Issue 6 2024

www.acquisition-international.com • Issue 6 2024

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Welcome to the June edition of Acquisition International magazine, bringing you the latest news, features, and success stories from businesses all over the world. As we near the midpoint of the year, the business landscape remains as fast-paced and turbulent as ever – however, there are so many businesses out there that continue to work hard to weather the storms and consistently deliver innovative solutions that revolutionise the market. In this issue, we are pleased to be featuring our award-winning businesses that are proving themselves to be truly resilient innovators within their respective industries. From a medical device manufacturer providing frontline healthcare professionals with the means to save lives, to a cloud property management systems provider transforming business operations, from an architecture firm crafting high-end property masterpieces to a coaching consultancy that helps businesses achieve their goals, and many more. The Acquisition International team hopes you find each story within these pages to be insightful and that they inspire you in navigating the dynamic world of business with foresight and confidence. We wish you a brilliant month ahead and look forward to welcoming you back again soon for our July issue. Rebecca Scotland, Editor No information contained on or in this website constitutes investment advice or an offer to invest or to provide management services and is subject to correction, completion and amendment without notice. Neither AI nor any of its associated entities are authorised to give financial advice of any nature nor are they regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Prior to making any investment, AI recommends that any prospective investor should consult with its own investment, accounting, legal and tax advisers to evaluate independently the risks, consequences and suitability of that investment. AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility. Editor’s Letter

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Contents 15 12 18 6 News 8 PathFree Technologies Corporation: Most Innovative Medical Device Manufacturer 2024 - Southern California & MedTech CEO of the Year 2024 (California): Perry Brunette 10 The Genesis of Funding 11 Tremendous Property Management Solutions Specialising in Long-Term Stays 12 The Heart of Tech Evolution 14 Transforming the Connected Customer Experience 15 Elegant Architecture with a Personal Touch 16 Building an Inclusive Future for All 17 The Science Behind Independent Validation and Verification 18 Innovative Investment Platform Pioneers the Market 19 Human Performance Experts Pioneering the Industry 20 Making a Grand ‘EXtrance’ in Investment Management

NEWS DRONE DELIVERY CANADA AND VOLATUS AEROSPACE CORP. ANNOUNCE TRANSFORMATIVE MERGER OF EQUALS CREATING GLOBAL LEADER IN DRONE TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES • 50/50 merger of equals, creating a global diversified drone technology and services leader. • Combined company will be called “Volatus Aerospace Corp.”, leveraging the Volatus global name and brand, while maintaining Drone Delivery Canada’s name and brand for cargo operations. • Shared management team led by Glen Lynch (CEO of Volatus) and Steve Magirias (CEO of Drone Delivery Canada) with current Volatus board chairman, Ian McDougall, to become chairman of the combined company’s board. • Combined company anticipated to be cash flow neutral by the fourth quarter of 2024 and accelerate achievement of profitability goals in 2025, through a combination of immediate cost synergies and identified revenue opportunities. • Transaction anticipated to close in the third quarter of 2024 Drone Delivery Canada Corp. an awardwinning drone technology company focused on the design, development, and implementation of its proprietary technologies for remotely piloted aircraft operations with an emphasis on cargo delivery and Volatus Aerospace Corp. a leader in the operation of piloted and remotely piloted aircraft systems, are both pleased to announce that they have entered into a business combination agreement to combine the companies in a merger of equals transaction, with the combined company to continue under the name “Volatus Aerospace Corp.” and, subject to approval of the TSX Venture Exchange, continue trading under the ticker “FLT”. Under the Merger, which the boards of directors of both companies have approved, the combined company will be led by a board of directors and management team of experienced drone technology industry and business leaders, bringing together the cultures, strengths, and capabilities of both companies. By joining forces, Volatus and Drone Delivery Canada plan to immediately begin commercialization efforts, which is intended to enhance shareholder value by forging a robust, financially sound enterprise focused on immediate and long-term revenue with a clear path to sustainable growth and market leadership. Subject to customary closing conditions, the Merger is expected to close in the third quarter of 2024. Pursuant to the Merger, Volatus shareholders will receive 1.785 (the “Exchange Ratio”) Drone Delivery Canada voting common shares (each, a “Drone Delivery Canada Share”) for each Volatus common share (a “Volatus Share”) held (the “Consideration”). Upon closing of the Merger, existing shareholders of Volatus and Drone Delivery Canada will each own approximately 50% of the combined company (based on the current issued and outstanding shares of each of the companies). Strategic Rationale To date, Drone Delivery Canada has invested $40 Million into building strong, competitive drone cargo solutions that are now ready to go to market. By focusing on drone services, training, and equipment sales, Volatus is well-positioned to leverage these technologies and bring them to market. As regulations begin to enable the commercialization of drone cargo and remote drone operations, Volatus has been planning to commercialize its efforts in Advanced Air Mobility, adding to its goto-market strategy. Without technology such as Drone Delivery Canada’s remote operations centre; Flyte management