HQ: Montreal, Canada
An executive conversation with Nils Cayrol
Chief Executive Officer
Yaksa specializes in enterprise ecommerce & CMS web development for businesses challenged with bringing their complex business model online.
We work closely with our clients to gain a deep understanding of their business challenges and digital commerce objectives, and put together a long-term strategy that delivers faster ROI with quick wins and a solution that can evolve as their needs change.
When we first engage with a client, we start with assessing where they are in their eCommerce journey and their strategic business goals.
We often see one of the following situations:
- They’re blocked: Their current platform no longer supports their growth or objectives nor the possibility of evolution. We then work with them on a technological roadmap for their migration.
- Their current digital investment still has some good years remaining: We focus on their pain points whether it be process or technological. We identify through value stream mapping which area is the right one to invest effort to bring ROI quickly to the stakeholders.
- They need help with their complex challenges: Through discovery sessions we deep dive in their technical ecosystem. With this knowledge we can optimize, integrate new technologies and often simplify their platform operation.
In our engagement with the client, we work closely and transparently throughout the entire process, and pride ourselves on doing so with minimal or no disruption to their current operations.
When we formed Yaksa a couple of years ago, we committed to taking on every project with a never-give-up attitude to find the most innovative, reliable and results-driven solution for our clients, no matter how complex. We actually thrive on finding and solving complex business challenges to help companies succeed in a digital-first world.
No matter the complexities, we deliver. One of the many things that sets us apart is our willingness to tackle even the most complex challenges and our success rate with deploying enterprise commerce solutions on-time, without disrupting their ongoing operations. Often times clients are wary of digital transformation and the impact it can have on their current business. Because we are also businessmen, we understand how NOT to let that happen.
Our Digital Advisory expertise offers potential clients the ability to work closely with us, leverage our expertise and experiences, and see how they can maximize their existing investments before jumping the gun and implementing new technologies. The solutions we build with them ensure they can adapt quickly, without redeploying, so they can continuously optimize and rapidly react/adapt to changes in the market and in demand.
At Yaksa, we believe that one of the keys to being competitive in the digital world is the ability to deliver fast, frequently and without any disruption. To put this into action we invest our own internal resources on each client project to continuously improve development and delivery processes so that business value gets shipped reliably and securely with no downtime.
Our clients are then enabled to tackle their objectives in a more incremental approach with less risk involved and quicker turnaround. For them, this means being able to deploy new complex features and better customer experiences in the middle of the day without anyone noticing that a deployment occurred, as often as 2 or 3 times a week.
We build a strong, modular foundation that can easily and rapidly adapt and deliver new features required to not just keep up with the speed of evolving ecommerce demand but also get a competitive advantage by rapidly seizing opportunities.
A perfect example is with our client Mayrand, who came to us with a non-existent digital footprint and knew in order to compete they had to bring their business online and serve the needs of B2B and B2C customers, and that they had to get it right the first time. To complicate matters, they were planning to revamp their ERP system, but could not afford to wait, so their new ecommerce platform had to seamlessly integrate with the current system, and allow easy integration with whichever new one they would migrate to in the near future.
We recommended Episerver as their CMS and ecommerce engine knowing it was the best digital experience platform to combine their complex grocery offering with tens of thousands of skus and multiple brands, along with the need for exceptional cart and checkout experiences and order fulfillment. Plus, the ability for multi-site expansion.
By maintaining focus on launching value-added features, in under 6 months we were able to launch a state-of-the-art, personalized grocery experience for their B2B customers including featured merchandising, personal stockrooms, order history, eligible pricing, pick-up and delivery options, and even a loyalty program with immediate benefits.
Within the first 3 months, sales increased by 20%, average cart value increased by 15%, and their customer base grew by 10%.
Not only did they experience immediate return on investment, which is also one of our main philosophies when developing solutions for our customers, but they realized the true value and power of a flexible and robust platform a few months later with the almost overnight, unforeseen and unpredictable demand caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the virus became an epidemic, consumers were panicking and stocking up on essentials. Stores were unable to keep up with new demand. People were scrambling online to find much sought-after items. Once Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic, consumer behaviour changed drastically, many online grocers were unable to keep up with demand – not just in terms of a surge in site traffic, but in inventory fulfillment and delivery. Mayrand saw tremendous opportunity to launch a new service specific to solve these issues.
