Small fish in a big tech ocean or how a small software company achieves success.

About company success from the Owner and CEO of 14 Oranges – Sylvain Marcotte / 10 minutes read

Sylvain Marcotte


Quick overview:

Birthplace: Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada

Family status: Married, has 3 daughters.

Education: B.A.Sc.Electrical Engineering, UBC.

Prior to 14 Oranges: Vice President in CounterPath Corporation managing the application development and support. Overall Sylvain has over 20 years of software development and engineering experience.

Favorite place to travel: Italy, Spain, California.

Favorite meal: Jambalaya, Poutine

Hobby: soccer, ice hockey, and skiing.


Sylvain, your company has been operating for 10 years already and you have reached impressive result but before 14 Oranges, it seems like you were pretty successful in your previous companies. Why did you decide to change your professional life?


Well, we need to take a few steps back even before I started my first job.
When I graduated from university, I had the desire to start my own company but felt I was too “green” for it so I decided it would be best to gain some experience first.
I worked for a few “startup” companies and participated in interesting projects that gave me the necessary experience I required to start a business. But yes, at some point when you have reached a top-level position it is much harder to quit and start from scratch. But anyway, the decision of having my own business was made a long time before it was just postponed. So yes it took a while but one day on my drive to work, I knew it was the right time and started it that day.


Why 14 Oranges?


As you might have guessed, we get that question a lot. Come with me and I will give you the story. Don’t worry, it is nothing too crazy.


Sylvain Marcotte 14 Oranges


The world is experiencing a digital boost so it is obvious that the software industry is growing in general but why did you choose your current focus – mobile apps development?


Firstly, as I mentioned I have education and experience in this area that ensured the company could achieve success. Secondly, the mobile industry has been exploding since 2008 and that are no signs of it slowing down, so it means that the demand for mobile applications is still strong. We expect to have ubiquitous access to 5G in Canada in a couple of years which only strengthen that trend further. For example, at the moment, most people spend about 5-7 hours daily on smartphones and with 5G, that number can only go up.
Additionally, we help organizations like associations, unions, cities and governments, and other public institutions to increase their presence in this digital world because in the future – mobile applications could remain the one and only source of engagement between organizations and people.


So it seems you are in a trending industry and you have the growing market?


Yes, but with a growing market, the competition is growing as well. That’s the challenge that we need to deal with.


How do you plan to compete then?


It is simple. You need to provide value to your customers and listen to their needs and make sure your services and solutions cater to their needs.


Sylvain Marcotte CEO 14 Oranges


Does this approach explains the company success? You have received a number of awards and this year 14 Oranges has been ranked once again as one of the Top App Development Companies* in Canada.


Success is always a combination of different factors. I would say, that for us the fundamental factor making sure our solutions can help them solve their business problems. We are not a supermarket of mobile apps. We focus on the organization or business pains and challenges and try to understand them as best we can to ensure our solutions deliver as expected.
So that’s why, for example, we offer a free demo of the mobile app to our potential customers. So the company can test it with their own customized options, modules, branded icons, and styles. And during this demo customer can test the benefits of its own mobile app even before signing a contract.
We start with a simple phone call where we evaluate your needs and make sure we are a good fit. We have actually turned down business on many occasions as we felt our services were not a good fit and would result in our customers to not be fully happy. If we see a fit, we usually proceed to further discovery to make sure we fully understand their needs and also to make sure they fully understand what we can and cannot offer. In many cases, with our Info Grove solution, we can meet their needs right away and can offer a free demo which would closely resemble the app that they would get in the end.


Does this mean that a customer gets a free demo version of its own mobile app?


Yes, exactly. And this is one of our advantages.


But this is time-consuming, isn’t it? Is it effective from the business point?

In this case yes, because we have our own solution – Info Grove. It is a software platform for mobile application development and content management. It is a friendly CMS designed for non-tech savvy people such as communication managers allowing them to create a full-featured mobile app quickly and easily.

How did you come up with the idea to develop your own platform?