software; DroneSpot infrastructure; and cargo-focused, commercialized aircraft, the path to competitively enter the Advanced Air Mobility market would require significant research and development (“R&D”) investment for any drone-based services company. The combined company, with its shared decades of technology and aviation experience as well as strong financial and operating metrics, is expected to have a leading presence globally as a diversified technology and service leader to drive both short- and long-term growth opportunities in existing and new markets. Further, it is expected that the combined company will be able to achieve material cost synergies to support near-term profitability and enhance its margin profile as its revenue profile continues to grow. Steve Magirias, Chief Executive Officer of Drone Delivery Canada, commented, “Drone Delivery Canada has been searching for the right partner to join us on our growth journey and we are confident that Volatus is a great fit, from a management vision point of view, industry know-how, and experience. We were initially attracted to Volatus’ strong reputation in the industry, admirable fiscal management through a challenging capital markets environment, and vision towards generating diversified lines of revenue.” Ian McDougall, Chair of Volatus board of directors, commented, “We are thrilled to announce this transformative merger with Drone Delivery Canada. Merging with Drone Delivery Canada will enhance our ability to offer cutting edge technology and services to our clients and help position the combined company as a global leader. Volatus sees a tremendous opportunity to commercialize Drone Delivery Canada’s advanced technologies, through our network of partners, Fortune 500, international mining, oil and gas, and utilities clients, further positioning the combined company as a global leader in drone technologies and services.” Glen Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, President and Director of Volatus, commented, “We believe that the strategic impact will be significant right out of the gate, and allow us to drive innovative technology advancements and offer our clients industry leading technology and service.”

NEWS “We have grown quickly but, first and foremost, we are absolutely committed to maintaining our culture and so have always been very strategic about who we invite to join our team,” said Diana Render, MNP’s Executive Vice President for the Prairies and Atlantic Canada. “We are known across the communities we work with as being one of Canada’s most-trusted accounting, tax and business consulting firms, so we are excited to welcome a very wellrespected practice in Bradley Handrahan Chartered Professional Accountants into the MNP family. Our cultures and values are wellaligned, and we share the same entrepreneurial, trusted approach to doing business.” Bradley Handrahan Chartered Professional Accountants Partner, Troy K. Bradley, emphasized that one of the deciding factors in their decision to join MNP was the culture: “Although MNP is a large national firm, it’s best known across Canada for being local in focus and having a small-firm culture and commitment to supporting the communities that its teams live and work in. When you’re making a move as significant as this, the ‘fit’ has to be right for everyone – your people, clients and community. We couldn’t be more excited about joining forces with MNP.” The Bradley Handrahan Chartered Professional Accountants team will remain at their current locations, which will become new MNP offices. NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FIRM, MNP, EXPANDS PRESENCE IN ATLANTIC CANADA WITH FIRST PEI MERGER With offices in Stratford and Tignish, Bradley Handrahan Chartered Professional Accountants is led by Partners Troy K. Bradley, CPA, CA, and Neil L. Handrahan, CPA, CA. Both will join MNP as Partners, supported by a team of 20 additional professionals. The Firm provides a wide range of accounting and tax services to private enterprise companies throughout Prince Edward Island. This merger will be MNP’s entry into the PEI market. The Firm established itself in the Atlantic provinces in 2017, when it merged with WBLI, in Dartmouth and Truro. Most recently, MNP acquired PwC’s practice in St. John’s. Today, MNP has 31 partners and over 300 team members across Atlantic Canada, with locations in Dartmouth, Moncton, Saint John, St. John’s, Sydney and Truro. Rob Dean, CPA, CA, CFP, TEP, MNP’s Regional Managing Partner for the Atlantic Canada Region, said that the move reflects MNP’s continued commitment to investing in the region: “We are very excited to be adding Prince Edward Island, with its vibrant and growing economy, to our presence in Atlantic Canada. This merger represents a fantastic opportunity for both our firms to build on the work we are doing across the region to support clients with their growth journeys. We are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead and look forward to bringing even greater value to our clients and communities.” Bradley Handrahan Chartered Professional Accountants Partner, Neil L. Handrahan, says the merger strengthens his team’s ability to support their clients: “MNP complements and enhances our current service offerings and brings greater support that will help us service our clients as they grow and their needs change. This merger also provides new opportunities for our people to learn and develop their careers by working with MNP’s diverse teams and client base.” Founded in 1958, MNP has grown to more than 125 locations across Canada and delivers a wide range of services and specialized expertise in every sector and area of business. While becoming the largest of the mid-market focused firms in Canada, MNP has continued to maintain its Canadian roots, helping Canadian businesses both at home and abroad. MNP Joins Forces with Bradley Handrahan Chartered Professional Accountants, building on Commitment to Support the Atlantic Canada Marketplace MNP, one of Canada’s largest national professional services firms, is pleased to announce that it will join forces with Prince Edward Island-based firm Bradley Handrahan Chartered Professional Accountants, effective July 15, 2024.