Because of the flexibility of their ecommerce platform, within just weeks they were able to launch a new offering and consumer experience (B2C) - Mayrand Express - , featuring guaranteed availability of the 500 most sought-after items and guaranteed scheduled delivery times. Site traffic increased by 10-fold, as did online orders and customer memberships.
Delivering Business Value
We help clients to:
- Realize and maximize the untapped potential of their digital investments
- Get results with a high-performing, revenue-building website
- Up their game with exceptional customer experiences
Our service offering includes:
- Digital Advisory
- Enterprise Website solutions
- Enterprise eCommerce solutions
Our Digital Advisory Team works closely with clients to dig deep and get a clear understanding of the business goals and challenges, and provide:
- Analysis of technical, strategic and commercial needs
- Comprehensive analysis of industry best practices
- Optimization of processes, performance and architecture
- Strategic recommendations and smart quick wins
As certified professionals of multiple renowned platforms–.Net technologies and Microsoft Azure–we can propose how our clients can either optimize their current technology investments or recommend the best solutions to migrate and integrate their commerce ecosystem moving forward.
Visibility and transparency: Trust is key to successful IT projects and respecting reasonable commitments, especially when new challenges arise. We ensure you're constantly in the loop so together we make the best decisions for the well-being of the project and for your company.
Delivery on time and without chaos: We don't get distracted or sidelined by shiny objects. We'll maintain focus at all times, working on only the most value-added aspects of a project, increasing productivity and getting the most return on time invested (yours and ours).
Digital security and ethics: Real-time security, integrity and continuous improvement are things we take extremely seriously. We work tightly with your team to ensure you have full transparency and that your needs are respected and met at all times.
Working with the client, we plan structured workshops to gather all information needed to establish scope, vision and work effort.
An iterative approach using agile methodology allows us to work with the client throughout the construction phase and ensures we stay focussed and on schedule, constantly refining to ensure features and functionalities are prioritized according to added value.
4. Support, Evolution & Maintenance
The roll-out strategy includes dedicated training for digital best practices and ongoing support, to ensure our clients become operationally autonomous .
We offer application support of the platform, making sure the site is live and performing as designed, and provide monthly proposed enhancements and evolutions to continuously improve the user experience as well as deploying the required maintenance.
We adhere strictly to these Guiding Principles in all client relationships
Yaksa was founded in January 2017 by Nils Cayrol, CEO, Gregoire Bodson, Chief Delivery Officer and Oliver Morency, Chief Resource Officer. "For a long time, we wanted to run our own business, the main motivation being that we often had our own ideas and vision and we were eager to put them to the test. We wanted the opportunity to put our individual and combined expertise to work for our clients and offer them a more personal service," explains Cayrol.
The unmet needs in the market were frustrating the trio and in early 2017, they were strongly convinced that the time had come to take the leap. Being surrounded by an inspiring entourage (Cayrol's father ran his own business for many years, and the wife of another co-founder had already launched two successful businesses) added fuel to their entrepreneurial spirit.
An avid chess player, Cayrol had participated in several competitions in his younger days. That has helped train his mind to see a situation, analyze options, and think ahead strategically. "Knowing and understanding the potential of each piece and how to use it to the best advantage and at the right time is very apropos to understanding a client’s current situation, tools and technology, and building the best solutions to meet current and future objectives," he correlates.
The powerful combination of a strategic mind and keen business sense that Cayrol carries, had helped him in building strong partnerships based on trust, as evidenced by Yaksa's rapidly growing client base and loyal team.
A lot of what we do is game-changing for our clients because they were unable to bring their business online without specific expertise in multi-brand, multi-market, multi-language ecommerce sites. In addition, our delivery time is fast and they are able to make changes without new deployments, which is also a game-changer.
Some recent examples include:
View from the Top:
Driving Change and Creating Value
For IATA, the International Air Transport Association, in under 5 months we migrated them from an outdated and cumbersome platform to a new customizable and future-proof website serving a worldwide audience of more than 25,000 visitors each day, with masses of content for a wide range of programs, expert services, news and publishing important, timely updates. The results this far are an 80% improvement in their site’s stability and performance, a 50% budget reduction to maintain their website, and a 50% increase in team efficiency.
