Archive for November 6, 2019

dibs Studio placed 2nd In Niantic’s Global Competition

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2019 by itnerd

dibs studio, creators of mixed reality experiences for consumer use in the real world, today announced that it has placed 2nd out of 10 finalists in Niantic’s global competition. The competition gave developers from around the world the opportunity to create their own augmented reality (AR) experiences leveraging the same technology powering Niantic products, including Pokemon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

dibs studio developed Wild SanctuARy, an AR adventure game that brings players face-to-face with endangered species and the challenges of climate change. Created on the Niantic Real World Platform, players utilize augmented reality and map-based exploration to gather resources, build habitats and care for endangered animals. By collaborating with friends and competing around the world, players help restore balance to their local environments. Wild SanctuARy also facilitates in-game donations that directly support species at risk and climate action. Through playtesting, Wild SanctuARy has proven to have genuine appeal amongst consumers, resonating with a social issue that people care deeply about.  A video demo of the game can be viewed here.

About dibs studio

Founded in 2018, dibs studio creates mixed reality experiences for consumers use in the real world. Specializing in persistent, collaborative and immersive experiences, we imagine, prototype and deliver mixed reality products and services across retail, events, gaming, experiential and social causes. dibs studio is located in Toronto, Canada and Vancouver, Canada through its partnership with Apply Ventures.

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Zoho Reaches 50 Million Business Users And Announces WorkDrive Document Management System

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2019 by itnerd

Zoho Corporation announced today that they’ve hit 50 million business users. This news comes at a time when Zoho is growing considerably. The company now has 10 data centers around the globe, which support more than 45 different applications that help businesses located in more than 180 countries. With the recent launch of Catalyst, Zoho continues to be a major player in the developer space as well, offering no-code, low-code, and pro-code applications. As more and more people around the world turn to Zoho for their business needs, the company is redoubling its efforts to provide the best, most unified platform, services, and applications in the industry.

With this in mind, Zoho has rearchitected its document management system from the ground up, optimizing it for teams and businesses. WorkDrive now provides the underlying document management across all Zoho business applications, allowing for unified search, single storage, contextual integration, as well as many other vertically integrated capabilities. Businesses seek to go beyond storage today and need enterprise-grade solutions in areas like multi-level security, compliance, and audit control. The unit of work is no longer the individual, but the team. Sharing and collaboration must be implicit in workflows and business processes, rather than be patched onto solutions that originated as consumer and single-person models. WorkDrive is integrated into the platform, services, and applications layers of the Zoho technology stack and incorporates capabilities like virus detection, encryption, image processing, and other AI tools in the proper business context.

Zoho is also announcing its revamped Workplace suite of productivity applications, which includes Cliq, Notebook, Connect, Writer, Sheet, Show, Showtime, Mail, Meeting, and WorkDrive. Among other new capabilities, Workplace now features an integrated app dashboard that houses customizable widgets that display information from each of the nine apps included in the suite. Here are some of the key features of WorkDrive and the revamped Workplace suite:

WorkDrive for Better Team Management and Collaboration

  • WorkDrive comes with a built-in Zoho Office suite (Writer, Sheet, and Show).
  • WorkDrive introduces Team Folders, a shared workplace with role-based member permissions for cross-team collaboration and storage.
  • WorkDrive deploys virus scanning, encryption, and WAN acceleration at the platform level, thereby strengthening all Zoho services and applications built on top of it.
  • WorkDrive introduces image, video, and document conversion services.
  • WorkDrive is integrated with Zia, Zoho’s AI assistant, providing unified search as well as OCR in applications such as Zoho Notebook.
  • WorkDrive provides administrators advanced analytics, data administration, and granular access controls.
  • WorkDrive has an advanced external file-sharing feature, allowing users to collaborate with external stakeholders while maintaining control of the files.
  • External users who have edit permission can add files to a shared folder or edit shared Zoho Office Suite files.
  • WorkDrive brings businesses advanced team management capabilities, allowing administrators to manage settings at the team and Team Folder levels.

A New Workplace for a New Workforce  

  • Zoho Sheet is integrated with Zia, Zoho’s AI assistant, giving customers automatic insight into their data, data cleansing, and even the ability to scan data tables within images and convert them into spreadsheets.
  • Zoho Cliq allows users to build bots, custom message actions, commands, and schedulers that connect with other workplace tools to centralize and consolidate data.
  • Zoho Writer gives business users the power to create documents with fillable fields. They can publish those documents as a web form to collect responses or generate merged documents (docx/PDF). Users can deliver the merged documents via email or send the filled document for signature.
  • Zoho ShowTime offers on-demand training with ticketing and course completion certificates, allowing trainers to reach customers across time zones and provide flexible learning.
  • Zoho Mail features email retention and eDiscovery whereby admins can retain organization-wide emails for a specified period and easily search across those retained emails and retrieve relevant information.
  • Zoho Notebook is enhanced by Zia, Zoho’s AI assistant. Users can employ the Ask Zia feature to save content to Notebook, search for notes, set reminders, and share notes with voice commands.
  • Zoho Meeting has added new moderator controls, including the ability to lock meetings, switch presenters, and mute or remove participants.

