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Tech industry news and issues related to Victoria


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#1 Mike K.

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 12:08 PM

High-tech eclipses tourism

BY ANDREW A. DUFFYTimes Colonist staff

You would have been forgiven if you had mistaken last night’s Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Centre annual awards dinner for a Phoenix Suns playoff game.

With 500 bright orange, foam fingers extending from the arms of the high-tech community, it was hard to tell the difference.

The party-favour fingers were ordered to celebrate the high-tech industry surpassing $1.67-billion in total revenue, taking it well past tourism as Victoria’s No. 1 non-government industry.

And they gave a festive feeling to an evening celebrating an industry that has been quietly on the rise since the dot-com bust six years ago.

“There was a bit of a lull after that, and keep in mind we weren’t hit as hard as other cities like Seattle, but there was an all-around hangover,” said Dan Gunn, executive director of VIATeC. “It was hard to get investment, hard to get people interested and hard to be motivated.”

But Gunn said the companies that survived the downturn turned their energies toward business fundamentals which served them well when the markets were ready for them.

And last night at the Victoria Conference Centre those companies got to enjoy another year of strong growth.

“The point of [the awards] is we go about doing our thing all year, working hard and we don’t hang out a lot of shingles, attention or glamour on the sector,” added Gunn. “So once a year we get together, trade the lab coats for dress coats and have a good time.”

The three high-profile awards went to online lead-generation and marketing firm Neverblue Media, which took home the award as technology company of the year; network marketing software firm Oprius Software won emerging technology company of the year; and Peter Berrang, a co-founder of the Axys Group of companies, who took home the Colin Lennox award for technology champion. Axys is well known for designing and manufacturing sophisticated ocean buoys for research and data collection.

Online book retailer Abebooks.com was named VIATeC’s member of the year, which Gunn said recognizes commitment to the high-tech community.

“It’s a great way for us as an organization to say thanks to somebody,” he said. “Being a member of VIATeC comes with a monetary commitment but it’s a whole other type of commitment they make to participate and be an active member of the community.”

Other award winners last included:

GenoLogics Life Sciences Software for human resources excellence; Noah Wheelock from Atomic Crayon was named employee of the year; Triton Logging won for environmental excellence; Wayne Poncia of Etraffic Solutions was named executive of the year; Atomic Crayon won for online strategy of the year; newsmaker of the year was Contech Electronics; Archipelago Marine Research won for innovative excellence (process or product); Hydroxyl Systems won product of the year; and Paretologic won for innovative excellence (software or electronic service delivery).

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#2 G-Man

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 01:52 PM

I found this interesting, but I suspect that there is a little manipulation of numbers. While perhaps in gross sales there is more money coming in with high tech it certainly is not spread around the same way as tourism. I can guarantee there are more servers than programmers on the Island. Also if a high tech company is owned by shareholders then that money may never even make it to the island. Don't get me wrong I think that this is great and that Victoria needs to continue to diversify its economy but it will still be a long time before the hightech businesses on VI have as much impact on our daily lives financially as Tourism.

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#3 Caramia

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:26 PM

Eh? Really G-Man? Maybe it is just my geeky nature but I know way more people employed in some part of the tech industry than servers. Isn't everyone's brother designing websites out of their basement?
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#4 Mike K.

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 06:09 PM

Tourism dollars don't necessarily remain in the region, either. Most hotels are owned by non-Canadian companies and plenty of our local retail establishments that cater to tourists are owned by out-of-towners, too.

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#5 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 07:05 PM

Eh? Really G-Man? Maybe it is just my geeky nature but I know way more people employed in some part of the tech industry than servers. Isn't everyone's brother designing websites out of their basement?


I think G-man is right. For example, would you attribute some of the sales of a company like North Douglas
Sysco to tourism? Probably not, but you can bet maybe 50% or more of its peak period sales have tourists as the end-user.
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#6 Holden West

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 05:18 PM

Interesting site I found by accident: Daniels Electronics. A good example of "old school" high tech in James Bay since 1962. Companies like AbeBooks.com and Carmanah get the headlines but these guys keep plugging along quietly.




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#7 spanky123

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 01:45 PM

I have no doubt that the tech industry is booming but I think that measures of its scale are starting to get a little ludicrous.

 

Andrew Duffy stated today that the tech industry in Victoria generates over $4B in revenue. If we take that $4B and divide by the 800 or so companies that would mean that the average revenue is greater than $5M!

 

The high-tech sector, which boasts annual revenues in excess of $4 billion and is considered the city’s most valuable industry, has found a solid fit in the city’s downtown, filling in upper-floor and hard-to-rent offices - See more at: http://www.timescolo...h.iAzmFKd1.dpuf



#8 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 02:09 PM

And it we take that $4B and divided it by $100,000 salaries, we get 40,000 workers.  I know simple math I know, assuming that the entire revenue goes to a set of $100k salaries and nothing else.


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#9 spanky123

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 02:50 PM

According to BC stats, there are 12,700 people employed on Vancouver Island in computer design and scientific and technical job categories. That would include both the public and private sectors.



#10 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 03:05 PM

I think G-man is right. For example, would you attribute some of the sales of a company like North Douglas
Sysco to tourism? Probably not, but you can bet maybe 50% or more of its peak period sales have tourists as the end-user.

 

Like I said back here....


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#11 AllseeingEye

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 06:06 PM

I wonder how they quantify those numbers?