8 | Acquisition International, Issue 6 2024 Most Innovative Medical Device Manufacturer 2024 - Southern California & MedTech CEO of the Year 2024 (California): Perry Brunette aving established PathFree Technologies Corporation alongside Dr. Kongyuan, a renowned Chinese anaesthesiologist with multiple patents, Perry Brunette started out at the company as CFO in March 2021. Just three months later, Perry had moved into the role of CEO, a transition that reflects his exceptional expertise and commitment to his work. One of the visionaries behind the company, he leverages his background in finance, information technology, and AI to align with technological advancements and remain poised for growth within the industry. Prior to PathFree, Perry acquired extensive experience in raising capital for multiple private entities, and he qualified from the MBTI Business Training Institute with an associate degree in business, office automation, technology, and data entry. He also served his country in the US Navy. Dedication has been a true running theme throughout Perry’s career, with him always demonstrating perseverance and, in combination with his belief in God, he feels that this is what has led him towards success and the fruitful professional and personal relationships he holds dear today. Even outside of work, he is very much involved with the Pitchbook venture capital and private equity database, as well as takes part in community service. At PathFree, Perry is joined by an outstanding team of engineers and researchers who, with creative thinking and precision, translate ideas into reality and push the boundaries of AI in healthcare. The engineers work closely with medical professionals to ensure the devices are not only cutting-edge but also practical and intuitive for doctors and nurses in high-pressure situations. Then, there are the data scientists, the guardians of PathFree’s machine learning algorithms who are constantly analysing and refining its core product, AiMediaQ AiCart, the prototype of which was unveiled in 2023 and FDA clearance is in progress. Designed to assist medical response teams (paramedics, hospitals, fire departments, and other first responders) during emergencies, specifically cardiac arrests, this innovative technology uses AI to provide guidance through resuscitation procedures, potentially reducing human error and fatalities, and improving patient outcomes. Acting as a decision support tool, AiCart provides medical professionals with the information and protocols needed in order to deliver the best possible care when emergencies occur. To make this happen, it collects data from various sources during a resuscitation attempt, including patient vitals, medication administration, and CPR effectiveness. Machine learning algorithms then have the capability to analyse this data and identify any patterns and trends. Over time, the machine learning models can become capable of associating specific patient data with optimal resuscitation protocols. This means AiCart will be able to recommend the most effective course of action for each unique patient situation. Machine learning is known for its ability to adapt and improve with new data, so this means that as AiCart encounters more and more real-world scenarios, its algorithms will be continuously learning and sharpening its recommendations to enable even better patient outcomes. Machine learning is capable of predictive analytics, too; by analysing historical data and real-time patient information, AiCart can predict potential complications during CPR, allowing medical personnel to take preventative measures. The PathFree team’s commitment lies in taking healthcare to a whole new level through innovation, collaboration, and empathy. Devoted to making a difference in the lives of patients and healthcare professionals alike, its staff are the beating heart of that very mission, and this is shown through core values of ‘patient-first innovation’, ‘continuous progress’, ‘collaborative impact’, ‘efficient compassion’, and ‘fostering brilliance’. As such, the company’s internal culture is a dynamic, inspiring, celebratory, diverse, and intellectually curious one. It trusts its team to take ownership of their projects and make independent decisions, In the healthcare sector, Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to prove itself a true gamechanger, whether used to organise patient data or in the form of robots to assist in surgery. PathFree Technologies Corporation (PathFree) is an American manufacturing company leveraging the power of AI to improve healthcare, particularly that required in critical situations. We learn more about this company and its CEO and CoFounder, Perry Brunette in light of a double win in the Business Excellence Awards 2024. H PathFree Technologies Corporation

while also encouraging open communication where everyone feels comfortable to share their ideas and voice any concerns. It believes that diverse backgrounds and perspectives lead to better solutions, too, therefore, it actively nurtures an inclusive space where everybody feels valued and respected. Its team members are supported to break the glass ceiling, while also learning from each other, and therefore developing these life-saving technologies that make PathFree the leader it is in the medical device industry. “At the heart of PathFree’s recent success is the AiCart, a proof-ofconcept prototype that epitomises the company’s commitment to innovation and technological excellence. This flagship device, along with the anticipation of three additional groundbreaking medical devices within the year, has played a pivotal role in propelling PathFree’s valuation from a commendable $112,000,000 to an astonishing $1,050,051,741 in just seven months. This valuation leap underscores the potential of PathFree’s technology to transform emergency medical care, earning the trust and interest of investors and strategic partners alike. ” The team are driven by the desire to make a real difference in people’s lives and are willing to tackle any obstacle that comes their way. Constantly innovating within the ever-shifting field of medical AI, this means that, as successful as the team are, it’s not to say that