Halifax’s SimplyCast, which sells a platform for companies to consolidate and automate their marketing efforts and communications, is expanding its Canadian server group in response to growing demand.

Chief executive Saeed El-Darahali said in an interview Tuesday that the increasing proliferation of data localization laws, which require businesses to store information in the same country where it is collected, has driven interest among SimplyCast’s customers.

About two-thirds of the company’s server capacity is currently located in the United States, with another third of its capacity in Canada. With the addition of the new servers, SimplyCast’s capacity will be split about evenly between the two countries. Later this year, El-Darahali said, his team plans to add server groups in Europe and Asia.

“We’ve seen an increase in Canadian clients coming to us,” he said. “So with all of these customers coming on board, we wanted to make sure that we have extra capacity available. 

“The other thing we’re seeing happening is  . . . (that storing data in the U.S.) is starting to cost more money for Canadian companies, and they want to bring that back, to put it in Canada.”

Founded by El-Darahali in 2009, SimplyCast’s technology helps its customers automate tasks ranging from sending text message alerts, to tracking how visitors interact with a website, to generating and managing online forms.

Today, the business has clients in 150 countries, with revenue that grew by about 35 percent last year and is on track to increase by a larger amount this year. Its clients are in sectors as diverse as construction, government and utilities. On the East Coast, SimplyCast has worked with Dalhousie University, the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia and Credit Union Atlantic, among others.

“Customers are looking to consolidate their communication, engagement, marketing and emergency response in a single platform,” El-Darahali said. “That brings them into a much better cost structure compared to having six or seven solutions.”

The company last raised money in 2012, and he added that he does not foresee another raise in the company’s future. But he does foresee hiring.

Specifically, the SimplyCast team currently numbers about 40, and El-Darahali plans to add another five staff in the coming months.

That process will likely be made easier by what he characterized as a glut of high-quality talent entering the job market following widespread layoffs in the technology sector. During the COVID-19 pandemic, SimplyCast received an average of a resume or two per day. A year ago, that number had risen to between two and five. And in the less than three weeks since it posted a trio of new job openings, the company has received 1,600 applications, or an average of more than 70 per day.

The list of large technology sector employers that have recently laid off workers in Canada is long, including video game technology giant Unity, hardware-maker Dell and numerous Toronto startups with prior eight-figure capital raises. Most significant for SimplyCast, though, have been layoffs at companies including Bell and Rogers that employ coders with specialist skills, such as working with the legacy programming languages often still used in contexts like communications infrastructure and finance.

"I've never seen (the labour market) this bad in the 25 years I've been in business," said El-Darahali, who is also the chairman of the Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia.

"Everybody's applying with really, really strong technical skills, and applying for junior positions, which is not a good sign."