Remember, I was talking about listening to the needs of our customers? One thing we heard time and time again was that full custom applications were too expensive and took too long to get to market. They just want something to solve their needs without having to break the bank and without any hassles on managing the system because usually, the people who deal with the app day-to-day are not IT people. That’s one reason. The other is simple: any system should work for people to simplify their life, not vice versa. So, that’s why we created our own CMS for mobile applications. It doesn’t mean that we are focused only on the Info Grove. We can develop any customized mobile app as long as it better solves their needs but in many cases, Info Grove is the right solution to solve the needs of our customers.


Sylvain Marcotte CEO 14 Oranges


According to your website profile, you can develop websites as well?

Yes, absolutely. We acquired a web development company in 2014 and have all the expertise and proven experience to deal with any complexity of websites. We have an internal team of web developers so we can manage and control the entire process. We do not outsource any of our work even though we get countless emails and phone calls from companies in India offering their outsourcing services. We value face to face meetings to again ensure our customers are served in the best possible way.


Talking about your internal team, and employees, what are the principles for you of hiring people?

We have a small team and every person is valuable. So I put personal attention when hiring people. I consider education and professional background, probably as would any other company, but most of all I pay attention to personal potential, the ability to make a valuable contribution to the company, and at the same time their ability and desire to learn, develop themselves because by neglecting your personal development, you cannot be flexible and adapt to the ever-changing environment.


How do you stimulate the development of your employees?

First of all, I give a “room” for this. And it’s not because they are allowed to work from home (laughing).
Because I give them an opportunity to come up with their own solutions, ideas, and if it is something reasonable I usually support it. Having an idea it is only a small part, but when you implement it, you consequently develop yourself and as a result of, the company as well.


Where do you get the inspiration?

My inspiration is my family. I spend a lot of time with my daughters and though they are grown up enough but still require a lot of attention. And in return, I get a lot of energy from them.


* according to Clutch Leaders Matrix.

“Working from work” day @ 14 Oranges

14 Oranges team

Starting from the title you may have the impression that we put the wrong word “work” instead of “home”, but it’s not a mistake. Once per month all employees at 14 Oranges come to the office to spend a working day in the office.

Everyone knows that it is a general practice for the IT industry that software companies usually have a friendly or flexible schedule for the employees and allow different options to manage their own schedule like flexible working hours.

14 Oranges goes further and turns this upside down. So, according to company rules employees usually work from home and once per month visit the office. So that’s why we call it “working from work” day.

Company management approach, software development specifics, as well as unified communication capabilities allow us to have this tactic and operate the company without impacting the quality and the efficiency of the team. On the contrary, people are more productive, engage more, and assume more responsibility for their tasks and the company success in general.

As expected, employees are always welcome to work from the office any time they want so naturally if someone requires the office space for a meeting or other work-related scenarios, he or she can come by at their own schedule.

“Working from work” day is usually full of meetings, discussions, sharing experiences and news. Moreover, we are all welcomed to share lunch and spend some time informally.

It is also a good opportunity for a few photos of our team.

14 Oranges team 14 Oranges team 14 Oranges team

14 Oranges Joins Wavefront’s Trusted Partner Network to Drive Digital Transformation


Wavefront and 14 Oranges partner to jointly deliver innovative mobile app solutions to enterprises looking to digitally transform.



VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wavefront Innovation Society (“Wavefront”), a Centre of Excellence headquartered in Vancouver, BC, announced today a new partnership with 14 Oranges Software Inc. (“14 Oranges”), a premier mobile application development company. 14 Oranges is the latest addition to Wavefront’s trusted partner network, a group of companies dedicated to driving mobile and IoT innovation in Canada.

Wavefront and 14 Oranges will collaborate to deliver mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions into large enterprises. With complementary expertise and resources, the companies are jointly positioned to drive digital transformation across Canada through thought leadership and innovative solutions.

