Archive for November, 2019

Canadians Are Turning To Social Media To Shop This Holiday: PayPal

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 28, 2019 by itnerd

Just in time for the holiday season shopping rush, PayPal Canada today unveiled their inaugural Social Commerce Trend Study, which reveals Canadians are increasingly turning to social media platforms and mobile apps to check off their holiday shopping lists. According to the study, almost half (47%) of Canadian social media users are currently shopping on social media and nearly 40% plan to shop on social media this holiday season. The study also found that men are shopping on social media more than women.

Additional key findings include:

  • Social commerce, the next big retail trend: Canadian social media users spend 6.4 hours on social media platforms every day – which makes it no surprise that nearly half of Canadian social media users say they’re more likely to shop on social media this holiday season than they were last year (46%).
    • According to eMarketer’s 2019 Social Commerce Report, the percentage of retailers in North America using social media as a source of e-commerce nearly doubled from 17 per cent in 2017, to 33 per cent in 2018.
  • Popular platforms: Facebook was identified as the most frequently shopped social media platform among Canadians (29%) followed by Snapchat (26%) and Instagram (25%).
  • Spending: Canadian social media users spend $77 every month on average shopping on social media and an average of $924 a year shopping on social media platforms.
  • Men vs women: Among Canadian social media users, men are shopping more (33%) than women (26%) on a monthly basis. The things they are buying most are fashion items such as clothing, shoes, and accessories (54%), electronics (26%), toys and games (21%), home décor (20%) and event tickets (19%).
  • Safer with PayPal: Canadian social media users are more comfortable paying with PayPal on social media than any other payment method (70%) versus (62%) credit gift cards, (54%) credit cards, and (43%) debit cards.

A New Report Highlights That Canadian Telcos Have A Long Way To Go In Terms Keeping Their Customers Happy

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 28, 2019 by itnerd

It’s that time of year again when the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) releases its annual report that sheds light on how Canadian Telcos treat their customers. And this year it’s pretty bad.

The worst offender is Bell Canada with almost 5900 complaints filed against them. That’s not a shock because Bell has consistently topped this list year after year and seems unwilling or unable to improve on that front. This despite the fact that they have some compelling offerings that if their customer service weren’t so bad, I would consider taking advantage of.  Next on the list is Rogers with 1,800 complaints. Followed by Telus with 1,600 complaints.

Now while Bell and Rogers did have slight decreases in the number of complaints that they received, Telus who is usually pretty good on the customer service front had the number of complaints skyrocket by 71 percent. Clearly Telus has some work to do on that front.

What’s also telling is this: The report notes 158 violations of the Wireless Code. That’s a 42 per cent increase. Most involved a failure of companies to provide customers with key documents, and not giving proper notice before disconnecting a customer’s service. Bell accounted for 29 per cent of all Wireless Code breaches, while Rogers and Telus each accounted for 20 per cent.

What’s clear from this report is that all three of the “big three” need to step up their customer service game. That’s because the fact that bad customer service from Canadian telcos is a recurring theme does not cast any of these telcos in a good light. Canadians deserve much better from them, as well as the smaller players in the marketplace. The question is, when will they wake up, smell the coffee, and deliver the levels of customer service that Canadians deserve?

Security Predictions For 2020 According To Trend Micro

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 27, 2019 by itnerd

Trend Micro Incorporated has announced its 2020 predictions report, which states that organizations will face a growing risk from their cloud and the supply chain. The growing popularity of cloud and DevOps environments will continue to drive business agility while exposing organizations, from enterprises to manufacturers, to third-party risk.

Attackers will increasingly go after corporate data stored in the cloud via code injection attacks such as deserialization bugs, cross-site scripting and SQL injection. They will either target cloud providers directly or compromise third-party libraries to do this.

In fact, the increasing use of third-party code by organizations employing a DevOps culture will increase business risk in 2020 and beyond. Compromised container components and libraries used in serverless and microservices architectures will further broaden the enterprise attack surface, as traditional security practices struggle to keep up.

