2005: Year in Review

JANUARY: Patent problems

Another year, another 12 months of litigation woes for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. as the infringement lawsuit launched by holding company NTP Inc. in 2001 dragged on. The high profile patent case put the spotlight on cross-border intellectual property rights for many Canadian companies.

Jan 11:
Telus case calls role of Privacy Commissioner into question
After an appeals court supports Matthew Englander’s right to keep his name out of the phone book, experts are left wondering what power the federal office really has. Also: where PIPEDA fits in

Jan 12:
Public Works’ procurement changes rile CATA, SMEs
The industry association speaks out against policies that could put small suppliers at the mercy of larger firms for lucrative government contracts. CGI and others weigh in

Jan 25:
RIM’s patent problems get Canadian lawyers thinking
Ogilvy Renault provides guidelines that could help other IT firms steer clear of the courts. Plus: CATA tells us what could ‘save RIM’s bacon’ in the long run

FEBRUARY: CPUs at risk

AG report reveals holes in public sector’s security policies around computers. Canadian federal departments get a failing grade for incomplete standards related to intrusion detection and incident response among other issues. Government executives respond with their action plan.

Feb 9:
Carly Fiorina exits HP amid board dispute
One of the best-known names in the IT industry steps down a week before the vendor’s Q1 numbers come in. The new chairman and the interim CEO explain the decision

Feb 16:
Feds respond to Auditor General’s IT security critique
Sheila Fraser says the public sector isn’t keeping our nation’s computers safe. We talk to former government CIOs and three departments cited in the report about their action plans

Feb 22:
Public Works eases up on IT procurement reform
CATA gets a letter from Scott Brison in response to concerns that SMEs will be shut out of future government spending. Find out what’s being promised

MARCH: Follow the Hurd

Former NCR chief Mark Hurd is hired to head up Hewlett-Packard one month after board members oust former CEO Carly Fiorina over differences in execution of HP’s strategy. Then interim president and CEO Robert Wayman remains CFO and continues to serve as a board member. HP’s non-executive chairman says Hurd was chosen based on his track record, which includes the success of NCR’s Teradata division, and his strong executive and personal qualities.

March 16:
RIM settlement lifts cloud over BlackBerry’s future
Experts applaud the company’s US$450-million decision to end its dispute with NTP, but lawyers wonder what kind of precedent the payout will set

March 29:
Memories of Melissa
q&a McAfee’s Jimmy Kuo recounts how he named the first damaging mass-mailed virus, the early days of AVERT, and what the future of malware will look like

March 30:
HP rings up NCR boss as new CEO
NCR’s Mark Hurd was chosen to run Hewlett-Packard by a team at the company lead by non-executive chairman Patricia Dunn

APRIL: Dial 9-1-1

The federal regulatory body for the telecommunications industry finally catches up with 21st century technology and gives Voice over Internet Protocol providers a 90-day deadline to add emergency services. The long-time-coming ruling causes some experts to question why it wasn’t made earlier.

April 4:
CRTC demands VoIP providers offer 911 services
The regulator makes a decision that some experts say should have come a long time ago. Executives from Primus, Vonage and Comwave discuss how they will meet the 90-day deadline

April 5:
Big Blue’s Canadian boss steps up to the plate
q&a Dan Fortin talks about his plans to grow IBM Canada following Ed Kilroy’s departure, selling to “chief transformation officers” vs. SMBs and living with Lenovo

April 14:
VSLive Toronto gives developers first look at Whidbey
Microsoft executives discuss how the long-delayed release will gather user feedback, pinpoint bad code and manage software lifecycles. Find out what it means for Longhorn adoption

April 18:
Canadian developers shocked by Flash sale
Adobe’s purchase of Macromedia caught several professionals off-guard and has them wondering what will happen to the popular Web tool. Executives chart a course and clear up some of the rumours

MAY: Hemler up to bat

Five months after he was appointed president of Microsoft Canada following a leave of absence by Frank Clegg, David Hemler speaks with ITBusiness.ca about his plans for the Canadian subsidiary of Redmond, Wash.-based software giant. Hemler provides answers on how to close the productivity gap between Canada and the U.S. and sends a warning to resellers selling unauthorized software.

May 4:
Microsoft Canada puts Hemler at the helm
q&a The local subsidiary’s new chief discusses the challenges of getting customers to buy, the differences in priorities between CEOs and CIOs, andhis efforts to keep paper out of his life

May 11:
Rogers acquires Call-Net for $330 million
The takeover gives the communications giant a stronger presence in Eastern Canada and a fibre-optic network. Ted Rogers discusses the company’s VoIP plans while analysts speculate on what a former CLEC can bring to the Party

May 12:
Incumbents cry foul over CRTC’s VoIP ruling
Bell and Telus say they will appeal a decision to regulate emerging services, while Primus looks forward to a more competitive landscape. Plus: Speeding up retail tariffs

May 13:
Sun, Microsoft cozy up on Web services standards
A year into their unlikely alliance, the industry giants put forth a series of specifications designed to address identity issues online. Ballmer answers the tough questions on Java and .Net

May 20
Ingram Micro ousts Canadian GM
Murray Wright and vice-president of marketing Dave Walsh leave the distributor in a surprise restructuring move. The president of North American operations explains the strategy

JUNE: Sunny acquisition

Amid consecutive quarterly losses and employee layoffs in the thousands, Sun Microsystems Inc. ponies up some of $7.2 billion in cash reserves to acquire StorageTek for US$4.1 billion. Sun CEO Scott McNealy touts the deal as a way to help its customers meet compliance regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley and helps Sun compete against storage behemoth EMC. While the deal boosts Sun’s storage capabilities and identity management strategy, analysts say the two companies still don’t make the top three in the storage market.

