limited and professional
services firm WSP Global Inc., GeoVerra opened for business.
Stepping out of the gate as one of Canada's largest geomatics firms, the company has offices spread across 28 cities
and towns throughout Western Canada and Ontario. This
merger was made when both companies pooled their considerable geomatics resources to create a united end result.
John Nielsen is the CEO of this newly combined geomatics
company. He says that over the years, both Altus and WSP
had gained acquisitions in the geomatics field. Given that
each of these parent companies had a focus of their own,
different from a geomatics firm, it was decided to create an
organization that could stand alone with a geomatics core.

and steering committee faced with some tough questions. Ultimately, the team behind GeoVerra decided to push through
with the launch. Nielsen says this decision led to a few discoveries about opening a business during a hectic time.
"In a way, it helped us focus our attention on getting the job
done," he explains. "The distractions, and maybe some of
the inefficiencies of trying to get together across the country and meet with different people, that all kind of went away.
And I think we got more efficient in terms of the actions that
we needed to take in order to set up this business."
Part of a success in starting up a firm comes from having
the right people. Nielsen points to certified engineering
technologists as reliable choices for filling up the organization's ranks.

"Both Altus and WSP are pure service companies, and while
the geomatics business [is] also service-focused," Nielsen
says, "it's also fairly capital-intensive, meaning we spend a
lot of money on equipment and trucks and software, which
the other service companies don't, so it's a different business model."

"We hire C.E.T.s regularly, so that program and the Alberta
program that we've got on the survey side is good," he says.
"It's something that we draw out of, and not every province
has got as good a program as what we've seen in Alberta."

As a result of this difference, Altus and WSP started to look
into the feasibility of a divestiture of their geomatics divisions,
by examining how much potential a new company could have.

"If you've got that good base, and you've been out there as
a surveyor, or you've been working as a designer, and then
you bring that experience as a project manager, you know
what needs to get done in order to deliver projects, and that
makes you a better project manager," he says.

"Once they got together, they could see that if they joined
forces, it would be a very significant geomatics business in
Canada," Nielsen says.
"It was substantial [and] could be an industry influencer. It
was this that helped them make the decision to say, 'Yeah,
let's do it. Let's create something that's unique and something that's going to have an actual impact on the market.' "
Given the company's pre-established track record in surveying and geomatics, it already has its fingers in several
pies. Forestry, transportation, infrastructure and geospatial
imaging are a few of these sectors, not to mention Alberta's
biggest industry - oil and gas.
"Our Alberta regional team is focused heavily in the oil and
gas industry. In oil and gas, we're involved in upstream operations, which is the drilling part of the business," Nielsen
says. He adds that the company is involved in the pipeline,
integrity, infrastructure, power and the industrial sectors in
Alberta's heartland as well.
Despite the power of an amalgamation between organizations, the chaotic state of 2020 had left the executive team

On the value of C.E.T.s to GeoVerra,
Nielsen points to their broader
level of experience when taking
on a position. The educational
background of C.E.T.s helps them
not just to quickly grasp concepts,
but also sets them up well for
project management.
In the months since it officially launched, GeoVerra has continued the work of the geomatics groups from which it was
created, and Nielsen has noted that this merger has made
for an even stronger organization.
"Both companies were good pre-acquisition or pre-divestiture, but we've seen so many positives already that it's
clear that we're going be an even better company together
coming out of this," he says.

TECHNOLOGY ALBERTA | FALL 2020 | 19



ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2020

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ASET Technology Alberta Fall 2020 - Cover3
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_dec2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/aset55anniversary
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2015
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com