Tom Sweeney

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Posts Tagged ‘U.S.’

Nortel wraps up sale of CVAS business to GENBAND; almost 400 Ottawa jobs preserved

Posted by sweens on May 31, 2010

GENBAND has completed its acquisition of the Nortel’s carrier voice-over-Internet protocol and application solutions business, one of the last major pieces of the fallen telecom giant to be sold.

Plano, Texas-based GENBAND, which announced the US $182-million deal in February, said Friday that it’s now wrapped up planning for the integration process and has finalized its executive management team, reporting structure and product roadmaps.

As well, nearly 100 per cent of the 400 employment offers extended to Nortel’s former employees in the division have been accepted, the company said. There will be approximately 500 people in total working for GENBAND in Canada.

 “We are pleased to further our vision of fuelling next-generation network migration and IP multimedia services deploymehnt through our successful acquisition of Nortel CVAS technology and talent,” said GENBAND chief executive Charles Vogt in a statement. “By creating one of the most comprehensive, standards-based, interoperable switching portfolios in the world, we will facilitate the industry’s massive and ongoing efforts to modernize networks, maximize existing investments and converge fixed and mobile infrastructures across disparate networks.”

GENBAND has acquired Nortel’s softswitches, media gateways and application platforms and will combine the technology with its own media, session and security gateways, the company said.

The deal means GENBAND will now have strategic product and support facilities in Ottawa, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Maidenhead, Shanghai and Beijing, as well as strategic partners in India and Turkey.

GENBAND paid US$282 million, with balance sheet and other adjustments reducing the net purchase price to $182 million.

The company noted it bought the CVAS business with the help of existing shareholder One Equity Partners, a private equity firm.

“Today’s announcement represents another successful milestone while preserving Nortel’s carrier VoIP technology innovation and base of highly skilled employees,” said Nortel’s chief strategy officer George Riedel. “The sale of our CVAS business to GENBAND enables our global service provider customers to continue to benefit from Nortel’s industry-leading carrier VoIP and telephony expertise and long-standing track record in transitioning time-division multiplexing networks to VoIP.”

GENBAND was originally supposed to be the initial bidder in an auction of the CVAS business, but in February Nortel said it would instead sell the division directly to the U.S. company.

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-05-28/article-1183291/Nortel-wraps-up-sale-of-CVAS-business-to-GENBAND%3B-almost-400-Ottawa-jobs-preserved/1

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Canadian economy grows 6.1% in first quarter

Posted by sweens on May 31, 2010

The Canadian economy was roaring in the first quarter, jumping ahead of even the rosy estimates of economists to post an oversized 6.1 per cent annualized advance during the first three months of 2010.

It was the largest quarterly expansion in more than a decade.

The number doubled what the U.S. economy managed to produce and bettered the consensus forecast for a 5.8 per cent increase.

As significant was that output in March, the last month of the quarter, advanced 0.6 per cent from February, giving the economy a strong hand-off to the second quarter.

With the Bank of Canada scheduled to make a decision on interest rates on Tuesday morning, the gross domestic product data is expected to add to the pressure on governor Mark Carney to move rates higher for the first time in about three years.

“It would take some fancy footwork for the Bank of Canada to pass on hiking rates tomorrow after the Canadian economy just doubled the U.S. quarter-one growth pace,” Scotiabank economists Derek Holt and Karen Cordes Woods wrote in a note.

“This is the strongest growth pace witnessed since 1999 and it is the latest evidence of how the Canadian economy and Canadian markets are outperforming much of the rest of the industrialized world.”

They noted that the level of the economic activity in Canada is now roughly back to where it stood prior to the recession taking hold in the fourth quarter of 2008.

One a quarter-over-quarter basis, GDP advanced 1.5 per cent following a 1.2 per cent increase in the fourth quarter.

Statistics Canada credited consumer spending, housing and manufacturing for the stellar results, but all industries were solidly in the plus column.

While markets expected a strong result, the oversized growth pushed the Canadian dollar up more than three-quarters of a cent to 95.89 cents US in light early trading. U.S. markets were closed for Memorial Day on Monday.

Economists caution that the torrid pace of growth cannot continue, and with European woes weighing down global prospects, the moderation in Canadian output may have already begun.

“We are of the view that much better-than-expected consumer spending and housing market performances so far this year came at the expense of future growth,” said TD Bank’s Diana Petramala.

“The recent spending spree has left consumers even more fatigued and highly indebted than ever. As interest rates begin to rise (as early as this week) and households have to devote a greater share of their income to servicing their debt, this may well constrain future consumer spending growth.”

http://www.obj.ca/Canada—World/2010-05-31/article-1196324/Canadian-economy-grows-6.1%25-in-first-quarter/1

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BreconRidge to be acquired by Sanmina-SCI for $53M

Posted by sweens on April 29, 2010

Manufacturing giant Sanmina-SCI has agreed to buy Ottawa-based competitor BreconRidge Corp. for up to $53 million.

