News briefs

Bell Canada has teamed up with Somerset, N.J.-based network performance tester Omegon Networks Inc. to make sure Ontarians have uninterrupted access to government service online, Omegon said in January. The company boasted that the deal would see Bell buy Omegon’s NetAlly product, a network performance measurement and verification tool. Bell would employ the product in a government services network, a series of public access terminals across Ontario designed to give the province’s residents access to government services. Bell, as part of a consortium of communications companies, won the contract presented by Ontario’s Ministry of Consumer and Business Services. Omegon says NetAlly provides circuit-by-circuit pre-deployment testing and ongoing performance checks. The company says the product helps reduce network outages and localize faults in the system. A Bell spokesman is quoted in the Omegon press release saying NetAlly offers just the sort of management aid the network requires. Find Bell online at and Omegon at

NHL shoots and scores with Sun

Sun Microsystems Inc. is now the official technology partner of the National Hockey League (NHL), according to a January brief from the company. Sun said the NHL would use its servers and portal products to improve the hockey fan’s experience beyond the boob tube. For the fan, Sun will push real-time game data and scores to wireless devices and interactive TV boxes. On the business side of things the NHL will use Sun’s technology to foster stronger communication among clubs with contract information, waivers, scouting reports and statistics. The game gets underway with Sun’s iPlanet Portal server, where NHL content will reside. The company also plans to rewrite the NHL’s real time scoring system (RTSS) in Java. Sun wins exclusive marketing rights for premier events such as NHL All-Star Weekend in the agreement and, the company hopes, a new fan base: Sun says NHL followers tend to be the most tech savvy, ranking first in Internet use, high-speed access, PC ownership and online buying power. Sun is online at and the NHL is at

Wanted: Internet specialists and network gurus

“Network administrators,” “systems analysts” and “network engineers” are among the most sought-after IT experts in Canada, according to a survey from RHI Consulting. The firm canvassed more than 270 CIOs across the country and 15 per cent of respondents said they seek experts in data protection and network maintenance. However, “Internet/intranet development” gurus were even more popular, at 20 per cent, than networking experts as CIOs see the Web as a relatively untapped revenue resource. Next in line comes “help desk/end-user support” (14 per cent) where respondents look to improve employee productivity. “Data/database management” (12 per cent) “applications development” (10 per cent) “project management” (five per cent) and “systems analysis” (3 per cent) rounded out the list. RHI says opportunities abound in the “professional services” and “transportation” industries, where 33 per cent and 27 per cent (respectively) of respondents said they see a growing need for Internet specialists. RHI is online at

Trio teams on 3G device management

IBM Corp., Motorola Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC are working together to develop device-management technology, in an effort to bring convenient phone-setup and maintenance services to users of GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and 3G handhelds, the companies announced last month. Device-management services that the companies are looking to develop include such things as configuring mobile devices on behalf of the end user, monitoring and troubleshooting service performance as well as installing and upgrading device software, IBM, Motorola and Vodafone said in a joint statement. The companies are attempting to promote a standardized approach to devising services for GPRS and 3G technologies, they said. IBM, Motorola and Vodafone are all members of 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project), TMF (Telemanagement Forum) as well as the SyncML Initiative Ltd., the industry group promoting the SyncML industry specification for mobile data synchronization and device management.