Coffee Briefing, November 20, 2020 – A licence-exempt spectrum proposal, news from HPE, Commvault, and MSPs on Reddit talk mental health

Coffee Briefings deliver our entire audience –  the IT administrators and channel partners as well as the C-Suite – the most complete news package with the latest headlines, interviews, and social media chatter. These briefings drop on Tuesday and Friday mornings. If you missed the last briefing, you’re in luck, because you can find it here. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by ITWC editorial director Alex Coop.

What you need to know right now

It’s what you need to know right now in the world of IT and tech – ’nuff said. (Often taken with a side of Hashtag Trending)

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Apple is slashing developer fees on one end and putting fires out in the other, and the Solomon Islands is looking at banning Facebook. Read the full episode transcript here.


Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

On today’s podcast, Howard Solomon talks to Terry Cutler of Cyology Labs about credential stuffing attacks and how to stop them. Read the full episode transcript here.


Government of Canada launches consultation on proposal for licence-exempt spectrum

The federal government this week announced the launch of a consultation on a proposal to triple the license-exempt spectrum available for Wi-Fi by opening up the 6GHz band.  Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, dropped the announcement during the 2020 Canadian Telecom Summit (stay tuned for more coverage on the event) on Nov. 19, and said the proposal would triple the amount of license-exempt spectrum available for Wi-Fi, providing more choice and affordability when it comes to wireless broadband. [Press release]


ISED details 3,500MHz 5G spectrum auction criteria [IT World Canada]


Canadian privacy commish says Bill C-11 is good, but …

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien chimed in on the tabling of Bill C-11, the federal government’s proposed new private-sector privacy legislation. There was a lot to like, wrote Therrien in a statement yesterday, but it’s unclear if having financial penalties fall under the responsibility of a new tribunal is the right direction.

The Bill would give the OPC real order-making powers, rather than the more limited powers proposed in the government’s 2019 Digital Charter. However, financial penalties would fall under the responsibility of a new tribunal, which would also be an appeal body for the OPC‘s decisions. We believe citizens should have access to quick and effective remedies. We are examining whether the addition of a new structure is likely to achieve this result.

That being said, new enforcement powers are only a means, a tool by which to enforce the law. In the case at hand, the primary role of the legislation is to enact standards and rules that effectively protect privacy while permitting and encouraging commercial activities.

[Full statement]

Psst … do you live in Quebec, or speak French, and want to read tech coverage in the French language? Our sister publication Direction Informatique has you covered.

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. Sometimes we’ll also feature awesome stories from other publications. We also show love for the IT channel, so expect news that MSPs and resellers care about to pop up, too.


New CompTIA Security+ Certification exam available worldwide

CompTIA recently released a new version of its CompTIA Security+ certification, a credential for technology professionals that validates their cybersecurity skills. The new exam, available worldwide, includes exam content related to technologies designed to repel the latest cyberattacks, threats and vulnerabilities. The exam also covers current cybersecurity architecture, design and implementation techniques as well as concepts such as automation, continuous security monitoring, incident response and governance, risk and compliance. [Source:]

CIRA expands its footprint

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority says the official country-code top-level domain of the Republic of Ireland is now powered by the CIRA Registry Platform. According to CIRA’s Nov. 19 press release, IE is one of the fastest-growing domain registries in the EU, having registered more than 58,000 new .IE domains in the last year alone. In total it has more than 308,000 domains under management. [Full press release]


Commvault unveils latest enhancements for containers, launches Metallic BaaS for Kubernetes

They promised it and now it’s here – enterprise-grade data protection for Kubernetes, in a consumption model. The new Metallic VM and Kubernetes Backup solution joins Commvault’s Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform and Commvault Complete Data Protection to round out its hybrid and multi-cloud storage solutions. [News release]


HPE partner program updates

The HPE Partner Ready Program is getting some updates:

  • AI-powered proposals and robotic process automation (RPA): To further streamline the deals cycle, partners can leverage the Primary Storage Opportunity Engine (PSOE) to quickly develop a proposal containing an approved quote, sizing and performance data, associated Infosight intelligence and more. This not only creates an easy-to-understand proposal for partners to discuss with customers, but allows them to reduce the number of meetings involved in the sales cycle by an average of five meetings. 
  • HPE FlexOffers: HPE has improved the purchase experience to allow partners to create customized built-to-order (BTO) product configurations at bundled-discount pricing, dispatched from distribution inventory. This new capability will be rolled out to distributors worldwide starting this month, and built into HPE iQuote, HPE’s streamlined quoting tool that presents pre-approved discounts and promotional prices in real-time.
  • Enhanced sales certifications: Accessible via the new HPE Sales Pro Learning Center, sales certifications in FY21 will provide a modern, intuitive, mobile-friendly and interactive experience to help partners quickly align with HPE strategies and reduce out-of-office time. “Learning checks” strategically placed within modules and an assessment at the end allow partners to efficiently demonstrate content mastery and complete their certification entirely within HPE Sales Pro.
  • Extended demo program: HPE’s demo program includes new demo options, easier access to the HPE portfolio and allows partners to purchase their own demo equipment at steep discounts. Partners can also access new interactive demos on the HPE Demo Portal which offer clickable, simulator-based environments that enable users to “interact” with HPE solutions with zero risk of failing. Partners continue to benefit from remote-live or recorded demos and proof of concepts, as well as from live or virtual tours of any HPE Customer Innovation Centers. [Source: Nov. 16 press release]



ICYMI – IT World Canada

Hackers are using Google services to bypass email defence, researchers warn

Threat actors are increasingly using Google services such as Forms, Firebase and Sites to get around email defences that look for suspicious code and URLs, security vendor Armorblox has warned. [Full story]


Microsoft Pluton security co-processor will address some TPM flaws

Microsoft this week announced its Pluton custom security co-processor that will be built into future AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm chips. [Full story]


New Canadian privacy regime steps in the right direction, but experts ‘baffled’ and ‘troubled’ by key missing pieces

Two privacy experts have mixed feelings about the proposed new federal privacy regime for the private sector.

On the one hand, former Ontario privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian and University of Ottawa law professor Teresa Scassa are very pleased with the privacy commissioner’s new order-making powers and ability to levy fines, as well as the greater control over personal data collected by firms. [Full story]


BCIT and other academic institutions join Fortinet’s Security Academy Program 

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology and the Ontario College of Management and Technology are joining Fortinet’s Security Academy Program. Built to address a cybersecurity skills gap that many security leaders say directly contributed to more than 70 per cent of intrusions over the past year, Fortinet’s Security Academy Program now boasts more than 15 Canadian universities and non-profit organizations. [Full story]

ICYMI – IT Business Canada

Leveraging AI tools to drive operational efficiency and promote brand

With a recent forecast from IDC estimating that worldwide revenues for artificial intelligence (AI) will total more than $156 billion in 2020, the writing is truly on the wall. With a global pandemic disrupting customer service at every turn, it’s time to pull AI from the pilot projects and use it to optimize the consumer experience. [Full story]


Sage Business Cloud Marketplace now available in Canada 

Enterprise software firm Sage recently announced the launch of the Sage Business Cloud Marketplace in Canada, which will provide its Canadian customers with a selection of cloud-native and cloud-connected apps.

Newly added apps to the Sage Marketplace in Canada include True Sky, a budgeting, planning and forecasting solution for business, and Credit Hound, automated collections management software that shows customers what is owed and when to follow up on outstanding debts. [Full story]

ICYMI – Channel Daily News

It’s a ‘different kind of scramble’ now, Ingram Micro execs say

Evidence of a second COVID-19 wave and the ongoing challenges facing Canada’s economy is visible in the millions of dollars transacted through Ingram Micro’s financing programs, according to the distributor’s country manager. [Full story]


If ransomware doesn’t kill you, the downtime will, says Datto report

Managed services providers are reporting that the downtime cost per incident has increased by nearly 95 per cent from 2019 and a dizzying 486 per cent from 2018, according to a new study. [Full story]


Bookmarks of the week

A few bookmarked tweets that we think are worth sharing with you.





The r/MSP recap

The MSP subreddit community is growing rapidly. It’s also a chatty bunch. With more than 85,000 members as of today, it’s worth taking a look at what they have to say every once in a while. Here are the recent top posts. Click on the posts to view additional responses.

Mental health of MSP owners and technicians from msp


Large Client Refuses to Upgrade Anything from msp


2020 Marketing and sales stats; exactly what we did, and what it took to have our biggest year ever. from msp



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Alex Coop
Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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