their work doesn’t come without its hurdles. They see challenges as exciting, always eager to face them head on and find new ways to solve the problem. Current challenges that the team are enjoying getting their teeth stuck into include maintaining data privacy and security; actively mitigating AI bias and explainability; integrating AiCart technology with client medical systems; and remaining up to date with regulations on an ongoing basis. Indeed, the team are always looking for ways to keep breaking down the barriers, and they are looking to further enhance AiCart’s capabilities by implementing advanced AI techniques such as deep learning, potentially including features such as real-time patient monitoring and predictive analytics. This is accompanied by continuously reviewing ways to make the device interoperable with various devices, enabling a more connected healthcare ecosystem. The team keep a focus on user experience (UX), too, understanding the importance of user-friendly interfaces for easy use during high-pressure situations. They are constantly refining AiCart’s user interface (UI), considering user feedback and advancements in human-computer interaction (UCI) research. PathFree is also always on the lookout for new partnerships with research institutions, medical device manufacturers, and leading healthcare providers in order to accelerate innovation. By proactively addressing the challenges that come their way and staying ahead of trends, PathFree is well-positioned to continue developing pioneering AI-powered medical devices that open new doors for medical professionals to save lives. In 2023, significant developments from PathFree included, of course, the unveiling of AiCart and its FDA clearance progress, but also the company strategically expanding its product line with the announcement of the AI-powered AiMediQ AiMini and MobileER devices. This shows its commitment to addressing various needs in emergency medical care, with these advancements solidifying the company’s position in the industry as a market leader in AI-driven healthcare solutions. The AiMediQ AiMini is a compact, on-the-go solution which provides swift, effective response during medical emergencies at crowded events. This device supports the delivery of life-saving care when needed at concerts, sporting events, and other large gatherings, and it also creates peace of mind for millions of people attending these events around the world. Meanwhile, MobileER aims to fill a critical gap during mass casualty events, such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Engineered with advanced features, MobileER is tailored for use by civilians in emergency scenarios. This instantaneous, high-quality solution has the potential to save lives and improve emergency response by allowing non-medical professionals to deliver ACLS (Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support) care, meaning the ability to cover a large number of patients simultaneously. And it doesn’t stop there, for the PathFree team are now buzzing with anticipation with their sights set on 2024 and beyond, with plans ranging from clinical trials and refinement of AiCart to gather realworld data and perfect its capabilities, to commercialisation and market entry by obtaining FDA clearance, to continued innovation. The team is eager to see AiCart make a positive impact in hospitals and emergency response settings, and they are also looking towards further pushing the boundaries of AI in healthcare. The next step will be for the company to expand its global reach by distributing its products to Asia Pacific, India, Australia, and other regions. The team are also exploring new applications for AI, with this having the potential to include tools for remote patient monitoring and chronic disease management. PathFree is confident that 2025 will be a pivotal year as it transforms the future of emergency medical care with the power of AI. Company: PathFree Technologies Corporation Contact: Perry M. Brunette Email: perry@pathfree.com Website: www.pathfree.com

10 | Acquisition International, Issue 6 2024 The Genesis of Funding 2002 – the year that marks the creation of Genesis Funding Services Limited. Developed as a means to provide unrestricted investment fund administration services to The Bahamas, this boutique collective offers personalised solutions to all clients. For over two decades, the company has amassed a stellar reputation that has ultimately earned it Acquisition International’s title of Leading Fund Administration Services Provider 2024 – Bahamas. Below, we explore how Genesis Funding Services grows with its clients to deliver ingenious funding support that’s built to last. Contact: Shonalee Munroe Company: Gensis Funding Services Limited Web Address: https://genesisfundservices.com/ Coming together as an independent financial solutions firm, Genesis Funding Services is a bespoke fund administrator who promises to alleviate the strain placed upon investment fund managers, family offices, endowments, banks, trust companies, commodity pool officers, and individuals alike. Essentially operating in tandem with its clients’ unique protection and preservation needs, Genesis Funding Services has devised a myriad of approaches to ensuring that both businesses and their wealth are safeguarded at all costs. It achieves this through the application of its extensive knowledge, delivered by global professionals who are wholeheartedly committed to sourcing tangible, real-time solutions. Comprised of experts who have spent years honing their skills, Genesis Funding Services has quickly amassed global recognition, with its services guaranteeing reliability, transparency, and innovation within the dynamic fund landscape. As technology evolves, so does the collective, allowing it to continuously create opportunities for both itself and its clients alike. Put simply, Genesis Funding Services is fully focused on growing side by side with its clients, encouraging its team to remain diligent when it comes to continuous change. For far too long, protecting wealth has been a tricky task to tackle, leading to the long-awaited genesis of new fund administration services. This genesis is, of course, exactly