(Originally published in the March 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - IAI feature)
It has been 10 years since a young man, armed only with a brief case and whole lot of ideas, decided to take a “leap of faith” and head out into the IT and Telecom world on his own.
A decade later Bruce MacDougall is heading up his own company — Internetworking Atlantic Inc. (IAI) with more than 400 clients, 600 plus kilometres of fibre optic infrastructure, IT telephony service, data centre capability and IT expertise.
Last year, IAI enhanced its services with the acquisition of AirFire Telephone and Data in June and the assets of Line4 Communications in October. Based on this growth, IAI now provides a full slate of IT solutions including collocation services stemming from two data centres, both located in central Halifax. In addition, the company provides commercial customers with the ability to send and receive data securely via direct fibre optic links. It also lists IT telephony, virtual (cloud) services, commercial ISP services, and IT consulting among the innovative technology solutions it provides to its diverse customer base.
“While working for a Halifax telecom research organization, I saw a business opportunity to fill a niche market to provide direct fibre-optic telecom services to large customers,” says MacDougall. With all the necessary regulatory hurdles overcome and of course the mounds of paperwork, he launched IAI in 2002.
He knocked on a lot of corporate doors explaining how his company could provide dark fibre infrastructure (as it was known then). The first company to sign on was Sobeys corporate offices in Stellarton and from there organizations such as McCain Foods, City of Edmundston, Capital Health and the Valley Community Fibre Network saw the advantages of using IAI to support their telecommunications needs.
As for the future of IAI, which now boasts of 28 employees, all MacDougall can say is “stay tuned” for more to come.
With Sobeys…every step of the way
Glen MacKinnon remembers a decade ago when a chap named Bruce MacDougall knocked on the door of Sobeys Inc. looking to provide his organization with a dark fibre infrastructure solution.
MacKinnon is the manager of network services for Sobeys, headquartered in Stellarton.
“We needed to set up a communications network with our various locations in Stellarton and dark fibre (fibre-optics) was the answer,” he says. “Internetworking Atlantic Inc. was willing to guarantee the service and maintenance so we decided to go with Bruce.
“IAI has not disappointed us. We have not experienced an outage and have expanded the fibre-optic infrastructure service to other Sobeys enterprises. We’ve been able to rely on Internetworking Atlantic every step of the way. It is great to have someone you can trust.”