Coffee Briefing Oct. 17 – New app aims to address Canada’s climate crisis; Sage launches Intacct Payroll in Canada; Ada unveils Generative Actions

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New app aims to address Canada’s climate crisis

Wilder Climate Solutions, Accenture, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have released Squiirrel, an app-based digital tree-seed marketplace, in response to this country’s escalating forest crisis. 

This app works with Wilder’s other seed-related projects. In fall 2022, the company launched a collaborative project called the Network of Nature, a reference database for local-specific Canadian native plant species.

Wilder also assisted in a national survey that helped to understand the distribution and analysis of Canada’s National Tree See Centre supply chain. 

The hope for Squiirrel is to create a more efficient method of connecting seed producers and growers.

Collectors can:

  • Capture and store data on seeds collections (including verified geolocation)
  • Post seeds to marketplace or keep private
  • Connect with a larger pool of buyers
  • Learn new skills

Growers can:

  • Post seed demand to the marketplace to incentivize collector engagement
  • Access the marketplace for easy and intuitive procurement process
  • Be assured of secure, accurate and traceable data (including seed source)

The app is available on iOS and Android.

Sage launches Intacct payroll in Canada


Sage, a provider of financial, HR and payroll technology for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), has introduced Sage Intacct Payroll in partnership with ADP Canada, extending its solution to the Canadian market after its launch in the U.S. in June 2022.

Sage Intacct Payroll is a payroll and HR solution specifically designed for medium-sized businesses, the company said. This solution can easily integrate with Sage’s cloud financial management program. Sage said that the combination of Sage Intacct and the payroll platform will:

  • Enhance employee engagement
  • Minimize errors
  • Gain company insights

Mark Hickman, managing director of Sage in Canada, said, “Launching Sage Intacct Payroll in Canada is a significant milestone for Sage, as it doubles down on our ambition of being the trusted network for growing and scaling medium businesses.”

This platform hopes to foster collaboration and efficiency among accounting, HR, and payroll teams, offering substantial time and cost savings for businesses.

Ada unveils Generative Actions, changing AI-powered customer service


Ada, an AI-native customer service automation company, has introduced Ada Generative Actions. This product is designed to tackle complex customer inquiries without human intervention, utilizing AI chatbots to take personalized, informed actions.

Ada Generative Actions allows companies to create third-party integrations using plain language, eliminating the need for coding, the company said in a release. By drawing information from multiple sources, businesses can automate responses to customer inquiries. Unlike traditional chatbots, Ada’s solution can perform actions such as booking alternative flights or checking order statuses, addressing unique customer needs with practical solutions.

“We found that more than half of Ada’s automated customer service conversations, especially in fintech, media and travel, required at least one personalized action to resolve an issue for the customer,” said Mike Murchison, chief executive officer (CEO) and Co-founder, Ada. “The generative AI technology underpinning Ada’s new Generative Actions will allow companies to finally escape the limitations of scripted chatbots and actually resolve unique customer issues with real action.”

EY survey reveals disconnect between employers and employees on job expectations


EY logo – Building a better working world (CNW Group/EY (Ernst & Young))

Over a quarter of Canadian employees are poised to change jobs within the next year, with Gen Z and millennials showing the highest inclination to leave, states the EY 2023 Work Reimagined Survey

The survey noted that, contrary to employer perceptions, economic slowdown isn’t curbing employees’ job switches; 57 per cent of employers believe it is, while fewer employees agree. Pay remains a key concern for 40 per cent of Canadian workers, though it ranks lower on employers’ worry lists.

The survey also highlights the continued popularity of hybrid work, with employers (47 per cent) and employees (37 per cent) saying they prefer a few days of fully remote work during the week. However, not all employers “have created and communicated a formal and clear policy and guidelines.”

Amid the workforce’s generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) expectations, 22 per cent of employers plan GenAI-related training. While 84 per cent of employers consider integrating GenAI, only half of employees feel aligned on new working methods. EY urges businesses to equip employees with skills to embrace technology, while prioritizing human-centric work practices.

RoadSync Launches RoadSync Pay


RoadSync, a provider of digital finance solutions for the supply chain, has introduced RoadSync Pay, a digital payment solution designed to revolutionize billing and payments for brokers and carriers. RoadSync Pay will allow brokers to schedule and automate payments to carriers and factoring companies, offering convenience and efficiency.

RoadSync Pay can process payments between bank accounts 24/7, including holidays and weekends. The platform also offers same day, next day ACH (Automated Clearing House), one-clock checks and fleet check options. 

RoadSync Pay additionally provides brokers, carriers and factoring companies with access to a complimentary carrier portal and automated remittance emails. These features offer real-time and historical insights into payment statuses, reducing the burden on back-office staff in conveying critical payment information to carriers, the company said.

“By providing access to cutting-edge payment capabilities, we are fueling brokers and carriers with the speed, convenience, and security they deserve,” said Robin Gregg, RoadSync chief executive officer CEO). “Trucking hasn’t always been the focus of technology innovation and our goal is to help it thrive in the digital age, ensuring that payments are as modern as the goods they transport. We are proud to lead this charge, modernizing logistics payments and shaping the future of logistics fintech.”

More to explore

U.S. tech workers earn 46% more than Canadians: report

A new report by the Dais at Toronto Metropolitan University reveals a significant wage gap between tech workers in the United States and Canada

OpenText embarks on its GenAI journey with Aviator LLMs

The Aviator era has formally begun for Waterloo, Ont.-based OpenText with the release this week of its Cloud Editions (CE) version 23.4, which contains a number of the recently announced Aviators that form the backbone of a new artificial intelligence (AI) product strategy.

Quebecor launches MVNO service, starts expanding Videotron, Fizz and Freedom Mobile service areas across Canada

Quebecor today announced the launch of its Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service, as well as the expansion of the service territories of its Videotron, Fizz, and Freedom Mobile brands in Canada.

VR is changing customer care for Hydro One

Hydro One, an Ontario electricity transmission and distribution provider, has partnered with VR Vision, a virtual reality technology company, to transform the training experience for its customer care and field service teams.

Pure Storage intros new DRaaS, pledges to cover power, rack space costs

Pure Storage has released what it described as “new data resilience offerings” that include Pure Protect//DRaaS, which it said is targeted at VMware sites and is designed to reduce complexity, cost, recovery time, and business disruption in the wake of disasters and cyber disruptions.

No one suspected the man in a FedEx uniform …

No one suspected the man in the FedEx uniform. He walked into offices in the Phoenix, Arizona area asking the receptionists for directions. Pretty common.

CyberCatch launches digital standards manager

CyberCatch Holdings Inc., a cybersecurity compliance and risk mitigation solutions provider, has announced the launch of its compliance assessment offering.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

It’s not “AI washing” it’s fraud, according to a US regulator. LinkedIN announces key layoffs. You might need a background check before you get that 3D printer And a financial crash brought about by AI is “nearly unavoidable” according to the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Listen to the latest episode of Cybersecurity Today

This episode reports on Equifax UK fined US$13 million, Microsoft paying for finding AI vulnerabilities and more.

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Tendances

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

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Breanna Schnurr
Breanna Schnurr
Breanna Schnurr is a recent journalism graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University. She loves writing about all things data, travel, tech, lifestyle and subculture. You can reach out to Breanna via [email protected].

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