ITWC Morning Briefing, August 27 – Salesforce and NetApp report layoffs, earnings calls, surveys, and more

To keep up with the firehose of news and press releases, we’ve decided to deliver some extra news to you on the side every Monday and Thursday morning. Some of it is an extension of our own reporting that didn’t make its way into a story, while others might be content we’ve bookmarked for later reading and thought of sharing with you. We’re doing a similar thing at Channel Daily News – check it out here. You can also view our previous ITWC Morning Briefing here. Today’s briefing is delivered by ITW C 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. (Best taken with a side of Hashtag Trending)

Google employees acknowledge that it’s privacy laws are not so simple at all, researchers say they have achieved the fastest-ever internet speed, and is it time to hire a Chief Health Officer?


From The Register – NetApp trims workforce by about six per cent, SolidFire seemingly not an eternal flame [FULL STORY]

NetApp statement’s mention of a focus on “storage software and systems” certainly suggests the corp may have decided to narrow its ambitions. The publication also cites an Aug. 25 email that details a 5.5 per cent cut to the company’s 11,000-ish-strong workforce.


From Financial Times – TikTok chief Kevin Mayer quits after Trump threatens to ban app [FULL STORY]

Kevin Mayer has quit TikTok just months after becoming chief executive of the Chinese video app accused by the Trump administration of threatening national security.

In case you missed it

The recent 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.


Nearly half of Canadian adults are willing to pay more – how much more, however, we don’t know – to do business with an organization that is “committed to protecting their personal data,” according to a new survey from OpenText. But perhaps the more glaring issue is the lack of understanding among Canadians when it comes to how their data is used. Nearly 80 per cent are clueless, according to the survey.

OpenText reached out to 12,000 people globally, 2,000 of whom were from Canada, to pick their brain about how they viewed data privacy during the pandemic. Here are some takeaways:

  • Only one-quarter of Canadian consumers trust organizations to keep their personal information private, and 78 per cent “don’t have a clue” how many organizations use, store or have access to their personal data.
  • Nearly half (49 per cent) of Canadian adults would pay more to do business with an organization that is committed to protecting their personal data.
  • More than a quarter  (27 per cent) would proactively get in touch with an organization to see how it is using their personal data or to check if it is storing their personal data in a compliant manner – more than one in ten have already done so at least once.
  • Just one in 10 believe we are already at the point when every business is meeting its legal obligations to keep customer data private.

You can see the additional findings here.


Ottawa-based International Talent Acquisition Centre (In-TAC) says its eighth Virtual Career Expo will feature 110+ companies offering an estimated 4,000 jobs. It’s also expecting 20,000 job seekers. The Kanata North Business Association is the event’s newest Gold partner.

The expo starts Oct. 6. More details here!


Its been over two years since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented in the EU and EEA. built this handy infographic to show what’s happened during that period:

GDRP Fines 2020 - Finbold

View full data here


It was a case of good news and bad news for Salesforce this week. Salesforce reported second quarter earnings of $2.85 a share and $1.44 non-GAAP. Revenue was $5.15 billion, up nearly 30 per cent from a year ago. The company says it had to make mark-to-market adjustments on its strategic investments and that boosted earnings non-GAAP earnings by 58 cents a share. Unfortunately, the positive numbers were accompanied by news that the company is laying off employees – 1,000 of Salesforce’s 54,000 employees, to be exact, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A Salesforce spokesperson had this to say ZDNet this week:

“We’re reallocating resources to position the company for continued growth. This includes continuing to hire and redirecting some employees to fuel our strategic areas, and eliminating some positions that no longer map to our business priorities.”

We had a couple of experts reach out to us about Salesforce’s latest earnings call.

Kris Rudeegraap, CEO at Sendoso:

Salesforce’s solid Q2 earnings show that despite the pandemic’s negative impact on most businesses, customer relationship management systems are critical to maintaining operations. Salesforce has been both quick and effective in their response to COVID-19, enabling their success among buyers during this time. Strong product innovation, engaging customer stories and smart social impact initiatives are keeping them relevant, as they’re addressing what’s important to their ecosystem in this new normal. The head start will fuel Salesforce’s lead in H2 compared to other CRM systems such as those offered by Microsoft and Oracle. 

The company’s continued strong performance shows that having connected customer data is more important than ever. The ensuing recession and slow reopening of the economy caused by the spread of COVID-19 has made it difficult to close deals and achieve growth. Revenue-generating teams have realized the need to make data-driven decisions if they hope to thrive, let alone survive, turning to Salesforce as a tool.

It will be interesting to see how Salesforce continues to innovate as the company is hungry, adaptable and willing to meet the needs of its buyers. In lieu of in-person events, it’s likely Salesforce will add offline engagement channels to their Customer 360 platform. Direct mail and gifting is one channel seeing increased growth YOY (36% from 2018 to 2019) and would be a natural next step for the company.

Steve Witt, director of the public sector, Nintex 

The pandemic has caused organizations to rely on cloud technology more than ever. Government agencies, and others slow to adopt newer, cloud-based technologies, have had to compress multi-year transformation plans down to a matter of months. Salesforce has allowed these agencies to deploy new cloud-based solutions in weeks, allowing them to quickly adjust to the new environment they work in while setting them up to be more agile going forward. These earnings confirm that agile, secure, cloud technologies are more important than ever before.


Microsoft’s Great Canadian Innovators 2020 Yearbook is out. In 2018, Microsoft released its first yearbook, and to celebrate small business, startups, and partner communities, it says it’s releasing a 2020 version of the Great Canadian Innovators yearbook.

You can check out the yearbook here.


From IT Business Canada – Rural Ontario could have gigabit internet in as little as three to five years, says EORN [FULL STORY]

Canadians living in rural eastern Ontario could have access to gigabit internet in as little as three to five years, according to the Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN).


From IT World Canada – Privacy commissioner urges IoT makers to limit collection of personal data [FULL STORY]

Canadian manufactures of internet-connected devices — including smart toys, educational products and e-learning platforms –should limit the collection of personal information about children, says the federal privacy commissioner.

In new guidance from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, manufacturers are reminded that unless they fall under provincial privacy law, the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies to them if they collect personal information. As such, they, like other organizations, are required to obtain meaningful consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.


From IT World Canada – Brookfield Residential admits suffering a data security incident [FULL STORY]

The home construction division of one of Canada’s largest publicly-traded companies has acknowledged it was hit with a cyberattack last week.


From The Register – Canadian shipping company Canpar gets an unwanted delivery – ransomware [FULL STORY]

The Canuck parcel-mover’s website fell offline for days as it tackled a ransomware outbreak on its internal systems.


From The Verge – DC’s FanDome set the new gold standard for virtual events [FULL STORY]

An interesting breakdown of DC’s massive virtual event, and what others can learn from its format.


SPONSORED – LG Business Solutions

Check out our LG Knowledge Hub page at IT World Canada.

Bookmarks of the week

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



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

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