Archive for April, 2021

TELUS Activates Text To Donate Campaign In Support Of India’s COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 30, 2021 by itnerd

Given the tragic events in India’s battle against COVID-19, TELUS has activated a Text to Donate campaign to support India’s pandemic relief efforts. Starting today, TELUS customers can text 41010 from their mobile device to give $20 to the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation in support of the Canadian Red Cross – India COVID-19 Response Appeal. TELUS will match customers’ donations dollar for dollar, up to a maximum of $100,000. 

By donating financially, customers are supporting emergency social services including hygiene items, food supplies, transportation services, and COVID-19 prevention resources for those impacted by this crisis. Please donate today if you are able to.

UPDATE: Late on Friday, TELUS told me that it will match customers’ donations dollar for dollar, up to a maximum of $200,000. So $100,000 donated will be matched for $200,000.

The Europeans Say That Apple Has Broken EU Competition Law

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 30, 2021 by itnerd

As of late, Apple has been facing a lot of scrutiny over issues related to anti-trust. And their problems just got worse as Apple has been found to be in breach of competitive law by the European Union. This came about via a lawsuit that Spotify filed against Apple a couple of years back. The European Commission has released a statement stating that Apple “has “abused its dominant position for the distribution of music streaming apps through its App Store.” The commission has found that Apple’s App Store policies give the company an unfair advantage. Effectively, they are a monopoly.

Apple for its part, rejected this charge:

“Spotify has become the largest music subscription service in the world, and we’re proud of the role we played in that,” it said in a statement.

“They want all the benefits of the App Store but don’t think they should have to pay anything for that. The Commission’s argument on Spotify’s behalf is the opposite of fair competition,” it added.

Apple will be called before the commission to defend its actions. If found guilty, Apple could be fined up to 10% of its annual revenue from the App Store. But you should keep in mind that this sort of thing takes years and Apple will appeal any ruling that goes against it. So if you’re Spotify or even Tile who are among a number of companies who have issues with Apple, a speedy resolution to this isn’t going to happen. But we should all stay tuned anyway as this is sure to have far reaching effects elsewhere.

New Look Eyewear Launches Its 3D Scanning App

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 29, 2021 by itnerd

With social distances and safety measures continuing to be part of our reality, online shopping is an option for consumers wanting to shop in the comfort of their home. New Look Eyewear, a Canadian eyewear retailer, launches its 3D scanning app in the Canadian market, ensuring the ultimate precision in getting fitted for eyewear.

The New Look 3D scanning app, which was solely available in the Quebec marketplace upon launching last fall, is now available to all customers in Canada; bringing the unparalleled virtual eyewear purchase experience nationwide. With the possibility to fully customize your frames, the New Look 3D scanning app becomes a fashionable item for everyone that wants to have a unique style.

Some of the app features include:

  • Full Customization. Customers can design their own pair of eyewear to ensure they are specifically tailored for them. Customers start by choosing from a wide variety of frame styles, shapes, and colours. From there they can further refine their style by tweaking the height, width and vertical drop to suit their vision needs and taste. And because the glasses are made to measure, they feel lighter as the weight is perfectly distributed to their facial features.
  • Designers. In addition to the customization available, the app also features a wide range of designers’ glasses including Gucci, Tom Ford, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss and much more.
  • 3D technology: Using Topology’s advanced technology to solve the challenges of taking precise measurements for glasses outside an eyewear store by scanning 20,000 data points on a person’s face, taking ultra-precise measurements and making it the most accurate technology on the market. This level of precision helps ensure better fitting frames and optimal comfort, regardless of the size or shape of a person’s face.
  • Pre-adjustments: thanks to the precise measurements taken from ear to ear, the glasses can be pre-adjusted before being shipped to customers’ homes.
  • Single and progressive prescription: The New Look 3D scanning app makes it easy to try on glasses safely from the comfort of their homes. Whether consumers have a single-vision or progressive prescription, an optician is available via a video appointment.
  • Once they have booked a virtual appointment online, users are invited to download the New Look app, which is available in the App Store for iPhone (X and newer), and for iPad Pro.
  • Topology is an exclusive technology to New Look Vision Group banners in Canada.