Other Recent projects:
In just 6 months, we helped Mayrand launch a brand-new online business model for complex eGrocery, including:
- Personalized stockrooms, order history and eligible pricing
- Multiple delivery and pick up alternatives as well as order status updates
- Loyalty program with online sign up and immediate benefits
- Best seller algorithm based on seasonal and historical sales data
- Storng foundation allowing the very fast deployment of new website initiatives or sister companies leveraging the foundation blocks.
- Integration with ERP
We also helped them rapidly respond and meet the unprecedented demand created by the Covid-19 pandemic for essential grocery with a new online offering (products, carts, fulfillment etc.) in less than 4 weeks (from brainstorm to deployment) for Mayrand Express.
- B2C Digital Asset boutique
- From strategy to delivery of the new website
- Simplex – in partnership with lg2
- B2B Equipment rental
- Backend development and integrations
We are proud to be among the top certified expert developers in the technologies we use and are committed to always being on top of the latest improvements and ensuring our clients are getting the biggest bang for their buck.
In addition to being expert software developers, we're also business success advisors, problem solvers and decisive achievers. One of the things that sets us apart from the competition is that we are business and client-focussed developers. We are also entrepreneurial, people-centric and have business in our blood. And we thrive on complex challenges and always find creative ways to solve them with the latest technology. We like to say that we don’t think out of the box, for us there is no box. Our mission is to help enterprises get the maximum value from their digital investments.
Our team is also comprised of experienced agile team leaders which ensure that the roadmap is well defined and aligned with the client’s business objectives, and that everyone stays focussed on value-added deliverables, quick wins, and fastest time to ROI. We do not get distracted by shiny objects, and we help keep our clients on track.
- We are also one of the world’s top 8 Episerver Platinum partners, which really sets us apart.
- We get raving reviews from our customers and technology partners for our service and our solutions.
- At Yaksa, we believe in continuous training; the IT world evolves very quickly and staying on par is a huge asset for our clients.
- We organize monthly technology presentations with the team to talk about new technologies, innovations or solutions on projects that can be reused to the benefit of other projects or discuss pitfalls or lessons learned.
- Technical competencies:
- .net development
- Cloudflare CDN
- Secure and robust code
- Enterprise level CMS & ecommerce platform integrations : Episerver, Orckestra, Umbraco, Ucommerce, Sitecore.
- Strong integration experience with ERP’s and CRM’S: SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, Epicore etc
- Since we care a lot about our client’s business, and we are consultants at heart, we see ourselves as an extension of the client’s internal team, always thinking about the impact on their day-to-day business.
Consultants @ Heart:
Agile, Supportive and Driven
Emily Paige, President & Creative Producer, e→d films
“Yaksa is a team of very passionate people that talk with so much excitement about the solutions they are developing. We were blown away with their thoughtfulness and care, their transparent and knowledgeable approach, and a fantastic company culture that reflects in their work. I see partnership with Yaksa as a long-term relationship that will help us bring our future plans to life.”
Thomas Le Jouan, leader of the Radio-Canada R&D Department
“Yaksa’s expertise and experience in this area were exceptional and we built a strong partnership that has been beneficial in many ways. Yaksa played a critical role in choosing and implementing the right technology.”
Dominic Citino, Vice President, WW Partnerships, Episerver
“Episerver’s mission is to empower growing brands to compete digitally, and Yaksa shares this focus. In addition, Episerver and Yaksa are committed to do all that we can to deliver great outcomes for our mutual customers. For these reasons, Yaksa is a highly regarded member of Episerver’s partner ecosystem.”
Corinne Perriraz, Manager, Web Communications, IATA
“The Yaksa team helped us implement Episerver on our corporate website, a complex migration. Thanks to Yaksa professionalism and expertise, the project was delivered according to deadlines and budget, both tight. As a result, we have a much better website.”
Eric Phaneuf, President and CEO of Partners Walter Capital
“Yaksa allowed us to have a realistic plan, make informed decisions and deliver on time and on budget. In addition to the technology deployment component that they master, they advised us on the implementation of the e-commerce initiative as a whole. As an investor, this is what I am looking for: a frank input, a good diagnosis and a delivery according to plans!”