POTSDAM — CVL Wireless LLC, a Canadian company, opened up shop in the Potsdam Commerce Park this week.
The firm hopes to hire 27 people as it expands, and its founder already is working with Clarkson University to develop new technology.
David P. Kennedy, president of CVL Wireless, has been commuting to Potsdam from his home in Montreal several times a week to set up operations here, but he also has another Potsdam connection. His daughter, Erin P., 18, is an honors computer science student at The Clarkson School, Clarkson University's combined high school and college program.
"There are a lot of good reasons to be in Potsdam. There are a lot of resources available," Mr. Kennedy said. "People think there's a lot of sophistication in the cities, but there's a high level of sophistication here too. We're here to help make it better."
CVL Wireless first approached the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency about moving operations here last year.
"Why Potsdam? Well, we worked pretty hard to get them here," village Planning and Development Director Frederick J. Hanss said. "Having a U.S. presence allows Canadian companies to sell goods and provide a sense of confidence to the buyer. We offer a huge market, and the costs of labor and doing business are lower."
CVL Wireless offers an array of products and technology services.
The company targets its offerings toward small and medium-sized businesses, and has several products developed specifically for the trucking industry. Those include a one-touch system that allows drivers to scan and send proof-of-delivery documents from the cabs of their vehicles, and print materials that are transmitted from the home office at a cheap price without the need for a laptop or large servers.
The company also offers GPS and tracking systems that can show a trucking, bus or cab company where each vehicle in its fleet is, how long the engine has been idling, whether it needs an oil change and other information.
CVL Wireless is licensed to create and sell applications for Apple's iPhone and other mobile devices, and it also provides fast rural Internet service through HughesNet. The company hopes to connect customers in areas where broadband still isn't available, and provide backup options for businesses in case their regular connection fails.
The firm also provides Voice over Internet Protocol phone connections and technologies.
"To be recession-proof, you have to diversify. CVL as an industry is diversified, in both products and services," said Jorge K. Salazar of Ogdensburg, the company's sales executive. "We're talking about adding 27 good-paying jobs and we have room to grow."
Mr. Kennedy recently visited with professors at Clarkson to discuss developing technologies that he can bring to the market. He said the colleges were a deciding factor in choosing where to locate his U.S. operations. He also was impressed with Slic Network Solutions' progress, and the county's emphasis on expanding rural broadband Internet access.
"You've got to get your own backyard first, then you can expand," Mr. Kennedy said. "We have aggressive growth plans."
ON THE NET
CVL Wireless LLC: www.cvl