For more information about the app, you can visit the website.

Innovative Insights Available for NHL Coaches Through SAP-NHL Coaching Insights App for iPad

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 29, 2021 by itnerd

Long-time partners SAP and the NHL today unveiled new, significant enhancements to the SAP-NHL Coaching Insights App for iPad. These upgrades stemmed from offseason workshops with all 31 NHL coaching staffs to further simplify the user experience, expand on critical metrics desired by coaches, and extend usability for deeper preparation before and after games.  

The app, which is based on SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) powered by the SAP HANA Cloud database, launched in 2019 and has continued its evolution since inception. This has led to a massive 4x increase in league-wide usage, which further validates its reputation as an important coaching tool throughout the league.   

 Now, coaching staffs for all 31 NHL teams can tap into unique new features in the app such as: 

  • “Home Plate” Customization: Every team has their own perspective on where the danger zones are around the net. This feature allows coaches to select one of five different variants of high-chance scoring areas to develop strategies and compare the team versus the opponent. 
  • Head-to-Head Faceoff Matchup Planner: Coaches can cycle through potential matchups for each faceoff to isolate the best opportunities to win them. This functionality tracks players’ win/loss rates at different faceoff locations, and against various opposition. There are even specific times during the game (like icing) when a coach will know who the exact opponent will be, the Faceoff Matchup Planner provides coaches with real-time targeted data to assist in rapid decision-making. 
  • Enhanced Game Trends/Analytics: Coaches can analyze detailed shot differential from key segments of each game, allowing for game trending capabilities to unlock insights within targeted momentum shifts. 
  • Player Speed: NHL clubs will have insights to the total distance a player skates during the game and their top speed, so coaches can manage their player’s ice time throughout the game. Specific to speed and distance, the app can break it down into 10-second increments to help develop optimal shift lengths. 
  • 24/7 Access: Now,the app is empowering coaches to better strategize prior to the game, make data-driven adjustments during the game, and analyze performance after the game. Usage data tells us that this expanded access is driving the increased adoption and coaches are watching their next opponent play, thru the app, to help collect information and shape the game plan … even on off days. 

Once Puck Tracking data is fully operational in the Puck and Player Tracking system, the following future enhancements will be integrated into the SAP-NHL Coaching Insights App for iPad: 

  • Puck Zone Time: Coaches will be able to display eight different variants of data making it even more accurate to identify puck zone time. Also, coaches will be able to filter by player and periods of games.  
  • Virtual Replay: These new animations coming next season visually simplify how coaches can see how the puck enters specific zones, and greater details on the X’s and O’s in terms of how the players either collapsed or prevailed during these pressure moments. Every game will be available to view in real-time or in full-game replay. 

And, when tracking enabled pucks are brought back on to the ice, paired with the NHL’s existing player tracking system, the full data processing capabilities of the SAP HANA Cloud database will be recognized.  

As the processing engine, SAP HANA Cloud will house, update, and translate a tremendous amount of new, actionable data in near real-time to coaching staffs. In the future, as these advanced analytics become more mainstream, it’s reasonable to expect an influx of new statistics for fans to consume on broadcasts,, and social media.  

You can predict a large number of unsung heroes – those that have excelled at the little things – to gain some exposure from success in less obvious areas like zone-time effectiveness in offensive/defensive zones, and player +/- in zone-time possessions. As these technologies continue to advance, fans can expect to enjoy deeper insights and new statistical categories to rank, compare, and debate their favorite players in new ways. Not to mention, the enjoyment of watching “the fastest game on ice” … become even faster.  

Check out the Global Sponsorships page to learn more about our sports & entertainment transformations. 

Salesforce Canada Illustrates How Customer Expectations Across Canada Have Changed Since the Beginning of the Pandemic

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 29, 2021 by itnerd

The pandemic adjustment period is long over, and Canadians need more from their online shopping experiences than ever before. E-commerce is now simply commerce, and more than three-quarters (76%) of Canadians expect customer service online to be as good as, or better, than the in-store experience. 

New research from Salesforce Canada reveals insights around how consumers expectations have evolved after a year that redefined and recalibrated long held shopping habits. 