June 2:
Sun acquires StorageTek in US$4.1-billion deal
CEO Scott McNealy says the addition of a storage vendor will help cultivate solutions for privacy management and ILM. Canadian channel players explain how the merger might work but why it’s not just another example of consolidation

June 6:
Hudson’s Bay CIO explains ‘big ticket’ IT problems
A system that was supposed to replace paper processes led to $10 million in losses last quarter. Gary Davenport discusses long-term goals and the retailer’s next big project

June 8:
Canadian wireless use reaches 20-year mark
A research firm estimates we’ve reached 47.6 per cent penetration, lagging far behind some other countries. Motorola, Nokia and others put the growth in perspective and discuss future trends

June 21:
Software glitch brings down drug plan claim processing
A problem over the weekend at ESI Canada prevents pharmacy customers from using the pay-direct system. Executives explain how they coped while the cards weren’t working

June 29:
Nortel president and CTO hit the road
When two top executives leave the company, it’s not hard to figure out who’s in charge

June 29:
Rogers’s VoIP vision combines cellular, cable networks
The company launches its long-awaited service and discusses the potential for Bluetooth technology to switch between land line and wireless telephony. Plus: Ted Rogers looks to Bill Gates for career inspiration

JULY: Com phone home

ITBusiness.ca finds out how 3Com Canada went from making headlines to offering little more than office directions on its Web site. Industry insiders comment on the lack of marketing muscle behind the Canadian subsidiary of the networking gear provider and its losing battle to giant competitor Cisco Systems.

July 11:
Ingram Micro Canada’s new GM courts his customers
Martin Kalsbeek comments on staff morale and the RAM Group mess

July 13:
Toronto calls on ITAC Ontario to organize 311 briefing
The city wants to clear up misinformation about an RFP that was never issued, while the industry association gathers vendors to provide the government more details. An expert comments on the unusual procurement process

July 19:
In search of 3Com Canada
While Cisco seems to make headlines every week, its chief rival has been quietly preparing its comeback. A longtime executive discusses how it will improve local support and raise its profile

July 21:
Calgary’s e-health glitch: What went wrong
A database upgrade gone awry mixes up lab results for thousands of patients across the city, raising serious questions around liability. Officials discuss their strategy to prevent it from happening again

July 22:
Auditor finds security holes in B.C. accounting system
The first in a series of reports is delayed out of fears that hackers would get an inside look at thousands of government records. Find out how the province is responding

July 28:
VoIP wars: The ILECs strike back
Bell, Telus and others say innovation and competition will suffer unless the government overturns the CRTC’s regulatory decision. Shaw and Vonage discuss why they think otherwise

AUGUST: IT workers fear job losses

A shared approach to government services proposed by the federal government raises fears of job cuts and private sector outsourcing. The proposal was made in the federal government’s 2005 budget report. Treasury Board CIO Jim Alexander responds to these assumptions by reassuring workers that layoffs aren’t in the cards.

Aug. 3:
Ontario task force asks province to rethink IT strategy
A report co-authored by a former auditor-general comes up with ideas to improve procurement, project return and portfolio management. ITAC, CIPS and others review the recommendations

Aug. 10:
Privacy fears grounded in no-fly list
Transport Canada’s Passenger Protect program is meant to combat terrorism, but watchdogs say it could create safety risks for personal data. Plus: A project for PSEPC

Aug. 11:
Treasury Board responds to Shared Services backlash
A federal plan to centralize technology support has workers fearing for their jobs, but Deputy CIO Jim Alexander says layoffs aren’t necessarily in the cards. A procurement expert explores the impact on government outsourcing

Aug. 23:
Intel lowers temperature in overheated IT departments
The chipmaker announces architectural changes and plans a multi-core strategy, which executives say will make enterprises more energy-efficient. Find out why performance per watt is more important than clock speed

Aug. 31:
Canarie plans expansion of pan-Canadian research network
Dozens of institutions across the country will be hooked up over the next few years through a deal with Rogers Telecom. The principals tell us who might be first

SEPTEMBER: 64-bit mania

Bill Gates offers developers a preview of Office 12, discusses the development of XML and shows off some of the features to be included in Windows Vista. New OS looks snazzier and flashier than its predecessor with a powerful graphics engine that takes advantage of 64-bit computing power. Gates touts Vista as the platform that will bring about the most changes in how customers and developers create and use software since the launch of Windows 95.

