When David Long got wind of layoff news at Ottawa's Dell call centre in January, he decided to take his fate into his own hands.

Long resigned from the firm after an initial round of layoffs in January. Last week, after about 500 of his former co-workers were laid-off effective immediately, Long decided to start up his own company called Phoenix Technical Support.

The new firm will provide customer support for home and small businesses that use Windows XP, Vista, Linux, Vista conversion to XP or Linux. The company will provide services similar to those that were offered at Dell's call centre.

"We know that U.S. consumers value the service that Canadians can offer," David Long said in a press release. "We plan to take advantage of that by giving personal computer retailers the opportunity to continue with high quality technical services."

Long says he already has about 10 employees on board and plans to expand his business in the future.

Another 600 Dell employees will lose their jobs when the call centre closes completely in June.