Coffee Briefing, June 22, 2021 – IBM merges Toronto offices; edtech booms; Cisco’s new 5G industrial edge routing portfolio; and more

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Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. These briefings drop on Tuesday mornings. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada reporter Pragya Sehgal, with files from editorial director Alex Coop. Missed last week’s Coffee Briefing? We got you covered.

ITWC Podcasts

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Water facility hacks are becoming more prominent, Amazon Prime Day is no celebration for workers, and IBM opens a new office in Toronto.

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Fake Darkside group threatens companies, Darkside affiliate group hits security camera maker, help from Google for software developers and more

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In case you missed it

The recent tech news that we maybe didn’t get to yet, or it’s the news we’ve reported on and feel is worth resurfacing.

IBM Canada is merging its Toronto-based offices, bringing 500 new jobs in the GTA  

Yesterday, IBM Canada announced it would be merging four Toronto offices into a single flexible workspace in the city’s downtown core. The company says its decision to transition to a hub design was accelerated over the past year when virtual work environments became commonplace. “We envision a flexible return-to-work model,” said IBM Canada President Claude Guay said in a June 21 news release. “A great deal has changed over the last 15 months, and we have heard from our employees that flexibility between home and office work environments is important to them. Continuing to support that work-life balance for IBMers is a priority for us as a company.”

No IBMers are going to lose their jobs with this merger, Grace Chaoui, a spokesperson for IBM Canada, told IT World Canada. IBM also confirmed it’s maintaining its headquarters in Markham.

The new office will include an AI and hybrid cloud client showcase centre, collaboration spaces for use by both employees and clients, and space for IBM Garage. IBM also noted the larger space at 16 York is expected to accommodate some of the new employees who will fill 500 job openings in the Greater Toronto Area – a portion of the more than 800 open positions in Canada. The company says it’s recruiting people with specific industry-leading technology skills for various areas of its business, including the IBM Technology unit, IBM Services, IBM Garage and more. [Learn more about the announcement here]

North America accounts for over 40% share of the global edtech and e-learning market

According to the research data analyzed and published by Definanzas.com, North America is the dominant player in the e-learning and education technology (edtech) sector, accounting for a 42 per cent share of the global market, and 37 per cent of the global revenue in 2020.

The COVID-19 crisis is reshaping education around the world, upending almost every aspect of school. Analysts say that the pandemic was only part of the driving force and the uptrend will likely continue post-pandemic. According to Definanzas, the worldwide e-learning market is poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 18 per cent between 2021 and 2025. In that period of time, the sector’s incremental growth will be approximately $185 billion. For the year 2021, the research estimates growth at nearly 17 per cent. [ More on it here]

IBM, ManpowerGroup, and the Royal Alberta College partner to help bridge skills gap

IBM Canada last week announced that it has partnered with the global staffing firm ManpowerGroup and the not-for-profit educational institution based in Edmonton Royal Alberta College (RAC) to bridge the long-standing digital skills gap which has now been further exacerbated by the pandemic. The company says this collaboration has been formed using IBM SkillsBuild, a free digital training program that helps adults develop valuable new skills and find jobs, regardless of their background or education with professional workplace readiness and technical skills and enables them to earn digital badges recognized by the market. The partnership will help make tech more diverse and inclusive, bringing in people with non-traditional education backgrounds. 

The Canadian partnership is one of 30 globally (spanning 12 countries) and supports IBM’s goal to skill 500,000 people around the world by the end of 2021. [Read more on it here]

Cisco’s new 5G industrial edge routing portfolio

Last week, Cisco announced a new portfolio of Catalyst industrial routers to enable businesses to unite their IoT deployments across their IT infrastructure. The company says the new portfolio provides the modularity to future-proof the network with a broad variety of access technologies including Wi-Fi 6, 5G, 4G, Private LTE, FirstNet and Wi-SUN.

The new portfolio includes:

  • Three new Catalyst 5G Industrial Routers to securely connect mobile and fixed assets: These new routers are based on Cisco IOS XE to extend the enterprise network and SD-WAN to the edge. This unified architecture provides IT and operational teams with consistent tools, eliminates training on new devices and technologies, and improves security. The new Catalyst routers are modular and also offer built-in edge compute to develop business apps and drive decisions at the edge.
  • New Cisco IoT Gateway Series for essential indoor or outdoor connectivity at mass scale: Packaged with Cisco’s cloud-based IoT Operations Dashboard, these cloud-simple gateways are cost-effective and offer fast and simple set up; simply plug it in and power it on to connect previously unconnected assets. [Click here for the complete announcement here]

ICYMI – IT World Canada

Proposed Ontario privacy law could include multi-million corporate fines [Full story]

Ontario is closer to creating its own provincial privacy law that would include a right to privacy and a corporate obligation to report privacy breaches. This week, the province said it’s considering these moves in part because the proposed overhaul of federal privacy legislation, which Ontario has relied on so far, is flawed.

Six more new features coming to Android soon [Full story]

It seems like Google IO was only yesterday, but Google has already announced new features coming to Android later this year. Although the June 15 announcement isn’t as groundbreaking as the Android 12 preview at its IO event, even little improvements can go a long way.

Why consolidating your cybersecurity makes it stronger [Full story]

It’s time to give your cybersecurity defences a workout. “The bad guys have been at the gym over the past year and they are buff,” said Grant Asplund, Chief Security Evangelist for Check Point Software Technologies at a recent ITWC briefing. “If you’re not buff too, they’ll take you down.”

ICYMI – IT Business Canada

Inaugural Google Cloud Accelerator Canada class of 2021 announced [Full story]

Google has unveiled the 12 startups from across the country that will take part in the 10-week program, which will combine the “best of Google’s programs, products, people and technology to startups doing interesting work in the cloud”.

Technation panellist says some are quitting organizations that insist on a 5-day presence in the workplace [Full story]

The Technation Future of Work conference series continued last Wednesday, as keynote speaker Ashok Krish, global head at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), shared his thoughts on the digital workplace and how workspaces would be impacted post-pandemic. 

Marketing and digital teamwork a winning combination for MLSE [Full story]

Speaking with ITWC president Fawn Annan for a June 2021 installment of CMO Talks, a podcast series on marketing challenges, Hosford, MLSE’s chief marketing officer, and Teherany, chief technology and digital officer, described the team effort that goes into making a difference on the digital and marketing sides of one of the largest sports companies in the world.

ICYMI – Channel Daily News

Red Hat shares roadmaps for OpenShift Application Services [Full story]

Red Hat laid out its roadmaps for three OpenShift Application Services during a session at the June segment of the Red Hat Summit Virtual Experience last week. These services, part of the company’s unified platform for building cloud-native applications, are managed cloud services supporting applications using real-time data streams, machine learning, and microservices.

Avanan launches Global Partner Program, extends use of its cloud email and collab security solutions [Full story]

Cloud email and collaboration security firm Avanan this morning announced that it’s launching a new Global Channel Partner Program.

Dell launches telco infrastructure solutions [Full story]

Dell Technologies has leapt further into the lucrative telecom space with the announcement of products and services aimed at helping providers modernize their infrastructure and prepare for 5G.

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