Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Telesat tops Ottawa firms on Branham300

Posted by sweens on April 6, 2011

Published on April 5, 2011
Elizabeth Howell

Ottawa satellite firm Telesat sits atop more than 30 Ottawa-headquartered companies listed on the Branham300, an annual measure of Canadian technology firms based on worldwide revenue.

Consolidated revenues for Telesat in 2010 were $821 million, up four per cent or $34 million from 2009.

Considering foreign exchange fluctations, the increase was more like eight per cent, Telesat said when releasing the results in early March.

The firm is in reported takeover discussions that could culminate in new ownership in a matter of weeks. It currently is jointly owned by majority United States economic interests and majority Canadian voting interests.

Many of the firms in the top 20 of Branham’s list have or had significant presences in Ottawa, including RIM (which took top rank overall), BCE, Rogers Communications, Telus, MDA, OpenText and Nortel Networks.

Although Nortel is insolvent, the firm has been engaging in billions of dollars in asset sales in past years, still pushing its revenues up to the 14th rank overall on the Branham300.

Just yesterday, Nortel announced Google was the stalking-horse bidder for its last major asset – patents – for $900 million.

“It’s been a slow decline for Nortel, one of Canada’s most well know technology companies,” stated Darren Anderson, the research co-ordinator for Branham300.

“While Nortel only has skeleton operations remaining, they continued to generate sales in 2010 and as such remained on the Branham300 listing. While 2010 may be the last year that Nortel lands on the Branham300, there is no question that its influence on the tech community in Ottawa and throughout Canada will live on for years to come.”

Branham, a consulting firm, stated the technology industry as a whole had “modest” growth in 2010, with the top 250 companies seeing $73.93 billion in revenue, a nearly four-per-cent increase over $71.32 billion in 2009, but still down from $75.97 billion in 2008.

The complete list of Ottawa-headquartered firms:

– Telesat (13)

– Mitel (19)

– Calian Technologies (32)

– Zarlink Semiconductor (34)

– DragonWave (38)

– Bridgewater Systems (49)

– March Networks (53)

– Eagle Professional Resources (54)

– MOSAID Technologies (63)

– Maplesoft Group (65)

– Agda Group Consultants (65)

– Wi-LAN (89)

– Veritaaq Technology House (104)

– Nitro IT Business Solutions (115)

– CORADIX Technology Consulting (122)

– International Datacasting (132)

– Iridian Spectral Technologies (149)

– ExitCertified (151)

– 4Point (158)

– OSI Geospatial (159)

– Espial Group (178)

– Cistel (182)

– TRM Technologies Inc. (197)

– PIKA Technologies (204) – tied

– C-COM Satellite Systems (206)

– ThinkWrap Solutions (229)

– PrecisionERP (233)

– Fidus Systems (237)

– non-linear creations (242)

– In-Touch Survey Systems (250)

– Advanced Software Concepts (259)

– DataKinetics (271)

– TASKE Technology (276)

– TECSIS (279)

– The KTL Group (297)

Branham also published several other lists isolating specific industries.

Top 25 Canadian ICT Multinational Companies

– General Dynamics Canada (11)

– Alcatel-Lucent Canada (12)

– CSC (20)

Top 25 Canadian ICT Up and Comers

Gazaro (Ottawa)

Top 25 Canadian Software Companies

– Mitel (2)

– Bridgewater Systems (6)

Top 25 Canadian ICT Professional Services Companies

– Calian Technologies (9)

– Eagle Professional Resources (17)

– Adga Group Consultants (20)

– Maplesoft Group (technology division) (20)

Top 25 Canadian ICT Hardware and Infrastructure 

Companies

– Zarlink Semiconductor (13)

– DragonWave (15)

– March Networks (20)

– MOSAID Technologies (24)

Top 10 Canadian ICT Security Companies

– Cistel (9)

– TRM Technologies Inc. (10)

Top 10 Canadian Wireless Solutions Companies

– DragonWave (3)

– Bridgewater Systems (5)

Top 10 Canadian xSP Companies

– Telesat (6)

Top 10 Canadian ICT Staffing Companies

– Calian Technologies (2)

– Eagle Professional Resources (5)

– Maplesoft Group (technology division) (6)

– Veritaaq Technology House (8)

Top 20 Movers & Shakers

– Maplesoft Group (technology division) (2)

– DragonWave (5)

– Iridian Spectral Technologies (9)

– PrecisionERP (16)

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2011-04-05/article-2401810/Telesat-tops-Ottawa-firms-on-Branham300/1

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Tech labour crunch looming in Canada

Posted by sweens on March 30, 2011

By Jameson Berkow, Financial Post

TORONTO. Canada is facing a “systemic” technology labour shortage, a new study has found.

Companies will be looking to fill 106,000 new positions in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in the next five years, according to the study released Tuesday by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC). That would be good news for a recovering economy, were it not for a severe lack of qualified candidates to fill those positions.

As the sector returns to employment levels unseen since the tech boom of the early 2000s, the study said companies will be looking for applicants who are more than just “code-monkeys” but who also have a degree of business acumen and a diversity of skills. Women are also still severely underrepresented in the industry.