When asked how their expectations of online shopping changed since the beginning of the pandemic: 

  • More than three-quarters (76%) expect customer service online to be as good as or better than the in-store experience. 
  • 67% of Canadians expect online stores to better understand their needs 
  • 46% of Canadians expect online brands to know their customer profile 
  • About one-third (31%) now expect to be able to buy big-ticket items, such as vehicles and houses, online. This increases to nearly half (44%) of 18- to 24-year-olds.
  • More than 8 in 10 (82%) Canadians expect to buy a greater variety of products online. 


  • 71% of Canadians say the in-store safety experience will be the most important shopping feature to them even after the pandemic is over. 
  • Other Canadian shopper priorities in a post-pandemic world include: 
    • 36% of Canadians want a variety of shipping and return options
    • 36% of Canadians want personalization 
    • 31% want social media shopping 
    • 33% want customer service live chat 
    • 20% want virtual access to in-store associates 


  • One-third (33%) of Canadians say they are willing to compromise on product quality for a positive customer experience. 
  • When shopping online, the majority of Canadians (85%) prioritize product quality. When shopping in-store, a quarter of Canadians (25%) say customer experience is top priority. 


  • Nearly half (43%) of Canadians surveyed (18-34)  are less loyal to brands today than they were one year ago: the availability of more brands online means they have more selection of where to shop. 
  • Pandemic supply strain is a notable factor in customer loyalty: 41% of Canadians say they are less loyal to retailers today because they shop wherever there is a consistent and plentiful supply of the products they need. 
  • Of those Canadians who are more loyal to the retailers they shop with today, top reasons include: 
    • 44% of Canadians said the experience is convenient and easy to shop whether they’re online or in-store, while 53% value consistent product quality. 
    • About half (48%) said the customer service they receive is quick and readily available.


  • More than one-quarter (26%) of Millennial Canadians (18-34) expect brands to reward their loyalty by giving back to a cause they support. This is over double compared to older generations (15% of 34-55 and 13% of 55+). 
  • 34% of Canadians surveyed cited brand loyalty being driven by shared values with the brands they shop from. 
  • About one in five Canadians expect brands to reward their loyalty with even more personalized shopping experiences 
  • Nearly half (48%) of Canadians expect exclusive access to new offerings or discounts. 

About the survey:

From April 14 to April 15, 2021, an online survey of 1,521 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and, in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

DigitalOcean Says Customer Billing Data Accessed In Data Breach

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 29, 2021 by itnerd

Another day, another data breach. DigitalOcean has emailed customers warning of a data breach involving customers’ billing data:

The cloud infrastructure giant told customers in an email on Wednesday, obtained by TechCrunch, that it has “confirmed an unauthorized exposure of details associated with the billing profile on your DigitalOcean account.” The company said the person “gained access to some of your billing account details through a flaw that has been fixed” over a two-week window between April 9 and April 22. The email said customer billing names and addresses were accessed, as well as the last four digits of the payment card, its expiry date and the name of the card-issuing bank. The company said that customers’ DigitalOcean accounts were “not accessed,” and passwords and account tokens were “not involved” in this breach. 

“To be extra careful, we have implemented additional security monitoring on your account. We are expanding our security measures to reduce the likelihood of this kind of flaw occuring [sic] in the future,” the email said. DigitalOcean said it fixed the flaw and notified data protection authorities, but it’s not clear what the apparent flaw was that put customer billing information at risk. In a statement, DigitalOcean’s security chief Tyler Healy said 1% of billing profiles were affected by the breach, but declined to address our specific questions, including how the vulnerability was discovered and which authorities have been informed.

Now this is the part that gets my attention:

The email said customer billing names and addresses were accessed, as well as the last four digits of the payment card, its expiry date and the name of the card-issuing bank.

You can do a hell of a lot of damage with that information if you try hard enough. I wrote about what the bad guys can do if they have access to the last 4 digits of your credit card here. So this is a big deal. Something that DigitalOcean needs to be way more forthright about as this as additional details about this data breach are likely to emerge. As well as potential attempts to use this information for no good. Both of which will be bad for DigitalOcean.