Pricing & Availability

WorkDrive is available starting at $2 per user/month. Zoho Workplace is available starting at $3 per user/month.

 

Canada Helps To Power Zoho To A Rapid Rate Of Adoption

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2019 by itnerd

Today, Zoho Corporation celebrates the strong adoption of its Zoho platform in Canada. The announcement was made at Zoho’s user conference, Zoholics Canada, which welcomed more than 400 customers across the country to Toronto for two days of keynotes, educational sessions, and 1:1 briefings with senior Zoho executives.

Zoho’s momentum is a result of Canadian companies rejecting the complex and expensive software platforms offered today in favour of Zoho One, the all-in-one, unified operating system that is designed from the ground up to run an entire organization—from sales and marketing to finance and HR to operations, and more. Since its launch two years ago, Zoho One has evolved to include over 45 applications with built-in services including AI, business intelligence, messaging, search, and more—all at the same cost to customers.

Globally, Zoho has surpassed 50 Million users in over 180 countries. Key Canadian highlights include:

  • 20,000 paid customers, and tens of thousands of customers on Zoho’s free-tier offering
  • 40% year-over-year revenue growth
  • 40% partner contribution to revenue in 2019
  • 46% partner year-over-year revenue growth
  • 100% year-over-year growth of Zoho One, Zoho’s fastest growing product in Canada
  • 100% year-over-year growth of Zoho One sold by channel partners

Zoho is the operating system for business—a single online platform capable of running an entire business. With 45+ apps in nearly every major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools, Zoho is one of the world’s most prolific software companies.

 

My Apple Watch Band Collection – Fall 2019

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on November 6, 2019 by itnerd

Earlier this year I posted an article on the Apple Watch bands that I use on a daily basis. Then I followed that up with another post this summer. Both posts proved to be very popular. Thus here’s an update as to what I am using at present. There are changes that I have made to my watch band collection since the summer. But what hasn’t changed is what I store my watch bands in. Which is the Twelve South TimePorter:

This has enough space to hold all my Apple Watch bands that I currently rotate through. Anything that I am not currently using gets popped into a box in my den. The big plus to the TimePorter is that you can put an Apple Watch charger in it along with a slim battery pack to allow you to charge on the go. You can even fold it up to a 45 degree angle to use it as a display stand which is a great use case for a hotel room.

As for the bands that I have on the go, here’s what I’m currently using:

Urban Armor Gear Nato Strap for Apple Watch

I really like this band because it goes with the sort of business casual clothing that I wear But at the same time because it is made of high strength nylon and has hardware made of stainless steel, I can use it to work out with. For example in our recent road trip to PEI this past summer, it was the only band that I wore as I could hike or cycle with it in the day, and go out to dinner with it at night. It also fits my Road ID for Apple Watch which gives me a bit of extra safety when I ride my bike for example. Plus it is super comfortable.

The Watch Strap Company Mesh Loop

When I want a add a bit of style, this is one of the bands that I go to. This Mesh Loop (The Watch Strap Company’s term for the Milanese Loop) uses stainless steel that is very soft and comfortable to wear. And it is very premium feeling and durable. Which is a good thing as The Watch Strap Company gear isn’t exactly cheap. But it’s very much worth it as it really ups my Apple Watch Game when I wear suits or business causal clothing.

Urban Armor Gear Leather Watch Strap For Apple Watch

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My wife got one of these leather watch straps from Urban Armor Gear and I was insanely jealous. That’s because it’s high quality Italian leather that feels super comfortable on your wrist and goes with pretty much any style of clothing. It’s also got stainless steel hardware that makes sure your Apple Watch stays on your wrist. That includes a snap that locks everything into place so that there’s no way the watch will come off your wrist. Thus I had to get one to not only up my Apple Watch game, but to also replace two leather bands that were not even close to the level of quality that the Urban Armor Gear band offers.

The Watch Strap Company Link Bracelet

Another band that is on my go to list when I need something more upscale is the Watch Strap Company Link Bracelet. This is another top shelf product from the company that has the look and feel of the Apple Link Bracelet without the Apple price. It’s a very premium feeling product and goes great with everything from suits or business causal clothing.

