Photo: The Dematic Waterloo team at their new research and development office at Waterloo Innovation Park. (Left to right) Rob Targosz, Manager, Global Software Performance and Optimization, Sam Oosterhuis, Manager, Global Software Test Automation, Ginny Smith, Waterloo Office Manager, Scott Wahl, Director, Global Software Projects, Pete Devenyi, Vice President, Global Software Development. 

Think of the last thing you ordered on Amazon.

It’s likely a Dematic product touched it somewhere along the way.

As the world’s largest provider of order fulfillment systems, Dematic builds the machines that automate warehouses across the globe. It employs more than 4,000 employees worldwide, and has just made Waterloo Region home to its new software-focused research and development lab.

“It was well understood by Dematic what a mecca of software exists in the region,” said Peter Devenyi, VP of Global Software Development at Dematic. After moving in last week, they are one of two companies located at the new Waterloo Innovation Park at 609 Kumpf Dr., and they’re looking to rapidly fill their new space.

As former Senior VP of Enterprise Software at BlackBerry, Devenyi thought the region was a natural fit for the multinational company, which has traditionally focused on engineering. They now want to build a group to refine research, software development and analytics.

That’s where Waterloo comes in.

Devenyi credits the region’s tech talent and startup feel with attracting the company to set up operations here. He also thinks Dematic provides a unique offering with the R&D lab’s high-energy workspace and the stability of a large company.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to bring these new opportunities to the community and open up really exciting, challenging jobs,” Devenyi said, “both for relatively young, new graduates and also for very experienced software architects.”

In fact, four out of Dematic’s five current Waterloo employees worked at BlackBerry.

Sam Oosterhuis, Manager of Global Software Test Automation, worked with Devenyi at BlackBerry as Manager of Tools and Test Automation. He’s excited to build a team from scratch, much like the way a startup would.

“We’re wracking our brains about who we can get in, and talking about how we accelerate the growth here, how we build up the team as fast as possible with good people,” Oosterhuis said.

Scott Wahl, Global Software Project Director and former Vice President of Software Services at Blackberry, said “Pete’s role is to pull together and try to build a global – as opposed to regionally distributed – software organization for really the first time.”

The team expects to fill 25 more positions within the year, and they’re not stopping there.

“If we do well, and we show what Waterloo can do and the talent we have in this region, I think we have a tremendous opportunity for this facility to grow bigger,” Devenyi said.

“Quite honestly, we want to be the best in the industry.”