Wavefront works with mobile and IoT companies at all stages of their lifecycle and across multiple industry sectors to launch new business models, change organizational processes and enhance enterprise customers’ experiences. As an innovation intermediary, Wavefront helps large enterprises digitally transform their business by connecting them to innovative Canadian startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

With extensive experience in product and mobile app development, 14 Oranges brings tremendous value to the Wavefront trusted partner network. Founded in 2009, the company serves a range of organizations including government, retail, entertainment and telecom clients. 14 Oranges has been a member of the Wavefront community for many years, participating in Wavefront’s Accelerator programs in the past to grow their business.

“Wavefront chose to work with 14 Oranges for their expertise in product and mobile app development,” says Christian Magsisi, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions with Wavefront. “We are thrilled to have their team support the delivery of mobile solutions into large enterprises who are looking to increase their digital capacity.”

“We are excited to partner with Wavefront to offer our services to organizations across North America. Since joining the Wavefront Entrepreneurship program in 2011, our company has benefited greatly from the mentorship, resources and connections provided by Wavefront and we couldn’t be prouder to now become a trusted partner,” says Sylvain Marcotte, CEO of 14 Oranges.

Wavefront is actively looking to expand the trusted partner network by onboarding Canadian SMEs to jointly deliver mobile and IoT solutions into large enterprise. By partnering with companies who have graduated from Wavefront’s Accelerator and Global Market Entry Programs, Wavefront continues to strengthen Canada’s innovation ecosystem.

About Wavefront

Wavefront is Canada’s leader in transforming business through mobile and IoT innovation. We are a centre for commercialization for companies in the wireless and IoT technologies space. Our vision is to build a globally relevant, nationally connected ecosystem that delivers digital capacity, competitiveness and prosperity for Canadians.

About 14 Oranges

Located in Vancouver, 14 Oranges works with the philosophy of serving our customers by understanding both your business problem and mobile application needs, delivering a complete mobile solution.

For more information, contact:
Elise Asanias, Content Manager, Wavefront
(778) 331-7485

14 Oranges Ranked as Western Canada’s #1 App Development Company

Top MOBILE APP Developers in Canada in 2018

2017 was a big year for the team at 14 Oranges Software. We are delighted to announce that has listed us as the #1 mobile app development company in Western Canada! Also, 14 Oranges was ranked as the top app development company in Vancouver and #3 in all of Canada. Largely due to the success of our new Info Grove mobile app service, 14 Oranges saw substantial growth over the last year. To date, 14 Oranges has released over 15 mobile apps with Info Grove (with many more in the pipeline for the coming months). Info Grove makes mobile apps easier for governments, associations, and businesses by allowing them to reach their target audience with a mobile-first approach.


Top App Development Companies in Canada

Clutch reviewed mobile app development companies on the following criteria:

  1. Public reviews: 14 Oranges received 19/20

  2. Clients and experience: 14 Oranges received 8.6/10

  3. Market presence: 14 Oranges received 9.2/10


To review the complete leaders matrix for Canada, visit the link here.

To review the complete leaders matrix for Vancouver, visit the link here.

To view the full press release by Clutch, click the link here.

Mobile App Launches in 2017



Other Apps


Looking to hire new grads? Put your focus on student-athletes.

Kevin Wiens #3

When compared to my colleagues at 14 Oranges, it is safe to say that I stand out of the pack, and that had turned out to be a good thing. I have spent the last 10 years of my life dedicated to the game of football. It was my passion throughout high school and well into my time at UBC. I was fortunate enough to play for the UBC Thunderbirds (#3) for 4 seasons, while also winning the Canadian college football national championship in 2015. Largely from my performance in that game, I was selected to participate in the 2016 CIS East-West All-Star game that showcased the top talent in Canada for the CFL draft. As you can probably tell by now, I’m not in the CFL … I’m an inside sales rep at 14 Oranges, and this shows how student-athletes have a winning advantage.