Guest Post: Atlas VPN Says Cybercriminals Netted Over $100 Million From Blockchain Projects In Q1 2021

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 28, 2021 by itnerd

Cryptocurrencies had a strong start this year, with crypto asset prices, such as Bitcoin, reaching record-heights. However, that caught the attention of cybercriminals.

The Atlas VPN team found that cybercriminals stole around $108.3 million from various blockchain projects in the first quarter of 2021 — a 46% rise from the same period last year. Ethereum DApps, blockchain wallets, and cryptocurrency exchanges were the criminals’ target of choice.

Ethereum (ETH) DApps were the most popular among cybercriminals in the first quarter of 2021. They were affected by a total of 11 breaches and 5 scam events, which amounted to over $86 million in losses.

Blockchain wallets were also commonly attacked. There were 9 blockchain wallet breaches recorded in the first three months of this year, as well as 1 scam event and 2 blackmail cases. In total, they cost victims approximately $19.3 million.

Finally, cryptocurrency exchanges had 4 breaches and 1 scam event. Together cybercriminals collected around $2.9 million from cryptocurrency exchanges in 2021 Q1.

Blockchain-linked hacks are on the rise again

In 2020, blockchain-related breaches declined for the first time in the past five years. However, a new year brings new challenges, and it seems that in 2021 blockchain-related breaches are on the rise once again.

The first quarter of 2021 already saw 33 blockchain breaches, including scams, affecting Ethrereum DApps, blockchain wallets, and cryptocurrency exchanges. It signifies a 154% rise compared to Q1 of 2020, when 13 blockchain breaches were detected.

However, the number of blockchain-linked breaches in Q1 of 2021 is still almost two times lower than in the record year of 2019. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, 62 blockchain breaches were detected.

Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and writer at Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on the situation:

“Due to their nature, blockchain projects remain profitable targets to cybercriminals because fraudulent transactions cannot be reversed as they may be in the traditional financial system. With cryptocurrencies continuing to boom, it is safe to say that we can expect more hacks to pour in by the end of this year. ”

To read the full article, head over to:

TELUS Health Launches Next Evolution Of Its National Employer-Focused Virtual Care Service

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 28, 2021 by itnerd

TELUS Health, Canada’s largest health IT company and the leading provider of virtual care services for business and consumers across Canada, today announced the launch of TELUS Health Virtual Care – the next evolution of its national, employer-focused virtual care service. TELUS Health Virtual Care is built on more than 35 years of combined experience delivering healthcare services to Canadians by merging the best-in-class capabilities and features of Akira by TELUS Health — the company’s bilingual, on-demand virtual care service; and EQ Care — its recently acquired virtual care company that delivers specialized virtual care functionalities and advanced employee assistance features like LifeJourney. This robust virtual care service provides more than 2.8M Canadians, with confidential access to nearly 500 healthcare professionals from a variety of disciplines to support every step of their healthcare journey. Further, through a recent integration, TELUS Health Virtual Care is also the first service in Canada to be able to securely share patient information, with appropriate consent, with any one of the 30,000 clinicians using a TELUS Health EMR providing care to the patient ensuring improved continuity of care.

With the pandemic shifting the way many Canadians work and blurring the boundaries of work and home life, services like TELUS Health Virtual Care allow Canadian employers to:

  • Support their employees’ physical and mental health 
    Timely access to care with numerous provincially regulated restrictions continues to be a challenge for many, exacerbating mental health issues. The 2020 TELUS Health Virtual Healthcare Industry Report showed that 56 per cent of Canadians have reported negative impacts to their mental health since the outbreak of the global pandemic. TELUS Health Virtual Care offers not only non-emergent primary care support, but also mental health and allied health services so employees can get the care they need where and when they need it. 
  • Increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and minimize benefits costs
    Seventy per cent of virtual care consults are initiated during the workday and 85 per cent of health concerns are resolved without an in-person visit. That means services that enable employees to remotely access care from anywhere reduces time spent away from work. Addressing health concerns immediately also helps avoid worsening conditions that could lead to higher benefits costs.
  • Provide seamless continuity of care