what this award-winning collective represents. From the moment it emerged onto the scene, Genesis Funding Services has certainly lived up to its name, with its impact being felt far and wide. By combining consistency, respect, integrity, discipline, diligence, and excellence, its team capably demonstrates an astute understanding of how to flawlessly navigate any challenges posed by its market. While some may struggle to overcome these obstacles alone, Genesis Funding Services proudly acts as a companion, ensuring that, no matter what, its partnered businesses remain fully in control of their operations and wealth. From fund administration, to corporate admin services, back office operations that see it acting as a courteous main contact between managers and third party investors, registrar and transfer agency, and risk and compliance solutions, Genesis Funding Services presents the industry with a comprehensive suite just waiting to be explored. Whatever a client may opt for, the collective guarantees permanent access to a highly professional expert who, no matter the circumstances, will support them in their ventures. Truly, Genesis Funding Services holds one of the industry’s largest catalogue of solutions, distinguishing it as an entity that certainly deserves its position on the Acquisition International stage. Here at Acquisition International, we are always eager to share the brilliance of others with our readers, and Gensis Funding Services more than fits our definition of an outstanding collective. Driven, dedicated, and dominant in the fund advisory field, Gensis Funding Services is an exemplary entity whose services promise to play a pivotal role in reshaping how organisations view their funding strategies. As such, we believe it’s only fitting to present Gensis Funding Services with the title of Leading Fund Administration Services Provider 2024 – Bahamas, and we hope its invaluable impact will continue to elevate the preservation of its clients’ businesses and wealth for the foreseeable future.

Issue 6 2024, Acquisition International | 11 the most of the developments flooding its industry to continue to update its offerings for both its customers and their guests. An example of the proactive approach it is taking to achieve this can be seen through its use of AI, something it is pioneering to help in honing such elements as mobile-friendly guest checkin solutions, housekeeping management for long stays, and customer interaction tools for extended stays. In addition to artificial intelligence, Gearco is also having to manage growing cybersecurity threats, fortifying the security of its products and services to ensure a faultless user experience. Commenting on this, Eric states, “Gearco proudly upholds global security standards, including Type II SOC 2 and PCI, to ensure system security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of customer data”, showcasing its strict adherence to all necessary security compliance. Finally, in closing, Eric tells us of an exciting upcoming project that Gearco is working on, announced here for the first time. This AI-enhanced guest notice and policy design feature is a tool that has been designed for property managers, so that they may automatically deliver any notices and policies to their guests via a simple text or email. Through this, Gearco is continuing to streamline both the guest experience and the ways in which accommodation operates, something it has been doing faultlessly now for almost three decades. Contact: Eric Almond Company: Gearco Web Address: https://gear.co/ Tremendous Property Management Solutions Specialising in Long-Term Stays ince operations began in 1996, Gearco has grown exponentially, and is today trusted by thousands of users across its chosen industry. This team recognise that every customer has their own unique needs, and their dedication to exceeding these expectations at every turn is just one of the things that truly sets this business apart. From management right through to the developers, implementors, and supporters, staff here engage with customers, identifying what it is that they seek from the platform, before optimising it so this may be achieved. Gearco is comprised of solution-oriented innovators, and as such, excels in tailoring every product to the policies, procedures, workflows, and security needs of customers. On the back of this, for more than a quarter of a century, Eric and the team have carved out a reputation for delivering the desired results. As he tells us, “we consistently increase revenue for all newly onboarded customers by at least 15% without additional marketing expenses, enhancing operational standards and simplifying auditing and oversight of financials.” Besides this impressive statistic, Gearco is further distinguished by the true automation capabilities that it harnesses across its suite of solutions, something that sets its property management system apart from others. Although it may be commonplace for other systems to tackle jobs such as revenue generation and accounting, rarely do said systems possess the advanced automation abilities of Gearco’s solutions, which help to manage workflow and apply the specific rules of a business in seamless fashion. Eric goes on to explain just some of the extended automation capabilities included in Gearco’s solutions, such as their, “logic-based procedural rules for financial transactions, automated surcharges, rate-matrix pricing, and comprehensive tax computations for city, state, local, and exempt taxes for long-term guests.” Beyond this mechanisation, Gearco of course has a human side, something that manifests in the pride it takes in forging lasting and meaningful partnerships with customers from small businesses through to vast empires. A well-oiled machine light years ahead of the curve when it comes to integrating technology into its services, Gearco is constantly enhancing its performance and broadening its capabilities. This can perhaps best be seen through Rate Lock, a popular feature that boosts revenue by locking the rates for guests seeking long-term stays. By activating whenever a tax cycle ends and then applying itself on every subsequent renewal, an increase in revenue can be seen of anywhere between 8 and 30% for these guests, who in turn see their rent decrease over time, making this a win-win situation. As is clear from this dynamic pricing for extended hotel stays made possible by Gearco’s platform, this company is all about making Technology company Gearco develops its exemplary range of cloud-related products and services for the hotel and lodging industry, empowering the managers of such institutions and their staff to manage areas of the business such as guest operations effectively, ultimately increasing revenue and helping to contain any long-term risks. Through a stellar track record and the embodiment of such values as quality, innovation, and collaboration, Gearco is recognised as the Best Cloud Property Management Systems Provider 2024 – Georgia. CTO Eric Almond tells us more. S