“We are quite comfortable in saying, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we have a problem,’ ” said Paul Swinwood, chief executive of the Ottawa-based industry group.

With demand for ICT professionals growing, annual enrollment rates for Canadian software and computer engineering programs appear to have flattened in recent years. Meanwhile, immigration of foreign workers with relevant ICT training and experience has recently been in decline. As a result, the study warns of “serious and pervasive” recruitment challenges in the coming years, with shortages being most severe for positions requiring several years of experience.

“The people with five to seven years experience just don’t exist anymore because we didn’t hire them five years ago,” Mr. Swinwood said. “The jobs have changed and the people that we need for them have changed.”

When the industry last peaked in 2001, the most sought after ICT workers were generally programmers who could be assigned to write specific pieces of software individually.

“But the skills in anticipation of what will be required going forward is certainly going to be different than it was 10 years ago,” said Evelyn Ledsham, global talent management leader at Open Text Corp. With about 1,200 Canada-based employees, Waterloo, Ont.-based Open Text is the country’s largest software company.

“In the past, people might have only looked for what I would call very silent functional skills, but in today’s marketplace that is just not going to be enough anymore and so many of us have to have the ability to adapt and be flexible,” Ms. Ledsham said.

That flexibility will require gaining expertise in other domains such as e-health, e-finance and digital media, the study said.

Unlike the previous tech boom, which was virtually exclusive to tech-focused companies, the one fast approaching will have its tentacles across the economy.

“This time around, it is the growth of the economy and the growth of information technology in the economy, and the employment is everywhere,” said Mr. Swinwood. “It is with Canadian Tire, it is with Canadian National, with CGI and Microsoft. All of Microsoft’s value-added resellers, the little fires as we know them out there, are just dying for people.”

Eric Gales, president of Microsoft Corp.’s Canadian division, said the software giant has long been aware of the limited talent pool in Canada and has been actively working to expand its outreach.

“There are not enough graduates entering our sector, that is a problem,” he said. “There are also not enough immigrants coming in with the right skills and there is going to be a battle if you like for the skilled professionals in the marketplace [for companies] to be an attractive destination for them,” he said.

Expanding recruitment to more diverse groups is one of several ways to close the gap recommended by the study. It notes that women in particular make up only 25% of all Canadian ICT employees, a figure that declined as recently as January.

” This gender imbalance limits the pool of workers industry can recruit from and compounds the skills shortage in Canada,” the report said, also noting that Aboriginal and First Nations people are underutilized as ICT workers.

© Copyright (c) National Post

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Tech+labour+crunch+looming+Canada/4528323/story.html#ixzz1I6OmMf1f

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The Worst Resume Mistake EVER!

Posted by sweens on March 29, 2011

By Mark Swartz
Monster Senior Contributing Writer

What could possibly be the worst mistake you could make when it comes to your resume?

Not targeting it to the kind of job you’re looking for is a biggie. Leaving out keywords that a scanner can pick up is another no-no. So is failing to list your achievements in ways the reader will find meaningful.
But the biggest error of all in putting your resume together is simply this: being sloppy.
A spelling mistake here. Forgetting to leave out information that could be used to discriminate against you there. Sending it in the wrong format. Small bits of sloppiness add up quickly. They can end up getting your resume tossed into the “don’t call us, we’ll call you” pile in a flash. So here are three tips to prevent this from happening.

Tip 1. Don’t Rely Entirely on Spell Check When Proofreading
Think your word processing software will fix all the mistake on your resume? Well, mine couldn’t figure out that in the previous sentence I should have written “all the mistakes” rather than using the singular form of the word “mistake.” Instead, it told me to write “fix the entire mistake on your resume.” So much for letting your computer proofread your resume for you.
What should you do as an alternative? Check out how to get others to go over your pre-final draft and catch the errors. Either free or for a fee, a few more pairs of eyes on your work can spot what you – and that pricey word processor of yours – didn’t.

Tip 2. Customize Your Wording To The Job You’re Applying For
Generic resumes are a dime a dozen. You may be able to get away with a “one size fits all” approach if applying for lower paying jobs such as retail clerk or warehouse worker. But for the higher paying jobs, an employer expects you to put in some extra effort.
Try your best to match the requirements listed in the job ads you’re applying for. And create a dynamic Summary section atop the first page.

Tip 3. Send It In The Proper Format
In our era of electronic job postings and e-resume submissions (sending your application via e-mail and online form), don’t guess which format the employer prefers.

Follow their instructions on the job posting carefully. If sending directly to an employer via their e-mail, include your resume as scannable text within the body of the e-mail itself; then attach a version with nice layout and fancier fonts too, just in case they want to show it around to other staff.

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Protus’s Ottawa staff levelled in wake of j2 takeover

Posted by sweens on March 23, 2011

Krystle Chow 
Ottawa Business Journal

More than 100 staff have been let go from Internet fax and communications services provider Protus’s local office since the Ottawa company announced its $213-million acquisition by Hollywood rival j2 Global Communications three months ago, a company official confirmed.

