Unified Communications Practice Lead
At Navantis my primary function was Technical Presales for Unified Communications (UC) opportunities, including articulating the value proposition, aligning the solution benefits to the customers’ business challenges and goals, conducting product demonstrations and high-level architecture design sessions , and generating Statements of Work, Work Breakdown Structures, and Effort Estimates. I was the primary resource for RFP Responses including delivering impactful short-list presentations. I also delivered many highly immersive and engaging Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience events aligning the Microsoft Productivity Suite with customer-specific scenarios.
“I had the opportunity to work with Mark while he was working for Navantis and I must say that he is one of the brightest minds in the VoIP industry I have seen. His enthusiasm for all things UC related was contagious!! He is very professional in his dealings with the clients and the co-workers, and I greatly enjoyed working with him. Mark has what it takes to make any UC project a success!” - Ivanka Kabranova, Senior Consultant, Navantis

“I have really enjoyed working with Mark. Mark worked with our sales teams on a number of different fronts and was someone we could always count for creative ideas to sell the idea of real-time collaboration. His knowledge, passion, fortitude, and strong work ethic made Mark and invaluable sales resource for selling unified communications from Microsoft. Mark represented our Unified Communications (Lync +) story at Navantis and ran our CIE (customer immersion experience) seminars for client looking to catch a glimpse of how all the products at Microsoft could come together to create a holistic user experience for their employees and customers. If someone asked to point out one of Mark’s strengths I would have to say it is his communications skills in written word, PowerPoint, and oral communication. One of Mark’s strong suits is his presentation abilities. This is a rare skill these days for people with technical backgrounds and one that I think any future employer should think about exploiting given Mark’s knack for winning trust with prospects sitting on the fence. If the opportunity arose, I would not hesitate for a second to provide a reference for Mark at any turn in his career path and wish him the utmost of success.” - Sean Bredin, Vice President: Power & Utilities, Mining, Engineering, Navantis

“Mark is a very bright individual who excels at delivering pragmatic value to everyone that Mark touched. Mark responds well to customer pain points. He delivers great demonstrations. And he follows up with clearly articulated proposals. Mark is quick to grasp new concepts and he regularly helped our sales team in their client understanding. I'd have Mark on my team anyday.” - Brian Gernon, Sales, Navantis

“I dealt with Mark developing a Green Communication product and it was an exciting engagement. One commendable fact is, Mark’s level of engagement and enthusiasm in the subject he’s involved with. He was providing good, straight, constructive opinions about the product while being very open to the ideas provided by the others. Mark is a very pleasant person to work with. He was responsive, cooperative and helpful to the fellow team members gaining lot of respect.” - Indaka Raigama, CEO, Sri Lankan Operations, Navantis

“Mark and I didn't work together long, but the passion he brought to the business and the deep understanding about the benefits of his solutions was immediately obvious. A true professional, his methodology and collaborative nature made it easy to work with him, and easy for him to plan and demonstrate results. I'd certainly welcome the opportunity to work with Mark again.” - Wil Klement, Client Portfolio Director, Navantis

“I had the pleasure to work with Mark during his tenure as the Unified Communications practice lead at Navantis. Mark is extremely passionate and motivated about his work and would be a tremendous asset to any company. His enthusiasm, energy, and expertise will certainly be missed at Navantis. I wish him well in his career, and look forward to working with him again should the opportunity arise.” - Mike Holmes, Sales Operations & Partner Manager, Navantis

“Mark was a great professional to work with, his knowledge, experience, passion and enthusiasm made everything he has done a success. He is a great asset to any company.” - Feng Liu, Chief Architect and Cloud Computing Practice Lead, Navantis

“I enjoy business meetings with Mark because his energy level is always high, his enthusiasm is infectious and his belief in the product stack and its value to the client is foremost. He is team player and simply ... pleasant to work with.” - Peter Wheeler, Sr. Consultant - Healthcare, Navantis

Practice Lead - Microsoft Unified Communications
I built a Microsoft Unified Communications practice from the ground up, starting as charter member of the Microsoft Voice Partner Program in 2007.  I developed and managed relationships with Microsoft Canada, Microsoft Corporate, and vendors such as NET and Plantronics. I designed and implemented a full Microsoft Unified Communications solution in a fault-tolerant architecture for Cambrian College, and designed and executed Sales Enablement and Marketing strategies.  I also trained and nurtured a nationwide delivery team, and served as the primary Technical Presales resource on strategic opportunities.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mark for 2 years with him being the practice lead of Unified Communications and it was one of the best experiences I’ve had. I’ve always excelled in the technical aspects throughout my career but Mark helped me develop the other skill sets he believed that I needed to work on and I thank him for being my mentor during the time we worked together. If I had to describe Mark with one sentence, I would say that he’s the type of rare consultant that can sit and clearly articulate his message to all levels of audiences as well as roll up his sleeves and complete a deployment if it was necessary.” - Terence Luk, Systems Consultant, UNIS LUMIN

