Coffee Briefing, November 6, 2020 – Ontario budget highlights, telco news from IBM, free tools for MSPs

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 $1.3B deal will return vehicle production to an Oshawa plant, Half of Facebook employees are pretty sure the company has had a negative effect on the world, and small businesses are having trouble competing with big tech in online sales. [Full episode transcript here]


Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

Warning for Asterisk phone system administrators, U.S. tries to get control over a $1 billion criminal bitcoin account and beware of election-related malware. [Full episode transcript here]


Ontario budget – what’s in it for tech?

Ontario’s Progressive-Conservative government unveiled a 2020 budget Thursday. It’s Ontario’s first budget since COVID-19 disrupted millions of lives and the global economy, and includes plans for $45 billion in pandemic-related spending over the next three years. It also features a deficit of $38.5 billion.  When it comes to technology and innovation, here are the budget numbers to make note of:

  • Investment of $57 million with the federal government in the Digital Mainstreet program that has already helped 23,000 businesses, build an online presence.
  • The province says “We are also investing in new programs that can help kids learn online, creating a new, more accessible digital curriculum.” This is likely in reference to the $100 million in the COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Skills Plan.
  • Ontario government is making additional investments of over $680 million over the next four years for the next phase of its plan and “that will include a doubling of our commitment to the improved connectivity in Ontario program. More on this funding here.

The budget announcement got the thumbs up from Angela Mondou, president and chief executive officer of TECHNATION:

“TECHNATION is pleased with the Ontario Government’s plan to implement policies that support the entire technology industry in today’s Budget speech.  By investing in digital government, rural broadband, and virtual healthcare, TECHNATION believes that Ontario’s government has taken an important step towards economic recovery.  The commitment of significant funding to the expansion of broadband in Ontario is mission critical for recovery and prosperity.  We appreciate that Budget 2020 lays out tangible goals for digital government services and investment for retraining and skills for displaced workers, another critical component of Ontario’s recovery.  We look forward to more details on the Ontario Onwards Acceleration Fund and to collaborating with the Government to support the transformation of procurement in the weeks ahead.”

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.


IBM Cloud for Telecommunications 

IBM says that together with more than 35 partners, the company is launching IBM Cloud for Telecommunications, an open, hybrid cloud architecture designed to help make the lives of telecommunications providers simpler, and do drive digital transformation in a crucial vertical that’s quickly assessing the potential capabilities that come from 5G.

According to a recent Institute for Business Value study conducted by vendor Oxford Economics, 60 per cent of Communications Service Provider (CSP) leaders surveyed agree that network virtualization is crucial across edge locations, but only half of them are prepared to virtualize in a cloud-native environment. Built on IBM Cloud Satellite, currently in beta, and leveraging Red Hat OpenShift, IBM says clients can deploy IBM Cloud services anywhere: on the cloud, on-premises or at the edge, while addressing industry-specific requirements and data protection.

The platform also integrates and extends IBM Edge Application Manager and IBM Telco Network Cloud Manager.

The current list of IBM Cloud for Telecommunications ecosystem partners.


Citizen Lab publishes privacy law recommendations

The Ontario government recently requested feedback back in August on how to improve the province’s privacy protection laws. Citizen Lab responded with 21 recommendations. Check out their blog post with all 21 recommendations.

ICYMI – IT World Canada

Microsoft Future Now at a glance: Business leaders say DX is overdue, critical research highlights, and more

Microsoft hosted its Future Now virtual event recently. We spoke to a few executives to better understand how Canadian businesses are taking advantage of new capabilities via Azure. Plus, don’t miss out on the other highlights. [Full story]


Using fraud data analytics could save your firm big money – here’s how

Cushion glides are the size of large thumb-tacks that get pushed into the bottom of chair legs. They help protect the office floors. One organization found out these innocuous devices can also be used for fraud.

The procurement department — including the manager — was part of a kickback scheme with the supplier to slowly hike the glides’ price to $10 from $1 a package. When the organization buys 20,000 of the glides over a year, that adds up: Instead of paying $20,000, the firm was paying $200,000, with employees in on the scheme getting a kickback.

They were caught with fraud data analytics. That’s just one example of analytics helping identify fraud. [Full story]



ICYMI – IT Business Canada

Ontario government reserves another $680 million for network development

The Ontario government will be investing an additional CA$680 million into the province’s network infrastructure in underserved communities and dead zones. [Full story]


ICYMI – Channel Daily News

OVHcloud pursues new storage strategy, and cozies up with NetApp

OVHcloud is hosting its eighth annual OVHcloud Ecosystem Experience this week, and in addition to announcing a new strategy around AI, the French-based global cloud provider also unveiled major enhancements to its storage strategy involving NetApp. [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.


Some helpful info and free resources from msp


MSP websites from msp


Same old MSP services. Has anyone seen new or innovative ways to provide Cybersecurity to SMBs? 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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