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Q&A: Tech giant EPAM joins the Waterloo tech ecosystem

A true tech giant, EPAM Systems, is joining the Waterloo tech ecosystem. Find out what they're doing, why they're expanding and who they hope to hire.

Waterloo Region is no stranger to major multinational companies. We have homegrown examples like BlackBerry, OpenText and ATS Automation. We have foreign companies with major local operations like Google, SAP and Oracle NetSuite.

Now, we’re adding EPAM Systems to the fold.

EPAM is a true giant. They have 41,000+ employees, operate in 35+ countries and had $2.7 billion in revenue in 2020.

They work across just about every industry – automotive, manufacturing, software, retail, healthcare, insurance and more – offering innovative technological solutions to their customers’ toughest challenges. In the process of creating these solutions they work alongside some of the biggest brands in technology, including Microsoft, Google, SAP, Adobe and more.

EPAM is a company of problem solvers, which means they fit right in with Waterloo’s culture.

What are they planning to do in Waterloo? Why did they come here? We asked Ethan Matyas, the SVP, Head of North America Delivery, at EPAM Systems for a first-hand account.

Q: First, what does EPAM do? What type of work do you expect to do in Waterloo?

MATYAS: EPAM is a leading global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services. With engineering and innovation at our core, we use strategy, consulting and design to help our clients thrive in a market challenged by the pressures of digitization.

We work with global organizations across a range of verticals, including financial services, healthcare, business information services, media, entertainment and telecommunications.

Our clients turn to us for help with their most difficult technical challenges. This makes our work both interesting and rewarding. In Waterloo, we will focus on leading digital transformation for clients who want to expand technology capabilities and develop new business models.

Q: What attracted you to Waterloo? What brought us onto your radar?

MATYAS: Waterloo offers a leading-edge ecosystem for EPAM to expand its global footprint and partner with the thriving tech community and local, world-class universities.

Often described as “Canada’s Silicon Valley,” Waterloo is an attractive and affordable place to live. It provides a tight-knit development community for our team members in Toronto and internationally who may be looking to relocate. We’re excited to join the community, form new partnerships and contribute to growth in the region.

Waterloo: Inventing the Future

Q: You’ve covered our ecosystem, but I know you’re here for talent, too. What kind of roles are you hiring here in Waterloo? How many people are you looking to hire?

MATYAS: We are looking to hire as many people as possible! We would love to grow our new location to 100 people by the beginning of 2022 and 200 by the end of 2022.

IT professionals with an interest in helping clients become cloud-based organizations with innovative front-end experiences and cutting-edge backend infrastructures are encouraged to apply. We’re looking for software developers with experience in Java, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, Kotlin, Android or iOS.

We’re also hiring solution architects, delivery managers, business analysts, UX designers and more!

EPAM is growing at a tremendous pace and, as a result, we have many great opportunities. You can find a full list of available positions on our website.

Q: One really unique thing about EPAM’s Waterloo expansion is the focus on using Canada’s immigration programs to bring existing EPAM employees into Waterloo. We aren’t talking about one or two people, either – we’re talking about a few dozen. What prompted that approach? What sort of process to you follow to make that happen?

MATYAS: EPAM is encouraging a portion of its internal talent to relocate to Waterloo. To help our new location be successful, we need employees with specialized knowledge of EPAM proprietary tools, processes and technologies.

These team members will use their unmatched experience to quickly help address client needs and bring new talent up-to-speed on our unique methodologies.

Q: This expansion in Waterloo came together pretty quickly – our first contact was in November and less than six months later you’re ready to expand here. Can you tell us a little bit about the thought process behind expanding? Why expand? Did you expect to move so quickly?

MATYAS: We really liked what Waterloo offered—both as a community and because of the incredible talent pool. Many of our North American clients want to work with skilled Canadian talent.

At the same time, the pandemic provided a growth opportunity for EPAM to expand and meet client demand as digital transformation accelerated and created new challenges across nearly every industry. This location allows us to work more closely with existing clients and EPAM team members who are already in the area.

Q: How did Waterloo EDC help you through the process of expansion?

MATYAS: Waterloo EDC helped connect us with the development community to establish partnerships and find growth opportunities. They have connected us with local recruiters, events, universities and other important groups. Through the expansion process, we will also leverage Waterloo EDC to navigate government protocols for our internal relocations.

One local event we’re looking forward to is Communitech Tech Jam from Home, a virtual job fair to connect top talent with tech roles in the Toronto-Waterloo area on April 22, 2021.

As a sponsor, EPAM will have a virtual booth where people can meet part of our team and learn more about our career opportunities. We’re excited to become part of the Waterloo community and continue to leverage the many resources Waterloo EDC provides.

Want to learn more about the unique Waterloo advantage for tech companies?