 

When I worked as a senior IT Ops manager at Coast Capital Savings - a financial services company obviously, the second largest CU in Canada - we had nearly 60 Victoria IT staff which would have made us one of the larger private sector "IT" shops in the city when I left in 2008; however as a FS firm, an immensely profitable one I should add, CCS's sales + staff numbers certainly would not have been then, as now, lumped in with the $4 billion dollar p/a revenue or 12,700 'tech' employees figures respectively.



#12 Mike K.

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 06:10 AM

It's no different than how Tourism Victoria gives us that $1-billion figure. They count far too much downtown business earnings as "tourism" earnings. Not everything that happens in downtown Victoria is tourism related, but alas...

$4-billion seems extremely high, but with so many of these firms operating in USD the 35% exchange rate sure doesn't hurt on the profit end of the spectrum and that likely accounts for some of that uplift.

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#13 spanky123

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 08:30 AM

I wonder how they quantify those numbers?

 

When I worked as a senior IT Ops manager at Coast Capital Savings - a financial services company obviously, the second largest CU in Canada - we had nearly 60 Victoria IT staff which would have made us one of the larger private sector "IT" shops in the city when I left in 2008; however as a FS firm, an immensely profitable one I should add, CCS's sales + staff numbers certainly would not have been then, as now, lumped in with the $4 billion dollar p/a revenue or 12,700 'tech' employees figures respectively.

 

The IT team at CCS would be counted as part of the 12,700 tech employees as the classification is by job and not by company. I doubt that Viatec would count the revenue as I am guessing that they count by company.



#14 spanky123

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 08:32 AM

It's no different than how Tourism Victoria gives us that $1-billion figure. They count far too much downtown business earnings as "tourism" earnings. Not everything that happens in downtown Victoria is tourism related, but alas...

$4-billion seems extremely high, but with so many of these firms operating in USD the 35% exchange rate sure doesn't hurt on the profit end of the spectrum and that likely accounts for some of that uplift.

 

True but many of those companies are software companies and even a million dollars in revenue for a company with 4-5 people is pretty good living.



#15 Mike K.

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Posted 30 April 2017 - 09:36 AM

Sure is. I do wonder though, how many of these firms are employing people earning $100-$200k? Most tech jobs in town are in the $60-$80k range, tops. It's not like ten years ago when you had trouble finding a Comp Sci grad. Now everyone's a programmer and competition for jobs is pretty fierce.

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#16 spanky123

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 03:06 PM

A week after Duffy made the claim that the tech industry generated $4B in revenue last year we have a new claim that 'every company they have talked to seems to have grown 25% over the past 18 months' and there are now 13,000 people employed by tech companies with another 8,000 consultants and people employed by "large companies". Sounds impressive yet 2 years ago the tech industry claimed to employ 23,000 people!

 

http://www.timescolo...nada-1.18540494

http://bcic.ca/news/...scene-victoria/

 

On the subject of the TC not fact checking anything these days, the tourism industry claimed that March tourism was down due to a "cold and damp March'. If you look at the environment Canada stats, March 2017 was actually 2 degrees warmer and had exactly the same rainfall as March 2016 as measured at YYJ.

 

http://www.timescolo...reak-1.18235356

 

It is sad that our local media has become such a joke.


Edited by spanky123, 06 May 2017 - 03:22 PM.


#17 Matt R.

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 03:40 PM

If March was down for anyone I'd blame Easter.

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#18 AllseeingEye

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 03:51 PM

A week after Duffy made the claim that the tech industry generated $4B in revenue last year we have a new claim that 'every company they have talked to seems to have grown 25% over the past 18 months' and there are now 13,000 people employed by tech companies with another 8,000 consultants and people employed by "large companies". Sounds impressive yet 2 years ago the tech industry claimed to employ 23,000 people!

 

http://www.timescolo...nada-1.18540494

http://bcic.ca/news/...scene-victoria/

 

On the subject of the TC not fact checking anything these days, the tourism industry claimed that March tourism was down due to a "cold and damp March'. If you look at the environment Canada stats, March 2017 was actually 2 degrees warmer and had exactly the same rainfall as March 2016 as measured at YYJ.

 

http://www.timescolo...reak-1.18235356

 

It is sad that our local media has become such a joke.

I thought that train of thought/comment was underlined by a bit of an arrogant assumption. So here is the scenario: its Spring Break(ish) time in March, and I have a few days or more likely a week or more, to kill with the family and decide to head somewhere. 

 

Lets see....do I choose cool, damp, rainy, perpetually grey Victoria or the white sand beaches, azure-blue skies and the constant 29-31C of Cabo, Cancun, the DR, Cuba, or....I mean, seriously?

 

If you live in Alberta or Washington and you're going on vacation in March, who the hell in their right mind (for the most part) is going to choose wet, rain-drenched Victoria over working on a mid-winter tan on a sun-splashed beach? In general I would fully expect tourism locally would dip at that time of year regardless whether the temperature here was 9C or 2C. As my Germanic ancestors would have said "das macht nichts".....it doesn't matter.


Edited by AllseeingEye, 06 May 2017 - 03:51 PM.


#19 Matt R.

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 03:54 PM

No, you're wrong. Tourism during spring break is huge. People from afar love coming to Vancouver and the islands. Camping is huge, too. It's less expensive than a trip to someplace tropical.

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#20 AllseeingEye

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 04:01 PM

Vancouver maybe, its a 'year round' destination, international city after all. Have to admit I've never particularly noticed spring break-like huge crowds in Victoria at that time of year, then again I don't work in the hospitality industry either.



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