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By: Dave Rashford

It was evident that Jason Waud was not intimidated by the daunting task of introducing a new company to the Canadian telecom industry 18 months ago when he accepted the position of senior account manager for Cyient.

The international engineering company has over 15,000 employees around the world and boasts clients like Verizon and AT&T in the United States and Telstra in Australia. All told Cyient services 29 Fortune 500 companies.

Waud has worked in the Canadian telecommunications field for almost 20 years and has built an impressive list of portfolio contacts. He figured he had nowhere to go but up, when he accepted his new role.

“It’s fairly easy to grow the business when you start at 0,” said Waud. “Essentially my previous experience in Canada filtered down. There are two big companies, Rogers and Bell, so I do my best to get a fair share of vendor work with both companies. And then I do my due diligence with Telus and Shaw, leveraging my knowledge on their growth models, while at the same time targeting bigger chunks of the solutions-base theory.”

Waud has also had success working with teleco’s like Sasktel and TBayTel, as well as Utility Telco’s like BC Hydro. He credits Cyient’s business model, which is based on creating solutions for customer’s problems.

“The customer comes first,” added Waud. “Once I did my research on Cyient I was impressed with it’s vast portfolio. We can do one segment of a project or a business case and take you right from cradle to grave.”

Cyient was originally named Infotech Enterprises and was founded in 1991. The company has 47 locations across 22 countries. Cyient delivers a wide range of services that feature: engineering, design led manufacturing, analytics, network and operations and geospatial. Those services are featured in 11 industries: aerospace and defence, communications, rail transportation, utilities, heavy equipment and industrial, oil and gas, infrastructure, medical tech and healthcare, navigation, power generation and semi conductor.

Cyient’s global headquarters are located in Hyderabad, India. The head office in North America is situated in Hartford, Connecticut.


“We have major delivery offices throughout North America, we have an office in Montreal, and we have opened one in Toronto,” said Waud. “We will be looking to expand out West and add at least Calgary and Vancouver later this year.”

The engineering company supports their customers in three key areas of growth: planning, building and operations of networks. The first stage consists of the plan and design of the network and infrastructure, the business process and technology consulting, and service modelling and product design.

“We actually got notification that we have been approved for a seminar focusing on design for 5G and small cell at the Commtech East show in April and the associated West show in May,” said Waud.

The build consists of network installation and commissioning, GIS OSS and service assurance solutions, product/technology, development and manufacturing.

“We also have a solutions side of our business that we cater to in the marketplace and that can range anywhere from physical or logical network inventory solutions on the software side,” added Waud. “It can range from a discovery & reconciliation solution, or asset tracking management or data analytics to help your business.”

The operations area features desktop/field surveys and remote DC Ops, field engineering and network optimization of services.

Cyient provides operations for Verizon and AT&T, telecommunication companies which build and operate networks and market voice, mobile, internet acccess, pay television and other products and services.

“The first thing I have to do is educate people in the industry about who we are and what our portfolio is,” said Waud. “Because the simple question of ‘you’re Cyient’, what do you do, is not an easy answer.’”

Specifically for mobile networks, some of the service offerings are:

  • 5G Network Plan & Design
  • EMF Modeling
  • EMF Site Survey
  • Macro RF Network Design
  • IBS & Small Cell/Pico Cell Site
  • RF Drive Test & Benchmarkiing
  • As-Built Records/Postings
  • Remote Commissioning/Decommissioning
  • SD WAN


And for OPE and Fixed Line Engineering some include:

  • Desktop Survey
  • Field Survey
  • Site Acquisition & Permitting
  • Ariel Engineering and Pole Design
  • Network Planning & Design for FTTx and HFC
  • MDU/SDU Design Engineering
  • LiDar field information capture
  • Pole Auditing with IKE technology
  • Remote Commissioning & Configuration
  • Field Implementation
  • As-Built Recording
  • Verification & Validation

“In the engineering sector there is certainly a lot of competition in Ontario and GTA when it comes to fibre design,” said Waud. “One of the advantages of working with a global entity, is we can deal with companies that blend coax or copper. We cater to some companies in other parts of the world where legacy copper is still used. That is one of the reasons we are doing so well with Rogers and their HSC business. We have full teams that cater to that model, going after just the core fibre engineer.”

The senior account manager is looking forward to the CommTech East Show, April 15-17th at the Mississauga Convention Centre, and the CommTech West Show, May 28-30 at the Calgary Plaza Hotel Conference Centre.

