Branham 300 - Canada's Top Tech Companies

Just saw this list, which is published annually in Backbone magazine. It's one of the better known barometers of Canada's tech sector, and I just wanted to share a few highlights with you.

The Branham 300 is actually 3 separate lists. The big one is the Top 250, ranked by revenue. No surprise to see Nortel #1 at $10.8 billion. Of course, it's debatable just how Canadian they still are, but they're clearly our biggest tech company. Following them is Celestica at $7.9 billion. Not much surprise for this IBM spinout, but they're not really in my everyday radar.

Rounding out the top 5 are the Big 3 operators - BCE at $7.7 billion, Telus at $6.0 billion and Rogers at $5.1 billion. Honorable mention - RIM is #7 at $3.0 billion. They probably have the strongest growth story of all these big players, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them move up a notch or two next year.

After this, things fall off rapidly, with a few companies in the $1 billion range, and then another drop off to around $500 million. Canada has always had very concentrated ownership, and it's no different in tech. Only 17 of the top 250 are $500 million or more, and only 11 are $1 billion or more.

So, in terms of service providers, after you get beyond the Big 3, there's Shaw at $1.4 billion, and everyone else is pretty much south of $1 billion. You don't need to look much further to understand why the regulators are so obsessed with the lack of competition up here.

With that said, I'd like to cite some of the other companies that are closer to my focus in this list - Mitel, Aastra, Ascalade, Vecima Networks, Sigma Systems, AirIQ, PIKA Technologies, Digital Fairway, Espial Group and Counterpath. Congrats to all of these for making the top 250 list.

The other two lists are much shorter and more focused - the Top 25 IT Multinationals and the Top 25 Up and Comers. The former has all the usual suspects - IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, HP, Siemens, etc. No surprises there. The other list is more my cup of tea, and two in particular are worth noting - Mobidia and Octopz. Most of the others are more focused on pure IT or softward, but there were a few I didn't know who are more into telecom and IP communications, so I've got some homework to do.

All told, it's a great snapshot about our tech market, and you're free to review it in more depth off the website.

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