Sept. 26:
Bell Canada buys wireless data consulting firm
Createch to help found centre of excellence in logistics

Sept. 12:
Oracle buys Siebel in US$5.85-billion deal
A year after swallowing PeopleSoft, the database giant adds another software player to its roster

Sept. 13:
Gates preps developers for 64-bit future
The Microsoft chairman discusses the development of XML, previews Office 12 and provides an update on some of the features to be included in Windows Vista

OCTOBER: Do the shuffle

Just when networking giant Nortel Networks thought it could start fresh with a new CEO, days after Mike Zafirovski’s appointment his former employer, Motorola, sued him over violation of an employment agreement with the company. The agreement says that Zafirovski can’t leave Motorola to work with a competing telecommunications company. The dispute was settled at the end of the month with Nortel coughing up $11.5 million as part of a lawsuit settlement. Zafirovski officially became Nortel CEO on Nov. 15.

Oct. 5:

Sun and Google join forces
The search engine giant puts its weight behind JRE, which could affect desktop apps like OpenOffice. Look for the ripple effect the deal could have on the industry, says IDC Canada

Oct. 17:
Nortel calls on former Motorola exec to replace Owens
The network equipment maker names Mike Zafirovski to the top post as it attempts to leave its troubled past behind. Find out what he identifies as his short-term priorities

Oct. 20:
Microsoft Canada celebrates 20 years of Windows
But some customers aren’t ready to make the move to Vista

Oct. 24:
Lenovo Canada puts ex-Ingram Micro GM in top spot
Heather Ross vacates the position she held for less than a year and is replaced by Murray Wright, who was ousted by the distributor this spring. Also: Where Ross may be headed next

Oct. 26:
Lenovo hires ex-Ingram president Wright
Heather Ross vacates the position she held for less than a year

NOVEMBER: RIM’s judgement day

A Virginia district court judge delivered what could lead to the final blow to Research In Motion by rejecting its settlement proposal and its attempt to stay proceedings while it makes its appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court is expected to make a decision in the next couple of weeks on whether or not it will issue an injunction that would ban RIM from using, selling, manufacturing and importing its popular BlackBerry device and award damages, estimated at over US$200 million to NTP. The prospect of an injunction plus reports that a settlement out of court could reach as high as US$1 billion are taking a toll on RIM’s growth prospects for the future.

Nov. 7:
RIM forges ahead with products amid litigation
Vendor unlikely to be derailed by NTP woes, say lawyers

Nov. 7:
Microsoft lines up Canadian users for SQL Server 2005
The software firm releases a long-awaited upgrade to its database product, but some features are still months away. Telbec and Toronto.com give their impressions, while Oracle offers a rival’s perspective

Nov. 10:
Sun taps HP alum to lead Canadian operation
Andy Canham takes over the reins from Stephane Boisvert

Nov. 11:
ITAC merges with health-care technology association
An agreement to make CHITTA a division may give Bernard Courtois a chance to tackle one of his top three priorities. Can a united front cure the sector’s ills?

Nov. 23:
Quebec ISPs ask CRTC to make Bell drop retail fees
Complaint says incumbent’s policies make market anti-competitive

Nov. 28:
Election 2006 leaves technology legislation in limbo
With Martin’s government near collapse, the fate of Bill C-60 and Lawful Access hangs in the balance. Legal experts tell us what to expect after Canadians hit the polls again

Nov. 30:
RIM loses NTP settlement fight
A U.S. court decision means the BlackBerry maker will continue to live under the threat of an injunction and damage payments. The plaintiff’s lawyer gives us the scoop on what happens next

DECEMBER: Hemler departs, Clegg reappears

Months after his appointment, Frank Clegg’s successor leaves his post at Microsoft Canada, citing his father-in-law’s health as a major factor behind the decision. In a letter outlining his reasons for his resignation, David Hemler indicated he will remain with the firm in another leadership capacity. Clegg, who left Microsoft Canada to take time off with his family, made headlines days later when Navantis announced he would be taking a management role with the company.

Dec. 1:
SMB criticizes feds’ attempt at procurement reform
Ottawa firm says PWGSC measures don’t go far enough

Dec. 9:
David Hemler leaves Microsoft Canada post
Frank Clegg’s successor follows in his footsteps by putting family ahead of career ambitions. We quote the letter explaining his decision. Plus: Who’s replacing him

Dec. 12:
Microsoft partner taps Frank Clegg to lead expansion
Former MS Canada president takes on management role at Navantis

Dec. 13:
Computing Canada poll exposes IT’s work/life strain
It’s one of the busiest times of the year, but technology is keeping us even busier, according to hundreds of Canadians. We ask the experts to discuss whether “getting away from it all” is still possible

Dec. 14:
Ten years of Tundra
q&a The Ottawa company celebrates a decade of making the “glue” that holds enterprise IT product components together. A co-founder discusses the rise of a successful startup and the future of system interconnect

Dec. 21:
Seagate to buy Maxtor for US$1.9 billion
As one drive manufacturer buys another, conjecture begins about what that could mean for market pricing. An analyst and Canadian reseller offer their predictions. Also: assessing the competition

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