When I first spoke with John Craig, our VP of sales and marketing, he informed me during the interview process that he wanted someone with the work ethic of a football player. This is exactly where my athletic experience would translate into the professional world. During the 2015 season for UBC, I experienced countless ups and downs. In week one, I played the best game of my career after intercepting Laval’s quarterback two times. The following week I experienced an all time low, when I was benched for the entire second half after getting beat on a deep route. What football taught me is that you cannot quit when the going gets tough. Fast forward 2 months and I’m starting at defensive back for UBC in front of 13,000 fans in Quebec City playing for the national championship. It’s the memories like these drive my performance and motivation. College athletes develop a work ethic that is hard to find, they learn how to work together as a team, and know that quitting is never the answer. That is the experience I bring to 14 Oranges.


Although it was well established that I would not need a tech background to perform my job, I cannot help but feel out of place. I have never coded, nor developed a software of any type. One of my colleagues, Manu, likes to joke around with me where he will let me press buttons so I feel like I completed a code for his projects. During company meetings where we discuss application development, I sometimes sit wondering what language they are speaking. But all of this is okay, for what I bring to the table is a national championship mindset. With my experience, I continue to work every day to bring clients to my colleagues to develop a top-notch mobile app. Every week I make strides to improve my sales performance and am always seeking to learn more about the tech world. Our team at 14 Oranges is just like a football team, we are all highly specialized each with our own unique skill set. We have the marketing experts, web experts, app experts, and so on. We also share the same values as a football team, which is the desire to win. Everyone here wants to see the company continue to grow into North America’s leading mobile app provider – and that’s a champion mindset I can relate to!

New City of Richmond Mobile App Will Enhance Building Inspection Efficiency

City of Richmond Building Inspector Using Metro Grove App

The City of Richmond, British Columbia, launches Metro Grove, 14 Oranges’ mobile-first app service for managing field workers. Part of Richmond’s innovative Digital Strategy, the app will drive increased inspection efficiency making for a more business friendly and smarter city.

PRWeb: Richmond, B.C., March 9, 2017

The City of Richmond has launched a new mobile app to increase the efficiency of its building inspectors. The mobile application, based on the Metro Grove Mobile Workforce Management Service provided by Richmond-based 14 Oranges, allows inspectors to perform and file an inspection from their smartphone instead of the current mixture of paper and interactive voice response (IVR) based systems.

The new app is part of a broad initiative rooted in Richmond’s innovative Digital Strategy, which was approved by City Council in 2015. The goal of the strategy is to integrate the Cities’ systems using a middleware approach, dubbed the Digital Nervous Ecosystem and enhance customer service and improve efficiency through the use of new digital technology. This application is one of a part of a series of initiatives that will help improve the way the City of Richmond meets the needs of the public and businesses operating in the City.

Metro Grove Inspection App

The app provides a simple, straightforward way for Richmond’s building inspectors to view their respective inspection task list for the day on their smartphone of choice and input, post, and synchronize their results and comments to the existing inspection management system. This app simplifies the current approach of handwriting inspection results in the field that in-office clerks input later or navigating IVR trees to feed the information back into the City.

“Contractors and trades will be able to get almost instantaneous feedback of the inspection results and remediate any reported deficiencies sooner,” said Malcolm Brodie, the Mayor of the City of Richmond, “Overall, this enhances the customer experience and satisfaction, demonstrating that Richmond is a business-friendly city.”

The smartphone technology, developed against the 14 Oranges ( Metro Grove Mobile Workforce Management Service, delivers a persistent and stable connection to the legacy backend systems for data retrieval and updates enabled by Richmond’s Information Technology Department. As well, the mobile platform provides easy and uncluttered navigation between screens. This enables the inspectors to complete their assignments quickly and efficiently.

About the City of Richmond
The City of Richmond is BC’s fourth largest municipality with a vision “to be the most appealing, livable and well-managed community in Canada.” An Official Venue City of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Richmond is internationally acclaimed for its cultural diversity, healthy lifestyles, and natural environment. Home for Vancouver International Airport, deep sea port facilities, and the Canada Line, Richmond is a global centre for transportation, trade and distribution. The City of Richmond has received numerous provincial, national and international accolades for innovation and excellence in service delivery and local government administration.