12 | Acquisition International, Issue 6 2024 ituated in South Africa, Future Africa Consulting (FACT) is a committed entity whose dedication to driving its clients success remains unparalleled to this day. Capable of creating tailored solutions that are highly adaptable depending on a client’s telecommunication needs, the collective leverages its advantages to ensure that, no matter how demanding a task may be, it’s able to remain a reliable force within the industry. It’s for this very reason that FACT has become something of a standout within its field – not only does it pursue innovation on a daily basis, but it harnesses said innovation to craft ingenious solutions to age-old problems. Whether it’s integrating new technologies to elevate dated systems, or providing all new solutions to clients in search of a complete telecommunications overhaul, FACT is beyond eager to share its knowledge with the wider industry. Specialising in professional services, managed services, digital services, and onboarding the latest advancements in technology – such as 5G and IoT – FACT presents the most comprehensive suite of services to date. As a direct result, it has amassed a plethora of strategic partnerships with industry leaders, allowing it to remain agile in such a notoriously dynamic landscape. It’s for this very reason that, throughout South Africa’s bustling telecommunications solutions sphere, FACT has managed to position itself as the definitive choice. Partnered with its unwavering commitment to delivering tailored solutions that promise to address and tackle the unique challenges facing its clients, FACT has become an entity coveted for its immense expertise. However, FACT’s brilliance doesn’t end here – on the contrary, it has spent countless hours honing its practises behind the scenes, guaranteeing high standards of quality and reliability across all of its services. In short, FACT has a earned itself a reputation for being the most dedicated collective of its nature for a reason, and it’s easy to understand why. However, among FACT’s brimming portfolio of prior excellence, there’s one service in particular that stands out from the rest – its Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) service. Widely identified by the broader market as a cutting-edge solution that excels at revolutionising the telecommunication landscape, ORAN essentially enables flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency by separating hardware and software components in radio access networks. As a result, clients gain unbridled access to customisable and adaptable solutions that can be shaped around their specific needs, securing optimal performance and enhanced network capabilities across their practises. By making full use of ORAN’s extensive capabilities, clients can expect to experience improved network performance, while simultaneously reducing their operational costs. Additionally, FACT’s ORAN service boasts an open architecture that grants an immense level of freedom to clients – from increased flexibility, to being able to choose from a vast array of vendors and technologies. As such, collectives of any nature can stay ahead of the competition, all while adapting to the everevolving demands of the market. FACT set out to play an invaluable part in its clients’ growth, and ORAN is the perfect example of how it’s gone about doing so. In fact, FACT’s ORAN service has already received an abundance of praise from clients who have implemented it into their day to day operations. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with particular emphasis placed on the stark contrast between their previous network efficiency, reliability, and cost savings before ORAN, and their newfound success with the service. In an industry prone to fluctuation, more and more collectives are in dire need of both a flexible and scalable service to manage their networking capabilities, and ORAN has proven to fill this void perfectly. In FACT’s own words – “By leveraging our ORAN service, clients can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and competitiveness in the dynamic telecommunications industry.” If we were to tighten our focus onto one particular case study of just how much of a positive impact FACT’s ORAN service has had on the market, we must look no further than a very recent example. This significant project – involving the deployment and integration of ORAN solutions for a leading telecommunications provider – saw the FACT team successfully integrating ORAN architectures into a pre-existing, complex framework. Immediately, the provider noticed a drastic improvement in network performance, scalability, and flexibility, and marks an incredible accomplishment for FACT as a collective. Of course, no company could possibly soar to such heights if not for the practise of exceptional leadership from its CEO. In this vein, FACT is no different, and it frequently praises the tireless work of its visionary founder and CEO: Nargis Gani. Recognised as a pioneer of tech entrepreneurship, Nargis has spent her years relentlessly pursuing innovation and empowerment, ultimately guiding her toward untapped niches just waiting to be explored. Where most may have shied away, Nargis instead took the brave steps necessary to fully understand the nuances of the tech industry, ultimately allowing her to transform various ideas into tangible