Managed service providers (MSPs) will be targeted in 2020 as an avenue for compromising multiple organizations via a single target. They will not only be looking to steal valuable corporate and customer data, but also install malware to sabotage smart factories and extort money via ransomware.

The new year will also see a relatively new kind of supply chain risk, as remote workers introduce threats to the corporate network via weak Wi-Fi security. Additionally, vulnerabilities in connected home devices can serve as a point of entry into the corporate network.

Amidst this ever-volatile threat landscape, Trend Micro recommends organizations:

  • Improve due diligence of cloud providers and MSPs
  • Conduct regular vulnerability and risk assessments on third parties
  • Invest in security tools to scan for vulnerabilities and malware in third-party components
  • Consider Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) tools to help minimize the risk of misconfigurations
  • Revisit security policies regarding home and remote workers

To read the full report, The New Norm: Trend Micro Security Predictions for 2020, please visit:


NordVPN Launches NordPass

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 26, 2019 by itnerd

NordVPN has launched its latest cybersecurity product. NordPass is a password manager built with a focus on simplicity and security. This tool saves you memory space for more important things than logins.

When it comes to cybersecurity, people have plenty of bad habits. This includes passwords too: from keeping login information in sticky notes or notepads to using “password” or “123456.” And worst of them all — reusing them all for different accounts.

Like a master key, NordPass fits everyone’s needs. Not only does it help to generate new complex passwords, but also lets you share them securely with friends or coworkers. And most importantly, this password manager remembers it all: from complex logins to private notes and credit cards. And you can access it all with a single Master Password.

To keep the information secure, NordPass uses top-of-the-field XChaCha20 encryption for the password vault and Argon 2 for key derivation. Users can also choose optional two-factor authentication for extra safety. Additionally, the new tool will have a zero-knowledge architecture to ensure ultimate security.

Powered by cybersecurity experts, NordPass is easy to use. You can download user-friendly browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Brave, Edge, and Vivaldi. And, of course, apps for iOS and Android.

Key NordPass features:

  • Top security and zero-knowledge architecture
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Effortless password management — only a single password to remember
  • Syncing on up to 6 devices at the same time
  • Sharing items (such as passwords, credit cards, and notes) with family, friends, and coworkers
  • Import from other password managers
  • Secure storage for private notes and credit card information
  • Universal availability (apps and extensions)

Premium users can share and use NordPass on more devices at the same time. Monthly prices start from $2.49 with a 2-year plan. If users need basic features only, they can get a freemium version of NordPass. Visit for more information.


Infographic: What You Can Do To Combat Cyber Attacks

Posted in Commentary on November 25, 2019 by itnerd

Click To Enlarge

NCSC Cyber Attacks


Apple Makes Moves To Make The Next Version Of iOS Far Less Buggy Than iOS 13

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 22, 2019 by itnerd

I’ve been saying for a very long time that Apple has a problem with its software quality. And iOS 13 is proof positive of that as I have also argued that it is the buggiest version of iOS ever. Though I will admit that they are throwing out fixes as fast as possible as evidenced by this:

For the record, iOS 13.2.3 came out on November 18th.

As you can see, Apple has been releasing fixes at a very rapid rate. That’s good because at least they are trying to address all the bugs that it shipped when it rushed iOS 13 out the door. But from a software development standpoint, that’s not even close to being normal. And based this report from Bloomberg, they are going to do something about it:

Apple Inc. is overhauling how it tests software after a swarm of bugs marred the latest iPhone and iPad operating systems, according to people familiar with the shift.

Software chief Craig Federighi and lieutenants including Stacey Lysik announced the changes at a recent internal “kickoff” meeting with the company’s software developers. The new approach calls for Apple’s development teams to ensure that test versions, known as “daily builds,” of future software updates disable unfinished or buggy features by default. Testers will then have the option to selectively enable those features, via a new internal process and settings menu dubbed Flags, allowing them to isolate the impact of each individual addition on the system.