Steve Adams, Protus’s vice-president and general manager, said about 130 or 140 people are currently employed in the Ottawa operations. That’s down significantly from the 300-employee figure recorded in Protus’s latest Ottawa Technology magazine listing.

“When the initial announcement was made, there were layoffs, but that’s behind us now,” said Mr. Adams. “It’s a stable environment here and we’re hiring now; we have open positions in (customer) support and technical areas.”

The news adds detail to an e-mail acquired in early December, in which Protus’s then-CEO, Joseph Nour, wrote to employees that there would be an “immediate reduction” of overall head count.

Mr. Adams stressed that j2 has shown “real commitment” to the Ottawa area and to its e-mail marketing business Campaigner, which Protus acquired in 2008.

According to Mr. Adams, j2 is “keeping all the functions necessary” to run and support Campaigner in town – including sales, marketing, engineering and development, operations and customer support – although he confirmed the accounting department is migrating to j2’s California head office and there is no longer a legal team in Ottawa.

Meanwhile, the MyFax virtual faxing service – which brought in about 81 per cent of Protus’s total revenues in the 12 months leading to Oct. 31, 2010, compared to approximately 11 per cent for Campaigner – will also continue to survive.

“MyFax is a very strong product and a very strong brand, and j2 continues to invest in it and support it,” said Mr. Adams, who pointed out that j2 operates a number of brands in the Internet faxing space, including its own eFax offering.

MyFax and eFax were the subjects of a five-year battle between Protus and j2, with the latter accusing the local firm of infringing on its Internet faxing patents and of sending junk faxes to j2 customers.

Several other competitors in the fax-to-e-mail industry were also involved in j2 lawsuits, including San Francisco-based CallWave Inc. and Miami’s Venali Inc. However, CallWave settled its patent infringement lawsuit with j2 in 2007, with j2 buying its rival’s Internet fax assets in 2009. And like Protus, Venali was acquired by j2 in September 2010 as part of a buying spree that brought a total of eight companies under the j2 umbrella.

Despite the overlap between j2’s various e-faxing brands as a result of the acquisitions, j2 spokesperson Bill Threlkeld noted in an e-mail to OBJ that “MyFax will run as it always has from its Ottawa base” for the foreseeable future.

“Over time, components of the service may migrate to other j2 facilities for efficiency, just as some of j2’s other operations may migrate to Ottawa for efficiency,” he wrote, adding that Protus’s call centre in Ottawa has already begun to take calls for other j2 brands.

The one thing that remains uncertain is the fate of Protus’s my1voice virtual phone service, which Mr. Adams said is “not yet determined.” The business made up three per cent of Protus’s total sales at the time of the j2 acquisition.

“My1voice is important to j2 but … there is some product overlap,” he said.

Protus’s strong presence in the Ottawa tech scene and its second-place position in the Internet faxing industry made the company an attractive target for j2. MyFax reached 500,000 subscribers in 2010, although it trailed behind eFax’s 11 million users.

THE ‘FAX’ ABOUT PROTUS

1997: Protus is founded.

May 2004: Protus introduces Internet-based virtual fax service.

August 2005: j2 Global Communications launches patent lawsuit against Protus.

February 2006: j2 accuses Protus and competitor Venali of sending unsolicited faxes to j2 customers.

2007-2009: Protus wins OBJ’s Employees’ Choice Award, recognizing a high level of job satisfaction among staff.

December 2007: Protus announces that j2 patent suit has been dismissed with prejudice in the central district of California.

June 2008: Protus acquires Campaigner and launches my1voice virtual PBX phone service. j2 files another patent infringement lawsuit against Protus and two other companies in the eastern district of Texas.

February 2009: j2 acquires Callwave’s Internet fax assets.

April 2009: Protus named one of OBJ‘s Fastest Growing Companies.

February 2010: Protus announces it has defeated j2 patents in Europe and the United States.

September 2010: j2 buys Venali.

December 2010: Protus acquired by j2.

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2011-03-22/article-2353255/Protus%26rsquo%3Bs-Ottawa-staff-levelled-in-wake-of-j2-takeover/1

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Federal contracts (Feb. 27-March 5)

Posted by sweens on March 17, 2011

Otis Canada Inc.

2480 Lancaster Rd.

Description: Elevator installation and maintenance

Buyer: PWGSC

$3,628,568

Altis Human Resources (Ottawa) Inc. and Excel Human Resources Inc., in joint venture

102 Bank St.

Description: Informatices professional services

Buyer: PWGSC

$2,570,750

Maplesoft Consulting Inc.

408 Churchill Ave.

Description: Informatices professional services

Buyer: PWGSC

$2,570,750

Advanced Chippewa Technologies Inc.

84 Valley Ridge St.

Description: ADP input-output and storage devices

Buyer: DND

$1,852,032

IBM Canada Ltd.

340 Albert St.

Description: ETL software solution

Buyer: RCMP

$1,417,505

Otis Canada Inc.

2480 Lancaster Rd.

Description: Elevator installation and maintenance

Buyer: PWGSC

$1,219,044

Valcom Consulting Group Inc.

