Saskatchewan Computer Utility Corporation (SaskCOMP)

SaskCOMP was formed in May 1973. In its first annual report, general manager L.T. Holmes wrote that the consolidation and rationalization of computer services was a common activity, but that the combination of services for universities, government departments, and Crown corporations was unusual: SaskCOMP had therefore the unique opportunity to build a “special blend of innovative and production qualities” and establish a leadership position for Saskatchewan. By 1981, SaskCOMP was leasing IBM’s largest system. After several major capacity increases, SaskCOMP became the eighth largest computer operation in Canada. Increased capacity was needed as emphasis on delivery of services shifted to online processing. At that time, SaskCOMP also began to focus on providing computing services to school boards across the province. It also participated in the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium, a North American leader in educational computing, which permitted computer-equipped schools in Saskatchewan to access all materials available within the consortium. In 1986, SaskCOMP’s services deployed the first disaster recovery service in western Canada; in 1987, its revenues reached a record $32 million. Despite SaskCOMP’s profitability, it was sold by the Devine government to form Westbridge.

Daryl Hepting