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In the heart of the tech world, where the rapid pace of innovation often leaves little room for reflection, I find myself in a unique position. As a tech executive in my 40s, I am often caught between the rich history of our region and the dazzling future that beckons. Telephones and networking equipment, reminders of times past, don’t immediately conjure images of cutting-edge innovation. Yet, they are the very foundation upon which our modern digital world is built.

In today’s age of Artificial Intelligence, social media, and e-commerce, it’s easy to see why Kanata North might be overshadowed by the likes of Montreal and Toronto, often hailed as the epicenters of AI. However, this perspective overlooks the profound ongoing contributions of Kanata North to the global tech landscape.

Kanata North recently marked its golden jubilee as a global leader in the communications sector. This area, with its deep-seated roots in telecom and a pedigree of R&D talent unparalleled worldwide, has been the silent force behind many of the innovations we take for granted today.

Platforms like TikTok, Shopify, Netflix and Kinaxis, which today consume vast amounts of network bandwidth, were mere ideas when 4G was first introduced. The digital landscape has evolved dramatically since then, and Kanata North has been at the forefront of this evolution. As we stand on the cusp of the 5G era, which promises to revolutionize not just consumer connectivity but also business applications, Kanata North’s role becomes even more pivotal.

Unknown to many, Kanata North has been the bedrock of the communications industry. It might come as a surprise that the largest communication providers around the world look to Kanata as a source of key technology. This is not just a testament to our technical prowess but also to the trust and reliability that Kanata North has built over the decades.

Consider the everyday experiences that are enhanced by innovations from Kanata North. Every time you buy a coffee at Tim Hortons, your customer experience is being managed by Solink. When you board a plane, its movements are processed by Solace. Turning on the news or watching a sporting event? You’re engaging with content powered by Ross Video. And as you browse the web, your security is safeguarded by one of several local companies from our region.

There’s a narrative that our region is grappling with an identity crisis, overshadowed by big telecom giants. I beg to differ. Instead of seeing ourselves in the shadow of these giants, it’s time we embrace our historical roots. Kanata North is not just a relic of the past; it’s a beacon of the future. Our history is not a chain holding us back but a launchpad propelling us forward.

The next time you think of Kanata North, I urge you to look beyond the old telephones and networking equipment. Think of the emerging tech companies here that are shaping the future. Think of the innovations that have their roots in this very soil. Think of the countless ways in which Kanata North has touched and transformed our digital lives.

In celebrating our past, we find the inspiration to shape the future. 

As we stand at this juncture, let’s not forget the legacy of Kanata North. Let’s champion it as a place where innovation isn’t just a buzzword but a way of life. Let’s celebrate our past and look forward to a future filled with endless possibilities.

Ben Morris
Vice-president, Corporate Development and Technology Strategies, Wesley Clover International
KNBA Vice-Chair

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