Itaas Opens Canadian Office After Comcast's Exit

Interactive TV consulting firm Itaas has established a Canadian office in London, Ontario, and also has expanded its existing U.S. headquarters in the Atlanta area and its development facility near Delhi, India.

Separately, Comcast last week was scheduled to closeits TVWorks interactive TV development office in London, Ontario, which had employed about 125 employees, to consolidate those operations with teams in Pennsylvania and California.

Itaas has hired a small number of former TVWorks employees -- fewer than 10 -- as the "seed" office in Canada, vice president of marketing and business development Jim Elayan said. The Itaas office in London, which is midway between Detroit and Toronto, is at a separate address from the former TVWorks building.

The move into Canada was "honestly because of the resources that were available because of the TVWorks decision," Elayan said. "We were more looking for the expertise than the geographic location."

The company currently has around 150 employees worldwide, up roughly one-third from 110 as of December 2009.

"Our continued investment in the expansion of our facilities and resources worldwide demonstrates our commitment to the ITV industry," Itaas chief operating officer Jaspal Bhasin said in a statement. "As we continue to broaden our portfolio of services, we are committed to adding best-in-class resources and infrastructure to support our customers' needs."

Itaas's Canada office will initially focus on providing support services for both U.S. and Canadian customers for the deployment of Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format, Tru2way and IP-based interactive services.

The additional space in Itaas's headquarters in Duluth, Ga., will accommodate an expansion of lab and testing facilities, office space for additional employees, as well as "customer-focused work areas," the company said.

In India, Itaas is expanding the Delhi facilities for the third time in the past three years.

Itaas provides support and testing services for ITV application developers and MSOs, including Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications. The firm has licensed Comcast's TVWorks EBIF platform and offers support to other operators deploying the software, and also has a deal with Cisco Systems to take over ongoing development and support for the Scientific Atlanta Resident Application (SARA) guide for Cisco's Explorer set-top box platform.