xwave acquires P.E.I. firm

Application service provider xwave announced last month it has purchased Icon Data Systems, a P.E.I.-based information technology consulting company.

xwave – a subsidiary of Halifax-based communication and IT services firm Aliant Inc. – made the announcement at Softworld 2002, the annual IT business forum founded by the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), held this year in Charlottetown.

The acquisition allows xwave to capitalize on a growing Prince Edward Island IT sector by providing a broader range of IT services to clients, including systems integration, software engineering, infrastructure services and product fulfillment, the company said.

Todd Clark, president of Icon who will also become xwave’s Director of Business Development in P.E.I., said that as part of xwave, Charlottetown-based Icon Data Systems now has access to national and international markets.

“xwave brings us a new breadth and depth of IT capability thanks to an increased product line and more technical resources, such as security and data storage specialists,” Clark said.

The agreement also fulfills xwave’s strategy to have a presence in each Atlantic Canadian province, said Bill Davis, vice-president, Eastern Business Unit for xwave.

As 98 per cent of Atlantic Canada companies are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the deal facilitates xwave’s strategy to penetrate this market, Davis said.

Specifically, Davis noted that the Canadian IT services and ASP market is changing and Atlantic Canada is no exception – from product fulfillment to system integration needs, clients are demanding a “one-stop-shopping” approach.

“To emphasize our commitment to the region we hope to soon be able to add more jobs and open an office in the Atlantic Technology Centre, a showcase for IT excellence in Charlottetown,” Davis said.

For larger enterprises, interest in the ASP market has been waning since the “dot-bomb” years, Davis admitted, as “clients are very concerned about the value proposition that you offer them and less interested in risky-type ventures.

“But within the SME space,” Davis explained, “the ASP model allows you to provide a deeper solution to a broader client base at a cost-effective price – there may be more applicability there.”

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