“The CommTech shows in the East and West are of huge significance, even if it’s just the case of distribution and educating people about your company,” said Waud. “The CommTech West show is a diamond show. It is the only annual show in the West, and it draws people from all over, as far as Whitehorse. There is no reasonable way you are going to be able to connect with these people, unless you do it at this show.”

Posted in CommTalk


By: Dave Rashford

Graybar Canada is always thinking about its customers, which explains why the wholesale distributor opened a new 90,000-square-foot facility in Vaughan on December 11, 2018, making it their largest branch in Canada.

The Vaughan branch is a consolidation of the Markham and Mississauga locations.  The new building is situated between Hwy 407 and Hwy 427. Graybar Canada will continue to serve Mississauga area customers with a counter pick up location at 160 Brunel Road.

“We’re very excited to open a new Graybar Canada branch in Vaughan,” says Brian Thomas, executive vice president and general manager.  “The new facility is conveniently located and gives us better access to service new and current customers. With our electrical, comm/data and automation specialist under one roof, we’re able to strengthen our ability to provide turnkey solutions.”

The Vaughan branch also features a wire warehouse with a new wire parallel cutting machine, a modern counter area and a large training room to host educational seminars on-site.

“With our industry becoming more cohesive everyday, it’s important we have a dedicated space to educate our staff and customers about new technologies,” says Thomas.  “Our product knowledge, expertise and superior customer service are what set Graybar Canada apart from the competition.”

Employee-owned Company

Graybar Canada, an employee-owned company, is a wholesale distributor for thousands of items from leading manufacturers of automation, comm/data, and electrical products.  Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Graybar Canada operates over 30 locations across the country and has access to over 290 locations in North America.

The Canadian company is a subsidiary of Graybar Electric Company Inc., an American Fortune 500 company, and one of the oldest and largest North American electrical distributors. In 2000, the brands of Harris & Roome Supply and Graybar Electric (Ontario) came together as Graybar Canada.  In November of 2001, after the first share offering nearly 40 per cent of Graybar Canada employees became shareholders in Graybar Canada. The company is committed to quality through its customer service, products, supply and distribution and performance.

Graybar Canada has specialized product divisions to better serve the needs of customers.  Together, the divisions can provide a complete solution for projects in government, commercial, industrial, residential, health care, and education.  The Canadian company offers products for automation control, comm/data, electrical supply, energy, lighting, oil and gas, security and technology and utility.

Graybar Canada differentiates itself from competitors in many ways – one of which includes its knowledgeable staff, who not only have industry experience, but are certified experts in their field. Whether it’s lighting certified, or a security product certified, customers receive sound advice.

“I think we have been very successful with our customers, because we listen to them, find out what their needs are,” says Maurice Dumont, a Graybar Canada comm/data account manager for the past four years, and a 25-year veteran in the industry.  “Once we know what they want, our trained specialists and top-quality products allow us to provide customers with a complete solution.”

Those solutions feature a diverse product line with a multitude of leading brands, 24-hour emergency services, dependable shipping and delivery and custom delivery including: drop shipments, on-site customer training facilities, product staging and kitting, inventory management and product management. Graybar Canada is also currently undergoing a significant digital transformation.

“We have core manufacturers providing top quality products,” says Dumont, who relishes the opportunity to work for Graybar Canada.

“It is everything I thought it would be and more,” says Dumont. “I had heard about Graybar Canada for years, and I knew the company had a great reputation and it was growing.”

As fate would have it, there was an opening for an account manager and Dumont was hired.

Customer Service

“I’ve learned about the great relationships Graybar Canada has with the large manufacturers in the comm/data industries and all the other industries we service,” says Dumont.  “It is more than I expected.  As you know we are an employee owned company, everybody cares about creating the best environment possible for customers. Customer service is the key.”

“We also have a great leadership team.”

The staff at Graybar Canada recognize that outstanding results for customers can be achieved by implementing core values such as teamwork, resourcefulness and reliability in practice each and everyday. The Canadian company continues to grow and maintain the loyalty of its customers because of those core values.

All Graybar Canada employees complete a core curriculum and development plan through Graybar Canada’s career management system. There, employees can take job specific courses, product training and soft skills to better serve customers.

