Coffee Briefing, June 8, 2021 – The internet breaks; Pinterest news; Salesforce Digital 360 innovations; and more

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

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Jeff Bezos announces his trip to space, Toronto’s loss in the 2017 HQ2 contest resulted in some unexpected benefits, and Apple announces key software updates at WWDC 2021. 

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

Compromised password blamed for pipeline hack, a new phishing scam pushes fake updates and more ransomware groups emerge.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances (Hosted by Direction Informatique)

If you live in Quebec or prefer to consume the latest technology news in French, our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered. Follow them on Twitter as well.

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.

Site down

No, it wasn’t just you. Dozens of websites in the U.S. and Europe were inaccessible early this morning, with at least one internet outage tracker reporting widespread disruptions. According to multiple reports this morning, the issue could be traced to the cloud. It turns out content delivery network CDN, which is operated by Fastly, was suffering some issues.

The Fastly status page confirmed that this was a global disruption to CDN services. As of 7:00 a.m. ET the website said: “The issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return.”

Salesforce brings new innovations to Digital 360 to help companies go digital faster

At its virtual Connections conference 2021 on June 2, global CRM company Salesforce announced new innovations across Digital 360 platform, which integrates the company’s marketing, commerce, and experience cloud services on a single platform. The company says new innovations are aimed at helping companies go digital faster while being able to deliver better marketing, commerce and digital experiences. 

Some of the innovations brought to Digital 360 include:

  • The expansion of the company’s Marketing Cloud 360 customer data platform to deliver real-time engagement, audience segmentation and loyalty management.
  • New data integrations within Commerce Cloud 360 to enhance order management and headless commerce capabilities for companies to innovate fast with clicks, not code.
  • Partnership with Google to give companies access to first-party data so they can design their marketing and advertising campaigns accordingly.
  • New snapchat integration to enable brands to use first-party data for personalized ads;
  • Innovations to enable customers to manage WhatsApp channels and messaging within Marketing Cloud to increase customer engagement; and more. [Information on more innovations can be found here]

Pinterest introduces new shopping features

For the second time since last month, Pinterest has brought about significant changes to the platform, this time with the aim of improving the shopping experience for both Pinners and merchants. The company says each of the new shopping features it introduced on June 2 is designed to emulate in-store shopping to create a more personal and immersive experience. 

New ways Pinterest is enhancing the customer shopping experience include the “shopping in search’” feature, which the company says is a new shop tab with product-only results in search, making it easy to shop in-stock products from a range of retailers when searching for terms like “summer outfits”, “home office decor”, “kitchen remodel.” Pinterest has also added price and brand filters to the experience. Additionally, there are new features for merchants allowing them to reach users during the inspiration phase in their shopping experience. New ways the company is supporting the merchant experience include a verified merchant program with retailers like Knix and Article in Canada, who’ve met their qualifications for high-quality products and websites as well as positive customer service experiences. Verified Merchants will display a special blue checkmark on their profiles and become eligible for increased distribution within high-intent shopping experiences and metrics like conversion reporting. Retailers interested in signing up for the program can learn more at [Information on more new shopping features can be found here]

Along with enhancing the online retail experience through these new features, Pinterest also announced it will unveil “The Goods by Pinterest”, in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. – a two-week Shopping Spotlight that will give Pinners access to limited edition products exclusively sold through Pinterest from emerging DTC brands such as Canadian retailers Park and Fifth and Omi Woods.

OnCall Health introduces new API to help bridge the interoperability gap between healthcare systems

Last week, Toronto-based telemedicine solution vendor OnCall Health introduced an enhanced API (Application Programming Interface) with new functionality that integrates its telemedicine solution with a healthcare provider’s existing technology with the aim to alleviate interoperability challenges that have long been identified as a concern for the healthcare sector. By connecting healthcare systems, people, and data – including EMR (electronic medical records), CRM (customer relationship management), call centre, website, and other third-party systems – the company says API allows data to flow seamlessly, which reduces administrative redundancies, drives greater efficiency, and enables better patient health outcomes by improving continuity of care. 

Prior to the pandemic, only four per cent of primary care visits in Canada were conducted virtually but have since increased to 60 per cent. OnCall Health says the consequences of using disparate systems that were deployed to meet the immediate needs of patients – such as video conferencing solutions, charting software, and e-prescription platforms – are now being felt by healthcare professionals due to a disconnect in patient data. OnCall’s API, which is available to OnCall’s enterprise customers, empowers healthcare organizations to increase interoperability across their IT infrastructure so providers can work without restrictions.

In October last year, Apple launched a similar health records feature to enable the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standards-based integration with the Health app for their Canadian customers. 

ICYMI – IT World Canada

CRTC consults the public on a three-digit mental health phone number [Full story]

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) is seeking public input on the merit of a three-digit mental health and suicide prevention hotline, much like the 9-1-1 emergency services.

SAP focuses on sustainability, merges business networks [Full story]

Any crisis is ultimately solved by people, said Christian Klein, chief executive officer, chief operating officer and member of the executive board of SAP SE during his keynote at the virtual SAP SAPPHIRE NOW conference last week.

Bell to offer AWS Wavelength Zones for faster edge computing [Full story]

Last week, Bell announced that it has teamed up with Amazon web services (AWS) to offer AWS Wavelength Zones for more responsive 5G applications at the edge.

ICYMI – IT Business Canada

Zoho’s pipeline-centric CRM solution built for small businesses gets new features [Full story]

Global SaaS company Zoho has added new features, including an industry-first mobile pipeline view, to its pipeline-centric customer relationship management (CRM) solution, Bigin.

Nearly 60% of small charities have zero plans to digitally transform, says CanadaHelps survey [Full story]

The CanadaHelps 2021 Digital Skills Survey reveals that most small charities in Canada will find it difficult to continue work if they do not improve their digital capabilities.

Canada’s Top Women in Fintech and Blockchain honouree roundup [Full story]

Our judges were flooded with nominations for women mastering the fintech and blockchain space in their own ways. They managed to shorten that list down to 12 honourees.

ICYMI – Channel Daily News

FireEye announces sale of FireEye products business to Symphony Technology Group for $1.2B [Full story]

FireEye has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the FireEye products business, including the FireEye name, to a consortium led by Symphony Technology Group (STG) in an all-cash transaction for $1.2 billion.

Cloudera to be acquired by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and KKR for $5.3B [Full story]

Enterprise data cloud company Cloudera has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by affiliates of the private investment firms Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) and KKR in a $5.3 billion all-cash transaction, the company announced June 1.

Dell EMC launches higher performance VxRail HCI systems, improved manageability [Full story]

Dell Technologies has launched enhanced VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems based on Dell EMC’s newest PowerEdge servers, with better performance and improved management and deployment.

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Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the river Yamuna on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing fanatic who also loves to prepare delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not. Can be contacted at [email protected] or 647.695.3494.

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