Coffee Briefing, November 3, 2020 – New AWS instances, Canada and robots, partner program updates, election chatter, and more

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 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 and Cyber Security Today)


Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

A revolutionary way to sell books catches people’s attention online, influencer marketing budgets are projected to double by 2022, and a new global database helps identity COVID-19 superspreader events. [Read the full story here]


Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

Stay away from parcel notice texts, Microsoft urges companies to install a patch and customer information of millions up for sale. Read the full episode transcript here.


Experts call on countries to unite against cyber interference in elections [IT World Canada]

In 2003 the United States and other countries created an alliance of nations dubbed the “coalition of the willing” to fight Iraq’s Kuwait invasion.

A former senior CIA official is calling for a digital “coalition of the willing” to fight foreign interference, including cyberattacks and misinformation, in nations around the world. [Full story]


Study: The Employment Consequences of Robots: Firm-level Evidence

A string of studies published by Statistics Canada has ultimately revealed that businesses that invested in robots from 1996 to 2017 employed more workers, not fewer. The studies found that firms expanded both their high- and low-skilled workforce, although not their middle-skilled workforce after investing in robots. Firms also use fewer managers when robots arrive. We’re peeling through the data ourselves, but if you want to check out some of the data yourself (there’s a lot of it) you can do so by clicking here.

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 to pop up that MSPs and resellers care about, too.


AWS launches next-gen GPU instances

Whether you’re training a gaming app or performing critical medical research, the latest computing power being made available by AWS through its new GPU-equipped instances may be of interest.

These new P4 instances launch roughly 10 years after AWS first set of Cluster GPU instances. AWS says the latest generation is powered Nvidia’s A100 Tensor Core GPUs and Intel Cascade Lake processors.

Image source: AWS

According to AWS’s website, the instances “are the first in the cloud to support 400 Gbps instance networking.” P4d instances also provide up to 60 per cent lower cost to train ML models, “including an average of 2.5x better performance for deep learning models compared to previous generation P3 and P3dn instances.” []


Cogeco continues its expansion in Ontario

Cogeco Communications‘ Canadian subsidiary Cogeco Connexion announced a new investment in digital infrastructure to offer high-speed internet in Towns of Essex and Kingsville, and the Municipality of Leamington, in Ontario. The total investment is estimated at over $13 million, for which $6.1 million will come from Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT), a non-profit regional broadband project initiated by the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus. [News release]



It’s a go – HP Amplify goes live

Back in July HP announced it was making some serious changes to its partner program, replacing all existing tiers with a new two-tier system. On Nov. 1, those changes officially came into effect.

The two core tracks are Synergy and Power. Synergy will be the foundational track of HP Amplify, HP says. Partners in this track will discover a minimum threshold of sales commitment, but still tightly aligned with the ecosystem. Meanwhile, partners in the Power track demonstrate deeper collaboration with HP and will see an increased return on their investment in the form of higher rewards, data insights, sales and tech resources, and marketing support. Not all partners, however, will qualify for the program.

“We recognize, however, that some partners may choose not to co-invest in future-readiness alongside HP, and they will be retired from the program or program track. As they are today, those partners can continue to source products and resources through distribution,” a July 15 press release read.

ICYMI – IT World Canada

Intel teases Rocket Lake-S processor and new Cypress Cove core architecture

Intel says its 11th-generation Core-S series desktop processors, code-named “Rocket Lake-S”, will feature “double-digit percentage” instructions-per-clock (IPC) gains compared to its current-gen offerings. [Full story]


COVID Alert gets increased precision as second wave looms

Canada’s COVID Alert app has been updated to base its notifications on a more precise timeline. [Full story]


Academic | An interview with Joshua McKenty, co-founder of OpenStack on the art of contemporary cloud computing 

On the eve of the Electronic Recycling Association’s new digital event series, Academic, Robert Brennan Hart sat down with Victoria’s Joshua McKenty, Co-Founder of Openstack and Piston Cloud (Acquired by Cisco) to discuss what the future beholds for a medium near and dear to both of our hearts. [Full blog post]

ICYMI – IT Business Canada

As deadline looms, expert says businesses are ‘just starting’ to take digital accessibility more seriously 

Canadian businesses face a January 1, 2021 deadline to make all internet websites and web content more accessible, and experts are urging Canadian businesses to take a hard look at their web presence and take the deadline seriously.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires organizations with 20 or more employees to file a compliance audit* before this deadline. AODA will require Canadian businesses in Ontario to meet web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.0) Level AA other than criteria 1.2.4 (live captions) and 1.2.5 (pre-recorded audio descriptions). [Full story]

ICYMI – Channel Daily News

Upcoming webinar will focus on cybersecurity in the new normal

On Nov. 25, join IT World Canada’s editorial director Alex Coop and The NPD Group’s industry analyst Michael Crosby as they dig through the Canadian channel by segment based on the latest quarterly numbers, and carefully peel apart the security category. Security is on everybody’s mind, but deciding which vendor to partner with to address specific challenges is not as cut and dried. [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.


Backup best practice from msp


I’m having so much fun. from msp


When the customer care more about convenience instead of security. from msp

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

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

Featured Articles

Cybersecurity in 2024: Priorities and challenges for Canadian organizations 

By Derek Manky As predictions for 2024 point to the continued expansion...

Survey shows generative AI is a top priority for Canadian corporate leaders.

Leaders are devoting significant budget to generative AI for 2024 Canadian corporate...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now