Coffee Briefing, October 27, 2020 – New beginnings, plus the latest from Dell, IBM, NetApp, and more

Starting today, we are combining our CDN and ITWC Morning Briefings to 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 will drop Tuesday and Friday mornings. The latest adjustment also comes with a name change – 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 Hashtag Trending

Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-Hee has died at the age of 78, the average American will spend three months on their phone, and nearly half of Canadian workers are strongly considering leaving their jobs. Read the episode transcript here!


Listen to Cyber Security Today

What your firm should do after being hit by ransomware. Read the full episode transcript here!


An open letter from CEOs to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Today the Council of Canadian Innovators published an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, signed by more than 133 CEOs of established technology companies. The call to action was for the federal government to implement new ideas and ecosystems where Canadian innovators can “grow both at home and abroad.” Here is an excerpt from the letter published Oct. 27:

When your government took office in 2015, we received encouraging signals that you understood the importance of Canada’s overdue transition to a knowledge economy. We heard of new plans to support innovators across this country. Programs like the Strategic Innovation Fund, the Innovation Superclusters Initiative and creation of the Economic Strategy Tables aimed to make Canada competitive in today’s global economy. But in the years since 2015, innovation is barely mentioned. We see less of a bold, cohesive plan for innovation in Canada and more of a patchwork — pilot programs and furtive policies rolled out in hope they will amount to something greater than the sum of the parts. We are still waiting for the creation of the promised national data strategy, rollout of the national IP strategy and implementation of the recommendations from the Economic Strategy Tables, and we look forward to partnering with your government on these needed efforts.

You can read the full letter 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 that MSPs and resellers care about, too.


IBM Cloud multizone region now available in Canada

A year after announcing an expansion of its global cloud footprint, IBM Canada last week officially launched its new IBM Cloud multizone region (MZR) in Toronto.

The MZR in Canada adds to IBM’s existing data centre capacity and becomes IBM’s first MZR in the country. We spoke with IBM Canada’s president Claude Guay about the announcement, as well as the virtual Think event itself. You can register and watch sessions from the event here. Stay tuned for that story this week, and in the meantime, read some of our IBM coverage from this year.


Dell Technologies World 2020

Dell Technologies World 2020: Executive keynotes focus on 5G and living on the edge with edge computing [IT World Canada] 

Like most other vendors, this year Dell Technologies has, after delaying for a few months in hopes that the COVID-19 situation would abate, resorted to turning its flagship conference, Dell Technologies World, into a virtual event. This week’s two-day event features a mix of live and pre-recorded sessions, as well as lively music performances, games – and puppies! (Seriously, there’s a puppy cam). [Full story]

Dell Technologies flexes its as-a-service muscles [Channel Daily News]

Dell Technologies is putting its as-a-service aspirations into overdrive, unveiling a new initiative called Project Apex that it says will ease the company and its partners and clients into the as-a-service world.

“Project APEX is our strategy for delivering a simple as-a-service and cloud experience to our customers and partners,” Sam Grocott, senior vice-president of Dell Technologies business units marketing, said during a webcast with reporters. “It’s the culmination of our strategy, how we are going to take our existing as-a-service business to the next level and redesign it with simplicity, ease of use and speed.” [Full story]

Dell Technologies World 2020: Partner program updates and boosts to online training [Channel Daily News]

This year’s Dell Technologies World was awkwardly timed for partners, who usually hear about new programs at the springtime event. This year, announcements were few but the company took advantage of the opportunity to reinforce its commitment to its partners, and to give some new faces a bit of air time. [Full story]

ICYMI – the latest from IT World Canada

Ontario open data portal tracking COVID sees traffic spike in October as second wave of infections continue

A website built by volunteers monitoring Ontario’s response to COVID-19 has been the go-to source for thousands of healthcare professionals keeping a vigilant eye on the pandemic’s spread for the past six months, and according to one of its creators, it’s seen a significant spike in traffic this month as a second wave pushes through the province. [Full story]


SecTor 2020: Measuring the importance of metrics 

Tanya Janca was depressed. As a member of a team writing online articles and creating videos to help consumers more easily use the products their employer was making, her contributions were getting far fewer hits than a colleague.

She asked him why. “I post links to my stuff on Reddit,” he replied.

But when she did the same for some reason it didn’t help. Then she asked the team to find out the amount of time users were spending on each article. It turned out they were spending about a minute and a half — suggesting they were reading her stuff — versus mere seconds for the pieces by the colleague she was jealous about.

The lesson, she told the SecTor 2020 virtual conference this week, is that collecting the right data is vital. [Full story]


What is Wi-Fi sensing and what can it do?

Wireless networks are typically associated with internet access in corporate networks or entertainment services like Netflix. Yet, WiFi’s application extends far beyond just streaming data to electronics. Now that a common household owns about 10 smart devices on average, it has set up WiFi sensing to take the stage. [Full story]

ICYMI – the latest from IT Business Canada

Telus launches Espri mental health app with a focus on frontline workers 

Telus has launched a new mental health app for Canadian frontline workers to help reduce stress, prevent burnout, and upkeep mental wellness. [Full story]


Adobe announces Creative Cloud updates, and an iPad version of Illustrator 

At its annual MAX conference this week, Adobe introduced new features for Creative Cloud, with updates available for Fresco, Illustrator, Photoshop, XD and Lightroom.

ICYMI – the latest from Channel Daily News

NetApp Insight 2020 – it’s all about the specialist 

NetApp believes in the power of specialists. While the company may have had a little fun with the concept at this week’s digital conference, NetApp Insight 2020, introducing people like NASA’s chief sniffer, whose sole job is to smell materials used in vehicles and spacesuits to ensure unpleasant odours don’t plague astronauts, chief executive officer George Kurian was deadly serious about NetApp’s focus. [Full story]

Bookmarks of the week

A few bookmarked tweets that we think are worth sharing with you. Check out the #CyberSecurityAwarenessMonth hashtag on Twitter to follow the conversation during October.







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.


Today Datto goes public. To all the MSPs out there I just wanted to say thank you from msp


What’s the best password manager (for MSPs) you’ve ever used and why? from msp


What should be in an MSP’s product stack? from msp

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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

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