With consent, TELUS Health Virtual Care can be seamlessly integrated with medical charts managed by clinicians who use a TELUS Health EMR allowing patient information to be securely exchanged between the patient’s care team. This helps in preventing gaps in patient care and allows for more timely interventions, which are crucial in treating chronic conditions; a recent Sanofi Canada Healthcare Survey has shown that poor chronic disease management has been linked to issues with workplace productivity, absenteeism, and disability leaves. For employees without a family doctor but needing in-person care for non-emergent issues, TELUS Health Virtual Care can refer them to a physician at one of its more than 15 TELUS Health Care Centres across the country.

  • Recruit and retain top talent
    In a talent-driven market, competitive salaries are no longer enough. Increasingly, employees are looking for benefits that help them proactively maintain and manage their health. In fact, 67 per cent of millennials say they want virtual care access and 77 per cent of Canadian employees would consider changing jobs for an employer who provides better support for theirmental health and wellbeing
  • Benefit from a proven ecosystem of solutions and services
    For more than a decade, TELUS Health has built an ecosystem unlike any other company in Canada working with health authorities, community partners, and stakeholders to ensure a more sustainable healthcare system. Leveraging its vast network infrastructure and through guidance from its team of medical experts on the TELUS Medical Advisory Council, the company continues to drive innovation not only through programs and digital services, but also through the delivery of high quality medical care for Canadians regardless of their socio-economic status. Such initiatives include — Home Health Monitoring which enables safe, at-home recovery from COVID-19 or other illnesses; and Health for Good that brings primary care to marginalized populations across the country. Each initiative is underpinned in a human-first, medically-credible approach and meets or exceeds the highest standards for security and privacy by design.

With virtual care as a key component to modern health benefits plans, TELUS Health Virtual Care serves as a valuable complementary service to TELUS Health Benefits Management offerings, enabling insurance providers, advisors, and employers to offer holistic health benefits plans that meet the evolving needs of Canada’s workforce.

With more than $3 billion invested in health to date, TELUS Health continues to expand its suite of virtual care services — from remote patient monitoring technology and EMR-integrated solutions to consumer virtual care services covered by provincial healthcare plans — furthering its mission of transforming the healthcare system through the power of technology and empowering every person to live their healthiest life.

TELUS Health is a leader in digital health technology, providing virtual care, home health monitoring, electronic medical and health records, benefits and pharmacy management, and personal emergency response services. By leveraging the power of technology to deliver connected solutions and services, TELUS Health is improving access to care and revolutionizing the flow of information while facilitating collaboration, efficiency, and productivity for physicians, pharmacists, health authorities, allied healthcare professionals, insurers, employers, and citizens, to progress its vision of transforming healthcare and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Through the TELUS Health Care Centres, teams of renowned and passionate healthcare professionals deliver best-in-class patient-centric care to thousands of Canadian employers, professionals, and families in more than 15 medical clinics located across the country.

For more information please visit:

Aptum Cloud Study Pt. 3: A Bright Forecast on Cloud

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 28, 2021 by itnerd

Although most organizations (80 per cent) recognize cloud computing as being vital to their financial security, more than half (57 per cent) have encountered unexpected costs. These findings come from part three of the four-part Cloud Impact Study from Aptum, the global hybrid multi-cloud managed service provider. The report, titled A Bright Forecast on Cloud, explores the financial benefits of cloud computing and how organizations can optimize cloud spend.

According to the report findings, most IT professionals (80 per cent) see success in utilizing cloud services to unlock greater business profitability. The agility of cloud deployments allows organizations to quickly scale their services to support demand, release new products or services to market, and subsequently improve profit margins and increase efficiencies. In fact, increased efficiency is a common driver behind cloud computing for 72 per cent of respondents. The overall efficiency and flexibility of cloud allows organizations to only pay for what they use, increasing overall profitability, which is cited by 39 per cent of respondents as a motivator behind cloud adoption.