“I worked with Mark at UNIS LUMIN. Mark is a highly regarded professional, with a depth and breadth of knowledge that encompasses not only his domain expertise in Microsoft Unified Communications & Collaboration but a far and wide range of topics. Mark brings integrity, passion, empathy and loyalty to everything he does. He is a great friend and was a wonderful co-worker. Mark is a leader who makes the people around him excel and I look forward to our paths crossing again, even for a round of golf :)” - Ali Elahi, Practice Lead, Unified Communications & Collaboration , UNIS LUMIN

“Mark is an outstanding individual and I am glad to have had the chance to work along side him. I was always amazed with his determination and drive as he worked towards developing the Microsoft Practice at Unis Lumin. His energy motivated and inspired everyone to his cause. His attention to detail was outstanding and it always showed in his work. I highly recommend Mark as an asset to any organization.” - Kevin West, Senior Systems Consultant, UNIS LUMIN

“I worked with Mark as he developed the Microsoft Unified Communications practice at Unis Lumin. I admired Mark for his professional approach to his duties and his perseverance when faced with a challenge. His energetic and charismatic approach to bringing people on board helped him develop interest in the emerging practice and provided inspiration and motivation to the team. Mark’s deep technical skills coupled with his acute business acumen will ensure his future success.” - Chris Goundry, Senior Systems Consultant, UNIS LUMIN

“I really enjoyed working with Mark these last 18 months, he was a tremendous asset in helping me identify, qualify and drive revenue from our Microsoft business. Mark possesses a deep understanding of customers’ business drivers and their technical challenges; thereby creating strong value propositions and ROIs for the Microsoft OCS Solution. Mark is articulate, passionate, dedicated and a great collaborator. I would welcome the opportunity to work with him again the future.” - Mark Rehel, Account Manager, UNIS LUMIN

“Mark and I worked together for almost 4 years and it was truly a pleasure to have him on my team. He and I worked on many complex projects that involved discussions with IT Managers, Directors and C-Level Executives. His ability to assimilate technical information was uncanny, but what set him apart was the way he shared this information with a diverse audience. He always delivered his information knowing who is audience was and tailored the discussion to accommodate them. I hope to work with Mark again sometime in the future, I would recommend Mark to anyone who wants a first class person and a fantastic technologist.” - Anthony Sarar, Account Executive , UNIS LUMIN

“Mark is one of those rare people who are truly passionate with their work. It was always a true pleasure working with Mark and to see his excitement while working with the technology. His attention to detail is second to none, I could always count on Mark to get the job done right the first time. I would not hesitate to recommend Mark's work for any endeavor that he chose.” - Steve Giles, Project Manager, UNIS LUMIN

“It's pretty simple really. Mark gets how and where businesses can leverage new applications like Microsoft's Unified Communications suite. He not only understands the technology, but also the realities of where it can work and how it can be adopted.” - Chris Herbert, B2B Specialist , Director of Marketing , UNIS LUMIN

“Over the past 3+ years I have worked directly with Mark in developing the Microsoft Managed Services portfolio. From a business perspective, Mark’s organizational skills and attention to detail along with his exceptional technical abilities have been essential in creating the Microsoft services that we are able to provide today. From an individual perspective, Mark is an exceptional person with the ability to create relationships with all levels within an organization. His friendly and positive demeanour made it a pleasure to work with Mark.” - Cindy Heimbecker, Practice Lead, Managed Services , UNIS LUMIN

“I have had the opportunity to work with Mark from a presales perspective through several customer engagements. I found Mark to be very proactive, collaborative, and customer focused. Mark is always well received by technical and business leaders and I would welcome the opportunity to work with him again in the future!” - Patricia Rowley-Boers, Business Development Executive , UNIS LUMIN

“Mark's Microsoft expertise, hard working attitude and amazing ability to analyze a customer's business requirements and address them with solutions make him a valuable commodity for any company. Mark's a true team player and a pleasure to work with.” - Calvin Chiu, Solutions Architect , UNIS LUMIN

“Mark has been one of our most outstanding resources for Microsoft OCS, and all the Microsoft platforms. Mark's knowledge of Unified Communications and how MS can be deployed to be cost effective and all the features and benefits implemented in a phased approach he's the go to guy. A very well written individual who can explain some very complicated products with confidence and at a level that any CFO, CIO or CTO will completely understand. Mark has the complete understanding of the deployment and skill set to understand the deepest technical discussions with system engineers. He will be very missed by our customers and anyone who worked with him at UL.” - Glenn Tonge, Solution Architect , UNIS LUMIN

“I found Mark to be smart, personable and very team oriented. Mark is very approachable as an individual, delivery oriented, rational and always willing to listen to ideas and then having the capability to quickly act on tasks. I has been a pleasure working with Mark and I highly recommend him to any organization” - Wiam Girgis, Solutions Architect - Pre-sales Engineer , UNIS LUMIN INC.