“This acquisition strengthens both our position and our customer base in radio-frequency/microwave and micro/opto-electronic technologies,” said Sanmina-SCI chief executive Jure Sola in a statement. “Upon completion of this transaction, Sanmina-SCI will be the leading electronics manufacturing services provider for these rapidly expanding leading-edge technologies.”

San Jose, Calif.-based Sanmina-SCI said in a release accompanying its second-quarter results that it has executed a definitive agreement to acquire BreconRidge, a nine-year-old, privately held contract manufacturing firm that started its life as a spinoff of Mitel Networks.

The deal, which is expected to close in the next 30 days, will see Sanmina-SCI paying up to $53 million, including equity and the assumption of certain liabilities.

The U.S. firm pointed out that BreconRidge’s current revenue run rate is about $45 million per quarter, and it said it expects to increase that figure over the next 12 months to between $250 million and $300 million per year.

Sanmina-SCI earned total revenues of $5.18 billion in its fiscal 2009 year, down from $7.2 billion a year earlier, although its full-year loss of $136.2 million or $1.65 per share was also narrower than its loss of $511.3 million or $5.78 per share a year earlier.

In its second-quarter earnings, it said revenues rose 27.8 per cent to $1.53 billion, and it managed to improve its bottom line to record profits of $10 million or 12 cents per share, from a loss of $38 million or 45 cents per share a year earlier.

Sanmina-SCI said it was particularly interested in the BreconRidge team’s expertise in advanced broadband technologies that offer speeds of more than 100 gigabits per second, and in wireless, radar and satellite applications.

The firm also highlighted BreconRidge’s manufacturing operations in Canada and China as a key factor for the acquisitions.

BreconRidge had 500 local employees at last count, according to the Ottawa Technology Magazine, while Sanmina-SCI had about 75 Ottawa workers.
Krystle Chow
Ottawa Business Journal

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-04-27/article-1040584/BreconRidge-to-be-acquired-by-Sanmina-SCI-for-%2453M/1

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LOOK AHEAD 2010: Technology in the year 2010

Posted by sweens on January 14, 2010

Published on January 11th, 2010
Jim Donnelly

OBJ asks six industry leaders what’s in store for the future

What are high technology’s prospects in 2010? We recently sat down with a clutch of high-powered paragons of the scene to find out what’s in store for Ottawa, for their respective markets, and for their companies. Here’s what they had to say:

DEBBIE WEINSTEIN, partner at Labarge Weinstein

We had a very busy 2009 for mergers and acquisitions and some public company financing, and this will continue in 2010. There are some very good companies in Ottawa that have quietly grown into industry-leading enterprises. We’ll see some IPOs and M&As from those entities. Venture capital activity will be sporadic at best in Ottawa; we’ll see it peppered over traditional IT as well as clean tech and life sciences – these latter two areas are due for a breakthrough, and there are some companies in these sectors that are possibilities to really shine in 2010. We will also see Ottawa grow in the digital and multimedia sectors.

With the permanent lack of new private venture capital, startups will be hard-pressed to find appropriate capital, outside of a few. The Ontario government has a fund which may help on some matching, but the lead must come from private sources – angel or VC funds. That being said, the city will continue to see lots of small, fledgling startups employing fewer than 10 people with no outside money. But this will not propel the next big one, which is what this city needs.

The newer public companies have done well in 2009 and this will bode well for a couple of others that we may see go public in 2010, if the public market stays healthy. With the selloff of Nortel practically complete, while all acquirers downsized as part of the integration post-closing, I’m confident we’ll see growth in employment from those businesses. Our workforce is exceedingly strong and competitive, as demonstrated by the increasing presence of foreign-run operations in Ottawa. Canadian companies like RIM and Open Text continue to see employment growth in the capital.

So, I believe Ottawa is well-insulated for employment growth but not necessarily stemming from well-funded, VC-backed companies.

KEVIN FORD, CEO of Parliant Corp.

In the iPhone application market, we’re pretty much saturated with stand-alone games in the (App Store by Apple). So I think the store will begin to focus on helping people find things they need. There are also some very elaborate applications we’re seeing emerge that tie into shipping, billing, and inventory systems that run on an iPod Touch, which is a $180 device. And (these applications) allow employees to update all these systems at the touch of a button. That’s the kind of application the press will never hear about, but what we’re going to see a lot of in the next 12 months.

