Archive for January, 2018

Cogeco Peer 1 New Software-Defined WAN Solution Helps Businesses Unlock The Power Of The Cloud

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 31, 2018 by itnerd

Cogeco Peer 1 today announced a new software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) service, partnering with Nuage Networks from Nokia, to help businesses ensure that their connectivity is a true enabler in their digital transformation.

Given that SD-WAN technology is uniquely optimized to meet the growing requirements of cloud computing, IDC believes that adoption of the technology across enterprise and service providers will help drive the market to reach $8 billion in infrastructure and services by 2021.

Partnering with a vendor such as Cogeco Peer 1 with a broad service portfolio and global reach can ensure a business’ enterprise ICT is aligned to an optimal secure WAN service for its unique needs, he added.

Providing the agility and flexibility that today’s businesses require, Cogeco Peer 1’s SD-WAN service is ideal for companies with distributed branch office locations using cloud-based applications. SD-WAN technology eliminates the need for companies to route traffic through their head office, so branch office locations benefit from direct, secure access to their SaaS or cloud-based applications, while at the same time reducing delays and easing network congestion.

Simple to set up without any need for on-site IT support, Cogeco Peer 1’s SD-WAN solution also offers a

Self-Service Portal that allows customers to view all connected sites and apply policies in a single view, enabling them to optimize network design, prioritize traffic and reduce latency for critical workloads.

SD-WAN has been added to the Cogeco Peer 1 Referral Partner Program and Referral Plus Partner Program, providing Cogeco Peer 1 partners the ability to refer optimized SD-WAN to their end-clients. Partners can access the latest SD-WAN tools and resources within the Cogeco Peer 1 Partner Portal.

To learn how businesses can benefit from Cogeco Peer 1’s Software-Defined WAN service, visit www.cogecopeer1.com/sdwan.

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Apple Responds To Reports That Feds Are Looking Into “Batterygate”

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 31, 2018 by itnerd

Yesterday I reported that the SEC and the DOJ are looking into the reports that Apple deliberately slowed down iPhones with old and worn batteries to avoid unexpected shutdowns without telling consumers. Axios has posted a story where Apple has confirmed that it has been contacted by more than one US government agency….. But strangely did not say which agencies:

As we told our customers in December, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love. Making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them.

So based on that response, they’re clearly sticking to the script as well as downplaying this news. Good luck with that Apple because the DOJ and the SEC can and will make life miserable for you if they so choose. And given that this is a hyper political environment at the moment, my guess is that they will choose to do so. Thus Apple may want to come up with a new strategy because I don’t think this one will work in the long term.

 

 

Husqvarna Announces New Automower Models

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 30, 2018 by itnerd

Husqvarna is expanding its best-selling Automower lineup and will release several new models in 2018, positioning it to further dominate the robotic mower market with innovative new technology and products designed for new audiences.

 

 

The Automower 310 (MSRP: $1,899.99; install kit sold separately) will join the current lineup as a new entry-level model, serving 0.25 acres and slopes up to 22 degrees. This new model also comes with “Connect from Home,” the Automower’s new connected Bluetooth functionality. The existing Automower 315 model will see a competitive price drop to MSRP $2,339 (install kit sold separately) and will now serve up to 0.4 acres.

 

 

Husqvarna will also introduce the Automower X-line, which makes the Automower Connect app standard for those models. Automower Connect allows owners to control the mower from their smartphone, wherever they are. The app for iOS and Android devices lets owners receive their Automower’s current status and change settings remotely. It also transmits the Automower’s precise GPS-tracked location in the unlikely event of a theft.

  • Automower 315X (MSRP: $2,499.95; install kit sold separately)
  • Automower 430X (MSRP: $3,199.95; install kit sold separately)

Shaw Communications Plan To Dump Staff & Direct Customers Towards Self Serve Channels Is A Mistake

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 30, 2018 by itnerd

The news is hitting the wires Shaw Communications is offering approximately 6500 Shaw and Freedom Mobile staff buyouts. The buyouts will begin to be offered tomorrow and staff will have until ironically Valentines Day to decide if they will take the buyout. The logic behind these buyouts is this according to Shaw:

“Customers want their services from Shaw to be just like everything else in their life – delivered quickly, reliably, and on their terms,” said Jay Mehr, President, Shaw Communications. “But as good as our customer service and operations are today, we see that we have to make some significant changes to serve customers the way they expect to be served in 2018 and beyond.”