Quality Management System

Graybar Canada’s internal quality management system defines policies and procedures used throughout Graybar Canada to ensure that products and services meet both the specified customer requirements and the business objectives in a consistent, economical and reliable manner. These requirements are based on the needs of customers as well as applicable international and national standards. Graybar Canada is committed to continuously evaluating its quality management system with a strong focus on effectiveness, customer satisfaction and continuous improvement

Sustainable Development

Graybar Canada understands that customers want to stay ahead of the curve, which is why sustainable development is an integral part of the company’s foundation for success. For that reason, the number of energy management products and services will continue to grow in to meet customer demand.

Graybar Canada works in partnership with organizations to promote and provide energy solutions and programs to their customers.

Applying smarter, more intelligent solutions to help manage consumption will generate the greatest energy savings and lead to a healthier, stronger bottom line.

Posted in CommTalk

Little Giant Ladder Systems: Getting a leg up in the Canadian market










By Lesley Hunter

Little Giant Ladder Systems says that their lightweight extension ladders have proven to be so popular within the telecom and cable industries that technicians have been known to steal them from each other’s trucks, leaving their older, heavier ladders in their place.

“It was flattering for the company but caused me some challenges for sure,” laughs Jeff Spackman, the telecommunications and cable major account rep for the Utah-based company. “There is no other company on earth that has ladders lighter than our HyperLite extension ladders, and once we get them into the techs’ hands, at that point, they just won’t give them up.”

Founded in the 1970’s by Harold (Hal) Wing, Little Giant Ladders says that it is the world leader in safety and innovation with its ladder systems and professional access equipment, and that its tagline of “preventing injuries and saving lives” is as relevant today as it was at the beginning.

“Everything that we do on our ladders, everything, is designed to reduce injuries,” added Spackman. “And those injuries aren’t necessarily directly from falls.  When a tech has to carry an 80 pound ladder on their shoulder for a couple of hundred yards at a time, year after year, sometimes even decade after decade, it can cause a tremendous amount of injuries to backs, necks, and shoulders. Having a lightweight ladder is not only critical for reducing injuries like that, it also opens up huge markets of employment that companies haven’t had before, such as for techs of smaller stature, including women.”

The company’s production facility in Springville, just outside of Salt Lake City, produces the fibreglass for the professional grade equipment.  Spackman and his team meet with customers to determine their requirements and then provide customized solutions for their ladder needs.  Future purchases are conducted through their distribution partners.

While Little Giant Ladders has worked indirectly with Canadian providers such as Rogers and Shaw through the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (now known as NCTA – The Internet & Television Association)for almost a decade, the company has set its sights on expanding in Canada.  It already has partnerships in place with distributors such as Power&Tel, KGP Logistics, TVC Canada, and Charles Jones Industrial.

“The Canadian market is really a new market for us,” Spackman continued.  “Last year was our first year exhibiting at CommTech, and with the show being so well attended, we were able to talk with a lot of new customers.”

The company is returning as an exhibitor at both the CommTech East and CommTech West shows this year, and will be demonstrating new products and equipment, such as the King Kombo Ladder, that can be used as an extension ladder, leaning ladder and stepladder for the weight (and price) of one.  Also in the works is a new series of ladders designed specifically for underground work that requires access through manholes.

Spackman says that one of Little Giant Ladders’ greatest strengths is its willingness – and ability – to listen to its customers and to adapt to their needs.

“When we ship our ladders out for a customer trial, we also send questionnaire forms for the techs to return to us on what they like and don’t like – we always like to hear feedback, especially what they don’t like.  At that point, we can turn that information directly over to our engineering team who can make improvements to the ladders.  That’s partly why we hold over 65 patents on our ladders, because we’re constantly trying to innovate and come up with the next big idea.”

Posted in CommTalk

Leviton Canada

CommTech West welcomes back Leviton Canada as an Exhibitor!

Posted in Exhibitor Welcome

Teleste Intercept LLC

CommTech West welcomes Teleste Intercept as an Exhibitor and Silver Sponsor!

Posted in Exhibitor Welcome, Sponsor Welcome

Fiber Connections Inc.

Commtech West welcomes Fiber Connections to Commtech West

Posted in Exhibitor Welcome

Norscan Instruments

CommTech West welcomes back Norscan Instruments as an Exhibitor!

Posted in Exhibitor Welcome


Commtech West welcomes Allworx as an Exhibitor!

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Commtech West welcomes back ADTRAN as an Exhibitor!

Posted in Exhibitor Welcome