not have huge
high tech companies here, but there's still a whole lot goin'on
by Alan Zisman (c) 1996 First published
in Business in Vancouver
, Issue #358 September 3, 1996 High Tech Office
have the big motion-picture studios, but increasingly, movies and
television shows are being filmed here, taking advantage of a skilled
workforce and a cheap Canadian dollar. Similarly, we don't have the
software megacompanies, like nearby Seattle or the towns of Silicon
Valley, but smaller high tech companies here are finding projects
to keep themselves busy, and, hopefully, profitable. Here are a few
with interest as manufacturers bring out products that can be added
onto PCs via the printer port, giving users of that computer platform
some of the simplicity that has long been available to Macintosh users.
deeply involved in this useful technology, and is now producing a range
of products including CD-ROMs with integrated sound card and speaker,
and backup tape drives. (
prior to the
release of Microsoft's next generation NT 4.0 operating system, North
Vancouver's Pivotal Software (www.pivotal.com) has
its Pivotal Relationship software to work with that new software,
along with the current Windows 95. Pivotal Relationship is designed
to manage customer relationships and interactions, and to go beyond
typical contact-management software. Everyone who works with a customer
has access to a single database, recording all interactions,
It's designed to be easily customizable: Pivotal even offers plug-in
modules for specific industries.
* Also for
or NT, DSI Datotech Systems (http://dato.com) has
and patented a "gesture-based software interface" called DatO Gesture,
which is a wireless touch-sensitive device that can replace mouse,
joystick, and keyboard with a single, pocket-sized control pad.
DSI, Maple Ridge's NTS Computer Systems (http://nts.dreamwriter.com)
is publicly traded. It started off selling portable computer tables
to schools, primarily in the U.S., but added a line of affordable
word processors called "Dream Writers" to give education purchasers
something to put on their tables. $10,000 can give a school a full
classroom system, complete with 30 word processors and storage.
are focusing their attention on the Internet boom.
Vancouver-designed Net Nanny software is emerging as one of the
solutions to controlling children's access to the Internet. On August
10th, the software was awarded the Outstanding Special Purpose
Award at this year's John C. Dvorak Awards for Telecommunications
Excellence ceremony in San Francisco. Check it out at http://www.netnanny.com/netnanny/.
The company is also working on a product called BioPassword, which
adds to a user's log-on password information about how that user types,
making it much more difficult for unauthorized users to access your
Yellow Pages (http:// bcyellowpages.com) is proving to
be a useful information source for local businesses. Its developers, BBDO
of Vancouver and Dominion Directory Company,
claim it has become the most visited Internet site in B.C. by offering
complete B.C. business listings as well as additional content ranging
from stock market news to movie reviews and horoscopes to local
the water in
Victoria, UWI Unisoft (http://www.uwi.bc.ca) has
UWI Masque Universal Forms Viewer, a customizable collection of common
business forms which can be placed on a business's Web site, allowing
customers to fill in information on-line, or over an internal corporate
by Magik Productions (http://www. madebymagik.com/) offers
software enabling businesses to create catalogues on-line. Browsers
can search the catalogues by keywords, placing their finds in a virtual
shopping basket, and proceed to an electronic checkout counter.
a well-known made-in-Vancouver contact-management program, has added
Internet links. The new version is referred to as "ver 3.0is" ("is"
stands for Internet-savvy). It includes hooks to the Eagle on-line
database (at http://www.maximizer.com), with information on
10 million North American businesses. Maximizer users may also want
to check out Enterprise Automation Group's TeamMate family
of Maximizer enhancers: Bridge and Comm Bridge links Maximizer with
standard ODBC database information, including spreadsheets and
accounting information, while Comm links the contact manager with fax
and word processing software. (Contact them at 664-7573.)
in derivatives, but afraid of the aura of mystery surrounding such
esoteric investments? Surrey's Glassco Park (http://www.financialcad.com)
has software, FinancialCAD, and an Internet site devoted to offering
tools to help tame this wild beast.
* While on
take a break from all this serious business stuff and be sure to check
out http://www.whoa.ca, Multimedia Entertainment's
site. This local company is demonstrating what it claims is the Web's
first talking comic strip, and has gathered over a million hits in
its first three months on-line.
Maybe not yet
North, but lots of local activity, and well worth watching.