Nike Sport Band From Apple

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A client of mine gave me two Apple Watch bands to thank me for coming to her rescue the day after my wife and I got back from our vacation in PEI. The first one was the Nike Sport Band from Apple which I will wear when I am doing something athletic like hiking or working out in the gym. One big plus is that it also fits my Road ID for Apple Watch which gives me a bit of extra safety should I feel the need to use it with this band.

Nike Sport Loop From Apple

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The other band that this client gave me is the Nike Sport Loop from Apple. It has a reflective weave that gives you a bit of extra safety in lower light conditions. Plus sport loops are super comfortable to wear as you can get the exact fit that you need. I have also kind of jerry rigged my Road ID for Apple Watch to work with it. Thus this is my go to band when I ride my bike.

Urban Armor Gear Active Watch Strap

This is another go to band if I need to do something athletic as it will stay on my wrist no matter what I do, but it will feel comfortable the entire time I wear it. After all, if my wife was able to use this band to do an extreme trail running race and have the watch stay on her wrist, anything that I do should be a non-issue. This band is a total winner for Urban Armor Gear.

That’s my Apple Watch band collection. One thing that I have to say to those who have Apple Watches and want to have good quality upscale bands is that you should skip the really cheap bands on Amazon. Those ones from personal experience don’t have good quality materials and typically will not last all that long. Bands from companies like Apple, The Watch Strap Company, and Urban Armor Gear are examples of good quality watch bands that should be part of your collection.

What Apple Watch bands do you use? I’d be interested in hearing from women with Apple Watches as seeing as I have put forward a collection for men. Thus I figure that many women would be interested in what women use. But male users should join in on the conversation as well by leaving a comment and sharing their thoughts.

 

 

Survey Shows Outdated Business Travel Tools Causing Stress for Canadian Employees: SAP Concur

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2019 by itnerd

SAP SE has announced the results of a new SAP® Concur® survey revealing that more than 4 in 5 Canadian female business travelers have faced harassment while travelling. SAP Concur, the world’s leading brand for expense, travel, and invoice management solutions, identified concerns of personal safety while on the road and frustration around ineffective booking and reimbursement experiences.

The survey of 7,850 business travelers in 19 global markets included 500 within Canada. Notable highlights are: 

  • Globally, LGBTQ+ travelers are hiding aspects of their identity when travelling for work:
  • The vast majority (95%) of LGBTQ+ travellers have hidden their sexual orientation while on a business trip, with the most common reasons being to protect their safety (57%).
  • Further, 85 per cent have changed their travel arrangements out of concern for their safety, compared to just 53 per cent of their non-LGBTQ+ colleagues.

 

  • Among Canadians, female travelers face striking levels of harassment and sexism on the road:
  • More than 4 in 5 Canadian female business travellers (81%) have experienced some sort of harassment or mistreatment while travelling, and nearly half (46%) have been asked if they were travelling with their husband.

 

  • Canadians are stressed when planning for a business trip, but expense reimbursement is the real pain point:
  • A lack of clear-cut policy is impacting employees who are feeling more stressed at the office than on the road. To Canadian business travellers, before the trip (47%)—when they have to plan, book and organize—is the most stressful stage.
  • Though Canadian business travelers dread planning their trip the most, the processes after the trip are still a notable pain point. In fact, over 1 in 4 Canadian business travelers (26%) would rather have a cavity filled at the dentist than fill out an expense report after a business trip.
  • The primary reason for loathing expense reports is the delay in reimbursement. Canadian business travelers report that employers have taken, on average, up to 11 days to reimburse them for a business trip expense.
  • These delays in reimbursement for expenses are affecting Canadian business travelers’ trust in their companies: Over half (54%) of Canadian business travellers report they forfeited expenses in 2018, either because they did not think the expense was worth filing or—more troublingly—because their employer simply never paid them the money they’re owed. They have forfeited an average of $1,421 CAD from expenses that weren’t reimbursed by their employers.

 

  • Canadian business travelers turning to technology to improve employee experience:
  • Canadian business travelers have become accustomed to using apps and smart devices to enhance their daily lives, but they don’t believe their companies have kept up with the times.
  • Canadians surveyed have the third-highest rate of agreement that their company is behind in adopting the latest technologies to manage travel (73%), compared to the global sentiment (67%).
  • Canadians who say their company is lagging note booking and expense reporting tools (61%) and travel safety tools (57%) as the technologies that need the most attention.
  • Even those whose companies are taking advantage of technology see room for improvement. More than 3 in 5 business travellers who use an online booking tool (62%) report their companies are behind in adopting booking and expense reporting tools, compared to the 53 per cent of those who do not use an online booking tool.