85 Albert St.

Description: Naval architecture

Buyer: DND

$1,041,227

IPSS Inc.

150 Isabella St.

Description: ADP software

Buyer: DND

$862,289

Interis Consulting Inc.

275 Slater St.

Description: Human resource services, business consulting/change management, project management services (supply arrangement TSPS)

Buyer: PWGSC

$705,600

Systems for Research Corp.

300 Earl Grey Dr.

Description: Optical instruments, test equipment, components and accessories

Buyer: Natural Resources Canada

$632,630

Advanced Chippewa Technologies Inc.

84 Valley Ridge St.

Description: ADP input-output and storage devices

Buyer: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

$460,164

Canadian Space Services Ltd.

2336 Craig’s Side Rd.

Description: Radar equipment, except airborne

Buyer: DND

$390,991

DBA Akran Marketing

2000 Thurston Dr.

Description: Flags and pennants

Buyer: Canadian Heritage

$324,847

Integrated Network Security Alliance 2005 Inc.

2725 Queensview Dr.

Description: ADP input-output and storage devices

Buyer: Treasury Board of Canada

$286,253

Motorola Canada Ltd.

360 Albert St.

Description: Radio and television communications equipment, airborne

Buyer: RCMP

$282,742

IBM Canada Ltd.

340 Albert St.

Description: ADP input-output and storage devices

Buyer: HRSDC

$188,170

Stoneworks Technologies Inc.

2212 Gladwin Cres.

Description: ADP input-output and storage devices

Buyer: Natural Resources Canada

$187,023

Bell Canada

160 Elgin St.

Description: Communications security equipment and components

Buyer: DND

$186,006

Dalian Enterprises Inc.

151 Slater St.

Description: ADP input-output and storage devices

Buyer: Correctional Service of Canada

$179,433

DLS Technology Corp.

1376 Bank St.

Description: ADP software

Buyer: Treasury Board of Canada

$155,664

Intergraph Canada Ltd.

1600 Carling Ave.

Description: Cameras, still picture

Buyer: DND

$146,207

Johnson Controls L.P.

30 Edgewater St.

Description: Building automated control systems

Buyer: PWGSC

$126,665

Maxys Staffing & Consulting

173 Dalhousie St.

Description: Professional services

Buyer: Office of the Superintendant of Financial Institutions Canada

$123,396

S.i. Systems Inc.

130 Slater St.

Description: Professional services

Buyer: Office of the Superintendant of Financial Institutions Canada

$112,383

CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants Inc.

275 Slater St.

Description: Professional services

Buyer: Office of the Superintendant of Financial Institutions Canada

$100,000

Veritaaq Technology House

2327 St. Laurent Blvd.

Description: Professional services

Buyer: Office of the Superintendant of Financial Institutions Canada

$100,000

http://www.obj.ca/Local/For%20the%20Record/2011-03-17/article-2336470/Federal-contracts-Feb-27March-5/1

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Despite layoffs, Protus acquisition ‘breaks a log-jam’ in Ottawa: insider

Posted by sweens on December 7, 2010

By Elizabeth Howell

After years of undisclosed acquisitions of Ottawa firms, the high-profile, US$213-million Protus IP Solutions Inc. acquisition on Monday could prove the turning point for the local tech industry, according to one insider.

An undisclosed number of employees will be severed from Ottawa’s Protus IP Solutions Inc. following its acquisition by U.S.-based j2 Global Communications, according to Protus’s CEO.

However, the managing partner of Perry Martel International said the layoffs, though never pleasant, came at an opportune time for the affected employees.

“It’s the best time of the year to be laid off because managers are in their office right now doing Christmas period planning budgets for the new year, and with new budgets come new hires,” David Perry pointed out.

But taking a step back from the company itself, Mr. Perry said j2’s interest in the Ottawa firm “breaks a log-jam” for a city known for low-profile takeovers with acquisition sums never revealed.

It proves the key for local companies to become acquisition-worthy, he said, is effective marketing outside of Ottawa and Canada.

“The (founders) – I’m going to get in trouble for this,” he quipped, “are two fairly dull engineers. They shun the limelight.

“They just do the work, and fax is considered a dull business. All these Internet businesses (in Ottawa) that have come and gone, and crashed and burned, have been the darlings of the business industry. And they got nothing.” 

Chief executive Joseph Nour, though “pleased” by the takeover, said the layoffs were a tough choice, according to an e-mail to employees acquired by OBJ.

“The plan is to continue to aggressively market and sell the brands key to Protus’ historical success and to maintain operations in Ottawa,” Mr. Nour wrote.

“There will, however, be realigning of resources in order to optimize synergies, resulting in an immediate reduction of our overall headcount.

“The decision to eliminate some positions was extremely difficult and was not taken lightly. These changes are important for future achievements and the ability to continue to drive profitable growth.”

Protus had 260 workers before the acquisition, according to OBJ files. Company officials did not immediately respond to OBJ requests for comment.