“Mark always has a customer's best interest in mind. Mark is passionate about understanding customer's business goals and objectives and has the great ability of being able to map those business requirements to technology.” - Sean Williams, Account Manager , UNIS LUMIN

“I would recommend Mark Hickson as a Practise lead in any aspect of working with Microsoft. Mark is a professional who was very comfortable in dealing with C level senior management. I found mark to be able to quickly find out the clients issues and work effectively to find them a solution.” - Michael Sayers, Account Manager , UNIS LUMIN

“Mark's passion for Microsoft products, specifically in the UC space, make him a huge asset for any company looking build their Microsoft UC practice or deploy Microsoft UC in their enterprise.” - Dennis Pippo, System Consultant , Unis Lumin

“Mark, is great simply put. We worked together on some MS projects around Exchange migrations, UC and OCS. His knowledge of MS and industry trends for businesses to leverage technology as a business driver, is excellent. He worked with me and other colleagues to help grow the MS business and did a great job. I would recommend Mark in an instance!” - Neil Mistry, Account Executive , UNIS LUMIN

“Mark is a very intelligent individual, and his passion for evangelizing technology made him a very enjoyable colleague to work with.” - Greg Walker, Practice Lead - Data Center , UNIS LUMIN

Senior Solution Architect
Point Alliance
I engaged in business analysis and requirements gathering for wide-ranging consulting engagements in varying industries, and provided solution architecture and design for projects of varying size and scope.
“I worked with Mark for several years on many projects, and his attention to details and time-lines are excellent. He and I presented our award-winning work at several conferences and he showed tremendous leadership, both within the company and in the developer community as a whole.” - Joel Varty, Solution Architect , Point Alliance Inc.

“I've worked with Mark when he's at PointAlliance, he's very smart, reliable and team-oriented person. He's very knowleageable on what he does and very passionate about his work projects. I would definitely recommend working with this guy...” - Eleanor Boado, Senior Software Architect, Point Alliance

Product Technical Manager
CGI / COGNICASE / United System Solutions

I was project lead for a 2-time Lotusphere "Best in Showcase" award-winning CRM application for an IBM Premier Business Partner. I executed in all stages of the software development lifecycle within a small team environment, and designed and developed multi-functional product with Web, Palm, Pocket PC, and Lotus Notes clients.
“Mark was one of the leaders of a dynamic, creative and performance driven team of software developers, responsible for producing an award-winning CRM product. His technical aptitude and creative thinking were directly responsible for many innovative solutions that enabled a small team to deliver a world class software product. He possesses a rare combination of independent thinking, leadership and collaboration that will no doubt continue to fuel his success and the success of those around him. It was a pleasure working with Mark.” - Geoff Simonett, Founder, President , United CRM

“Mark has a unique blend of development and people skills. He is an innovative developer that helped to build a world class CRM suite. As a sales person, I could rely on Mark to support me in the sales process and help me close deals as required. He values understanding what the clients want, and developing products to fit their needs. It was a pleasure working with Mark.” - Jeremy Miller, CRM Software Sales , COGNICASE

“Mark and I worked together for 3 years at USS. During that time is was easy to see that Mark has a passion for technology. More importantly, Mark and the team uses this passion to help improve our software and help customers to exceed their business objectives. I highly recommend Mark without hesitation.” - David Black, Senior Account Manager, United System Solutions

“Mark is a hard working and highly skilled individual who gets the job done. It was great working with Mark and I would easily recommend him.” - Allen Kahng, Account Manager, United CRM

“Mark has the perfect blend of technical and communication skills. He brings enthusiasm, problem solving skills and willingness to every aspect of his work. He is a pleasure to work with and knows how to get things done.”- Asha Maharaj, Manager, Technical Instructors, United System Solutions (acquired by Cognicase)

University of Western Ontario
I earned my Honors B.Sc, Computer Science, Software Engineering Specialization degree from the University of Western Ontario, including a 16-month Industry Internship placement at Canada Trust in London.
“I’ve known Mark for 10+ years. Mark is an expert in his field and has a unique understanding of how to solve problems both from a technical and business perspective. Mark has worked with customers across a broad spectrum of different industries and can provide unique insights based on his years of experience. I have always known Mark to be very well organized in his planning and execution. His structured approach provides clarity to today’s complex problems. Above all, Mark is passionate about his work and providing the best possible solution for his customers.” - Peter Sobczak, Development Director, Electronic Arts