More results of the Global Business Traveler Survey can be found at https://www.concur.com/en-us/resource-center/whitepapers/business-traveler-report-2019

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com), a leading independent provider of quantitative, qualitative and hybrid market research, among 7,850 business travelers, defined as those who travel for business three or more times annually from the following markets: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. The survey took place July–August 2019.

Pulse Secure Wins Web Application Firewall of the Year at The Computing Security Awards 2019

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2019 by itnerd

Pulse Secure has won the Web Application Firewall of the Year category at The Computing Security Awards 2019.

The Award, which is based on votes from IT managers across the U.K. was given to the Pulse Secure Virtual Web Application Firewall (vWAF), a scalable solution for application-level security, both for off-the-shelf solutions and complex custom applications including third-party frameworks. The vWAF is a part of Pulse Secure’s virtual Application Delivery Controller (vADC) solution, which provides unprecedented scale and flexibility to enhance the performance and security of applications across the widest range of environments, from physical and virtual data centers to public and hybrid cloud.

Pulse Secure’s vWAF can be used to apply business rules to online traffic, inspecting and blocking attacks such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS), while filtering outgoing traffic to mask credit card data, and help achieve compliance with PCI-DSS requirements by filtering outgoing data. An additional prominent feature is vWAF’s automated learning capability that can make policy recommendations by learning about application behavior to make it easier for security teams to maintain policies and negate false positives. Administrators retain full control over the activation and deactivation of each ruleset, with the opportunity to screen for false positive before committing to production.

Now in its fifth year, the 2019 Awards ceremony was held at The Leonardo Royal Hotel, London City and hosted by former England cricket captain Chris Cowdrey and comedian Sean Collins.

The Best Cities for Tech Entrepreneurs 2019 According To Movinga

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 6, 2019 by itnerd

Relocation experts Movinga have released a study revealing the best cities for entrepreneurs moving abroad to start a business. Having launched a series of studies looking into the best locations for opportunity, Movinga has so far used data to determine the best cities to find both a job and to find love. In this third instalment, the relocation experts focused on those individuals looking for new business opportunities abroad, whether that’s opening a new restaurant, launching a tech startup or expanding an import/export business into new markets. The result is a ranking of the best cities for entrepreneurs, aiming to inform those looking to embark on an exciting new business venture, but also to highlight those cities that have successfully implemented business-minded legislation to help foster innovation.

The top three cities are:

  1. San Francisco is the best city to launch a tech startup, with a flourishing tech ecosystem, large access to talent and venture capital. London and New York take 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.
  2. Lisbon is the best city to open a restaurant, with affordable real estate and an extensive hospitality ecosystem. Barcelona and Istanbul take 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.
  3. Singapore is the best city to start an import/export business with a well-established logistics ecosystem and excellent access to markets. Shanghai and Amsterdam take 2nd and 3rd place, respectively.

How the study was conducted:

To begin the study, 75 cities from around the globe which are renowned for their entrepreneurial spirit, business opportunities and economic growth were chosen. Then, as different industries have varying needs in terms of infrastructure, legislation and funding, we decided to focus on three specific common industries which are popular with expat entrepreneurs looking to establish themselves in a new country; Restaurants, Tech/Digital Ventures and Import/Export.

The data relating to restaurants, in particular, gives an indication of the possibilities of starting a hospitality-based endeavour in a new city by revealing property affordability, the availability of qualified hospitality labour such as waiting staff and the quality of the market, both in terms of its strength and local and visitor affluence. These figures therefore offer insight into the potential of starting a similar brick-and-mortar store, or other hospitality or tourism venture.

Tech/Digital ventures rely not only on the ecosystem and available talent, but the investment opportunities, so the data for this industry also gives an insight into the feasibility for launching any internet-based startup looking for venture capital. Import/export businesses rely greatly on steady logistics infrastructures, as well as location in terms of accessibility, and the strength of international trade agreements, so any company involved with global commerce will benefit from these dataset insights.

Firstly, the entrepreneur ecosystem in each city was analysed, looking into start-up costs, opportunities for female founders and the typical timeframe for setting up a new business. Next, the elements that are needed to launch each type of business was assessed, including the cost of real estate and hospitality ecosystem to open a new restaurant, venture capital and main industries for growth in tech/digital ventures and logistics costs and ecosystem for import/export businesses.

To view the results and full methodology of the study, please visit: https://www.movinga.de/en/cities-of-opportunity-for-entrepreneurs