So in short, Apple developers will be able to selectively enable or disable unfinished or buggy features in an isolated way to ensure that overall stability is not jeopardized. This isn’t a new idea as Google and Microsoft do something similar. But this is a new idea for Apple. This new methodology will apply to all OSes that Apple has, such as macOS, watchOS, and tvOS which is good as they all inter-operate to some degree or another.

The other big news from this report is this:

Apple has also considered delaying some iOS 14 features until 2021 — in an update called “Azul +1” internally that will likely become known as iOS 15 externally — to give the company more time to focus on performance. Still, iOS 14 is expected to rival iOS 13 in the breadth of its new capabilities, the people familiar with Apple’s plans said.

Apple does need some sort of stability release to calm the waters as iOS 13 has been a train wreck next to a dumpster fire. They have done this previously with iOS (specifically iOS 12) and macOS (specifically macOS 10.7 aka “Mountain Lion”) and I for one hopes that this part of the report is accurate. Because things truly cannot get any worse for iOS users right now.

EQ Bank Becomes The First Canadian Bank To Move Its Core Banking System To The Cloud

Posted in Commentary on November 21, 2019 by itnerd

Today, EQ Bank, the digital arm of Canada’s Challenger Bank™ Equitable Bank announced it has moved its entire core banking system to the cloud, making it the first bank in Canada to be fully hosted in state-of-the-art public cloud architecture.

A leader in digital banking, EQ Bank continues to win over Canadians by challenging the status quo. From completely digital branchless services to a high-interest savings account with the added features of a chequing account, EQ Bank is redefining banking in Canada. EQ Bank will now utilize Microsoft Azure as the cloud platform for its banking services. This latest move will continue to build a better banking experience for customers by:

  • Reducing overhead costs and allowing savings to be passed on to customers
  • Creating a more agile system based on Temenos T24 Transact, the next generation in core banking that enables faster upgrades to products and services
  • Preparing a system that’s ready for the next banking innovations, such as open banking
  • Further strengthening our security foundation by building on Microsoft Azure

In 2016, EQ Bank became the first banking platform in Canada born in the mobile world. In just over three years, EQ Bank surpassed $2.5 billion in deposits, faster than any previous branchless banks in Canada. As a digital-first bank, EQ Bank is also readying itself for profound changes in the Canadian financial industry, such as open banking.

EQ Bank is supported by Temenos, a leader in banking software and its long-term technology partner.

Equitable Group Inc. is a growing Canadian financial services business that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Equitable Bank. Equitable Bank, Canada’s Challenger BankTM, has grown to become the country’s ninth largest independent Schedule I bank through its proven branchless approach and customer service focus in providing residential lending, commercial lending and savings solutions to Canadians. EQ Bank, the digital banking platform offered by Equitable Bank, provides state-of-the-art digital banking services. The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account reimagines banking for Canadians by offering the functionality of a chequing account to perform daily banking with ease, as well as a great everyday interest rate to help transactional balances grow into bigger savings. From unlimited Interac® e-Transfers and bill payments to payroll deposits and no monthly fees, everyday banking is now a richer prospect for Canadians. Equitable Bank employs over 800 dedicated professionals across the country. For more information about Equitable Bank and its products, please visit



OpenText Named A Leader By Forrester Research

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 21, 2019 by itnerd

OpenText™ today announced Forrester Research, Inc. has named OpenText a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Digital Asset Management for Customer Experience, Q4 2019, stating “OpenText leads with best-in-class library services and video capabilities.”

Forrester gave OpenText Media Management the maximum possible scores in the criteria of library services, video and emerging content support, product vision and market approach.

Forrester noted, “OpenText’s strengths are in core library services and video capabilities, which are both best-in-class.” The Forrester report says “It (OpenText) also offers strong marketing support in areas like portal creation and management capabilities.”

