News Briefs

Toronto-based AT&T Canada Inc. last month reported a net loss of nearly $1.4 billion for the second quarter, citing a $1.3-billion charge as the primary reason. According to a statement issued by the company, the charge was related to “impairment of carrying values of the company’s property, plant and equipment…its remaining goodwill…and a restructuring charge associated with workforce reductions and facilities consolidation costs.” AT&T Canada announced in May that it would be cutting 1,017 positions in part to save $80 million. While it had completed two-thirds of these reductions by the end of the second quarter, the rest are expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter. It announced last month that it plans to cut an additional 270 positions by the end of the year to save $10 million more.

Low-tech route snags talent: report

A majority of Canadian enterprise executives feel low-tech methods are still the most effective ways to find IT professionals, according to a recent poll. The survey, developed by Robert Half Technology, an IT consulting firm, found that 29 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) polled felt old-fashioned employee referrals were the most effective way to discover skilled IT talent. As well, 25 per cent of respondents preferred hiring a staffing/recruiting firm, and 16 per cent favoured the tried and true classified print advertisement. Other methods cited by the 270 CIOs from Canadian enterprises with more than 100 employees who responded to the poll included: posting on online job boards (nine per cent); participating in job fairs (nine per cent); and posting on company Web site (four per cent).

HP exec leaves for startup

Dave Zabrowski, formerly a top executive in Hewlett-Packard Co.’s PC operations, has left the company to head S2io Technologies, a startup specializing in 10Gbps Ethernet products for enterprise networks. Zabrowski will be president and chief executive officer of S2io, which plans to introduce early next year network interface cards (NICs) that use the 10-Gigabit Ethernet standard. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company aims to bring the Ethernet interconnects between data centres and enterprise LANs and WANs (wide-area networks) up to speed with high-speed I/O technologies now emerging inside data centres, Zabrowski said. The process of merging Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP with Houston-based Compaq Computer Corp., which it acquired in May, helped provide an impetus to leave, Zabrowski said.

Router sales take a dive

Worldwide router sales in the second quarter declined six per cent over the previous quarter to US$1.5 billion, according to figures from Dell’Oro Group Inc. Declines in higher-end routers – those that support bandwidth of 1Gbps or more – offset gains in the lower end. The low-end router segment – those that support bandwidth of 900Mbps or less and feature WAN connection speeds up to T-1/E-1 – was the only segment with increasing sales. The leader continues to be Cisco Systems Inc., even though its router revenue declined six per cent from the first quarter to US$1.32 billion. But Cisco appears to have gained more than two per cent share from the 85.5 per cent it had in that quarter. No. 2 Juniper Networks Inc.’s router sales dipped 10 per cent to US$94 million.

Firms team up on broadband products

Cramer Systems Europe Ltd. and Sheer Networks Inc. have partnered to offer service providers integrated network autodiscovery and service activation products for broadband services. The alliance combines Cramer’s inventory management and provisioning products with Sheer’s service activation and network autodiscovery system. The result is a package that will enable service providers to reconcile inventory, topology and service configurations to reflect the actual network and all changes to it as soon as they are made, the companies say.