Steve Adams will now lead the Ottawa office, becoming Protus’ general manager and vice-president and directly reporting to j2 CEO Hemi Zucker.

j2 made the purchase out of cash on hand and expects $15 million in related expenses in the next nine months, with between $5 million to $11 million charged in j2’s current fiscal quarter.

The two companies were in court in 2008 regarding Protus’ opposition of  j2’s trademark application for the word ‘eFax’ in the United Kingdom.

Earlier this year, that patent was revoked

“The European Patent Office held that, in the face of the prior art in the field, the patent lacked any ‘inventive step’ because a ‘person skilled in the art’ could achieve the claims of the patent by using ‘well-established’ search techniques,” Protus said in a statement at the time.

Protus remained strong through the recession and was 10th on OBJ‘s list of fastest-growing companies in 2009.

It provides software-as-a-service communications for business under three main products: MyFax, Campaigner and My1Voice.

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-12-06/article-2020786/UPDATE-2%3A-Despite-layoffs%2C-Protus-acquisition-breaks-a-log-jam-in-Ottawa%3A-insider/1

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Protus takeover was a safe alternative to IPO: analysts

Posted by sweens on December 7, 2010

By Elizabeth Howell

Protus IP Solutions Inc.’s US$213-million takeover yesterday by its court rival, j2 Global Communications, was the best outcome possible for the company given ongoing litigation, an analyst says.

The acquisition represents the second $200-million-plus deal in Ottawa in the past year. The other one concerned blood-diagnostics firm Epocal Inc., which in January announced Inverness would acquire all of its issued and outstanding equity securities for US$255 million.

Protus and rival j2 had been engaged in a multi-year court battle concerning the validity of j2’s claim to trademark the word “eFax” in the United Kingdom, which flared up again in April when the patent was revoked.

With Protus reaching 500,000 subscribers this year for its fax business and pegged as one of OBJ’s fastest-growing companies during the recession, its founders were eager to take the company public, says David Wismer, managing director and head of the technology investment banking group at BMO Capital Markets.

However, chief executive Joseph Nour and co-founder Simon Nehme were advised not to do an IPO given the uncertainty of the court battle, said Mr. Wismer, who said he was familiar with the circumstances given his organization was one of the financing parties.

 “That was one of the big concerns going that route: the litigation was going to be a challenge,” Mr. Wismer said in an OBJ interview.

“The sales process made more sense for the companies, to eliminate the litigation for both of them.”

At Thomson Reuters, analysts there tracked 29 disclosed deals nationwide in 2010, up from 25 in 2009.

Ottawa’s two prominent deals this year, among the three largest disclosed across Canada, will be an “eye-catching” opportunity for investors, said Kirk Falconer, Thomson’s director of research in private equity.

“There are still high-growth companies in Ottawa,” he noted of the Protus and Epocal deals. “There are experienced technology entrepreneurs and angel investors.

“It’s a reminder that companies like Protus exist, and there will be more like them.”

j2 and Protus took the lion’s share of the Internet fax market, with Protus’ main products being MyFax, Campaigner and My1Voice.

But given j2’s 11 million subscribers to Protus’ 500,000, industry observers pointed out a takeover was the most likely option for the burgeoning Ottawa firm to grow in such a small field of competition.

Ottawa firm LaBarge Weinstein represented Protus in court and served as its general counsel since 2000.

Partner Michael Dunleavy said he had not heard the IPO rumour, but pointed out that meeting in the courtroom repeatedly gave the two firms natural contacts to begin takeover discussions.

Both firms had a “mutual agreement” that the acquisition would benefit everyone, including Protus’ 260 employees – who all, “right down to the janitor”, had money invested in the firm.

He said it would help soften the blow for the employees who will be let go in the wake of the takeover, a move announced in a staff e-mail Mr. Nour sent yesterday.

“It’s a solid business in and of itself, with $7 million in revenues and positive earnings,” Mr. Dunleavy said.

“That business was permitted to grow by good stewards – the venture capitalists and the management team.

” BEST Funds, BMO Capital Corporation, Celtic House Venture Partners, Covington Capital Corporation, Edgestone Venture Fund and Mosaic Venture Partners all took part in the takeover.

“You have all-Canadian VCs in there who, in some cases, have been in there for 11 years,” Mr. Dunleavy said. “That’s a tremendous testimony to their patience, waiting for value to crystallize.

“As far as what it means in the Ottawa landscape, it’s a testimony to what patience will accomplish. There is a perception that venture capitalists are looking for liquidity as early as possible, and that was clearly not the case.”

For greater Ottawa, the acquisition – though it technically headquarters the company outside of the region – will bring value to the area in other ways, says OCRI chief executive Claude Haw.

“It frees up the VCs, and they badly need that to happen. It frees up some people that now have experience to go off and do it again,” he said.

The founders, Mr. Haw added, will have the flexibility to take risks in a new company, especially with “a few million dollars in their pocket.”

“The reality is, very few people leave the region despite the doom and gloom that some espouse. People who have built a business here like to stay in Ottawa, and the lion’s share of people who end up in a sale like this stay here and start again.”