Media Contact: Ted Townsend
Director, Corporate Communications and Marketing, City of Richmond
Tel: 604-276-4399, Cell: 604-516-9585
Email: TTownsend(at)richmond(dot)ca

About 14 Oranges
14 Oranges is a leading provider of turnkey mobile application services to support the efficient management of mobile workforces. Headquartered in Richmond, BC with offices in Ottawa and Halifax, 14 Oranges sells its services to government agencies and medium to large enterprises who are dependent on mobile workforces. 14 Oranges’ mobile application services brings a mobile-first design approach, allowing mobile workers to use their own smartphones to stay on-task, minimize drive time and increase valid data capture. Managers realize an immediate ROI both in terms of worker efficiency and the ability to manage more workers from a single interface.

Cabo Transfers Deploys New Mobile-First Website In Its Unending Commitment to Serving Its Customers and Travel Partners

Cabo Transfers Mobile Web

Cabo Transfers today announced the release of its revised website to simplify booking and paying for private and group transfers from the San Jose de Cabo (SJD) airport to any of the resorts in the surrounding area. The new website, developed by 14 Oranges, allows customers and partners to book their premium services from a website or smartphone on the go.

PRWeb: Feb 28, 2017, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo Transfers, the premiere, private, full concierge transfer and excursion service for visitors to Cabo San Lucas and the surrounding area, today announced the launch of their new website supporting both standard web and mobile browsers. The website allows visitors and partners to easily book and pay for a comfortable and luxurious transfer from the airport to their preferred Cabo San Lucas vacation destination.

Cabo Transfers Web View

In addition to airport transfer services, Cabo Transfers also offers roundtrip private driver services for dinners, trips to the grocery store and excursions to noted local attractions such as Hotel California, the Palmilla Golf Club or Cabo Dolphin Encounters. With more travellers booking their accommodations through services such as Airbnb and VRBO, grocery store trips have become increasingly popular.

The website is designed to simplify quoting, booking and confirmation and provides an integrated payment system for their fleet of vehicles ranging from a Ford Expedition up to a full-sized motor coaches to accommodate any sized group.

One of the more innovative services supported by the website is Cabo Transfers’ new partner booking portal, allowing travel agents, wedding planners and hotel partners to easily book transfer services on behalf of their clients. As a member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) this service fits tightly into the mission of shared knowledge and access to services between member organizations. The portal will be launched in the 2nd quarter of 2017.

“Our new website shows our commitment to our customers and partners as the safest and most trusted private hired car service serving Cabo San Lucas,” said Mark Diesvelt, the Online Systems Manager at Cabo Transfers, “14 Oranges has delivered an exceptional user website experience in line with this goal, helping us to service our stakeholders on the web or on the smartphone platform of their choice.”

14 Oranges is a leading provider of web and mobile services supporting on-demand services and the uberfication of everything. Supporting web and mobile solutions for the tourism, government and enterprise markets, our customers trust us with their most critical revenue generating and operations management systems.

About Cabo Transfers
At Cabo Transfers, we strive to provide the most elite transportation service in the Los Cabos area. It starts with our luxurious and comfortable vehicles. It continues with our high level of transportation service with our staff. Finally, our competitive rates will showcase why we are able to exceed our guest’s expectations. Cabo Transfers will keep you from worrying about your transportation needs any time you travel to beautiful, sunny Los Cabos. Cabo Transfers is a long standing member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) and the only transportation company in Los Cabos with NLA (National Limousine Association) accreditation.

Contact: Mark Diesvelt, mark(AT)

About 14 Oranges
14 Oranges, is a leading provider of turnkey web and mobile application services to support our customer’s key requirement for simple end user engagement and efficient operational management. Headquartered in Richmond, BC with offices in Ottawa and Halifax, 14 Oranges sells its services to governments, retail organizations and enterprises. 14 Oranges’ web and mobile application services brings a mobile-first design approach, enabling our customers’ end users to connect with their organization on-the-go, while they in turn manage their organization from their smartphone. Managers realize an immediate return on investment (ROI) from increased end user engagement and an increase in their organization’s productivity.