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Company and tech news from the region.

Warner Connect starts emergency service

Minneapolis-based Warner Connect said it is launching a 24/7 IT Emergency Solutions service designed to help businesses quickly address and resolve IT infrastructure crisis situations.

Warner Connect understands that when a company experiences a technical emergency they may not have the bandwidth to effectively address the situation and continue operations. In response, Warner Connect is formalizing a 24×7 on-call IT Emergency Solutions service.

The service specializes in problems with network failure, servers, routers, remote access, and remote offices.

HickoryTech to buy Allete unit

Mankato-based HickoryTech Corp. will buy Duluth-based Allete Inc.’s Enventis Telecom unit, adding to the communication company’s statewide footprint and bringing an end to Allete’s five-year venture into the telecom market.

HickoryTech will pay $35.5 million for the Enventis business, which had $43 million in revenue in 2004.

Enventis Telecom, a unit of Allete, sells fiber-network access, Internet telephony, and data services to more than 300 business customers in over 40 communities in the Upper Midwest.

HickoryTech had revenue of about $93 million last year.

BuyOnline noted by Inc.

Rochester-based BuyOnlineNow.com, an online office supply retailer, was named the 215th fastest growing privately held company in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine.

The Inc. 500 ranks privately held companies according to year-over-year sales growth from 2001 to 2004.

About BuyOnlineNow.com: Opened in May 2000, BuyOnlineNow.com provides office supplies and office furniture to businesses throughout the United States.

Minnesota firms make Tech Fast 500

Ten Minnesota companies made the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the fastest growing technology companies in North America.

Multiband Corp. was the highest-ranked Minnesota company, coming in 17th. The New Hope-based communications networking company’s revenue grew from $73,000 in 2000 to $11.1 million in 2004.

The other Minnesota companies on the list were Minneapolis-based Alebra Technologies Inc. (106), Bloomington-based MGI Pharma Inc. (233), Eden Prairie-based MakeMusic! Inc. (234), Roseville-based Shavlik Technologies (285), Eden Prairie-based Digital River Inc. (346), Plymouth-based Enpath Medical Inc. (427), Plymouth-based Convey Compliance Systems Inc. (452), Maple Grove-based Vascular Solutions Inc. (471) and Coon Rapids-based Possis Medical Inc. (480).

California had the most companies on the list with 105.

The list, based on percentage revenue growth over five years, was compiled by Deloitte & Touche.

Wireless Data, IDA complete merger

Wireless Data Solutions, a Utah corporation headquartered in St. Cloud, and IDA Corp., a private Fargo, N.D., company, have completed their respective due diligence and signed a merger letter of intent.

WDS has one subsidiary, Distributed Networks Inc., located in Oceanside, Calif.

Reed Danuser will remain as IDA’s president and become a member of WDS’s board of directors.

Identix works Middle East deal

Identix Inc. has received a follow-up order for its fingerprint-matching technology from an unnamed Middle Eastern country.

Under the deal, valued at roughly $800,000, Identix will upgrade the country’s existing border security identity-management system. The technology is used to take fingerprints and match them against a database, as people enter and exit the country.

The country also plans to greatly expand the use of the technology from a few ports of entry to approximately 100.

Identix has already received an initial payment under the order, which was recognized in the company’s first-quarter fiscal 2006 revenue. The remaining payments will be received over the course of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006.

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