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-12-07/article-2023239/UPDATE-2%3A-Protus-takeover-was-a-safe-alternative-to-IPO%3A-analysts/1

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Halogen touts 38% revenue increase in third quarter

Posted by sweens on November 5, 2010

Ottawa’s Halogen Software finished its third quarter of 2010 with “significant market momentum” and a 38 per cent revenue increase in annual recurring revenue, according to a release by the firm.

The company, which is privately owned, only released selected financial parameters, focusing on its new customer wins and recognition at the HR Technology Conference in September.

New customers the firm added include IMAX Corp., LinkedIn Corp., U.S. Court Services and Baltimore Life Insurance.

In addition, Halogen released two new products for public sector and hospitality organizations.

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-11-05/article-1926279/Halogen-touts-38%25-revenue-increase-in-third-quarter/1

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Oracle to buy ATG for $1B

Posted by sweens on November 2, 2010

The business software provider Oracle says it has agreed to acquire e-commerce software maker Art Technology Group Inc. for US$1 billion in cash.

The purchase price works out to $6 per share. That is a 46 per cent premium over Cambridge, Mass.-based Art Technology’s closing price on Monday.

The deal needs shareholder and regulatory approval. Oracle said Tuesday it expects to complete the acquisition by early next year.

Oracle Corp., based in Redwood Shores, Calif., makes a wide range of business software.

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-11-02/article-1918494/Oracle-to-buy-ATG-for-%241B/1

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Bridgewater’s Q3 net income doubles

Posted by sweens on November 2, 2010

Bridgewater Systems says its third-quarter net income doubled to $3.4 million and raised its 2010 profit target range as revenue increased by 52 per cent over the same time last year.

The Ottawa-based technology company’s profit amounted to 13 cents per share with $23.9 million in revenue.

That’s up from $1.7 million or seven cents per share of net income with $15.8 million of revenue in the third quarter of 2009.

Bridgewater, which provides mobile personalization technology to telecom carriers, also provided updated guidance for 2010.

It now expects between $12 million and $13.5 million in net income. The previous range had been lower at between $10 million and $12 million.

Bridgewater also raised the lower end of its revenue range by $9 million to $92 million, but left the higher end of the range intact $94 million.

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-11-02/article-1918490/Bridgewaters-Q3-net-income-doubles/1

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Nortel to Sell Ottawa Carling Campus to Public Works and Government Services Canada

Posted by sweens on October 19, 2010

October 19, 2010

TORONTO – Nortel Networks Corporation announced that as part of its focus on maximizing value for its stakeholders, its principal operating subsidiary Nortel Networks Limited and Nortel Networks Technology Corporation (together, Nortel) have entered into a sale agreement with Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) for the sale of Nortel’s Ottawa Carling Campus, for a cash purchase price of CDN$208 million. The sale, targeted to close at end of year, is subject to customary closing conditions as well as approval of certain governmental authorities and of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The Ottawa Carling Campus is located on 370 acres of land in Ottawa’s National Capital Commission greenbelt, and is comprised of 11 interconnected buildings totaling over 2 million square feet.

The sale agreement provides for Nortel to continue to occupy parts of the Campus for varying periods of time to facilitate Nortel’s continuing work on its global restructuring including work under the transition services agreements with the various buyers of Nortel’s sold businesses. All other existing leases will be assumed by PWGSC, including leases with buyers of Nortel’s businesses. With respect to the lease with Ciena, the purchaser of the Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet (MEN) business, Nortel is directed by PWGSC under the sale agreement to exercise, on closing, Nortel’s early termination rights under the lease, shortening the lease from 10 years to 5 years. This will result, pursuant to the lease with Ciena, in the repayment to Ciena of US$33.5 million from the escrowed sale proceeds from the MEN sale.

The sale agreement further provides that at closing title will be delivered free and clear of all encumbrances, including the charge in favour of Nortel Networks Inc. with respect to an intercompany loan agreement, under which US$75 million is outstanding as previously announced and reported.

As previously announced, Nortel does not expect that the Company’s common shareholders or the NNL preferred shareholders will receive any value from the creditor protection proceedings and expects that the proceedings will result in the cancellation of these equity interests.

http://www2.nortel.com/go/news_detail.jsp?cat_id=-8055&oid=100269828&locale=en-US&lcid=-1

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DragonWave Q2 profits fall 78.9%

Posted by sweens on October 13, 2010

But year-to-date numbers still strong

Packet microwave radio systems supplier DragonWave Inc. reported a sharp reduction in second-quarter earnings late Wednesday as net earnings slipped to $1.2 million, compared to $5.7 million a year earlier.

Revenues were also down, falling to $27.2 million from $32.4 million in Q2 of the company’s fiscal 2010 year.

Despite the disappointing results – which come a week after one analyst advised his clients to ditch the Ottawa-based company’s shares – DragonWave president and CEO Peter Allen said he was “satisfied” with firm’s progress in strengthening its market presence and expanding its base of customers and partners.

“The global demand for mobile broadband Internet services continues to expand – we are still in the early stages of the growth potential for DragonWave mobile backhaul solutions in markets throughout the world,” Mr. Allen said in a statement.

