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Vision Critical President and Founder Andrew Reid is photographed in Vancouver, B.C., on Tuesday July 21, 2015.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

Vision Critical Communications Inc. hired Bank of Montreal to help prepare the marketing-software company for a potential initial public offering, according to people familiar with the process.

The Vancouver-based company, whose clients include British grocer Asda, U.S. retailer Banana Republic and NASCAR, will probably undertake another process early next year to choose the remaining banks to help market the IPO, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.

Vision Critical sells software that helps companies build online communities of customers that can give feedback on products and approaches. The company is weighing the sale of its consulting business ahead of any IPO, which would make it a pure-play software firm that may be more appealing to investors.

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Vision Critical was founded in 2000 by Andrew Reid and his father Angus Reid, one of Canada's best-known social researchers. Vision Critical is one of a handful of technology– focused Canadian firms said to be considering IPOs, along with Hootsuite Media Inc., D2L Inc. and Builddirect.com.

PointClickCare Corp., a Canadian health-care software provider, filed in September for a $100-million IPO in the U.S. and Canada, joining dual-listed Shopify Inc. after its $131-million initial sale in May. Other software IPOs in the past two years include Kinaxis Inc. and Halogen Software Inc.

Andrew Reid, who is Vision Critical's chief product officer, declined to comment on the process.

Pav Jordan, a spokesman for Bank of Montreal's BMO Capital Markets unit, declined to comment on whether the bank had been hired as part of the process.

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