Coral CEA

September 20, 2011 13:16 ET

As Microsoft, Salesforce and Google Pursue Communications Enabled Applications, Coral CEA Helps Ontario's Software Firms Tap a Multi-Billion Dollar Market

Communications Enabled Applications (CEAs) Link Broadband Networks With Millions of Devices and Are Profoundly Changing How We Communicate

OTTAWA--(Marketwire - Sep 20, 2011) - Canadian Innovation Exchange -- As evidenced by Microsoft Corp.'s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype SARL earlier this year, Communications Enabled Applications (CEAs) that add instantaneous person-to-person interaction as part of a software experience are a hot business. Today in Ottawa Coral CEA CEO Brian Forbes speaks at a panel discussion on innovation in Ontario. The Canadian Innovation Exchange event will include discussion about the rapidly shifting communications enabled applications market. Coral CEA is actively involved in helping Ontario's software companies tap into a market that Forrester Research Inc. predicts will top $14.5 billion by 2015. In a widely quoted report Forrester Research says the $14.5 billion represents what's called the unified communications CEA market.

Since receiving its first provincial funding Coral CEA has

  • Partnered with 50 companies -- nine of them brand new firms
  • In August 2011 member firm Cliniconex Inc. of Ottawa launched its first product
  • Helped create over 60 new software jobs in Ontario
  • Invested $850,000 dollars in public sector funding
  • Leveraged its public funding into a total of $30 million of in-kind services and cash from private sector member companies from start-ups to multinationals

Microsoft is not the only software giant pursing the CEA market. Inc. spent over half a billion dollars this year to acquire three firms to pursue the same business-to-business communications market. This year's launch of Google Inc.'s, "Plus" platform enables business communications that combine video conferencing and real-time sharing of data.

Coral CEA pursues commercialization through Open Innovation -- a business model that combines best practices from both Open Source and commercial development to allow developers to share risk and return on the creation of new software. Once they become members, software companies can both take advantage of and contribute to Coral CEA technology to accelerate development and market entry. Coral CEA administers the code in a software repository, provides testing, developer tools and professional services, and is also capable of providing project-related funding to Ontario companies.

Executive Director Brian Forbes says, "It's important to develop a diversity of companies within our ecosystem and our Open Innovation approach allows for a sharing of both risk and return." With a proactive province-wide mandate Coral CEA has opened offices this year in Toronto in addition to Ottawa and is active with clients in Waterloo. Forbes says, "Response has been positive from everyone we talk to and we are right on track to help companies tap into the new waves of CEA technology coming at us."

In August Cliniconex Inc. of Ottawa was the latest Coral CEA member firm to go to market with its product. The company's innovative software is aimed at helping staff in medical offices automate patient appointment reminder call-outs. Cliniconex has designed a fully functional communications application that integrates seamlessly with business management software schedulers already used in offices and alerts patients with phone calls, email or text messages. This means clients save 90% of the cost of making these calls, boost billings by reducing no-shows by 40% yet there is zero cost for training and patients don't miss crucial appointments. Cliniconex CEO Anthony Mar says, "Thanks to help from Coral CEA we have been able to implement our leading edge software and commercialize our product into the medical field plus build the company to its full potential."

Another Coral CEA founding member, GENBAND, is a global leader of IP infrastructure and application solutions with operations in 50 countries. The company ran a contest this year seeking new CEAs for its main communications applications server. Cliniconex was one of the winners with a stock market price tracker/alert CEA for stockbrokers. Other winners included a CEA to manage waiting lists at places like restaurants using mobile phones and a smartphone application to enhance mobile phone service customer retention. Some of the CEAs in the contest have attracted the attention of European multinationals. Brian Forbes says, "This would not have been possible if it was an individual effort. It demonstrates the success of the Coral CEA system."

Coral CEA has $9.3 million in funding for five years. Forbes adds, "Just like coral in the world's oceans Coral CEA will grow above the surrounding water and form islands that can sustain growth."

About Coral CEA

Coral CEA is a not-for-profit Open Innovation network composed of member companies and organizations focused on the commercialization of Communications Enabled Applications (CEAs). Coral CEA was founded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI), Carleton University, IBM, GENBAND, Eclipse Foundation and ITAC. The mandate is to create sustainable companies and jobs by supporting members in the commercialization process of new products and services. This includes business development, distribution and brokering of alliance and capital relationships.

Contact Information

  • Coral CEA contacts:
    Brian Forbes
    Executive Director
    Phone: 613 317-2118
    Email: Email Contact

    Paul Brent
    Senior Communications Strategist
    market2world communications inc.
    Phone: 613-256-3939
    Email: Email Contact