The company’s fiscal year-to-date figures painted a more positive picture. Revenue in the first six months of fiscal 2011 was $75.9 million, a 67-per-cent increase over the previous year.

Profits more than doubled, from $3.4 million to $10.9 million.

In recent months, critics have highlighted how a single customer, wireless broadband services firm Clearwire, provides the lion’s share of DragonWave’s revenues. Clearwire recently slowed its pace of orders from DragonWave, prompting concerns from investors.

In its quarterly financial summary, DragonWave (TSX:DWI) noted it had two customers that each contributed more than 10 per cent of its revenues.

The company is forecasting $30 million in third-quarter revenues.

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-10-07/article-1830603/DragonWave-Q2-profits-fall-78.9%25/1

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Federal contracts (Sept. 27 – Oct. 1)

Posted by sweens on October 13, 2010

OBJ Staff
Ottawa Business Journal

Zylog Systems (Ottawa) Ltd.
1545 Carling Ave.
Description: Informatics professional services
Buyer: DND
$5,077,728.45

Nisha Technologies Inc.
2150 Thurston Dr.
Description: Informatics professional services
Buyer: DND
$3,376,821.11 

Calian Ltd.
340 Legget Dr.
Description: Informatics professional services
Buyer: DND
$2,994,540.14

Thales Canada
1 Chrysalis Way
Description: Underwater sound equipment
Buyer: PWGSC
$2,438,144

Ifathom Corp.
900 Morrison Dr.
Description: Informatics professional services
Buyer: DND
$999,485 

Leroux,Chauhan,Ouimet & Associes Inc.
124 O’Connor St.
Description: Other architectural and engineering services – real property
Buyer: PWGSC
$989,612.25 

Prestige Design and Construction (Ottawa) Ltd.
50 Camelot Dr.
Description: Paving contractor services (except mud jacking)
Buyer: PWGSC
$692,678.70 

TPG Technology Consulting Ltd.
887 Richmond Rd.
Description: Informatics professional services
Buyer: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
$594,945

IBM Canada Ltd.
340 Albert St.
Description: ADP software
Buyer: HRSDC
$479,298.90

Statel Capital Technology Partners Inc.
275 Slater St.
Description: Task-based informatics professional services (TBIPS) requirement
Buyer: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
$449,960.02

Dalian Enterprises Inc.
151 Slater St.
Description: ADP input-output and storage devices
Buyer: Statistics Canada
$419,727.25

Bolton Electric
5411 Canotek Rd.
Description: Humidification systems upgrades
Buyer: National Gallery of Canada
$371,350

Jolimot Inc.
460 Gréber Blvd.
Description: Translation services
Buyer: PWGSC
$277,121.25 

Senstar-Stellar Corp.
119 John Cavanaugh Rd.
Description: Alarm, signal, and security detection systems, miscellaneous
Buyer: Correctional Service of Canada
$254,565.68

Veritaaq Technology House Inc.
2327 St. Laurent Blvd.
Description: Informatics professional services
Buyer: PWGSC
$236,17 0

Rohde & Schwarz Canada Inc.
750 Palladium Dr.
Description: Electrical and electronic properties measuring and testing instruments
Buyer: Canadian Space Agency
$194,754.13

Serge F. Constant
850 Wilfrid-Lavigne Blvd.
Description: Translation services
Buyer: PWGSC
$172,500 

Version Plus
4038 Eady Crt.
Description: Translation services
Buyer: PWGSC
$161,920 

Motorola Canada Ltd.
360 Albert St.
Description: Radio navigation equipment except airborne, electrical and electronic components and spares
Buyer: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
$153,596.30

Les entreprises Marcel Rocheleau Inc.
154 rue Hillcrest
Description: Translation services
Buyer: PWGSC
$138,621

Calian Ltd.
340 Legget Dr.
Description: Informatics professional services
Buyer: PWGSC
$112,954.80

CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants Inc.
275 Slater St.
Description: $105,282.10
Buyer: Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions
$105,282.10

Rohde & Schwarz Canada Inc.
750 Palladium Dr.
Description: Chemical analysis instruments
Buyer: DND
$102,057.65

Pavage Inter Cite
485 Rue de Vernon
Description: Asphalt and joint sealing services
Buyer: National Capital Commission
$101,445

http://www.obj.ca/Local/For-the-Record/2010-10-13/article-1844801/Federal-contracts-%28Sept.-27—Oct.-1%29/1

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PS skirting its own hiring rules by using temp workers, watchdog warns

Posted by sweens on September 23, 2010

By Kathryn May, The Ottawa Citizen September 21, 2010

OTTAWA — Federal departments appear to be using thousands of workers hired through temporary help agencies to circumvent their own rules and laws, says Canada’s staffing watchdog.

In a letter to a parliamentary committee, Public Service Commission president Maria Barrados flagged some of the worrisome trends that have emerged in the initial phase of the commission’s year-long probe of the government’s $300-million a year dependence on temporary-help agencies.

