ORANGE — Software provider Tangoe recently acquired privately held company ProfitLine Inc., a global provider of telecom expense-management services, for $23.5 million.

 

ProfitLine software is used by corporations and agencies to monitor and manage fixed and mobile telecom expenses to aid in cost control efforts. ProfitLine software is used in industries such as retail, financial, health care, automotive, energy/utilities, manufacturing, technology, travel and government.

 

 

Tangoe said it expected ProfitLine to contribute some $500,000 revenue during the fourth quarter of 2011, but predicts it will bring in between $14 million and $15 million during 2012.

PUTNAM — Camera-systems designer RemoteReality has found itself with a $1 million investment from Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII) and a brand new headquarters in Putnam. The company relocated from Westborough, Mass.

 

RemoteReality makes ultra-wide-angle camera systems for military, homeland-security and commercial applications. Its core business is with the military, selling 360-degree systems to the U.S. Department of Defense. The company has received more than $10 million in contracts from the department to date.

 

The cameras and video systems are used by crews in combat vehicles, Navy surface warships and submarines, and robotics operators. The devices can cover a 360-degree scene with no moving parts. The company holds five patents, as well as one patent pending, and holds exclusive worldwide patent licenses from Columbia University.

 

 

Investments director Dan Wagner will represent CII on RemoteReality’s board of directors.

STAMFORD — World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) finds itself champion in another arena — the 2011 Mashable Awards — which bestowed on the wrestling empire the honors of “Digital Company of the Year,” and “Must-Follow Brand on Social Media.”

 

Mashable is an independent technology news source headquartered in New York City. WWE also earned four other awards for “Must-Follow” actor and athlete on social media, Game of the Year (THQ’s “WWE ‘12”), and Best Social Good Cause Campaign.

 

 

The Mashable Awards is a community-nominated voting program that honors the year’s best in Mashable’s core content areas of social media, technology, business and entertainment.

 NEW HAVEN — Techie high school students will have a chance to delve into creating their own apps and learn programming skills when the iD Programming Academy camp comes to Yale University next summer.

Open to teenagers ages 13 to 18, the two-week overnight camp provides instruction on computer programming and application development. The camp has taken place on various university campuses across the country and comes to Yale for the first time in 2012.

“Our goal is to take a student’s hobby or passion and show them how they can do much more with it, and how they can even turn it into a career,” says Karen Thurm Safran, iD Tech Camps’ vice president of marketing and business development.

While there is an introductory programming course being offered, the five courses do require attendees to have some knowledge and experience in programming to get the most from the sessions.

A particular focus is on app development, with courses dedicated to iPhone, iPad and Android platforms. Safran says there has been a boom in younger people developing their own apps, which has led to an increased demand in the camps. She adds that previous attendees have developed various gaming and media apps, sometimes earning a good amount of money from sales.  One student, she says, developed a math program that was adopted into his school’s curriculum, while another went on to mentor other programming students in his school.

“It’s amazing what they’ve done,” she says.

Other courses include robotics engineering and coding, as well as instruction in Java. There are two two-week camp sessions that run from July 8–20, and July 22–August 3. More info can be found at internaldrive.com/programming

 NEW HAVEN — The New Haven Board of Education will enlist the services of New York City-based Enertiv Inc. to monitor electricity usage at the Ross Woodward School.

Enertiv’s partnership company, AFB Construction Management, will be responsible for construction, facilities and energy management for the school system, and will use Enertiv’s data and Web-based software to manage and reduce electricity usage at the school.

AFB president and CEO Al Barbarotta says the Woodward school — located on Barnes Avenue off Foxon Boulevard — uses the most energy in the school system, and Enertiv’s monitoring software will allow for monitoring levels of every circuit in the building.

“The whole focus is on reducing consumption,” Barbarotta says. “We can’t control the price of gas and oil, but we can control how much energy we use. At Ross Woodward, we use an excessive amount, and we’re going to determine why that is.”

The system will be able to tell how much energy every appliance costs to run, and from there AFB can determine measures to regulate run times, especially for items like milk coolers, which Barbarotta says run around the clock, despite the fact that the schools get fresh milk deliveries every day.

AFB has been managing the school system’s energy consumption for the past four years, already reducing consumption by 17 million kilowatt hours in that time — a savings of $5 million.

“This is a new approach,” Barbarotta says. “Before we were looking at global things — parking lot lights, hallway lights — but  now we’re getting down to every circuit. We can see what it costs to run everything in the school.”

Barbarotta hopes that data collected at Woodward can be applied to the remaining city schools to reduce energy consumption district-wide.

The Enertiv system will be up and running in about six weeks, and will be used to monitor the Woodward school for about six months, so conditions can be monitored across different seasons. 

 NORTH HAVEN — Healthcare products supplier Covidien will acquire Barrx Medical for $325 million to expand with new products into broader markets.

