IDACOM Telecom Division

1994 Winner: Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology (>25M)

The Success Story Of Homegrown Alberta Company

IDACOM Telecom Division of Hewlett-Packard Canada specializes in high performance protocol testing solutions for the designers, integrators and operators of broadband asynchronous transfer mode and data communications networks.

Keeping it Local

IDACOM’s origins lie with AGT Limited, which developed the technology, then sold it to Siemens AG, Germany’s telecommunications and manufacturing giant. Siemens established an Edmonton facility to develop the product for foreign markets, but in 1980 decided to take the project back to Germany. IDACOM’s senior managers, however, did not want to move, so they acquired the operation and its technology in a management buy-out supported by local venture capitalists.

In 1985 IDACOM secured additional equity financing from Vencap Equities to help market its products internationally. At the time it was one of the few companies in the world involved in the development of protocol testing equipment. Its expertise in turn attracted the interest of Hewlett-Packard, a major global player in the area of computers and instrumentation, and in 1990 IDACOM became a wholly owned division of the company.

Remarkable Growth

With the parent’ s full support, it continues to invest a considerable portion of its revenues in research and development, and it has recently established an R & D centre in Vancouver to focus on certain aspects of its high growth broadband protocol test business. In Edmonton, IDACOM also is expanding, and will be in new, larger premises by the end of 1994. IDACOM is a world leader in broadband protocol test equipment, and has 75% of the market notwithstanding its competition with Siemens AG and Alcaltel STR, among others. Growing at a rate of 50% annually, IDACOM’s revenues in 1993 exceeded $30 million, and it will have in excess of 150 employees by the end of 1994. Although its corporate identity has changed over the years, IDACOM continues to be a home grown Alberta success story, operated by local talent.