2001: The Year in Review

January     February     March     April     May     June     July

August     September     October     November     December     

JANUARY: Ottawa gets 2001 off to high-speed start

The federal government launched a task force to examine the costs of bringing high-speed Internet access to every Canadian community by 2004, highlighting a month dominated by news from Ottawa. Also in the first month of 2001: Canada’s second spectrum auction and a new federal law governing data collection.

Jan. 5: Wireless Future To Highest Bidder
Second spectrum auction boosts mobility into 2 gigahertz space

Jan. 5: RAM horns in ESSC
Genicom Canada’s ESSC services operation gives RAM Cisco silver authorization

Jan. 5: Patriot leaves Barbie in bankruptcy
Computer company collapse surprises toy maker

Jan. 26: Tougher restrictions hit data collecting
New law could push adoption of PKI infrastructure

FEBRUARY: Nortel’s nose dive

The bad news began trickling in in January and by the end of February, the telecom industry was awash in layoffs and warnings of lower revenue expectations. For the likes of Nortel and Lucent, it was the start of a downturn that has yet to abate. Restructuring was also apparent in other sectors, as Corel, IBI and Worldcom Canada all adjusted their business directions.

Feb. 2: Corel goes to its core
After dealing in office suites, Linux and with Microsoft, Corel returns to basics

Feb. 9: Sobeys fires SAP over ERP debacle
Grocer says database failure will cost millions

Feb. 23: IBI spins off integration unit
Shifting Middleware Technology Group will allow company to focus on business intelligence, CEO says

Feb. 23: Worldcom Canada focusing on virtual private networks
Uunet Canada changes its name and expands product offerings

MARCH: Sales and the City

Computer City’s closure in February meant one less place to buy tech products and Beamscope’s March slide into receivership meant one less distributor to stock the shelves. On March 20,<a href=http://www.plesman.com/index.asp?theaction=61&sid=26099 The Ontario Superior Court of Justice appointed Ernst & Young as Beamscope’s receiver after the distributor’s failed attempt at restructuring. Webcasters too felt the cold hand of death in March with both WorkdayTV.com and OP4Cast shutting down.

March 9: EDS wins $200M Ontario network services makeover
Company scores five-year contract to manage province’s network services

March 20: Eric Schmidt’s Last Stand
Former Novell CEO gives final keynote

March 27: Ad drop kills two Webcasters
WorkdayTV.com and OP4Cast casualties of economic slowdown

APRIL: Off and OnX

VAR-turned-e-business solutions provider OnX.com led a restructuring parade in April, laying off more than a quarter of its work force and closing its Western operations. Shuffling along with Thornhill,Ont.-based OnX.com were Kingston Technology Co. and Merisel.

April 3: Gateway beats hasty retail retreat
Less than a year after expanding its Canadian presence with 10 store locations, the PC player lays off hundreds of staff after failing to establish its brand

April 18: New man at Merisel
Jenson named CEO after management specialist failed to turn company around

April 27: Kingston strictly memory now
Dumps peripheral business in favour of selling memory

MAY: It’s Telus’ world, we just work in it

An economic downturn in 2001 forced many tech companies to either shed divisions or, like Empac Computer, to close outright. And few companies capitalized on the buyer’s market like Telus. After a pair of acquisitions in March, Telus put its buying spree into high gear in May, buying e-solutions integrator Daedalian and IT infrastructure solutions provider Arqana Technologies. And on the first day of June, Telus acquired the Canadian operations and facilities of PSI Net.

May 1: Ballmer in Toronto: XMLstrategy successful
“”The dogs seem to like the dog food,”” he says

May 3: IT week to put positive spin on gloomy tech market
Industry Canada works with ITAC to honour local achievements

May 10: Microsoft Changes Rules on Licensing
Model could force some into rapid upgrades or cost others more money

May 17: Blaster PC maker crash-lands into bankruptcy
Empac has closed the doors on its distribution business after more than 10 years, leaving Creative Labs, Microsoft and other channel players to seek out new partnerships

JUNE: Distributors’ dog days

In a bid to maintain focus on core competencies, EDS Canada shed its wholly-owned subsidiary, EDS Innovations, selling the company to a group led by EDSI’s president. EDS said EDSI simply did not fit EDS’ business model and maintained the subsidiary was profitable. Canada’s two biggest distributors did shedding of their own in June, namely: employees.

June 7: Ingram Micro Canada lays off 40 sales associates
U.S. parent cuts 1,000 jobs, reorganizes sales divisions

June 18: Channel unfazed by Tech Data layoffs
Most orders now moving online, small reseller says

June 18: CGI reaches 25-year milestone
An exclusive interview with Serge Godin

JULY: Cash registers fall silent

Though there had been indications that IT spending was on the wane earlier in the year, the reality set in when IDC Canada announced that, for the first time since it began monitoring the segment in 1984, Canadian PC shipments suffered their first-ever year-over-year decline. This reflected a North American trend that would later help fuel criticism of HP’s decision to acquire Compaq. At the same time, other merger activity dropped and the industry banded together to fight Code Red.