solutions for clients across the region. At its core, FACT is a revolutionary collective that, enhanced by its founder’s impeccable eye for uncovering the unexplored niches of the technology industry, has championed the sphere in more ways than one. Now known as the definitive telecommunications solutions provider in Africa, FACT promises to live up to the expectations it has outlined for itself, and then some. It’s for this very reason that the collective has attracted the attention of Acquisition International, and we’re beyond honoured to present it with the title of Leading Telecommunications BPO Provider 2024 - South Africa. We’re certain that, as the future progresses, Future Africa Consulting will continue to amaze the telecommunications industry with its innovative ideas, and we can’t wait to see its exciting plans unfold in the coming months. Until then, we extend our sincere congratulations to Future Africa Consulting for earning its place among Africa’s greats. Contact: Nargis Gani Company: Future Africa Consulting Web Address: https://factsa.co.za Proudly standing as the pinnacle of digital innovation, Future Africa Consulting (FACT) is a powerful partner when it comes to enhancing its clients technologically driven processes. Since it first made its debut onto the scene, it has been astounding collectives across South Africa, with its ability to consistently deliver reliable, professional, managed, and unapologetically innovative digital services underpinning its brilliance. As such, FACT has been recognised by Acquisition International as the Leading Telecommunications BPO Provider 2024 - South Africa, and we explore just how it rose to such acclaim below. S The Heart of Tech Evolution

The Heart of Tech Evolution

14 | Acquisition International, Issue 6 2024 Feb24521 Transforming the Connected Customer Experience pstream Works is passionate about developing innovative solutions to help organisations exceed their customer experience goals. The business is deeply committed to understanding its partners and customers’ needs and challenges in order to create tailored omnichannel and artificial intelligence (AI) contact centre solutions that make a measurable difference to their customer experiences. With over 20 years of contact centre and omnichannel expertise, organisations around the world and across numerous industries continue to benefit from Upstream Works’ experience, integration flexibility, and effective solutions. Unlike other software developers, Upstream Works provides a customised solution that allows contact centres to innovate with AI and new technologies while leveraging their current investments. By leveraging the omnichannel agent desktop as a front-end interface, Upstream Works enables contact centres to integrate business, vertical, contact centre, AI, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Its enhanced agent desktop allows organisations to create streamlined workflows and empowers them to provide a more efficient and personalised customer experience. In its fast-growing industry, Upstream Works has become renowned for rapid innovation, advanced omnichannel solutions, AI-driven optimisation, and exceptional customer care. The Upstream Works Omni AI Hub is a centralised framework and a suite of AI capabilities. The Omni AI Hub powers functionalities like conversation summaries, transcriptions, intent recognition, sentiment analysis, and escalations. It allows on-premise, hybrid, and cloud contact centres to accelerate innovation and choose their own AI to deliver exceptional customer self-service and intelligent agent assistance. The Omni AI Hub connects, orchestrates, and operationalises organisations’ choice of AI and includes the AI Messaging Link, Agent Assist, Assist Knowledge, and Performance Analytics. The framework is fully scalable, secure, and enterprise-ready to help contact centres simplify AI implementation, resulting in improved efficiency and greater customer satisfaction. Upstream Works’ omnichannel and AI contact centre solutions are a testament to the business’s commitment to leveraging technology to enhance agent and customer experiences. Rob McDougall, CEO of Upstream Works, says, “Artificial intelligence is a major breakthrough in our industry, and Upstream Works has recognised the problems it poses around moving from proof of concept (POC) to production. Our products and capabilities are uniquely suited to assist with this process and help businesses operationalise AI and simplify AI implementation. “Our flexible approach enables organisations to accelerate AI with a standardised AI framework and processes that streamline design, integration and implementation. We provide the flexibility to implement third-party AI applications and/or Upstream Works AI operating onpremise or cloud (VPC). We simplify contact centre AI implementation, empowering organisations to optimise performance with advanced agent tools within the Upstream Works Agent Desktop for intelligent Agent Assist and automated customer self-service.” Most recently, Upstream Works has launched AgentNow, a fast and effective way to connect customers with qualified contact centre agents through Unified Communications (UC) platforms like Webex and Microsoft Azure Communications Services (ACS). Customers can gain immediate access to on-demand agents that are available to support staff through a mixture of chat, audio and video. Customers requiring assistance can simply scan a QR code or visit a web interface using their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or a kiosk. AgentNow is currently operating United Airlines’ Agent On Demand Service, which provides customers with fast customer service through a QR code displayed in airports. This service allows airport customers to skip the line at the information desk and offers them instant service during busy times such as flight delays and cancellations. Over the coming years, Upstream Works aims to expand its global footprint and become agnostic in regards to the provider of the contact centre phone system. Secondly, the business will continue to enhance its AI offerings with more integrated capabilities that will improve productivity, efficiency, and elevate customer