Coffee Briefing, May 25, 2021 – Citrix Canada’s new GM; Canada named world’s most cashless economy; job losses out West; 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.

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The U.S. government is leveraging dating apps to promote vaccine adoption, China condemns popular apps for illegal data collection, and Google to discontinue unlimited Photo backup.


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Air India is trying to notify 4.5 million passengers around the world that their personal information was copied by cyber attacker; cybersecurity experts are still stunned at a report from Bloomberg News that insurance company CNA Financial paid $40 million to get data back after a ransomware attack; and crooks are still trying to get personal information from senior employees by posting phony job offers.


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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.

Citrix Canada appoints new GM

Last week, Citrix Canada announced Jim Willis as their new general manager to oversee all sales, marketing, services, and operations for the Canadian market. Willis’ experience comprises more than 20 years in the high-tech industry including 13 years at Symantec Canada, where he led the enterprise and public sector sales team. For the past six years, he has been the director of Canadian Enterprise Sales for Citrix Canada, helping clients deliver better customer and employee experiences and managing business risks. Last month, the company had announced Marcelo Giampietro as the new general manager of the Americas International Region. 

Canadian information industry loses 200 jobs in April 2021 – report

While Canada’s labour force increased by 351,300 jobs from March to April 2021, Canadian information industry – mostly identified with computer programming, system design, telecommunications, and others – saw 200 job losses during the same period, according to the online payroll and HR solutions company ADP Canada’s National Employment Report for April 2021.  “In April, the labor market recorded the third straight month of gains despite tightening restrictions due to an increase in COVID-19 cases,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP. “Nearly every sector added jobs, with only information contracting slightly. Leisure and hospitality and trade, transportation and utilities led job growth along with other service-producing industries, while the goods-producing industries remained flat.” The report is a monthly measure of the change in total Canadian nonfarm payroll employment derived from actual, anonymous payroll data of client companies served by ADP Canada and measures more than two million workers in Canada. [Full report here]

Canada named the world’s most cashless economy – World Bank data

Canada has been named the world’s most cashless economy, leading the way with cashless payments. The latest World Bank data shows 83 per cent of the population own a credit card – the highest usage in the world, highlighted a recent report from Canada is most likely to banish the banknote in exchange for electronic payments to become the world’s first cashless country. Hong Kong is the world’s second most cashless economy, followed by Singapore. European countries account for seven of the 15 most cashless economies, with the United Kingdom ranking 11th. [Full report here]

Mitel to provide support to all tech businesses in KNBA’s Hub350

Last week, the Kanata North Business Association (KNBA) announced a partnership with Canadian business communications leader Mitel to support their new global technology centre Hub350 which will be located in Mitel’s former headquarters at 350 Legget Drive in Kanata North, and is slated to open this summer. As a corporate partner, KNBA says, Mitel will be sponsoring and naming the centre’s boardroom in addition to providing support to all technology businesses in the tech park. [Full press release here]

NGen launches new youth initiative to attract young people to advanced manufacturing

Last week, Canada’s advanced manufacturing supercluster, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), announced a new youth initiative – Careers of the Future – to attract young people to the advanced manufacturing field of study. According to Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen, the pandemic has shown the importance of having advanced manufacturing capabilities in Canada. Demand has surged for clean products and game-changing technologies to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. The pandemic has also exposed critical weaknesses in Canada’s supply chains and the need for skilled manufacturing talent. As part of the initiative, NGen says it has launched a contest, Manufacturing the Future, scheduled to be held from May 13 to June 2, which will award 10 bursaries, valued at CA$10,000 each, to young Canadians between the ages of 15-18 who can answer the question What problem do you think advanced manufacturing could solve in the future and what role would you like to play in making it happen? [More information on the initiative can be found here]

Canadian Pinterest creators to get new creator tools and discovery features

Last week, Pinterest announced it is giving Canadian business account holders access to a suite of new publishing tools including, video-first features, fresh editing tools, and updates to make creating and discovering Idea Pins easier and more creative. This will allow them to see Idea Pins from creators they follow right at the top of their home feed. In addition, Idea Pin creation now includes the following:

  • Video recording and editing for up to 20 pages of content – Voice over recording so creators can add their own personal voice – Music selection
  • Ghost mode transition tools (perfect for those before-and-afters!) – Detail pages for instructions or ingredients
  • Interactive elements like people tagging and stickers
  • Multi-draft save so Creators can publish more ideas
  • Export options to share content beyond Pinterest
  • Topic tagging, a publishing feature that helps connect content to relevant interests

In addition to Canada, these features have also been rolled out for creators in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

ICYMI – IT World Canada

Qualcomm releases the Snapdragon 778G processor for performance midrange smartphones [Full story]

Released on May 20, the new chip is a slightly trimmed version of the Snapdragon 780G and targets high midrange performance. The Snapdragon 778G comes with the eight-core Kryo 670 CPU, the same as the Snapdragon 780G, but it’s made using 6nm transistors instead of the 5nm used for the Snapdragon 780G.

COVID vaccine certificates must obey privacy laws, say Canadian commissioners [Full story]

With the Canadian governments slowly easing pandemic restrictions entering buildings and taking commercial flights, some are calling for people to have COVID-19 vaccine certificates to prove they have been inoculated. However, the country’s privacy commissioners warn these documents or digital apps — sometimes called vaccine passports — have to meet federal and provincial privacy laws.

Top Women in FinTech and Blockchain celebration: More than a party [Full story]

A dozen of Canada’s women leaders in FinTech and Blockchain will be celebrated on June 1st, but the inaugural Canada’s Top Women in FinTech & Blockchain event is about more than a party.

ICYMI – IT Business Canada

SAS wants to get people curious about analytics with new tagline [Full story]

SAS has decided to up its marketing game, appealing not only to people’s logic but to customers’ emotional side in a quest to raise awareness and to ensure people understand analytics.

Google expands partnership with Shopify, launches new features to increase merchant discoverability [Full story]

Google is expanding its partnership with Shopify to allow the e-commerce giant’s 1.7 million merchants to feature their products across Google, the company announced at the Google I/O event this week. 

Now is the time to revamp your customer care strategy [Full story]

Armed with an Internet connection that will provide instant access to a wide array of options, customers are demanding superior customer service and customer care. They are no longer satisfied with mediocre anything. Providing exceptional customer care is challenging, especially in high-volume call centres, but mediocrity is not an option.

ICYMI – Channel Daily News

BlackBerry announces new endpoint and network security capabilities [Full story]This week, BlackBerry announced it’s extending its detection and response (XDR) strategy with two new cybersecurity innovations, BlackBerry Optics 3.0 and BlackBerry Gateway, built on prevention-first and AI-driven approach.

IBM Think 2021 at a glance [Full slideshow]

This year’s version of IBM Think, like most other conferences, was virtual for the second year running. This time it was broken into three segments, with general content shown everywhere and regional-specific content dropped in for each of the Americas, APAC and Japan, and EMEA and India editions.

Canada’s Munvo Solutions wins big at SAS Global Forum next to Microsoft and Accenture [Full story]

The Montreal-based SAS partner earned the Excellence in Innovation partner award this morning for its SMS Gateway solution, which allows for real-time conversation marketing from SAS Customer Intelligence 360.

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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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