July 17: Computron’s landlord puts detective on his trail
Business associates, customers search for missing notebook maker

July 18: High-tech acquisitions hit 10-year low
CATAAlliance reports 55 per cent drop in first half of 2001

July 24: Cube in a pine box
Apple kills off stylish underperformer

July 30: IT industry braces for Code Red menace
Microsoft and a group of security organizations sound the alarm about an attack on the Internet that could take place Tuesday night. What you need to know before the worm makes its hole

AUGUST: School’s out

The financial failure of ITI Education Corp. drew ire as the fate of students across the country was put in limbo. The problem for training institutions would come to the forefront a month later with the collapse of Knowledge House Inc., which nevertheless managed to be among the first companies from Canada’s east coast to crack the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50.

Aug. 1: IBM looks back on 20 years’ worth of PCs
Computer Dealer News talks to David Bradley, inventor of the soft-boot, about Big Blue’s first desktop roll out in August, 1981

Aug. 8: Corel buys SoftQuad for US$36 million
The XML specialist’s products will add functionality to WordPerfect, Corel CEO says, preparing the company to take on the cross-media publishing market

Aug. 14: Best Buy purchases Future Shop in $580 million spree
The U.S. retail giant swallows one of Canada’s largest consumer electronics chains in a bid to build a more global brand

Aug. 28: Oracle shocked by GE Access decision
Software vendor dropped by distributor soon after VAR convention

SEPTEMBER: Mergers and mayhem

HP’s announcement that it would seek to merge with Compaq on Sept. 4 was quickly overshadowed by the terrorist attacks on the United States less than a week later. In the days that followed, security stole the spotlight as disaster-recovery firms and consulting companies offered enterprises advice on how to protect their networks in the future.

Sept. 11: Networld+Interop shuts down in the wake of U.S. terrorist crisis
Vendors pull out and trade organizers shut down the show floor following the destruction of New York World Trade Center

Sept. 11: U.S. tragedy casts shadow on IBM lab opening
“”None of us feel much like celebrating.”” exec says

Sept. 18: Terrorist attacks planned with U.S. IT infrastructure: Expert
A conference in Ottawa has members of the FBI, the RCMP and the High-Tech Crime Network discussing IT vulnerabilities that could be linked to the violence

Sept. 20: Expert foresees rise of chief security officer
Canada has a very good reputation in the world when it comes to IT security, but some companies will pay for being unprepared

OCTOBER: XP marks the spot

When Microsoft’s Windows XP blew into town, it almost took the local IT industry with it. People are still talking about the winds that rocked Microsoft Canada’s official unveiling in Toronto, which was held at a local golf course. The operating system’s release was seen as a potential boost to the sagging IT industry, but many users had mixed feelings about the upgrade question.

Oct. 3: Baby Nortels face uncertain future
As the company plans its latest round of layoffs and a change in senior management, we ask the experts to evaluate Nortel’s acquisitions from the last three years to see what will hit the auction block

Oct. 9: Agency hopes to diffuse domain name disputes
CIRA develops proactive policy after dramatic increase in registrations

Oct. 10: Microcell GPRS launch kicks off pay-per-megabit era
It’ll take some getting used to, analyst says

Oct. 29: Ingram Micro merges North American operations
The Canadian arm of the world’s largest distributor will be run out of the U.S. in a restructuring move aimed at sharing best practices

Oct. 31: Hardware failure may cost TD Canada Trust customers, expert says
Other banks compensate individually, according to former CIBC employee

NOVEMBER: Your show of shows

Nobody was expecting much out of a scaled-down Comdex Fall in Las Vegas, which reportedly saw attendance drop more than 25 per cent. But for many attendees, the show was full of stories. We looked at hardware of the future, charted the rise of Web services and explored outsourcing challenges. All this, despite some of the tightest security imaginable.

Nov. 15: Gaming industry ranks Xbox at midnight launch
Purchasing manager for Electronics Boutique predicts big increase in holiday spending

Nov. 21: ITAC merges with SMC
The two high-tech lobby groups hope a joint organization will create a louder voice to attract more federal government money to the IT industry

Nov. 27: Rogers struggles with @Home transition
While the company asks customers to stop overloading its call centre as they move to @rogers.com addresses, a Canadian user group president discusses a history of service problems

DECEMBER: Going, going, Goner

Just when we thought it was safe(r) to use our e-mail clients the Goner worm created havoc at several Canadian organizations. No wonder that security spending became such a focal point in the latest Federal budget, or that CIBC and Telus formed a joint company for online authentication.

Dec 4: MGI acquired in $51.7 million deal
Roxio Inc. to use editing software to increase digital video market share

Dec. 13: IT hiring to rise, but salaries to remain flat
RHI Salary Guide predicts 0.1 per cent compensation increase in 2002

Dec. 17 Open Text makes $68.5 million bid for Accelio
Accelio urges shareholders to hold off on decision until board recommendation

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