OpenText has been at the forefront of digital asset management for more than two decades. It has delivered some of the largest DAM deployments in the world, along with departmental solutions that take advantage of the same feature-rich functionality. Customers across retail, media and entertainment, manufacturing, and other verticals are able to support both agile creative workflows and long-term governance and reuse of library assets to build strong brand identities. OpenText offers advanced AI integration to accelerate streamlined search, personalization, and automated distribution to omnichannel endpoints.

OpenText Experience is an integrated platform of solutions for delivering highly personalized content and omnichannel customer experiences. As part of this platform, Media Management allows customers to start small and expand quickly. It is the only DAM platform that supports business-user workflow across multiple business units, as it is built with dozens of integration points with ecosystem applications in the connected media supply chain.

Download the report

Download “The Forrester Wave™: DAM for Customer Experience, Q4 2019” online here.


Smoke’s Poutinerie App Launches With Loyalty Perks And Rewards

Posted in Commentary on November 21, 2019 by itnerd

Smoke’s Poutinerie, the World’s Largest & Original Poutinerie, announces the official launch of its new smartphone application. The Smoke’s Poutinerie app offers fans Poutine on Demand; when the craving for fresh cut fries, squeaky cheese curds & piping hot gravy hits, Poutine is available at your fingertips!  Plaid Nation Fans will now have access to mobile order-ahead; scan to pay; loyalty point collection; and exclusive intel on the latest special offers. This FREE App is available on Android and IOS devices. 

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Download the Smoke’s Poutinerie App and join Plaid Nation! Apple Store / Google Play Store 

To create the app, Smoke’s Poutinerie was happy to team up with Smooth Commerce, recognized for building branded native mobile apps powered by a robust customer activation platform – encompassing mobile payment, order ahead, loyalty, offers and engagement while allowing organizations the ability to access real-time analytics are ensuring their digital mobile marketing initiatives and achieving their desired results. Smooth Commerce is constantly evolving and adding to the company’s functionality to stay ahead of the curve for all retail clients. To learn more about Smooth Commerce, visit

Adastra launches Proboston North America

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 20, 2019 by itnerd

Adastra Group, a global leader in data management and analytics, today announced the launch of its newest division, Proboston North America, a company focused on a full-service approach to digital media for business. This latest addition to the Adastra roster provides greater insight across the full spectrum of digital business, combining Digital Transformation, user friendliness and digital marketing under one roof for startups and established businesses alike.

Adastra, a company with shared European and North American headquarters (including offices in Toronto, Markham, Calgary and Detroit) acquired Prague-based company, Proboston in 2018 to tap into its creative UX design capabilities and bolster Adastra’s data and digital expertise. Today’s launch of Proboston means the company can support the vast ecosystem of startup accelerators and incubators across Canada and the United States while also offering seamless digital and design capabilities to its existing client base as well as franchises and new businesses.

Proboston is designed to help build and grow successful organizations and is targeting the entrepreneur community with specialized packages for standard branding, website and data services as a foundation for marketing and digital strategies.

Proboston harnesses Adastra’s services to help businesses unlock valuable insights from their data and foster growth. The company will build on Adastra’s global expertise in data-driven solutions while emphasizing the universal importance of a seamless user experience, user interface and strong design elements.

The customer experience and journey are critical in modern society. Proboston’s next-level design creativity, combined with the technical skills of Adastra’s mobile app and web application practice, offers something truly unique not offered in the current market.

Data-Driven, AI Enhanced, Personalized Marketing Videos

Together, Proboston and Adastra are also launching AmetIO, the first personalized marketing video solution that uses AI to optimize branding and marketing campaigns. AmetIO leverages the power of the Cloud to personalize content at scale and tell a visual story that engages consumers at an individual level.

The combination of AI and digital design enables both cost-effective marketing campaigns and conversion rates that are exponentially higher than traditional digital marketing. T-Mobile, an early adopter of the solution, has emphasized AmetIO’s effectiveness following its first AmetIO-driven campaign.

Click here to see a personalized AmetIO video made for T-Mobile.

Learn more about how Proboston and Adastra are transforming the digital space in North America  (including through the launch of AmetIO) by visiting