Barrx develops bipolar radiofrequency (RF) ablation devices for the treatment of Barrett’s esophagus syndrome, a precancerous condition of the esophageal lining, often the result of gastro esophageal reflux disease, which can lead to adenocarcinoma, a cancer with a less than 15 percent five-year survival rate.

The acquisition of Barrx stock is expected to close by January 31. Covidien reports it does not expect an impact on its fiscal 2012 figures. The company will report the Barrx Medical business as part of its Energy product line in its Medical Devices segment.

 SHELTON — Solar company Opel Technologies has secured a $5 million line of credit from Silicon Valley Bank in Newton, Mass.

A statement from the company, which has offices in Shelton and in Toronto, Canada, explains that the credit will be used to fund U.S. and foreign receivables. Silicon Valley Bank is geared toward technology and science enterprisses, as well as those in venture capital and private equity.

Opel is a manufacturer of high concentration photovoltaic solar panels and solar tracker systems for commercial, industrial and military applications. It currently has 35 patents issued and 12 pending.

 SHELTON — Cara Therapeutics Inc. is testing a new drug that could reduce the need for post-operative pain medications.

The company has started first-in-man, Phase 1 clinical trials of an oral form of its CR845 pain compound, which will act on the central nervous system to reduce acute post-operative pain without side effects. An intravenous formula of the drug is already in Phase 2 trials.

The company reports that patients using CR845 experienced less pain and needed fewer post-operative narcotic drugs to treat the pain in a previous Phase 2 trial for the new compound.

The drug is being tested for safety and its reactions with the body, but Cara says that 150 people have taken the drug, with none reporting dysphoria or hallucinations — both common side effects of centrally acting drugs.

 STRATFORD — Sikorsky Aircraft has received a patent for its Integrated Support System, an aftermarket management software suite.

The software gathers maintenance and support information from the various aircraft in a fleet to create a real-time status summary of an aircraft’s health that can be accessed by aircrew and maintenance personnel.

 EAST HARTFORD — Umbie Health Corp. has received $150,000 in financing from Connecticut Innovations Inc. (CII) for development of a mobile and Web-based practice-management app for dentists.

The Umbie DentalCare app, currently prototyped, will allow dentists to update, record and view patient records remotely via a tablet, with all data kept in secure cloud storage. Doctors also will be able to conduct scheduling, employee time management and client service tasks with the program.

The startup company plans to launch the app at the Yankee Dental Show in Boston next month. It is also planning management apps for home health care and hospice care.

Umbie is the 17th company to be funded through CII’s Pre-Seed Fund, which will be used for technology development, beta testing, business development and marketing. The grant will be matched by $75,000 from private investors.

 Third 2011 layoff round company’s largest, affecting 6 percent

 

STRATFORD — The latest round of job cuts at Sikorsky Aircraft will exceed six percent of the helicopter maker's global workforce, the company announced November 21.

The reduction will impact mostly salaried workers, said Sikorsky Communications Director Paul Jackson.

"It's essentially to adjust our overall cost structure," said Jackson. He noted that the number of employees was no longer commensurate with company needs, largely due to international and domestic developments, including lower demand expected for the kinds of products and services Sikorsky offers.

"We have very tight global economics that impact our commercial business," said Jackson. In addition, "there's declining defense spending. Essentially, we have to adjust our overall workforce."

The announcement follows two other job reductions. The company announced in September it would cut three percent of its workforce, 567 jobs in all, with 419 jobs lost in Connecticut. The majority of those cuts will affect union workers in Stratford, who are still negotiating with management over which workers will be eligible for a voluntary separation package. In June, Sikorsky announced a 386-worker layoff.

Nearly half of Sikorsky's 18,000 workers are based in Connecticut.

"We had too many people," says Jackson, explaining that Sikorsky is readjusting after a significant increase in the number of employees several years ago.

"We're coming off a really big ramp-up," he said. "For the past five years, I'd say, our sales have doubled and we increased the number of our employees by 56 percent. So we had a lot of people working here."

The company is offering a voluntary severance package to workers age 55 and older with at least 10 years of service. Those interested in accepting the voluntary layoff have until Dec. 5 to submit a letter of intent, with the company setting Jan. 6 as the final day for agreements to be signed.

Sikorsky would then have a better idea of any further job cuts that would be needed, said Jackson.

 

Through the first nine months of 2011, Sikorsky made $5.2 billion in operating profits, according to its parent company, United Technologies Corp., largely due to U.S. defense contracts. The company is also facing government scrutiny over its billing practices, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, and is fighting a $90 million dispute with the Army related to alleged overcharges from 1999 to 2006.

 

However, business-activity projections for the next two years are cause for concern, says Jackson. He doesn't expect Sikorsky to reinstate laid-off workers during that time.

 

"The outlook is for 2012 and 2013 to be challenging years," he says. "After that we'll reassess. Hopefully, things will turn around.”