VivaScoop - October 2023
Welcome to VivaScoop, your monthly rundown on everything Vivacity Technologies.
One of the biggest joys for me at Vivacity is developing and building the VivaTeam. There's no small amount of uncertainty in what we do, but the team always hunkers down to get things done. That's why for our monthly reflection on Vivacity we're sharing some short inserts from the awesome team covering the annual Vivacity strategy session, our attendance at MISA BC, some of the IT assessment work being completed, as well as our recent acceptance to Creative Destruction Lab.
So here from the source, VivaScoop October.
Vivacity's Annual Strategy Session by Rhythm Chauhan
Vivacity Technologies held its second annual strategy meeting on October 13th and I, being a Co-Op Technical Analyst at the company, got the privilege to not only be a part of it but also direct the strategy for the year 2024. In my opinion, this meeting was what you would expect, and more, from a forward-thinking and laser focused tech startup.
After a round of introductions, the first thing that we did was to set our expectations for the day. This first step made me feel significant in the team - a feeling that was strengthened even more in the hours that followed. Our CEO, George Emery walked us through the preceding year and reviewed the company’s performance, a highlight of which was the catalog of our achievements so far. It was unanimously agreed that we, as a team of just 8, had managed to do numerous things in very little time. What impressed me the most, however, was how open we are with our financial numbers at Vivacity as George shared the metrics and also talked about how he wants Vivacity to give back to the community.
Stefano Stamato then undertook a presentation on the Vivacity product roadmap for the coming year. It was obvious that Vivacity has a lot more to accomplish but the constant effort to focus on our main goals and maintain a positive attitude while tackling reality is what made all these things feel achievable. Sometime during the day, employee engagement and feedback was mentioned and the team was quick to make that a part of the yearly strategy.
At the end of the day I was confident in the organization’s prospects and credited that to the exceptional VivaTeam.
Creative Destruction Lab Session #1 by Stefano Stamato
If you keep up with us on LinkedIn, you probably heard that we were accepted to the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) cohort under the Compute stream, in Vancouver. This highly competitive program accelerates Canadian startups, providing invaluable mentorship and connections with other founders, advisors, and investors. In late October, we attended the first session of the program. When I say it’s highly competitive, I mean it - it’s almost like an X-factor, where at least one mentor must raise their hand in support of our venture. If no hands are raised for a company, they are cut from the program. No pressure, eh?
As a perfectionist, I was terrified to participate in this session. I did push for us to apply, but I half-expected us to not get in. Classic imposter syndrome. “We are not good enough”, “I’ll probably butcher our pitch” - these were thoughts I had leading up to the session. And I’m very happy to report I was wrong! The value we saw from spending half a day in front of some of Canada’s brightest and most innovative minds was immeasurable. It’s never easy to stand in front of dozens of big heads and have tough questions asked and holes poked on our product and strategy, but I’m really glad we stuck with it - we’re better for it.
Ultimately, I believe we “won” CDL, if such a thing even exists. We received really valuable feedback from the program’s mentors, made some awesome connections with other startups moving quickly and breaking stuff in BC, and secured 3 hand raises - meaning we’ll be back for session 2 in late January! A huge shoutout to our mentors Edoardo De Martin, Peter Lukomskyj, and Brian Clare. Thank you for believing in the Viva Team - we’re super excited to work with and learn from you over the coming months!
A First Timer to the MISA BC Conference by Cassandra Roberge
At the beginning of October, some of the VivaTeam attended the MISA BC fall conference, most of us for the first time. As a first timer myself, I thought I knew what to expect, especially going into the conference as our event planner. While I had prepared us as a company for the conference, I had not known what to expect from a guest perspective. I found I was very pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
It is one thing to read about an event or a talk, and a completely different thing to experience it. As someone not historically based in tech, I will admit I expected much of the week to be a little on the dry side material wise. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to realize that I wasn’t in a room with people who are based in tech, I was in the room with visionaries and innovators who use tech to move forward communities and working environments for everyone. I learned more than I expected to, got more engrossed in many of the keynotes and panels than I thought I would, and met a lot of really interesting and inspiring people.
What I really didn’t expect, however, was how much I enjoyed talking with all the other attendees, networking, and sharing with others the things that we at Vivacity do, and in turn learning more about the field that we find ourselves in. All in all, I would highly recommend attending this conference for anyone in the municipal IT space. A lot of people are doing really neat things, and it was enlightening to see all the ways people are using technology to improve our day-to-day lives.
Getting Hands Deep with IT Assessments by Farzin Rahman
IT Assessments stand as one of Vivacity Technologies' most sought-after services. The execution of an IT Assessment is a meticulous process, demanding very keen attention to detail, technical expertise, and of course, excellent project management skills to ensure the best outcomes for our clients. Leading such a sensitive project can truly bring out the finest qualities in individuals who have a passion for technology.
When taking the helm of these projects, the team must emphasize the careful identification of client-side stakeholders. The process, from identifying to interviewing these stakeholders, poses significant challenges from both a timing and management perspective. Every piece of information shared by the stakeholders is invaluable, and meticulous documentation is essential, as even the slightest oversight could result in substantial gaps in identifying IT issues. Once all the necessary information is at our grasp, the analysis process begins. We delve deep into the data, pinpointing major gaps and benchmarking them against industry best practices.
As a newcomer to leading these projects, I can attest to the crucial role of project management skills in the corporate world. These skills undoubtedly develop and refine with experience over time. Simultaneously, I had to be prepared for a wide range of information presented to me, as a single, critical piece of information from the stakeholders could potentially reveal significant IT risks of which the clients are unaware. Having successfully recently completed an IT assessment for Saulteau First Nations, we are now undertaking similar assessments for Fulford Certification and Top 40 Woodworks. Through these firsthand experiences, I can confidently claim that no two companies are alike, and consequently, no two IT assessments are identical.
Thank you so much for tuning in and don't hesitate to reach out to the Viva team with any thoughts or questions.
Vivacity Technologies Ltd., Fraser St., Kamloops, British Columbia