It all began 15 years ago. Read about our history here. 

A HIPPO ORIGIN STORY

As leaders in simple maintenance management software, Hippo CMMS knows the importance of a clean interface and user-friendly design. Our commitment to maintaining this level of simplicity is found in each software upgrade we release, development project we undertake, and easy to understand pricing that we standby. This core business policy is as important to us today as it was 20 years ago when a young architect named Robert Wrublowsky found himself looking for a particular kind of software.

A GAP IN THE INDUSTRY

MMP Architects Inc. was established in 1936 in Hippo’s native city, Winnipeg Manitoba. With a mandate to “push the envelope of contemporary design”, MMP has always valued innovation and a polished client experience. In the pursuit of providing added client value to their busy architectural projects, they tasked one of their own to find and implement automated facilities management. As a young intern, Robert began by learning new CMMS systems and recommending them to clients looking to maintain their buildings with the support of automated processes. During this trial period, Robert found numerous gaps in the industry and quickly formed plans to do something about it.

I believed the market badly needed a better software to create practices that would optimize the lifecycle and reduce the total cost of ownership for the buildings we were designing.

Robert set out to develop MMP's own software that addressed the shortcomings of other maintenance management systems, systems that clearly weren’t developed through the eyes of an architect. 

HIPPO'S FIRST CLIENT

The year 2000 was a turning point for the software. MMP was retained by a large government contract, Canada Public Works, to solve a building maintenance concern for their Northern School projects. It seemed that although the building specification for these schools should have had a life cycle of 50 plus years, they were requiring significant maintenance investment after just 12 years. To combat this, MMP decided to utilize their newly developed facilities management software. Sapotawaeyak Cree Nation School, a $32 Million dollar school would become the first pilot project.

To ensure that the software met the unique needs of this project, Robert worked closely with software programmers to refine code and modify its interface. They determined that in order for the project to succeed, the following criteria would need to be achieved;

  1. The software needed to be driven by a graphical interface with mouse functionality to allow for a shallow learning curve.
  2. The software needed to be intuitive and quick to enter work order and maintenance requests.
  3. The software needed to have a third party accountability reporting system so that Canada Public Works officers could log into any school account to review maintenance history.
  4. The software needed to provide quick access to the most important equipment information, such as manuals, history, and ID tags.
  5. The software needed to be economical and generic enough to be transferable to any building niche.

With the above product guidelines in mind, the first version of the software was launched in 2002. Branded with the name OMISI - Cree for “show me how”-   the software was well received by the client and went on to be installed in later First Nation Northern School Projects. Following the Sapotawaeyak launch, Opaskwayak Cree Nation high school "Oscar Lathlin" was the second school project to receive OMISI.

HIPPO EVOLVES

The software continued to evolve and support various MMP clients who were interested in computerized maintenance management systems. As the popularity of the software grew amongst MMP’s client base, the developers realized that this graphical product had the potential of wider market appeal. In 2004, the firm decided to venture into a larger market, but first a product name change with mass appeal needed to occur.

We selected Hippo as the name through a series of late night conferences and brainstorming about how to relaunch the product. We were looking for a symbol that represented unassuming strength, something not overwhelming or overly energized, but something that would conjure images of power and mass.

The name also needed to be catchy and out of the ordinary. With so many CMMS companies filling up the competitive landscape, Hippo CMMS wanted to differentiate itself from the rest. The idea to call the product Hippo came to life when they brainstormed the thought of software designed to keep maintenance manager’s "heads above water" through the ease of tracking PM activities. At the time, the team also decided that they tag FM or facility management at the end of Hippo to indicate the software’s functionality as an umbrella term.

Product awareness quickly grew and Hippo FM found itself in new local industries. The Wnnipeg Regional Health Authority, which operates all health centres in Winnipeg, opted to use Hippo as their CMMS solution. The increased demand put a strain on the current architectural staff members who, up until this point, were the sole software sellers and developers. In 2008, knowing that product popularity and the industry was sure to grow exponentially over the coming years, the owners decided to allocate a dedicated team of Hippo software staff to oversee product development. Three associates, working out of the MMP office, were the first members of Hippo’s evolving team. The next three years would see several strategy changes, numerous software versions, and 200% client growth.

HIPPO TODAY

Growing to a team of seven in 2013, the group decided they had outlived their capacity in the MMP office and moved into their very own Hippo headquarters (located conveniently in the vacant suite below MMP’s). Hippo received a total makeover in 2014 with the launch of its new rebrand and updated website. In addition to the aesthetic upgrade, the marketing team opted for a slight name change; dropping the FM in place of a more descriptive title- CMMS. Hippo CMMS, as we know it today, was born!

I believe that now is the time to add fuel to the momentum of Hippo's growth.

Hippo CMMS now employs a team of fifteen driven staff members, each working collaboratively together to push out the best software possible. With over 400 clients and an impressive 18,000+ users from a variety of industries, Hippo CMMS is a notable player in the world of maintenance management software. And with no signs of slowing down, Hippo is excited to continue this growth well into the future.

 

214 McDermot Ave Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 0S3 Canada