The multi-year initiative is designed to make Shaw a company that can execute quicker, function more efficiently, and connect Canadians to the world around them better than ever before. This program will seek to refocus Shaw’s operations towards providing service more easily through highly capable online and smartphone apps and more self-installed services.

“Our agents in contact centres and our technicians will still be able to deal with more complex questions and situations, but we are committed to listening better to our customers and changing our operating model to better suit their preferences for service when they want and how they want it,” Mr. Mehr said.

So, let’s recap. Shaw is going to cut 6500 jobs and funnel customers to self serve channels because they think it will create a better customer experience and that it’s want customers want.

Uh. No it’s not.

What people actually want is to speak to an actual human being who is effective at listening to their concerns and addressing them. A Facebook bot isn’t going to be able to do that. And an app will only be able to deal with the simplest of issues. Plus no self serve option will be able to do the following:

  • Gather intelligence from customers that can be acted upon quickly: Thus the only time someone who has invested in a self serve channel finds out they have a problem is when it hits CNN.
  • Gives the company a voice that can be branded: Live humans give a company personality. That personality helps them to set themselves apart from the competition. Take that away and replace it with apps and bots and you’ll get a company that people feel is soulless and doesn’t care about its customers.
  • Makes the company easier to deal with: Customers want to hit the easy button. Humans are the easy button. Bots and the like frustrate customers and make it hard for customers to interact with a company. That in turn will send customers to the competition who make it easy for them.

I’m going to call this now. Shaw will cull these 6500 people, roll out their apps, bots and whatever else they plan to, and within 2 years they’ll be binge hiring those 6500 people back because the blowback from going to a self serve model will be epic. I wish Shaw all the luck in the world, because based on what I see here, they’re going to need it.

Oh Noes! SEC and DOJ Probe Apple Over “Batterygate”

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 30, 2018 by itnerd

If you’re Apple, this has to be the worst case scenario.

Bloomberg is reporting that both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have launched an investigation into Apple and if they broke the law when it comes to throttling iPhones with older batteries to avoid unexpected shutdowns. Now this probe could be something or nothing and is in its early stages. But if you’re at Apple Park, you have to figure that this is not good at all as you’d rather be sued than be potentially be facing criminal charges or oversight by a government agency to avoid criminal charges.

Stay tuned to this channel as this story has gotten really interesting.

 

Verizon Dumps Huawei Smartphone Sales Over Spying Concerns

Posted in Commentary with tags , on January 30, 2018 by itnerd

It seems that Verizon is joining AT&T in dumping Huawei as a dance partner when it comes to sales of the latter’s smartphones in the US according to a Bloomberg report that cites people “familiar with the matter.” The reason being government fears of “Chinese espionage”. But it goes one level deeper because apparently the feds are also pressing Verizon to end any collaboration with Huawei on standards for a 5G network. Of course the fact that Trump and company were considering building their own government controlled 5G network likely works into that.

Huawei has yet to comment on this. But I fully expect them to as to be metaphorically bitch slapped twice in a couple of weeks is humiliating. Thus there has to be some sort of response.

Bell, Rogers, & A Bunch Of Others Push CRTC To Block “Pirate” Websites

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 30, 2018 by itnerd

You might recall that I recently told you about efforts by Bell among others to block so called “pirate” websites. Now that effort appears to be taking shape with news that a group called FairPlay Canada is saying that the CRTC establish an independent agency called the Independent Piracy Review Agency which would identify websites “blatantly engaged” in piracy. ISPs would then be required to block access to those sites.

The coalition, which includes the likes of Bell, Rogers, CBC, Cineplex, Corus Entertainment among others has some slick marketing to make you think that this is a great idea. Take this YouTube video for example.

Here’s some random thoughts on this topic:

  1. Look at what has happened to the music industry. When digital downloads and streaming services became more available and more affordable, piracy disappeared. So if the large telco/cable/media companies did something similar with movies on demand and the like, this will become a non issue overnight. But I suspect that they don’t want to do that as they want to line their pockets with cash. Thus this smells more of greed rather than a true desire to protect jobs and stop piracy.
  2. In the age of everyone and their dog using VPN services, I wish these guys good luck in trying to stop people from getting access to the content they want. Because blocking it within Canada simply isn’t going to work.
  3. This has the smell of censorship. And censorship is a slippery slope that if people were smart, they would not want to go anywhere near.

The bottom line is this is a craptastic idea and I hope the CRTC has the sense to tell these guys to go fly a kite. I am all for protecting jobs and making sure that pirated content isn’t available, but this isn’t how you deal with that issue.