However, as organizations migrate workloads to different cloud platforms, visibility and control into cloud environments becomes difficult to achieve, often leading to unforeseen costs – a key challenge for 81 per cent of respondents. Without necessary insights to evaluate performance and enforce remedial measures for issues, the efficiency of cloud becomes hard to manage. This is the case for over half of respondents (57 per cent) who say cloud has resulted in unanticipated costs, and over a third of respondents (35 per cent) who admit they are wasting IT spend due to the inefficient use of cloud platforms. 

The data suggests that cloud deployments without expert guidance from a Managed Service Partner (MSP) can increase associated costs if cloud optimization is not a fundamental principle from the start. Taking a holistic approach to cloud infrastructures, where visibility and control are embedded from design, can ensure costs are optimized and the service runs at maximum efficiency.

The full findings from part 3 of the Cloud Impact Study, A Bright Forecast on Cloud, can be found here:

Aptum’s Cloud Impact Study was created from the opinions of 400 senior IT professionals in the US, Canada, and UK across industries in financial services, IT, technology, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, public and commercial sectors. The final report will focus on Modernization Opportunities.

For part one of the report, Bridging the Cloud Gap, please visit:

For part two of the report, The Security and Compliance Barricade, please visit:

LinkedIn Reveals List Of Top Companies In Canada for 2021

Posted in Commentary with tags on April 28, 2021 by itnerd

LinkedIn has released the Canadian edition of the 2021 Top Companies list, featuring the best workplaces for Canadians.

As the pandemic continues, the 2021 list reflects the current state of the economy which has many Canadians looking for new job opportunities. LinkedIn identifies the best workplaces to grow their career and shares the insights they need to navigate their professional journey.

LinkedIn uses its data to rank companies on the list based on seven pillars that have been shown to lead to career progression: ability to advance; skills growth; company stability; external opportunity; company affinity; gender diversity and educational background.

Here is what the highest ranked LinkedIn Top Companies are doing to attract and keep talent:

  1. RBC – During the pandemic, RBC says it continued to pay eligible employees unable to work due to COVID-19 and offered special compensation for those working onsite. The bank also said it was the first in Canada to commit to no job losses from COVID in 2020.
  1. TD – TD Bank, which also committed to no job losses in 2020 as a result of COVID, trained HR professionals to help redeploy employees from one business to another as the company adapted to changing needs.
  1. Scotiabank – The company says it is considering a wider range of applicants for some roles, focusing on assessments of skillsets over specific job requirements or backgrounds.
  1. Alphabet – Google has announced plans to open new offices in Toronto, Waterloo, and Montreal, accommodating up to 5,000 employees by 2022.
  1. Bell – The company operating some of Canada’s biggest media brands, recently set new targets for BIPOC representation in senior management of at least 25% by 2025, as well as student and graduate hiring of at least 40%.

The full 2021 Top Companies list is linked here.


  • LinkedIn uses its data to rank companies based on seven pillars that have been shown to lead to career progression: ability to advance; skills growth; company stability; external opportunity; company affinity; gender diversity and educational background. Ability to advance tracks employee promotions within a company and when they move to a new company, based on standardized job titles. Skills growth looks at how employees across the company are gaining skills while employed at the company, using standardized LinkedIn skills. Company stability tracks attrition over the past year, as well as the percentage of employees that stay at the company at least three years. External opportunity looks at Recruiter outreach across employees at the company. Company affinity, which seeks to measure how supportive a company’s culture is, looks at connection volume on LinkedIn among employees, controlled for company size. Gender diversity measures gender parity within a company and its subsidiaries. Finally, educational background examines the variety of educational attainment among employees, from no degree up to Ph.D. levels, reflecting a commitment to recruiting a wide range of professionals.
  • To be eligible, companies must have at least 500 employees as of Dec. 31 in the country/region and employee attrition can be no higher than 10% over the 12 months prior (based on LinkedIn data). Only parent companies rank on the list; majority-owned subsidiaries and data about those subsidiaries are incorporated into the parent company score. All data counts are normalized based on company size across the pool of companies eligible for the list. The methodology and insights time frame is Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020. All of the data used is aggregated and/or de-identified.
  • They exclude all staffing and recruiting firms, educational institutions and government agencies. They also exclude LinkedIn, its parent company Microsoft and Microsoft subsidiaries.