She said early analysis reveals “a number of patterns that suggest circumvention” of the Public Service Employment Act, which governs staffing in the public service. She cited concerns that workers are staying in temporary jobs too long and they can use these temporary postings as footholds in the public service that give them an “unfair advantage” when landing full-time positions.

“The PSC feels that temporary help workers may have an unfair advantage over other candidates in the public service processes, either through the experience they gain or through connections they make with hiring managers,” said the letter sent to the Commons government operations committee before Parliament recessed for the summer.

Critics have long argued spending on temp agencies has exploded over the years because departments rely on them to help them skirt the time-consuming hiring, language and geographic rules they have to follow when filling positions.

However, Barrados’s review is the first major study of the scope of the government’s use of agencies. She is only examining the core public service — departments under the Treasury Board umbrella. The final study will be tabled in Parliament with her annual report in early October.

Meanwhile, the Senate is also considering a motion to have its national finance committee investigate the cost and use of staffing agencies.

The government spends about $7.5 billion a year on contracts for a range of professional and special services. At $300 million, spending on temporary help agencies is a small slice, but it has grown at a much faster rate than for all other professional services and contracts.

Agencies have a stable of workers in almost any occupation who have been screened and can be placed in jobs on a moment’s notice. Workers are paid by the agencies, which in turn charge the government placement fees.

The $300-million figure is four times the amount of 20 years ago and twice the amount of 10 years ago. Nearly all of the spending is in the National Capital Region, where many department headquarters are concentrated, but only one-third of the public servants work.

Many say the growing reliance on temporary workers has only exacerbated the massive turnover in the public service, where people move from job to job.

The government has always hired temporary workers to fill in for workers who are absent or managers who need extra staff for a short-term project, to clear backlogs or to fill vacant positions while they are recruiting to fill them. Barrados acknowledges these uses are critical to help departments manage day-to-day.

The problem is this flexibility is being abused and many worry temporary positions are becoming a backdoor entry into the public service.

It’s a problem Senator Pierrette Ringuette fears is watering down the quality and stability of Canada’s public service. She is also concerned temporary agencies have become an entry for political and bureaucratic patronage.

“Are bureaucrats and politicians sending people they want to these agencies to be placed? If that is the game being played, it isn’t fair and it’s illegal,” said Ringuette.

“I think we are destroying the high quality of public services Canadians enjoy and pride ourselves on. Government is not a temporary operation, so thinking and planning that way will lead to eventual chaos.”

Ringuette argues the Public Service Commission has the technology to recruit pools of temporary workers. This way departments hire temp workers directly, pay them higher wages and avoid the fees paid to agencies acting as middlemen.

The commission’s study is aimed at getting a handle on how and why the agencies are being used, including a picture of how long the workers are staying in jobs; whether they get an unfair advantage in landing a permanent job and whether departments are using temp workers for “long-term needs” when they should be filling existing job vacancies.

The initial sampling of contracts in various departments found a “substantial number” were for longer than six months.

The longest contracts went for people filling jobs other than clerical or administrative work.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/temp+tactics+skirt/3553968/story.html#ixzz10MEdZ08r

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Federal contracts (Aug. 30-Sept. 3)

Posted by sweens on September 17, 2010

Federal standing offers, supply arrangements and contracts recently awarded to local companies.

Thales Canada Inc.

1 Chrysalis Way

Description: Radio navigation equipment, except airborne

Buyer: DND

$7,239,212.79

Entrust Ltd.

1000 Innovation Dr.

Description: Security printing passes/cards

Buyer: DND

$764,119.62

TRM Technologies

151 Slater St.

Description: Consulting services

Buyer: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

$500,000

DEW Engineering and Development ULC

3429 Hawthorne Rd.

Description: Food, cooking, baking and serving equipment

Buyer: DND

$435,393

Valcom Consulting Group Inc.

85 Albert St.

Description: Engineering and technical services – weapon systems related

Buyer: DND

$358,596

Donna Cona Inc.

106 Colonnade Rd.

Description: Informatics professional services

Buyer: PWGSC

$311,608.80

Valcom Consulting Group Inc.

85 Albert St.

Description: Engineering and technical services – weapon systems related

Buyer: DND

$224,146.80

Ernst & Young LLP

100 Queen St.

Description: Internal and external audits (supply arrangement PASS)

Buyer: PWGSC

$203,595

Promaxis Systems Inc.

2385 St Laurent Blvd.

Description: Engineering and technical services – weapon systems related

Buyer: DND

$200,025

AK Global Construction & Development Inc.

680 Eagleson Rd.

Description: Refit of the Victoria Building

Buyer: PWGSC

$177,975

VCI Controls Inc.

38 Antares Dr.

Description: BACS – building automation control systems

Buyer: PWGSC

$168,452.81

IBM Canada Ltd.

340 Albert St.

Description: ADP input-output and storage devices – maintenance

Buyer: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

$144,622.30

IBM Canada Ltd.

340 Albert St.

Description: ADP input-output and storage devices – maintenance

Buyer: Statistics Canada

$129,858.62

http://www.obj.ca/Local/For-the-Record/2010-09-17/article-1770543/Federal-contracts-%28Aug.-30-Sept.-3%29/1

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