In terms of Parliant, we have more people pounding down our door to write iPhone apps than we can handle. We average three to five requests per day. So I guess those numbers say that if we wanted to focus just on that market we could, and also hire a lot of programmers to do it. But we’re not going to do that, because this conference automation software we have seems to have stirred up a real hornet’s nest. It looks like there’s a lot of low-lying fruit we can pick up with it, so we’re going to do that. Because it’s highly visible, and it feeds back to our strengths.

So in 2010, we’re going to be focusing on selling our Phone Valet products, because they keep the money rolling in, while also continuing to develop other revenue streams.

JOHN REID, president and CEO of CATAAlliance

Last year was very much a “suspension year,” so you’ve got some pent-up demand that we’re going to see. We’re seeing some restoration of confidence, and that will flow into Ottawa.

One area to watch will be information security and public safety; that’s a big market. And through the expansion of networks, there’s a bit of a data deluge going on – there’s a tremendous amount of data being created right now – so there are storage searching issues as well. So those are some of the drivers, along with the consumer element with smartbooks and iPhones, etc., that we’ll see in 2010.

The cloud is now taking hold, where you have all these applications that allow companies to utilize resources in a more efficient way and also to be more agile. Because of this you’re going to see a new generation of leaders and spokespeople for the industry, and that marks a transition, and I think a very positive one. One thing that’s also grabbing hold is the utilization of social networks and how those can help brand a company.

ROB LANE, CEO and co-founder of Overlay.tv

In (the online video application) space, we’re now moving from what I call early adoption into mass adoption. What I see is that in the retail space, the big retailers aren’t just thinking about whether they should do something with video anymore – they’re actively doing something in that space. They think video provides a better experience for their customers, and there’s some evidence that it does convert into somewhat higher sales. And I’m seeing that globally. I spent a couple of weeks in Europe before Christmas, and it very much reflected what I’m seeing here. What I’m seeing from people is that they’re saying, “Absolutely, we’re moving on this.”

Our challenge over the next year is difficult, because we’re into scale now – last year we delivered the product, which was video overlay for retail, and for now it’s all about scaling that into multiple channels, both indirect and direct. So it’s about market expansion and sales expansion. And our two biggest geographies are the U.S. and the U.K.; we opened an office in the U.K. last quarter.

It feels like the timing is right in the market with the product we’ve got, and that means we’ve got an opportunity. Twelve months from now, I’ll tell you if it all worked out.

MIKE DARCH, executive director of OCRI Global Marketing

I think (Ottawa) is in a very good position. Certainly, we weathered the financial crisis much better than a lot of other cities – we had to handle the double whammy of the Nortel bankruptcy and the financial crisis, and for a large part we came out of that very well. Our unemployment rate is still low, and our companies are diversifying in both thrust and markets. And we’re well-positioned to take advantage of that in 2010.

If we look at sectors, certainly the whole mobile world is going to move forward. You’ve got companies like DragonWave that are providing the infrastructure to make that happen, you have companies like Magmic and Fuel Industries that are doing well … so I think in that whole space, we’re well positioned. Certainly, clean tech is also well-positioned. In that space, we’ve got young companies that aren’t that well developed yet, but companies like Clearford and Plasco that are waiting for an opportunity. And certainly another area that’s on the rise is the virtual college and virtual education market, and we have a strong offering there as well.

Geographically, I think we’ll see the U.S. recover soon. Where will that be? Likely the wireless world, digital media, security, clean technology – all the areas where we in Ottawa have strength. So the rebuilding of that market will help us, but I think more importantly the emerging markets will be the strongest centres of growth.

Ottawa has always shown itself to launch a new set of companies during times like this. A lot of big, international companies are expanding here … and Ottawa has a history of using adversity to create opportunity.

ROB ASHE, general manager of analytics and performance management at IBM

The business analytics market we play in is estimated to be a $105-billion opportunity. It continues to be a top priority for CIOs, CFOs and CEOs who want to instantly parse mountains of diverse, disconnected pieces of data to move the business forward and improve performance. For the last four years, business analytics has remained a top priority of CIOs surveyed by industry analyst firm Gartner. In our last survey, 83 per cent of global CIOs polled identified business analytics as a top priority.

In 2010, customers will use our IBM Cognos software portfolio to monitor the effectiveness of stimulus spending across industries like health care, education, energy and social services, among other uses. Analytics are now being infused into the infrastructure of cities as municipalities work to improve the use of finite resources and aging infrastructures.

Businesses will continue to want to know where – and how – they are spending money so they can operate more efficiently. The advantages are not limited to corporations: governments are also looking to analyze statistics and make policy changes.

In 2010, the addition of the predictive element will become increasingly more important for customers as well. They want to be able to not only sense and respond to relevant business data, but also predict and take associated action on that data from any location or device.

http://www.obj.ca/Technology/2010-01-11/article-421592/LOOK-AHEAD-2010%3A-Technology-in-the-year-2010/1

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