ITWC Morning Briefing, October 15, 2020 – The latest from AWS, Slalom, plus new research and the latest news

To keep up with the firehose of news, 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 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)


Hashtag Trending

Amazon workers are striking in Germany, Google comes out with new robots to help farmers, and Twitter is suspending accounts for posing as Black Trump supporters. Read the full episode transcript here.

In case you missed it

Apple’s Home Pod mini takes shot at Google Nest Audio

Apple announced the new HomePod mini, a US$99 Siri-powered smart speaker, during its Wednesday “Hi, Speed” event. The bowl-like little unit can connect to all Apple devices including the Mac, Apple TV, and iPhone, as well as Apple services like Apple Music. In addition, the Apple HomePod mini can take priority when the user brings the iPhone near. Also new is the intercom system. A user can broadcast a message to the HomePod mini through an iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, AirPods and even CarPlay.

Hashtag Trending – Apple unveils new iPhone; Amazon Prime Day; Disney makes moves

But Apple didn’t forget that the HomePod mini is also a speaker. To enhance its audio fidelity, Apple-designed an “acoustic waveguide” that radiates the sound from the base of the speaker for 360-degree audio. The speaker also features Apple’s S5 chip that optimizes speaker performance based on the audio it’s playing. A triple-microphone array picks up “Hey Siri” commands from any direction. A fourth inward-facing microphone further isolates noise and improves voice command pickup.

The Apple HomePod mini is available in White and Space gray starting Wednesday. [Filed by Tom Li]


Palo Alto Networks builds Canadian cloud centre

Data residency is a prime concern for organizations looking to deploy security solutions in Canada. Palo Alto Networks, a cybersecurity company, is heeding the call by opening a new Canadian cloud centre Oct.7. With the cloud centre’s opening, Palo Alto’s is also offering its security services including the Prisma Cloud cloud-native security platform, Cortex Data Lake security analytics, Cortex XDR endpoint detection and response system, and Wildfire malware analysis engine. [Filed by Tom Li]


Slalom and IG Wealth Management rollout

Tech and business consulting firm Slalom says it’s partnering with IG Wealth Management (IG) to develop a Wealth Management Advisor Portal. Built on Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, the new portal helps streamline advisor and client interactions by giving advisors more flexibility to work anytime and anywhere on mobile devices. [Full news release]


Speeding up innovation

The State of B2B Subscription Commerce in the New Normal report surveyed senior executives to uncover the trends organizations are seeing as they launch new projects to enable digital business and what concerns remain for launching and sustaining. Additional key findings include:

  • Anxiety about keeping up with pace of change. Nearly all (97 per cent) of those surveyed said that the pandemic affected their digital commerce initiatives and 83 per cent are concerned about sustaining their rate of digital transformation.
  • Subscriptions increase concerns about digital transformation. Whether or not a company has subscription products plays a deciding role in how concerned organizations are about various issues, particularly legacy technology and making the right investments to drive digital transformation. In fact, of companies that worry that their digital transformation efforts don’t go far enough, 32 per cent have all or mostly subscription products while 4% have no subscription products.
  • Investing for the long haul, and the new normal. 77 per cent of business leaders are focusing their digital strategies on long-term responses to current challenges and preparation for future business needs rather than reacting short-term to weather economic uncertainty.
  • Software ecosystem partners are key. Despite uncertainties, there is clarity around the tools and technologies organizations are utilizing in digital transformation initiatives and launch of digital products. Nearly all (97 per cent) noted that they rely on ecosystems to bring digital products to market and to do so faster than they could accomplish on their own. Over two-thirds said they would use a third party to scale or create a new digital channel, or launch third party products through an existing digital channel.
  • Fortune favours the prepared. Just 37 per cent of organizations said they were completely prepared to launch a new digital offering, but those that were ready had a clear headstart on competitors who were unprepared. Among “completely prepared” companies, 64 per cent launched a new initiative in response to COVID-19, while only 25 per cent were forced to delay. [Download the full report here]


A new data centre enters the ring …

Cybersecurity firm Acronis recently announced the availability of a new Acronis Cloud Data Centre in Vancouver, giving Acronis customers the full range of Acronis cyber protection solutions. The launch was done in conjunction with Acronis partner Robson Inc.

The global network of Acronis Cloud Data Centres already includes locations in the U.S., U.K., Switzerland, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, and Singapore.


Cohesity and AWS making moves

Data protection and management developer Cohesity this week unveiled a strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services meant to help bring Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) to joint customers. The two technology companies also revealed that Amazon and Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Cisco Investments were strategic investors in Cohesity’s $250 million Series E funding round announced in April. It’s unknown at this time how much AWS or the other firms invested in Cohesity.

The foundation for this new DMaaS solution is Cohesity Helios, a SaaS-based data platform that serves more than 1,500 customers. [Full news release]


Cloud efficiency

Part 1 of Aptum’s recent Cloud Impact Study focuses on overall planning and migration efforts and the main business drivers behind cloud adoption. Here are some main takeaways. 

Aptum’s Cloud Impact Study was developed based on the opinions of 400 senior IT professionals in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. across industries in financial services, IT, technology, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, public and commercial sectors. Future reports will focus on security and compliance, costs and budgets, and modernization opportunities.

Click to enlarge. Source: Aptum


House of Commons close to testing new remote voting app []

MPs will soon be asked to test a new voting app — part of the House of Commons’ efforts to make the current hybrid sitting less cumbersome for the politicians who are not attending in person.


Rogers now offers 5G service in 130 Canadian regions [IT Business Canada]

Rogers has expanded its service to 130 regions in Canada, including more rural areas in Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia.


Canada has ‘clearly fallen behind’ other countries in privacy law, says privacy commissioner [IT World Canada] 

Canada’s efforts to update its privacy laws progress at a snail’s pace, prompting a stern warning from its privacy commissioner that Canada stands to lose not only public trust in government but also good standing with European trading partners.


AMD announces Ryzen 5000 series processors and Zen 3 architecture [IT World Canada]

The wait is no more. AMD lifted the curtains off of its Ryzen 5000 series processors and its Zen 3 core architecture at its “Where Gaming Begins” conference yesterday.


A new perspective: How our autistic-majority IT company is weathering the pandemic [IT World Canada]

How an autistic-majority IT company is weathering the pandemic.


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.






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

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