experiences. Upstream Works is dedicated to providing organisations with flexible platform-agnostic omnichannel contact centre solutions that work with the business and their AI applications to improve the agent and customer experience. Recognised in this year’s Global Excellence Awards, Upstream Works’ omnichannel and AI solutions enable organisations to accelerate innovation and automate their contact centre for optimised performance, outstanding self-service, and intelligent agent assistance. For its integration flexibility and enterprise-ready solutions, we have bestowed on Upstream Works our award for Leading Developer of Contact Centre Software 2024 – Canada. Contact: Rob McDougall, CEO Company: Upstream Works Software Web Address: https://www.upstreamworks.com/ For over two decades, Upstream Works has been a contact centre innovator dedicated to simplifying and enhancing agent and customer experiences through strategic and integrative technology solutions. Upstream Works’ pioneering software is designed to help clients achieve operational efficiency, drive long-term business growth, and revolutionise the connected customer experience. We speak to CEO Rob McDougall about how Upstream Works Software has shaped the future of customer experience. U

Issue 6 2024, Acquisition International | 15 have secured the services of Marco over the past five years to undertake projects in London, Switzerland, Jakarta, and Singapore. The difference Marco brings to a project is his ability to ‘see into the space’ and create a design that is both practicable and in line with what I require. Added to this is his Italian flair for choosing materials that further enhance the whole design concept. Dealing with Marco is a pleasure as he is dedicated to his clients and his work. My only reservation in writing this is that Marco may become too busy to undertake my work as others discover the quality of architect and project manager he is.” A testimonial from Brian Voges, consultant for Edward Pearce, reads, “We have had the pleasure of working with Prestige Architects on several high-end residential projects over may years, where we were involved as MEP consultants. Marco and his team consistently brought a level of creativity that complemented our design and their attention to detail ensured seamless integration with our MEP systems. We look forward to future collaborations with Prestige Architects.” With such glowing remarks, it is easy to understand the level of the service provided by Prestige Architects. The company has numerous renovations and build scheduled for the upcoming year, all of which can be viewed on the company website alongside Prestige Architects impressive portfolio of completed works. We eagerly anticipate the reveal of the completed works, and everything else that 2024 has in store for Prestige Architects. Contact: Marco Braghiroli Company: Prestige Architects Web Address: www.prestigearchitects.co.uk Elegant Architecture with a Personal Touch Following an illustrious career with some of the UK’s leading architecture firms, Marco Braghiroli decided to set up his own business in 2009 and made the jump to a full-time career after receiving the support of a repeat client. Marco’s extensive experience in the architectural sector has allowed him to build a strong portfolio of loyal clients. Prestige Architects works primarily within Chelsea, Belgravia, Knightsbridge, and Mayfair on bespoke, prime and uber-prime residential projects. The firm manages every aspect of the project for its clients, from the initial conception to completion. It recognises that this process can be challenging for the unexperienced and is there to provide expert support. The company prides itself on sourcing only the highest quality materials to produce flawless designs tailored to suit its clients’ tastes. Employees at Prestige Architects are experts in the field and conduct their duties with meticulous care, discretion, and clear communication. This is how the company has built a solid reputation within the industry. We asked Marco about the company’s latest successes. He says, “Our latest project involved the renovation and reimagining of a historic Grade II * listed property in Chelsea. The key challenges included navigating complex planning regulations and preserving the property’s heritage while incorporating modern design elements. We’re particularly proud of seamlessly blending the old with the new, creating a harmonious living space that respects the property’s history while meeting the needs of modern living.” Marco has developed a keen eye for detail and strong sense of style over the years which has given him a deep understanding of his clients’ expectations. The expert has combined his Italian roots with his artistic heritage to lead the Prestige Architects to success. Marco completed his architectural studies at the Politecnico of Milan and later studied interior design at the University of Hasselt in Belgium. This experience has given Marco the knowledge needed to remain at the forefront of architectural trends. The dedicated in-house team work tirelessly on high-level projects including a number of private London residencies, as well as homes across the globe. Prestige Architects are often requested abroad by repeat clients wanting renovations on their summer houses or ski chalets. This varying clientele base has allowed for Prestige Architects to build a diverse portfolio that showcases the many talents of its expert team. Of course, the company has received many testimonials of its excellent services from satisfied clients, most of whom promise to return for any future projects. Ann K writes, “I have been very fortunate to Prestige Architects is a Chelsea-based boutique architectural practice that specialises in the high-end residential market. Founded by architecture expert Marco Braghiroli, the company is an industry leader that provides excellent services with elegant designs tailored to suit the taste of its client. With a 90% return rate among current clients, Prestige Architects have mastered the personalised approach that builds a lasting relationship with its clientele. Prestige Architects

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