YEAR IN REVIEW: September 2009

The five-year old portal came to an end at the beginning of the month, with Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. and Microsoft Canada Co. going their separate ways and launching independent sites.

Continuing to claim “the fastest wireless network in North America” title, Rogers Communications upgraded its 7.2 Mbps HSPA network to the 21 Mbps HSPA Plus for users in five major Canadian cities.

Meanwhile, Craig Wireless announced plans to build Canada’s first fixed-mobile WiMAX network, which would debut in Vancouver.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) began its hearing over Globalive Wireless Management Corp. to determine how much control its $508 million financial backer – Egyptian-based Orascom Telecom – had over the company. Whether Globalive would be allowed to continue its plans to become Canada’s next national cellular company and compete with rivals Rogers, Bell and Telus remained in question.

Avaya Inc.’s stalking horse bid with Nortel Networks Corp. for the enterprise business unit met with two other bidders, leading to an auction that Avaya won after upping its bid to $915 million from the original US $475 million announced in July.

While Avaya won the auction, Industry Canada announced it would approve the foreign acquisition only if the deal proved beneficial to Canadians.

The Citrix-hosted community announced the Xen Cloud Platform for virtual private data centres, an intriguing concept according to one analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. Citrix Systems Inc. also updated its XenApp virtualization delivery tool to give IT administrators the option to host virtual apps they stream down to end users.

CGI Group Inc. extended its IT services deal with the Canadian federal government by signing a four-year $78-million contract to coincide with the end of its $91.8 million deal awarded in 2007. 

Meanwhile, Dell Inc.’s focus on IT services – and possibly more contracts from government and health care – became apparent with the US $3.9 billion acquisition of Perot Systems Corp.

Cisco Systems Inc. announced a smart grid strategy involving partnerships with vendors and energy companies.

IDS Scheer AG insisted its ARIS platform would remain vendor-independent regardless of the acquisition by Software AG.

Edmonton Police Services announced its use of business analytics software from IBM Corp. for law enforcement. The Business Software Alliance reached a $431,336 settlement deal following investigations into 12 Canadian companies using unlicensed copies of software.

A major report on Canadian IT security practices issued by Telus Corp. and the University of Toronto highlighted an alarming 97 per cent jump in the cost of IT security breaches at Canadian firms.

The long-awaited iPhone app from Skype Technologies SA finally became available to Canadian customers through Apple Inc.’s App Store.

CA Inc. CEO John Swainson announced his retirement would take place at the end of 2009.

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