Whitehill a fading star? Hardly…


Yesterday, an article was posted in the Telegraph Journal about Whitehill Technologies entitled Moncton Tech Star Fading. This article presented the legacy of the Whitehill story in a somewhat negative light, more so than I think is appropriate (NOTE: I had nothing at all to do with the article – no one from the paper spoke to me). This article has also led to some fairly rancorous response by other former Whitehill executives.

First off, nothing was said by any former Whitehill employee I know “biting the hand that fed us”. Comments regarding the staffing levels at the former Whitehill office are simply a statement of fact. As opposed to the blog post referenced above, no comments made in the article involved personal or professional attacks towards any individual or organization related to Whitehill Technologies or its subsequent owners.  

Secondly, I think the article itself somewhat misses the point in regards tothe Whitehill legacy. Did things change in the Moncton office after the acquisition by Skywire? Of course they did. Were there more changes after the Oracle acquisition? I would assume so – though I have no visibility into the organization now. The fact is, change is constant in this business. Companies evolve. They are acquired. The economy goes up and down (and hopefully back up).

What has happened at Whitehill, both during the time I was there and since, is just part of the natural lifecycle of a technology startup.  

The Whitehill experience, shared by all of us who poured a lot of our lives into it for the better part of a decade, grew a pool of extremely talented, dedicated people into a pool of potential entrepreneurs and business leaders. After the Whitehill years, many or these people have gone on to start other businesses,   adding to the long term value brought the region by a startup such as Whitehill. The legacy extends far beyond Whitehill itself.

That is how you build a thriving, growing private sector – people start companies, grow them, take them as far as they can, and then they move on and do it again!

PS – the people I have worked with at Whitehill (including those who are still in the Moncton office) are as good a group as I have ever worked with.

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About

I have been working in the world of technology for 25-odd years. I am an entrepreneur and consultant, focused on software solutions, social networking, and innovation processes. Currently, I am a Principal Consultant with T4G Limited, specializing in Portal Technologies (including SharePoint), software/systems development, service oriented architectures, and many other things which I will probably not remember until I need to use them. Prior to that, I was VP of Technology at Whitehill Technologies, Inc., where I spent almost 9 years helping to grow the company from a start-up to one of the most successful private software companies in Canada. Prior to that I worked on internet conferencing using early VoIP, and on large military communications projects. Before even that, I worked in satellite control, and remote sensing. Going way back to university, my focus was on theoretical physics and astrophysics. Currently my interests revolve around most aspects of software development, from technologies to management, and in the area of defining sustainable, repeatable processes for innovation within technology organizations. I also have a particular interest in Tablet PC technologies – I have been using one for several years, and I love it. On the personal side, I still have a strong interest in all aspects of science, especially physical sciences, as well as philosophy and comparative religion. In addition, I am into music, playing guitar (badly, I am sorry to say), and reading almost anything I can lay my hands on. I am also a member of the IEEE/IEEE Computer Society, and of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Posted in Whitehill Technologies
4 comments on “Whitehill a fading star? Hardly…
  1. Don says:

    I am curious where I can go to get support for whitehill? Does Oracle support white hill now? Is there a new version of the software available?

    Any information is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  2. Chris Smith says:

    Well said Fred. Many people lament the “good old days” after their company grows in size and more formality and control are introduced. As you point out, it’s the natural life cycle of a successful company. You can’t go back in the same company…only by going to another young company at an earlier stage in its cycle. M&As are another potential part of the life cycle… things change… whether you prefer the changes is up to you and what you’re looking for at that moment.If nothing else, going through these life cycle changes teaches you a lot… and this will hopefully spawn some new small companies in Moncton.

    Chris

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Please keep in mind that any opinions, points-of-view, comments, or other content which I post to this site are mine and mine alone. They in no way reflect the views of my employer, my country, my dog, my cat, or anyone else you can think of. To paraphrase Monty Python, "That is the theory that I have and which is mine, and what it is, too."

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