What started as an exchange of ideas for an Ottawa-based software developer has turned into a deal with local defence manufacturer General Dynamics to work on a multimillion-dollar subcontract for NATO.
© Mark Brownlee
General Dynamics is located on Robertson Road in Ottawa's west end.
Omniglobe Solutions will deliver computerized workstations and voice-over-Internet protocol intercom systems for General Dynamics as it does work on a ground surveillance program, the companies announced Thursday.
This is supposed to facilitate communication between an operating base and mobile command centres.
The contract is the culmination of an informal collaboration between the two companies, said Chris Pogue, GD’s vice-president of business development and strategy for C4 Systems Inc.
He cited Omniglobe’s involvement with a group called the EDGE Innovation Network – which General Dynamics sponsors – as one of the biggest factors leading to the deal between the two firms.
He said this gives General Dynamics a chance to look at a variety of companies and see how they collaborate and come up with ideas.
Omniglobe got heavily involved with many of the events the EDGE network held, he said, such as those on Arctic sovereignty.
“That allowed us to understand better what they’re doing and get an appreciation for their capability,” he said. “That’s really where the foundation with Omni was started.”
He declined to say how much the contract was worth other than that it’s a “significant program for NATO, it’s a significant program for us.”
Omniglobe will also deliver engineering support for software and systems at Northrop’s facilities in the United States and operating base in Italy.
Omniglobe really appealed to GD because their technology will allow GD to use software to replace what are traditional hardware functions, Mr. Pogue said. This provides a number of advantages, such as making it much easier to upgrade in the future.
“We were a really good fit,” said Bryan Righetti, a member of the board at Omniglobe. “Our technology was a good fit for their technology and it turns out we’re national partners going forward.”
Mr. Pogue said General Dynamics has a lot more work it will have to subcontract out in the future and will likely look to companies involved in the EDGE network. There are currently 50 businesses that are part of that group, he said.